St. Petersburg welcomes you to enjoy one of America's most popular destinations, from the city's vibrant downtown filled with museums, art galleries, shopping, dining and major league sporting activities to some of the nation's top ranked beaches. Waterfront A peninsular city with a subtropical climate, St. Petersburg is surrounded by 244 miles of shoreline along Tampa Bay, Boca Ciega Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and intracoastal waterways. A boater's paradise, the St. Petersburg Marina is the largest city marina in the southeast with 610 boat slips. There are also nine boat ramp locations, open year round. Ft. De Soto Park , has traditionally been one of the nation"s top ranked beaches. Sunshine Average temperature - 73.7 degrees. Average days of sunshine per year - 361. The "Sunshine City" holds a Guinness World Record for logging the most consecutive days of sunshine - a stretch lasting 768 days that began in 1967. Form of Government St. Petersburg operates under the strong mayor form of government - a system that combines the strong political leadership of a mayor with an elected city council . The mayor is responsible for running the daily affairs of the city, the City Council has a chair and a vice chair and must approve city policies, city budget and the mayor's choices for city administrator and city attorney. Parks 137 parks on approximately 2,300 acres of public land are dedicated to parks and recreation, including a seven mile preserved downtown waterfront -- the third largest urban waterfront park system in North America. Unique parks include the 245-acre Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, the botanical attraction Sunken Gardens, Treasure Island Beach on the Gulf of Mexico, and the historic Weedon Island Preserve. The Pinellas Trail , a 37-mile hiking/biking trail, connects St. Petersburg with central and north Pinellas County-the longest urban linear trail in the Eastern U.S. Venues & Unique Facilities St. Petersburg has a remarkable collection of special facilities including its landmark Pier, currently under redevelopment; Tropicana Field, an enclosed baseball stadium and home to the Tampa Bay Rays , the Mahaffey Theater, the Coliseum, a 1920s restored dance hall and event venue, the historic Shuffleboard and Lawn Bowling Complex, 18 recreation centers, six public libraries, the southeast's largest city marina with a ship store, the Port of St. Petersburg and the Albert Whitted Airport. Schools The Pinellas County School System is the 7th largest district in Florida and 22nd largest in the nation. More than 148,000 students are enrolled at 140 public schools, 72 private schools and 5 vocational/technical schools. Universities include St Petersburg College , Eckerd College , University of South Florida St. Petersburg , Pinellas Technical Education Center , and Stetson University College of Law . Tallest Buildings Priatek Plaza, formerly One Progress Plaza Tower, a commercial office tower built in 1991, and Signature Place, mixed-use contemporary style tower built in 2009, both stand at 30-stories high. ONE, a residential tower and hotel complex, which will soon be the city's tallest structure, is under construction. Famous Firsts St. Petersburg is the birthplace of scheduled aviation with the flight of the Benoist Airboat and the birthplace of Major League Baseball Spring Training, both in 1914. Arts & Culture St. Petersburg has been ranked the No. 1 Arts Destination for cities its size for three consecutive years. Visit St. Petersburg's collection of world-famous museums and galleries, including the Salvador Dali Museum , Museum of Fine Arts , The Chihuly Collection , St. Petersburg Museum of History , Great Explorations , and Florida Holocaust Museum , Florida CraftArt , American Stage , The Morean Arts Center , and the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American History Museum . In addition, St. Petersburg is home to the Florida Orchestra, and the Mahaffey Theater (a performing arts hall), the Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg Opera and residential theater companies including American Stage, freeFall Theatre, A Simple Theatre (at Eckerd College), and St. Petersburg City Theater. Records St. Petersburg"s Water Reclamation System is not only the first to be built in the U.S., it remains one of the largest in the world. The city"s innovative system provides more than 20 million gallons a day (annual average) to 10,483 customers for lawn irrigation. The Sunshine Skyway Bridge , at 4.1 miles across, is one of the largest cable suspension bridges in the Western Hemisphere, rising 19 stories above Tampa Bay (at midpoint). Professional Sports St. Petersburg is home plate to the Tampa Bay Rays (MLB) playing at Tropicana Field and the Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL), who play at Al Lang Stadium. The region is also home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL), Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL),and Derby Lane (greyhound racing). Sports and Outdoor Recreation Enjoy three award-winning public golf courses , nine public pools including an Olympic-size training facility located on Tampa Bay, 80 lighted tennis courts, six dog parks , two skateboard parks, a BMX bicycle track, a Jai Alai fronton and a flying disc golf playing facility at Maximo Park. Annual Events St. Petersburg is home to more than 1,000 special events and festivals each year, including the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg , the St. Anthony's Triathlon swim/bike/run contest drawing ITU (International Triathlon Union) professional triathletes, yachting events, the Mainsail Arts Festival, Green Thumb Festival, Ribfest, Bluesfest, American Stage in the Park, St. Petersburg Pride, the Drum Major for Justice Dr. M.L. King Jr. Parade and related celebrations, the Miss Florida Pageant, Snowfest and First Night St. Petersburg.