Accessibility Grade: A-
Even though this review contains two locations, we decided to include them both in the same post. After recent renovations, the St. Pete Pier reopened in July of 2020. Both it and the surrounding areas are surprisingly accessible, and accommodate a wide range of disabilities. Parking is one of the biggest obstacles, which requires pier goers to access a pay station. Other than that, the park, and even its boardwalks, are pretty easy to access.
The St. Pete Museum of Fine Arts is huge, and offers plenty of room for wheelchair users to navigate the exhibits. Most of the works are eye-level for people who use mobility equipment, and are easy to approach, with little to no barriers. Just be careful not to bump into anything, because these works of art are priceless!
Though there was a decent amount of accessible parking, you must pay a fee to park (detailed below). The park itself had wide sidewalks, shaded areas, benches, and even free sunscreen dispensers. There is an area with beach access, which features an accessibility mat for wheelchair users (note that this only reaches about a quarter of the way to the water).
The St. Pete Pier has a number of parking lots, some of which are closer than others. This picture shows two accessible spots, with an unloading zone in between them, a ramp located at the top of the unloading zone, and a ramp leading to the pay station and into the park. If you are a wheelchair user or have a disability that impacts your ability to walk long distances, it would be a good idea to park as close as possible. Click here for the locations of these lots, and for the parking rate. Until writing this review, I wasn't aware that payment can be made with a mobile app called ParkMobile, which you can access by clicking here. Since I needed my friends' help to access the kiosk shown above, paying with ParkMobile would've been much easier for me to access. We were told that there was an accessible shuttle, but didn't have a chance to follow up on it.
After we got out of my van, I was surprised to find a free sunscreen dispenser. Painted a bright blue, this cylinder is pretty easy to see, and is located next to an interactive map. This feature is incredible for people who have either sensitive skin or skin conditions. Since this dispenser is operated with a pedal on the floor, wheelchair users may need assistance to use it.Making our way to the pier, we passed a large sidewalk that led to and followed the sea wall. There's a sign that reads "ADA RAMP ACCESS," with an arrow pointing towards the right. Taking this path will give you some great views of the water, which will be to your left, immediately after a stretch of bushes and palm trees.