WHERE TO STAY
The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club
The Vinoy is hands down my top hotel pick in St. Petersburg especially for my fellow Marriott Bonvoy loyalists. Originally the Vinoy Park Hotel, it was built in 1925 by an oil tycoon as a seasonal hotel hosting celebrities including Babe Ruth and James Stewart. The resort is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and recently underwent a multi-year renovation. Located bay front in downtown St. Pete you can walk out of the hotel and be in the middle of the action. The Vinoy has great restaurants on site at the hotel and a golf club with some delicious options as well. I love to relax at the lobby bar or take in the views with a cocktail on the veranda patio.
The Birchwood Inn
The Birchwood Inn is a boutique hotel with only 18 rooms that is themed in 1920’s décor. Located on Beach Drive the inn is in a superb location. The Birchwood provides a small, boutique feel while also exquisite food and drink options. My favorite rooftop in St Pete is located at the Birchwood. Birch and Vine located within the hotel is a top restaurant downtown and even has a wine library with over12,000 bottles.
WHAT TO EAT & DRINK
400 Beach has won various awards and it’s easy to understand why. The location is great, the food is always delicious and they pay attention to small details. They may not have it anymore because of COVID but they always have the best scrub for your hands in the bathroom…totally random but I love it. They also have a variety of specials whether you want to come for brunch, a three course early special or just want to stop by for happy hour.
If you want to have an amazing Italian meal and then buy extra goodies to take home, Mazzaro’s is for you. It is a one-of-a-kind Italian gourmet market and is the ultimate culinary destination. On the menu there is anything from lasagna to a meatball sub to chocolate covered bacon.
Located at the Vinoy, Paul’s Landing is my go to spot for lunch when I visit St. Pete. I would describe the vibe as relaxed coastal and the food is so good. My favorites are the shrimp toast and the fish dip. Do not skip the cocktails…I would highly recommend any of the frozen options.
This is a wow fine dining spot located in the Sundial featuring an 80-foot long raw bar, 20-foot-tall wine tower, Florida’s freshest seafood and 130 different salts from around the world. The menu changes daily and is always superb Sea Salt has happy hour from 3-6 pm daily and includes an assortment of delicious discounted plates.
With its location on the new pier you get stunning 360-degree waterfront views. Check it out during the daytime to take in the views. This is a newer spot so be sure to make a reservation in advance!
This is my favorite rooftop in St. Pete. They have happy hour Monday through Friday from 4-7. Beware that they do not accept reservations and the rooftop does get busy. If you are with a group I suggested renting a cabana which is the only way to reserve space. The minimums are super reasonable if there are a few people.
As a book lover, of course I would love a place with a library theme. I love the interior aesthetics, which is not surprising given that this is in collaboration with the group behind Oxford Exchange. A great spot for any time of day. Personally I would suggest either brunch or happy hour.
The Mill consistently receives positive reviews and awards as a best restaurant. This would be a great spot for dinner to then be able to enjoy a stroll on Central Ave. The menu can be described as having “Rustic Americana” cuisine with Southern and local inspired flavor.
Urban Stillhouse is what my sister would call “Florida fancy” with its stunning interior and impeccable selection of decor. When you enter the restaurant it feels like you could be up on in the mountains with its chic rustic vibe. The story behind the space is really cool as it is the ultimate Horse Soldier Bourbon experience. Read more about Horse Soldier here. 5 of the Green Berets who entered Afghanistan post 9/11 started this company and if you have seen the movie 12 Strong….this is them.
WHAT TO DO
Beach Drive is the perfect strip to grab a food and drink plus do a little shopping. Located right on the water this is a can’t miss spot.
Central Arts District
Another walkable area is the Central Arts District with tons of shops, restaurants and bars. Don’t miss out on Green Bench Brewing for some great local beer.
The Dali shares a curated collection of Salvador Dali’s work from his entire career. The collection includes over 2,400 works and is located in one of the most stunning buildings in St. Pete. The Dalí is recognized internationally by the Michelin Guide with a three-star rating. Be sure to check out the views and the gardens as the museum is located right on the bay.
Morean Arts Center: Chihuly Collection
Dale Chihuly is a pioneer of the studio glass movement and influential in contemporary art. The Chihuly Collection in St. Pete is the first installation of Chihuly art in a building designed specifically for that purpose and includes Chihuly’s stunning large-scale installations.
St. Pete Pier
The 26 acre St. Pete Pier which opened this past July is a great spot to visit to get in some steps and awesome views. There are various spots to grab a drink or bite to eat. I would recommend Teak or Pier Teaki which are in the new structure at the end of the pier. There is a free shuttle on the pier if you get tired of walking.
The Museum of Fine Arts
The MFA opened in 1965 as the first art museum in St. Petersburg located on the downtown waterfront. This is a great place for art lovers or if you are looking for a great brunch/lunch spot. Unfortunately the café is not available right now because of COVID but definitely check in on their site.