Destination: St. Petersburg, Florida
Nestled between theme-park-saturated Orlando and sexy Miami is the perfect, relaxing getaway in St. Petersburg, Florida. This beautiful city is on Florida’s gulf coast surrounded by gorgeous water, craft breweries, museums and rooftops. If you're looking for a getaway on the east coast and haven't been to St. Pete's yet, give it a try!
While I was in St. Petersburg, I stayed at a house close to downtown and found it through AirBnB. There are an abundance of hotels in the area and many AirBnB options too. I would recommend you stay somewhere near downtown or around Central area, where the nightlife is found. It’s all fairly close together. The attractions, restaurants and nightlife are just a quick drive (or uber ride) away, regardless of where you stay.
Hit the beach
St. Pete boasts many beaches. It seems the most popular of these choices is Clearwater Beach which has not only the beach but also various other attractions and establishments.
While I was in St. Pete, my friend and I decided to visit Pass-A-Grille beach. We opted for this one, as it is said to be quieter and less mainstream. Upon arriving at the beach, we knew we made the right choice for our taste. The water was gorgeous, though still chilly in April, but the beauty of the beach made me forget the temperature of the water.
The sun was bright and hot. Fortunately, we were able to get some chairs and a canopy to help protect us from the rays. I’m not much for tanning, so the canopy was definitely appreciated.
When I go to the beach, I love staying all day on the sand and in the water, so we were prepared with snacks; however, besides water we did not bring other (ahem...adult) drinks. Fortunately, Paradise Grille was only a few steps away to serve us some much needed Pina Coladas and any other goodies we may have craved. Another plus for Pass-A-Grille is that parking in the area is simple and does not add extra stress to the trip. I would definitely come back to Pass-A-Grille next time I find myself in St. Pete or check out any of the other beaches in the area.
Bar hop around town
This place is trouble- amazing drinks specials, delicious cocktails, craft beer scene and beautiful spaces! If you are looking for some well made, craft cocktails, I would recommend The Mandarin Hide. They took their time to make a great drink and the setting was sexy, unpretentious, lounge vibes.
Need a rooftop to check out the views? I loved my time spent at The Canopy. Located on the popular Beach Drive, it has great views of the water at sunset. Before 7pm, they have unbelievable drink specials and after 7pm, the drinks are still reasonable and delicious....ahem, Frose anyone?! They also have great bar snacks. Let’s be real, who does need loaded tots to go with their prosecco? #StayClassy
With canopies, fire pits and relaxing chairs, this is a luxurious way to soak in the St. Pete sun while you’re soaking up that prosecco! Judgement free zone here!
More of a beer drinker? Well, word on the street is St. Pete has a solid craft beer scene. I will not lie to you, I am not a beer girl but I do not want to stop you from indulging, so here is a link for some spots to check out. How about you check them out and let me know if there is one that I should jump off my high horse to try?
If you just walk up and down Central Avenue, you will find an eclectic bar and food scene too. This part of town, to me, is reminiscent of Asheville in the sense that it has a very down to earth and relaxed feeling, while still taking itself seriously. I was really into Central Avenue, if you can’t tell.
Around Beach Drive and Central Avenue, you can find some amazing restaurants. My friend and I were lucky enough to experience the food at Ceviche. What an amazing tapas restaurant! Immediately, we knew we were in the right spot when they gave us freshly baked bread with olive oil and fresh herbs and we were proved right. We ordered the Mariscos Paella and the waiter warned us that it would take 45 minutes to prepare. It was worth the wait! The refreshing flavors, perfectly cooked rice and fresh seafood were all exquisitely balanced. The Bacalao and Rabo de Toro were also perfectly cooked and flavored. Here’s the second best part about Ceviche though, go down the stairs and it’s a salsa club. Locals and tourists were gathered around dancing and sweating the night away in the basement, while musicians played. After you eat here, be sure to work it off down in the basement!
If you find yourself craving some Mexican food, you can always scope out the popular Red Mesa Cantina. They not only have traditional Mexican food but also some interesting takes on popular dishes. My friend and I tried the duck quesadillas and Jibarito. Both were not as heavy as you would think, so eaten along with chips, salsa and guacamole, it was a wonderful meal. This spot is fun because it is quite big, has an indoor and outdoor space and different levels. Be sure to stop by when you make your trip!
Let me be straight up with you, I did not go to any museums while in St. Pete but I regret not going to The Dali Museum. I went a long time ago in middle school and liked it then. I would have loved to have gone with my perspective today but...those drinks specials distracted me! Seriously, it is a new museum (recently renovated) that houses the work of Salvador Dali, whose art you will recognize if you do a quick google search. I even helped you with a link!
Notes to self for next time:
Plan to spend more time walking up and down Central Avenue to try more places.
Rent a bike to ride around.
Check out the Don Cesar in Pass A Grille for a drink or dinner.