Two Days In St. Petersburg Florida With Children

Reasonably than take one massive trip this summer time, we opted as an alternative for just a few brief journeys so we might expertise extra new locations. We kicked issues off with a 3-night journey to Charleston, SC, we met up my mother and father within the Georgia mountains in July, after which capped off the summer time with a getaway to St. Petersburg, Florida. Sherry and I had solely been there very briefly throughout this 2008 seaside trip, so we had been excited to spend extra time there and discover it with our youngsters.

Petes Bagels Exterior in Saint Petersburg Florida

So right here’s a fast recap of what we did, the place we ate, and why we’re excited to return.

The place Did We Keep In St. Petersburg?

St. Petersburg is positioned on Florida’s Gulf Coast, throughout the Tampa Bay from town of Tampa. The world has a lot of nice seashores, however we particularly selected St. Pete for town and cultural features of it (since we’ve loads of nice seashores the place we reside). It appeared to vow a few of the identical issues we cherished about our former hometown of Richmond, Virginia (we love a mid-size metropolis with an artsy really feel and plenty of good meals).

For these causes, we selected to remain nearer to Downtown St. Petersburg (fairly than close to the seashores). We stayed in an Airbnb simply outdoors of the Grand Central District, which promised to be a enjoyable business district. The home itself was good (clear, well-stocked, and dog-friendly!) nevertheless it turned out to be much less walkable to the place we spent most of our time than we’d hoped so I’m not linking it right here.

We’d in all probability select one thing a little bit additional East subsequent time we go. I additionally suppose if we had been to return for an extended journey, we would select a home nearer to the seaside – since there appeared to be extra choices on the market – then we’d simply drive downtown. It’s actually not a really massive metropolis and we solely skilled very delicate visitors whereas we had been there.

What We Did In St. Petersburg: The Pier

The massive attraction in downtown St. Petersburg is The St. Pete Pier, so we naturally headed there on our first morning. When you’re picturing some rinky-dink wood fishing pier (like I used to be at one level) you couldn’t be extra fallacious. It’s MASSIVE and has tons to do. Had it been rather less sizzling out and we weren’t interrupted by a rainstorm, we nearly might’ve spent an entire day on the market.

View Of St Pete Pier in Saint Petersburg Florida

That’s the view from the tip of the pier, trying again towards downtown. It’s stuffed with inexperienced areas, eating choices, artwork items, and extra. That is the 3-story construction (every with a unique restaurant) from which I took the above photograph. See? Completely not rinky-dink.

Building At The End of St Pete Pier in Saint Petersburg Florida

Our two favourite spots on the pier had been the playground and the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Middle. The latter is a small however enjoyable nature middle towards the center of the pier. It was surprisingly inexpensive ($18 whole for all 4 of us to get in) they usually’re even dog-friendly! Truthfully, we largely stopped in for the A/C, however ended up staying about 45 minutes trying on the numerous animals and interactive shows.

The playground was one other shock hit, since our youngsters are starting to age out of them. However this one was massive, trendy, and creatively performed, so they’d a good time. We adults even obtained to take a seat within the shade!

St Pete Pier Playground Structure in Saint Petersburg Florida

The very last thing we did close to the Pier (earlier than some shock rain drove us inside) was to take a look at this large tree outdoors of the St. Petersburg Museum of Historical past. If yow will discover our youngsters within the image, you’ll get a way of the size.

Large Tree Outside of Museum Of History in Saint Petersburg Florida

Once more, we might’ve spent much more time at The Pier. We’d love to return on a weekend when the seller Market is happening, or at night time when the Bending Arc artwork set up is all lit up.

What We Did In St. Pete: The Salvador Dalí Museum

The next day, we ventured again downtown to go to The Salvador Dalí Museum. An artwork museum will not be each household’s concept of a kid-friendly exercise, however each of our youngsters love artwork so this was a must-see for us. The museum does a extremely good job of catering to younger guests too. There are just a few interactive displays (together with a VR expertise) and even some AI-generated movies of Dalí  “himself” speaking with you.

Exterior Of Salvador Dali Art Museum in Saint Petersburg Florida

It was additionally simply spectacular to see so a lot of his works up shut. His items are sometimes so intricate and, properly, surreal that the children discovered them actually fascinating to take a look at. Sherry additionally had enjoyable breaking out a few of her school artwork historical past information.

The Hallucinogenic Toreador Painting At Salvador Dali Museum in Saint Petersburg Florida

The one bummer about our go to is that, as soon as once more, we obtained a shock rain storm so we couldn’t go to the “avant-garden” (har har). In addition they simply added an enormous dome that hosts the immersive Dalí  Alive 360° expertise, however we visited sooner or later – actually sooner or later! – earlier than it opened to the general public.

Talking of immersive artwork, we wished The Fairgrounds had been open whereas we had been there too. It’s solely open on weekends and our journey fell on a Monday night time – Thursday morning.

What We Did In St. Petersburg: Discover & Store

Other than the 2 locations above, we spent most of our journey simply sort of exploring. There are many outlets and eating places alongside (and proper off of) Central Avenue within the Grand Central District, so it was additionally enjoyable simply strolling round.

Colorful Street front Buildings On Central Avenue in Saint Petersburg Florida

There usually appeared to be extra eating places than there have been shops to buy in, however we did discover this actually cute bookstore: Tombolo Books. We love an indie bookstore, and each time we go to a brand new metropolis we at all times look one up.

Tombolo Books Exterior in Saint Petersburg Florida

It additionally bears mentioning that St Pete was tremendous welcoming to everybody! It positively has an inclusive metropolis vibe that made us so completely happy – from the rainbow crosswalk within the Grand Central district to indicators displayed in store home windows and flags hanging outdoors.

