Hey hey! The day after my Mall of America trip, I hopped on a plane with a companion for Spring Break in Florida. We got to sit by the beach and the pool, explore downtown St. Petersburg, and eat at a lot of cool restaurants. Let’s get into it.
We stayed at the Postcard Inn on St Pete Beach. This is a great option for college-aged folks, with a lovely patio in the center, a pool, and beach access with cabanas. I initially thought our hotel room looked “dumpy”, but I was misunderstanding the vibe of the hotel. For the price point and clientele, the rooms are good, but there are a few caveats. For one, there was some very loud music at 11pm on Wednesday, which is not conducive to sleep. For another, I noticed officers on the premises on two separate occasions. I am grateful that cops are around to handle the tension, but I’ve never seen a police car at the Hilton on Clearwater.
I also noticed lots of Mustangs and Corvettes around town. Renting a luxury car is fun, I imagine, and I’d love to try it sometime.
Sunday – The Lay of the Land
We touched down at 11am Eastern time and got to our hotel around 1. The pool/beach bar was hosing a DJ, and there were plenty of Spring Breakers having their fun! We spent the afternoon unpacking, picking up supplies, and researching local restaurants.
For our first dinner in town, we checked out Rumfish. It has the elegance of Porterhouse, with an Italian flair in the cuisine. The coolest features are the aquariums in the fine dining room.
We had an ahi, crab, and avocado stack for our appetizer. I didn’t really eat the ahi, but it was still tasty. I first tried this dish in San Diego, and it’s a great sharing option!
My companion had blackened mahi-mahi with coconut rice and ate all of it. I had salmon with risotto and tomatoes (it has a fancier name) and ate half of it. For dessert, we split an AMAZING three-layer chocolate cake, which was the daily special.
Like Porterhouse, Rumfish is very conscious of allergies and cross contamination. Our server let me read the label on the chocolate cake to ensure there weren’t any issues. Overall 10/10, Rumfish is awesome, and we did go back a second time.
Monday – Cabana Chill Day
I woke up and needed my coffee. It may be a cliche, but it’s true. I was delighted that the hotel breakfast bar offered an iced latte for only $4.28! I brought food from home for breakfasts, which is a great money-saving hack.
I’m not good with precise temperatures, but I know the ocean is MUCH warmer in SPB in March than in Clearwater in Dec/Jan, even just from dipping my toes in. It’s painful to go in a Clearwater ocean in Dec, but it’s pleasantly cool at St. Pete. The 80-degree air here makes a difference too.
We had lunch at Burger Boulevard, and it was tasty. It’s a typical beach shanty offering burgers and drinks, with indoor and outdoor seating. The food was tasty but not amazing. 7/10 stars, a good lunch spot but probably not worth dinner.
My companion and I enjoyed the ocean view from our cabana for the morning, and then we took an afternoon swim! The waves at St. Pete are much stronger than at Clearwater, so I was glad I had a buddy.
One downside to the PCI cabanas is that they are buried underground, so we can’t turn them with the sun. The panel covering can move up and down; but it obstructs the ocean view.
Our second dinner was Agave, an authentic Mexican experience with a casual vibe, and outdoor (parking lot) seating. They have huge portions and friendly service, so this is a nice spot for families who want to try something different.
Cops came through the patio in the morning, trailing an obnoxious guest. I also saw cops in the parking lot on Sunday evening. As nice as this hotel is, you never see that stuff at the Hilton on Clearwater Beach.
Today we tried the Jolly Trolley! It’s properly called the Central Ave trolley but the Jolly Trolley is a more fun name. We started on the route from St. Pete Beach to downtown St. Petersburg, but there are other lines that also run to Clearwater and elsewhere.
After a 30ish minute bus ride and a 45ish minute woman through downtown, we made it to a familiar neighborhood along the pier. We saw lots of cool murals on the buildings downtown.
We enjoyed lunch at Cassis. It reminds me of both D’Amico’s and Oliver’s, with checkered floors and other Italian design choices, but the burgers are similar to what Oliver’s offers. Cassis offered a much fancier and more elegant burger than Burger Boulevard. I don’t know where they source their bacon, but it’s delicious! Thick-cut and salty
I observed that downtown St. Petersburg, next to the pier, has a much more refined and mature vibe. The patrons at Cassis are mostly older, late 60s or so, and the neighborhood resembles Stillwater, MN. St. Pete Beach is for partiers. Clearwater Beach more resembles St. Petersburg than SP Beach.
We spent our afternoon at the Sunken Gardens, which are incredible!! There are endless varieties of flowers and shrubbery, and quite a few birds too. There were flamingos and parrots. and even a chatty little parakeet! I happen to be afraid of birds, but I thought they were still pretty.
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We spent Wednesday morning at the hotel pool, which was lovely and relaxing. We got to the pool around 9:30am and there was no one else there! We were the only ones in the pool for quite a while, but more guests had congregated by about 11:30. The pool had a round inner tube, and a pink plastic lounge
I had a work meeting, so my companion picked up Slyce pizza for takeout! Just 469 feet from the Postcard Inn, Slyce offers a variety of pizzas, salads, and sandwiches. I had the Roasted Veggie pizza, which had a nice crunchy crust and soft, easy-to-chew veggies. My companion had the Beach Dog in a Blanket (hot dogs wrapped in pizza dough) and he enjoyed it.
After our lunch, we walked down to Corey Ave, to check out some souvenir shops. I bought a cute top from Elizabeth’s Boutique, and a painted E sign from Coastal Cottage. WE wandered through a few more kitschy boutiques but didn’t buy anything else.
We went back to Rumfish for dinner, but we sat in the bar this time. It’s well-lit, with mediocre live music, and maintains the dark wood aesthetic as the fine dining area, as well as a smaller aquarium in the corner. They don’t have the light-up menus on this side, but they have the same delicious food available.
On our last day in town, we spent the morning on the beach. We got two beach chairs and an umbrella ($15), and just sat and talked for a few hours. It was incredibly relaxing.
As I walked down to the water to get some more video, I found myself asking this question: Are we experiencing things or just capturing them? In our hyper-digitized world, everything is “content”. I have memories of my duty abroad outside of the photos, so I managed to strike a good balance on that trip.
If I Had A Sponsor…
If I had a sponsor for this post (which I do NOT), it would be Vita Coco. I drank a bottle of coconut water every day and it absolutely enhanced my energy and stamina, and kept me hydrated. I like it best straight from the fridge; it was extra refreshing in the Florida heat! Coconut water is a good source of potassium, magnesium, and other nutrients, and it has far less sugar than all those popular sports drinks. Again, this post is NOT SPONSORED, I just genuinely like coconut water. 🙂
This was my first vacation “with no adult supervision” (even though I am 23 years old) and I had a blast! It was so refreshing to just sit by a beach and a pool with nothing to do, and it was cool to explore some new neighborhoods from new perspectives. If you’ve been to St. Petersburg or St. Pete Beach, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments or in an email! That’s all from me for now, but I’ll catch you on the flip side.