St Petersburg, nicknamed The Sunshine City, is definitely a stop to make while visiting the Gulf Coast. It is only located 21 miles west of Tampa. In the last couple of years, St Pete has imposed itself as a cultural and artsy city.
We went there only for a day and honestly, I cannot wait to go back and explore the city a little bit more. We started our day trip downtown St Petersburg, familiarly called St Pete and we loved it. It is amazing, green, palm trees are everywhere, it leaves such a great fresh feeling.
Saturday Morning Market
We made our way to the Saturday Morning Market, which was really nice. We wished we could have brought back some fruits and veggies with us. Lots of fresh products, great street food and live music under a nice march sun, what else can we ask for!
The Firestone Grand Prix was set for March 13th and we were there the weekend before which was probably not the best time since the city was starting to barricade itself in preparation for the race. If you are a race amateur, you probably want to check this out!
Within steps of downtown, we walked around the Marina that is surrounded by beautiful Mediterranean-style buildings.
Our next stop was supposed to be the Dali Museum, which I only heard wonderful things about. Unfortunately for us, the line was gigantic and the clock was ticking. We chose to come back another day to truly enjoy it. The waterfront museum has the most important collection of the Spanish Genius.
I highly suggest you make a peak stop by Central Ave to grab a drink. Mojito it was for me! It was a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and a nice crowd was enjoying the great weather on this early Saturday afternoon. We had a couple of sushis at Sushiink for lunch (we tried the Japanese Bagel and the Tampa rolls) before heading to the beach.
St Pete Beach
St Pete Beach is only 15 minutes away from downtown. The beach is wonderful and was elected #3 Best Beach in the USA in 2017 by TripAdvisor.
The water was a bit too cold for me but the view was priceless. We took a lot of Vitamin D and were able to sit and relax. We found a spot right by the Don Ceasar Hotel. The beach wasn’t as crowded as some other beaches like Clearwater for example. The Don Ceasar Hotel, well-known as the Pink Palace opened in 1928 and attracted at the time all the stars. During WWII, it came a hospital and a convalescent center for soldiers in the war. Later on, it turned into the VA regional headquarters. The beautiful pink building reopened in 1973. The luxury hotel has been completely renovated and restored over the past 10 years and now stands tall on the Gulf Shore.
Shells, sunshine, the sounds of the waves, everything was perfect for us to enjoy a beautiful St Pete Beach sunset! Of course, a lot of other things to do and see, but it is ok we will be back very soon. I promise you St Pete will win your heart!