Mena and I had never been to St. Petersburg, Florida on the west coast so we decided to plan a day trip to check it out. Ok, the real reason for the trip is because Arkane Aleworks hosts an annual raffle for their Star Wars Day beer, Baby Yoda Pants, and I ended up winning two bottles – the brewery is located in Largo, Florida which is right near St. Petersburg.
While we had planned to drive up early in the morning on Saturday and then drive back the same day, we ended up getting a hotel so we could enjoy ourselves and not feel rushed to drive 7 hours roundtrip in one day. Now let’s get to the good stuff, let’s start our St. Petersburg adventure!
We picked up Mena’s mom around 11:30 am and hit the road – the GPS said it would be about 4 hours with traffic to arrive at our hotel – this ended up being perfect as check-in at the Hampton Inn was not until 3 p.m. anyways.
What St. Petersburg, Florida Hotel Did We Stay In?
Since the idea to stay overnight was last minute, our hotel selection was limited as the prices were pretty steep. We decided to go with the Hampton Inn & Suites Clearwater/St. Petersburg-Ulmerton Road, FLand we were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the room and overall stay. The “King Suite” was $200 after taxes/fees and included a king bed and a sofa bed as well as a microwave, kitchen area and fridge – it was perfect to stay for the night and the location was about 20 mins from everywhere we wanted to visit during our day in St. Pete.
It is worth noting that the hotel is directly across the street from the St. Pete / Clearwater International Airport but none of us were bothered by the noise of the planes as the hotel is quite insulated and we slept like babies after a full day of exploration.
How To Spend A Day In St. Petersburg, Florida
Now that we have the hotel out of the way, let’s get into the adventures that we enjoyed while spending our day in St. Pete, Florida:
The first thing that we did was drive to Arkane Aleworks, an amazing Florida brewery, in Largo, Florida. It took us about 8 minutes to get to the brewery which is located in a shopping plaza near the hotel.
Our main reason for this trip was to pick up the two bottles of Baby Yoda Pants, a limited release FL Weisse with Guava, Mango and Ginger, that I won from their raffle – I had it on tap at the brewery and it is amazing!
After we sampled a few beers at Arkane Aleworks we decided to go to John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk which was only about 15 minutes away. This area is exactly what it sounds like and was extremely crowded. If you are looking for all of the tourists in St. Pete then this is where you want to end up.
With that being said, we walked along the boardwalk and saw porpoises out in the water – they were really close to shore so this was pretty cool, even for us Florida natives. The shops and restaurants along the water were packed and it started to rain so we didn’t stay long and decided to go to a trendy spot we heard about in St. Pete – the 600 block.
The 600 Block in the western portion of St. Petersburg, Florida is a trendy neighborhood with a plethora of hip spots to eat and drink. We parked along the street and started to explore – we were thrilled to see murals on a majority of the buildings. I would definitely recommend going down the back alleys in this area as that is where some of the best murals are located.
Personally our favorites were the shark and then the dinosaur fishing but there are plenty to see. We decided to grab a bite to eat at Pin Wok & Bowl – I definitely recommend this spot as the ramen and sushi were excellent!
St. Pete Brewing Co.
I almost forgot that before we ate we stumbled upon St. Pete Brewing Co. and had to try a beer because we love breweries. Mena and I loved the atmosphere and their beer was really good – I went with the IPA.
Our first few hours in St. Pete were busy and as the sun started to go down it was time for us to head back to the hotel. We slept through the night and woke up to a fantastic free breakfast at the Hampton Inn.
After breakfast it was time to check out and we decided before heading home we would go see what Vinoy Park had to offer. Upon reaching the Vinoy Park area we quickly realized that there was an event going on – all of the side streets were blocked off as well as the main road along the water. It turns out the St. Anthony’s Triathlon was happening and we arrived just as the final leg was happening.
We found parking along one of the residential streets and walked along the water to Vinoy Park. I must say that the houses are incredible in this area and it was amazing to walk through the neighborhoods.
Vinoy Park was packed because of the triathlon but I highly recommend coming to this area when visiting St. Petersburg, Florida. Go for a stroll with the family or rent bikes and ride along the water – it really was a great way to spend a Sunday morning.
At Vinoy Park we could see the St. Pete Pier out in the distance and we headed over to see what it had to offer.
St. Pete Pier
I must say that the St. Pete Pier is the nicest pier that we’ve ever been to. At the beginning of the pier there is a little market with a bunch of different vendors – items for sale range from boutique clothing to locally sourced food items. After looking through the different vendors we made our way to the end of the pier where there was a huge 3-story building.
At about the halfway point of the pier there was a little concession area, Spa Beach Bistro, as well as fountains for kids (and adults) to play in. We skipped the little golf cart trolley service they have on the pier and decided to get our steps in and walk – I will admit that it is a big pier and in the sun it was a bit warm walking the entire distance.
The best part of the pier is the three different restaurants at the very end and the view from the top is absolutely incredible. On the first floor is a little bistro, Driftwood Cafe, where you can get some snacks from the long walk to the end of the pier.
On the second level is Teak, a fancier dining experience inside the pier but we opted to skip this and go directly to the top of the pier. At the top is Pier Teaki which is more or less a bar – there are multiple options for sitting that as far as we could tell are on a first-come-first-serve basis. Mena, myself, and her mom decided to sit at the bar and enjoy the view for a bit while we were catching our breath from the hot walk from Vinoy Park to the St. Pete Pier.
Is St. Petersburg, Florida A Fun Place To Visit?
While our trip was last minute and just over 24 hours, I would 100% recommend visiting St. Petersburg, Florida. We definitely plan on going back for a longer period of time and will be planning our trip out a bit more. We saw a ton for the small amount of time we were there but St. Pete has a lot more to offer which is why we are excited to go back.
Have you been to St. Petersburg? Let us know in the comments what your favorite places to visit are!