When you couldn’t inform from these photos: there are TONS of murals and colourful storefronts. So there’s loads of eye sweet, simply strolling round. This specific mural was on the aspect of Pete’s Bagels, which was additionally our favourite breakfast of the journey.

Every Day The Sun Shine Mural in Saint Petersburg Florida

I’m undecided if this graffitied bench counts as “public artwork,” however we positively loved the photograph op. You will have my permission to make use of this photograph at my funeral.

John Sitting On Never Fart Bench in Saint Petersburg Florida

If murals aren’t the one kind of eye sweet you crave: we additionally discovered a few of the actual property selection. We did a little bit little bit of driving round every afternoon simply to get our bearings in St. Pete. First, we stumbled upon some lovely neighborhoods between downtown and Snell Isle. Simply tons of cool homes (some massive, some small) that felt like a cool mixture of tropical and historic. It nearly felt like a Florida model of Richmond to us. This home made Sherry scream and gasp a number of instances.

House On Snell isle in Saint Petersburg Florida

We additionally heard of this different neighborhood known as Driftwood (due to @ilovetheburg on Instagram, which had tons of native suggestions). It was inconceivable to seize it on digicam, nevertheless it was extremely jungly and funky. Simply put “Driftwood Street” in Google Maps to seek out it. Significantly. Go drive by way of. It felt like we entered Jurrasic Park.

Driftwood Neighborhood Sign in Saint Petersburg Florida

Sherry and I might in all probability drive round exploring neighborhoods all day, so we’d positively love to try this once more in St Pete.

The place We Ate In St. Petersburg

As I mentioned in our Charleston publish, we’re under no circumstances foodies, and with children and a canine in tow, our priorities are sometimes straightforward, enjoyable, informal, and a menu that pleases everybody. So right here’s a fast run-down of the locations we loved most.

Pacific Counter Restaurant Exterior in Saint Petersburg Florida

Pacific Counter was like a sushi & poke model of Chipotle. It’s positively a “quick informal” type place, so I really feel bizarre saying it was my favourite meal of the journey, however constructing our personal sushi burritos and poke bowls was superior and it was scrumptious. I obtained a Hawaiian sizzling canine too. The children obtained free pineapple whip (I suppose that’s a factor on Wednesdays?) and everybody left completely happy and full. It seems to be like Pacific Counter is a sequence within the Tampa Bay space, however might somebody fairly please open one close to us on the panhandle?

Ceviche was the restaurant we hunkered down in throughout our post-Pier rainstorm, and it was in all probability Sherry’s favourite of the journey. This positively stretched the children’ palettes a little bit bit (the meatballs, croquetas, and pesto hen had been the largest hits with them) however that was the great thing about sharing a bunch of small plates.

Ceviche Tapas Bar And Restaurant in Saint Petersburg Florida

As a lot as this subsequent place seems to be prefer it’s known as “Beer Tacos,” it’s truly Casita Taqueria. Tacos and quesadillas are at all times crowd-pleasers within the Petersik family, and this place had a superbly chill, dog-friendly environment, together with nice meals.

Casita Taqueria Exterior in Saint Petersburg Florida

One other fool-proof crowd-pleaser with us is dessert. Probably the most memorable one on this journey was at La Diperie. You begin with a base like a soft-serve cone, a donut, cookie dough balls, and even an ice cream sandwich. You then select from dozens of flavored dips that your base will get dunked in, after which toss on a topping or two. YUM.

La Diperie Ice Cream Dessert Shop in Saint Petersburg Florida

And though we didn’t truly eat right here (they had been someway out of bread?) we had been glad we stopped into the 2D Cafe. The ’80s child in me felt like I had stepped into the Take On Me video!

Interior of 2D Cafe On Central Avenue in Saint Petersburg Florida

And since Sherry and I’ve been on a espresso kick this yr, we loved trying out a few native espresso spots in St. Pete. Bandit was tremendous cool. I’m nonetheless desirous about the summer-special Bouquet Latte I obtained and I remorse not getting a full breakfast there. We additionally checked this tremendous art-deco spot known as Paradeco, which was actually cool inside.

Interior of ParaDeco Coffee Shop in Saint Petersburg Florida

I solely want my mind would learn Paradeco as “Para-Deco” (a reference to paradise + artwork deco) as an alternative of “Parade-Co,” which appears like a enterprise that places on parades.

One Final Cease: The Seashore!

Okay, okay, so I mentioned we didn’t come to St. Petersburg for the seashores. However after we checked out of our Airbnb, we couldn’t resist a detour out to one of many seashores: particularly, an space known as Passe-A-Grille, which a good friend had really helpful to us. The drive there was brief (possibly 15-20 minutes?) and we obtained to soak up the well-known pink Don CeSar resort on the best way.

Pink Don CeSar Hotel In St Pete Beach Florida

We additionally grabbed breakfast on the best way out at Paradise Grille. It’s a very unfussy, however fantastically beachfront restaurant within the middle of Passe-A-Grill. We cherished it!

Despite the fact that we reside close to the seaside, this was an unfamiliar expertise to us as a result of our seashores are surrounded (protected? blocked?) by very tall 3-story dunes. So most “Gulf entrance” eating choices provide nice views (trying down on them from above), however you’re fairly removed from touching precise sand and water. Not right here! You’re just about immediately on the seaside.

Paradise Grill In Passe A Grille Florida

So it was an ideal stress-free approach to finish the journey earlier than heading residence. We left desirous to expertise extra of the realm – each downtown and by the seashores – so we’re excited to return!

Different Household Journeys We’ve Taken

When you’re eager about our tackle different locations or are looking for family-friendly journeys, you would possibly take pleasure in a few of these posts too:

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