A Weekend in St Pete, Fla
My husband and I spent the weekend in St Pete, Fla (& a little in Tampa) with our best friends. I may be bias because we are moving here in a few months, but this area has to be my favorite in the country. If you haven’t been to this part of Florida, you need to add it on your to do list right now! Here is how we spent our short trip there!
Where to Stay
This was a spontaneous, last minute trip, so when I was looking where to stay my musts were on St Pete Beach, walking distance to the beach/food, pool, and most importantly affordable. St Pete has many resorts and hotels, so you won’t have trouble finding a room. While searching on Booking.com, I found this 1950’s renovated hotel called St Pete Beach Suites. The grounds were a two-minute walk from the beach, food, bars, shopping, etc and the prices were very affordable.
The room sizes vary, and they all include a small kitchen and table. They are recently updated and the beds were pretty comfortable. They have two pools on site plus several other amenities. I was a little disappointed because they advertised complimentary beach umbrellas, chair and bicycles but we didn’t use any of them. They were first come first serve, and the quality of the beach umbrellas and chairs were of cheaply made beach store supplies. They only had two working bicycles during our stay so since we had friends with us we never used the bicycles.
But…I would still recommend this place to any couple, family, or group looking for a place to stay without a crowd of people and great location! I’ll get to more of the reason this location was hard to beat later on so KEEP READING!
What to Do
Like I said above, the beach was a two minute walk from our room, and St Pete is known for beautiful beaches. The sand is white and water blue. The beach is wider at this end of the city, which gave everyone space instead of being crammed up against one another. There is a man who rents beach chairs/umbrellas/cabanas on the beach, and it was only $25 for the entire day for two chairs and on umbrella/cabana! So even though our hotel didn’t give us a great option, this was extremely convenient and affordable. I went onto the beach at 8:30 AM to secure our spot. You can come and go as you want all day!
Anton and I really enjoy staying at a place with a pool while vacationing at the beach. We like to take a dip and get away from the sand. St Pete Beach Suites is a smaller hotel so we were never fighting a crowd at the pool. The pools have several games, too, like big Jenga and Connect Four, cornhole, and more.
The highlight activity of our trip was the boating excursion we booked. I found Island Boat Adventures on Google, and I would definitely recommend this tour and company to anyone visiting this area. It was only $45 (plus tip) for a four-hour tour! The dock was only 15 minutes from our hotel. They have two tours a day (9 AM and 2 PM), and we chose the earlier one due to the heat. The boat provides all the snorkel gear and coolers for you to put drinks/snacks in. We picked up some sandwiches, waters, and alcoholic beverages.
The destination is the island named Egmont Key that is located in between St Petersburg and Anna Maria Island. While driving to the island, we saw plenty of dolphins. We snorkeled at a historic landmark located probably a mile off the shore. We saw plenty of fish and a string ray. Afterwards, you are taken to the island where you can snorkel and walk around. The island is known for having 2,000 turtles, a Lighthouse, a cemetery, and more. One side of the island is the party side, and we saw hundreds of boats pulled up while people enjoyed swimming and eating on the beach.
Where to Eat
St Pete Beach and Downtown St Petersburg have so many options for eating, and you will not go hungry here. Again, the location of our hotel was optimal for exploring and walking to most of our meals. Located right in front of St Pete Beach Suites and on the beach, Paradise Grille serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinks. We ate here several times during our weekend, and their breakfast is AMAZING! We also ate at Buoy’s Waterfront Bar and Grill, Rick’s Reef, Mad Fish, Jimmy B’s Beach Bar, and Twistee Treat. You probably have 20+ options that are walking distance for you in this area, so you will have no problem finding a bite to eat, a sweet treat, or a fruity drink.
We also met up with friends in downtown St Petersburg for dinner one night and we ate at Oak & Stone. This is located on Central Ave, and this street is probably 5 miles long filled with food, drinks and shopping. It’s about a 15 minute drive from our hotel, and at the time Uber was not in service due to the virus I believe. Parking is readily available so you wouldn’t have a problem.
My husband and I stopped in Tampa on our way in and out of St Pete Beach. We enjoyed a meal at Armature Works, which is an upscale, cool food court. You can find any kind of food and seating inside and outside. I love the bar M. Bird located on the roof of Armature works where I went to for my bachelorette party! On the way home, we ate brunch at Oxford Exchange, which has to be one of my favorite places in Tampa. I would always suggest making a reservation for here because it’s so popular. They have the restaurant, but also a coffee/tea bar, champagne bar, bookstore, etc.
Fun Facts & Tips
We are planning to move to Tampa in a few months! SO EXCITED!
I would love to stay at Postcard Inn or the famous Don Cesar on St Pete Beach
St Pete is about a 5 – 5.5-hour drive from middle GA
Use the provided bug spray on the boating excursion because Egmont Key has huge mosquitoes and my poor hubby got bit several times
Other food recommendations: Intermezzo Café, Bandit Coffee, Sake 23, IceBurg, No Vacancy, The Canopy, The Library, Shepherd’s Tiki Bar, Toasted Monkey