Photo: Crews work to haul to shore the wreckage of an advertising plane that crashed into Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Fla., Sunday; the pilot killed in the crash has been identified as 70-year-old Donald Thomasson, who was remembered in a family statement as 'an avid pilot since his early 20s' - @BN9
St. Petersburg is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. As of the 2013 census estimate, the population was 249,688, 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, 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 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.
The city is located on a peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It is connected to mainland Florida to the north; with the city of Tampa to the east by causeways and bridges across Tampa Bay; and to Bradenton in the south by the Sunshine Skyway Bridge (Interstate 275), which traverses the mouth of the bay. It is also served by Interstates 175 and 375, which branch off I-275 into the southern and northern areas of downtown respectively. The Gandy Bridge, conceived by George Gandy and opened in 1924, was the first causeway to be built across Tampa Bay, connecting St. Petersburg and Tampa cities without a circuitous 43-mile (69 km) trip around the bay through Oldsmar.
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.