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Old Northeast, St. Petersburg – Neighborhood Review

Photo by Shona Corsten

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If you had to sum up Old Northeast in two words, they would have to be ‘vibrant’ and ‘thriving’. Places are often described as having “Something for everyone”, but Historic Old Northeast St. Petersburg really captures this feeling very well.

Hand-laid brick streets link the peaceful blocks, all sheltering under the leaves of a variety of mature palms and oaks. The houses are something special, too, with an intriguing mix of Mediterranean styles and bungalows, many of them more than one hundred years old.

There is a relaxed, open feel about the place, with a sense that is is safe and welcoming for all, whether a young family or retiring couple.

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When it comes to shopping and eating out, the emphasis appears to be on all things local, as opposed to the national chains and franchises, although the more familiar names are present for those who feel more at home with them. 4th Street North is lined with fascinating boutiques, food outlets, health-food stores, and bakeries.

If you had to choose one specific focal point of Old Northeast, it would be difficult to ignore the appeal of the Waterfront area, overlooking Coffeepot Bayou at one end and Tampa Bay at the other. North Shore Park and Vinoy Park both offer a wealth of green space as well as activities to suit all ages, including swimming, baseball, tennis, and kid’s play areas. In addition, there’s a stunning expanse of white sand where you can spot dolphins playing as the sun dips below the horizon.

Coffeepot Bayou is a veritable wildlife haven, and one of the rare places you’ll get to see the normally secretive manatee in the wild with relative ease. It’s a truly unique place, packed with wildlife, accessible through a wide, safe and well-lit path that is popular with walkers, joggers, and cyclists. The path is flat and even, making it safe for wheel-chairs, and has plenty of seats stationed along the way for you to rest and enjoy the amazing views across the water.

Boats of all types are available for hire, so you can make your way lazily across the bayou to see what wildlife you can spot.

Other cultural attractions include the Great Explorations Children’s Museum, Palladium Theater, and the Sunken Gardens, which comprises four acres of tropical plant species (over 500 in number) set amidst a landscape of gorgeous waterfalls and pools.

Aside from all that Historic Old Northeast St. Petersburg has to offer in itself, part of its attraction lies in the close proximity to other neighborhoods, such as Downtown. The community here appreciates this, at the same time fostering a close-knit, homely feel. The Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood Association arranges a host of events throughout the year, such as picnics, ‘porch-parties’, and parades, to ensure that residents become better acquainted. When you consider its beautiful location, impressive collection of homes, its enviable selection of parks, shops, restaurants and so on, it is easy to see why the residents are so proud of their neighborhood.

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