St. Pete is a Florida West coast destination with sugar-sand beaches, a wide array of resorts, popular eateries and breweries, and great artwork. With world-class art galleries, an impressive local art mural scene, and affordable luxuries, St. Pete is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after vacation spots in the Sunshine State. Trip Advisor named St. Pete the #4 beach in the United States back in 2016 and #5 in the world in 2012. I was intrigued with the area on my first visit and I think you will be, too. Here are six things to enjoy in St. Pete, Florida.
The Dali Museum
The first thing you notice when you arrive at the Salvador Dali Museum is the awesome curved glass architecture. Sitting on the waterfront, the museum is home to the largest collection of Salvador Dali’s works outside of Spain. The world-famous artist is known for both his Spanish surrealism artworks and maybe the most famous mustache of all time. Dali often depicts clocks that are melting as well as paintings that are two different things, depending on the spot from where you look at them.
The Dali Museum hosts mostly permanent Dali works but also a traveling exhibit that changes every few months. In the past, art by Pablo Picasso, Walt Disney, and haute couture gowns by Schiaparelli have been the special interests. There is also a cafe that serves delicious Spanish cuisine.
Cuban Deliciousness at Bodega
In the heart of downtown St. Pete’s EDGE District is a hip, rustic cafe with street seating that has killer affordable Cuban eats. Each dish is made-to-order with quality ingredients and beautiful presentation in eco-friendly cardboard boxes. Revered for the Cuban sandwich on La Segunda bread and amazing juice bar drinks, other favorites at Bodega include the Frita (Cuban style beef & pork burger with spicy mayo, avocado, and fries on top), guava & cheese pastelitos, and Cuban cortadito. Vegan and vegetarian options are plentiful. Don’t miss how adorable the succulents are in vintage looking tomato cans.
Sirata Beach Resort
Everything you need and want from a beach resort can be found at the Sirata Beach Resort. Not only does it sit on the St. Pete’s pristine beaches, but offers impeccable service, three onsite restaurants, multiple swimming pools, and each room has ocean views. Have an Instagram-worthy beverage from RumRunners Bar and Grille or enjoy casual eats with live music at Harry’s Beach Bar, a St. Pete Beach hotspot. The seductive fire pits are definitely a highlight of the already desirable property.
Suncoast Water Sports (an outdoor outfitter) offers beachfront services and pick-ups on Sirata Beach Resort’s private beaches.
Sirata Beach Resort is currently undergoing a $15 million facelift which will only enhance and improve an already great stay. An arcade, fitness center, and sundries shop with coffee drinks are also on the premises. Read more about that here.
Downtown St. Pete is a treasure trove of street art and murals with vibrant colors and cool artwork. Consider hopping on and off the Downtown Looper trolley to see as many as possible. Take your dog along for a stroll of downtown to enjoy the eye-catching designs, St. Pete is incredibly pet-friendly.
St. Pete Beach/Pass-a-Grille
St. Pete’s beaches are stunning and might afford the best sunsets in the entire state. The emerald green waters are so beautiful that you would definitely think you are at a world-class exotic destination rather than an affordable Florida vacation spot. Then again, this spot has been used for filming several Hollywood films.
Pass-A-Grille is an uncommercialized area in St. Pete with Old Florida charm. It features boutique motels, savvy bungalows, inns, and beach cottages that have the Intracoastal Waterway on one side of the road and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. What a way to experience the best of both worlds! The uncrowded beaches are flanked by sand dunes covered in sea oats for your quintessential beach photo opportunities.
Suncoast Watersports Dolphin Cruise
The Dolphin Cruise and visit to Shell Island is something you cannot miss. Tour groups board the Compass Rose for an approximate two-hour adventure in the Gulf of Mexico. On our trip, we chased playful dolphins for wonderful photo-ops and dropped anchor at Shell Island, a walkable island that is home to thousands of sea creatures and sand dollars. Best of all, you can bring home what you wish. By wading about knee-deep in the water on the far side of the island, I found over 20 perfect sand dollars at one time. Other things we found were sea urchins, exotic shells, and crabs. The island is also known as a bird refuge.
The boat ride includes a narrated tour, island music, one complimentary beverage, onboard bathroom, and a cash bar for snacks, adult libations, and sodas. Suncoast also offers parasailing, Waverunner, kayaks, and paddleboard rentals.
Things to Enjoy in St. Pete, Florida
I’m amazed at how laidback St. Pete is. It is no wonder why families have been visiting this area for years now. The city’s tagline, #LiveAmplified, is perfectly fitting. Hip and trendy, yet cozy and intimate, St. Pete is a nature lover’s premier destination and a major player in the vacation market. Come see what it has to offer you and your family.
St. Pete Photo Gallery:
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