St. Petersburg is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. As of the 2014 census estimate, the population was 253,693, making St. Petersburg the 5th most populous city in the state of Florida and the largest city in Florida that is not a county seat (the city of Clearwater is the county seat). St. Petersburg is the second largest city in the Tampa Bay Area, after Tampa, composed of roughly 2.8 million residents, making it the second largest Metropolitan Statistical Area in the state. It is also a popular vacation destination for both American and foreign tourists. The city is located on a peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico and is connected to mainland Florida to the north.
St. Petersburg was founded in 1888 by John C. Williams, who purchased the land, and by Peter Demens, who brought the railroad industry into the area. As a part of a coin toss bet, the winner, Peter Demens, named the land after Saint Petersburg, Russia, while Williams opted to name the first hotel built which was named the Detroit Hotel, both named after their home towns respectively. St. Petersburg was incorporated as a town on February 29, 1892 and re-incorporated as a city on June 6, 1903.
The city is often referred to by locals as St. Pete. Neighboring St. Pete Beach formally shortened its name in 1994 after a vote by its residents. St. Petersburg is governed by a mayor and city council.
With an average of some 361 days of sunshine each year, and a Guinness World Record for logging the most consecutive days of sunshine (768 days), it is nicknamed "The Sunshine City". Due to its good weather and low cost of living, the city has long been a popular retirement destination, although in recent years the population has moved in a much more youthful direction. American Style magazine ranked St. Petersburg its top mid-size city in 2011, citing its "vibrant" arts scene.