Sunshine City Series: Cruising Along the Beach

Words & Images by: Nina Grace

This is an ode to my beloved beautiful budding hometown, St. Pete! Welcome to St. Petersburg, FL, a beautiful metropolis situated on the Central West Coast of Florida and even better, it's situated between two bodies of water, The Gulf of Mexico and the Tampa Bay.  It's my hometown and I love it (ask anyone that knows me)! St. Pete was once mocked to be "God's waiting room" as many of the residents here were of retirement age. Well, there are still a lot of retirees here and they're great! But there is now an influx of young people moving to this hip little city and it is God's waiting room no more! 

In this Sunshine City Series (SCS) I want to showcase what I consider to be some of the more relevant local spots to frequent while here. I'll explore different areas within the city, show you why it's so dope and why you should come visit us (The New York Times thinks you should visit too)! This is also helpful for me to see what's new around here. New breweries & bars, restaurants, hotels, galleries, boutiques, etc. are popping up left and right. It's cRaZy! It wasn't like this 5 years ago. I'm excited for the change though. In any case, sit back and let me take you for a ride around St. Pete!

It's true what they say, this is the Sunshine City! Apparently St. Petersburg won a Guinness World Record for logging the most consecutive days of sunshine (768 days).  Even though there's a lot I can tell you about downtown St. Pete, we'll start this series off focusing on the coastal town along the beach, St. Pete Beach (yes, technically it is its own city).

St. Pete Beach, iconically known for housing the historic 1928 Pink Palace known as The Don CeSar, has something for everyone! From water sports to luxury hotels to "shirt & shoes not required" ice cream shops, it's all here. Our water is crystal clear and the sand is soft with minimum shells, which makes it the perfect beach to skim board. You won't find many surfers on this side of the state though, our waves don't make for the best surfing, but they do make for the best jet skiing, which happens to be my favorite activity! On any given day, you'll catch a crew of beach goers on wave runners or jet skis. If it's your first time, don't be nervous, it's so much fun! Grab your life jacket, hop on the back of someone else's jet ski and get going!!!  

St. Pete Beach also has a slew of places to eat and drink. As you can imagine it's a beach bar galore. In fact, St. Pete Beach is celebrating its annual Top 10 Florida Beach Bar winners right now. 3 of the 10 winners are located in St. Pete Beach. Needless to say, if you're looking for a dope beach bar, we've got you covered.  

Rather than make this post a full on travel guide, I'll keep it as an introduction to the area. Stay tuned next month for more specific places to eat and sleep and things to do while you're here! Be sure to share this post with your friends and comment below if you've ever visited St. Pete Beach!