Just over the bridge from our home in Tampa there are some of the county’s most beautiful beaches. Yup, just 45 minutes from our door we have white sandy beaches and the crystal clear water of the Gulf of Mexico. Even though we live so close we still take any opportunity to act like tourists in our favorite local beach towns. A few weekends ago we decided to take a little “staycation” in our favorite city of St. Pete Beach for my 35th birthday. We had the best time and the girls raved about our short weekend in paradise. I decided to write-up a post with all my weekend favorites in hopes it can help you when planning your next vacation to sunny St. Pete Beach. I’m sharing everything you need to know, what to do, and where to stay when traveling to St. Pete Beach with your family.
TradeWinds Island Resorts – We decided on the TradeWinds Island Resorts for this visit to St. Pete and let me tell you it did not disappoint. Quite the opposite actually, we were blown away with everything this resort had to offer. This resort is well-known for its family friendly amenities but we had no idea how much the TradeWinds had to do for families on property. We were expecting a relaxing weekend at the pool and strolls down the beautiful coastline. That’s what we normally do on our beach vacations. When we arrived we toured the property and realized everything there was to do for our young children and we were taken back. Let’s just say my girls were pulling us in every direction to try all the fun activities included in our stay.
I’ll leave all the details of the amenties specifics for the “Must Do” category so for now I’ll talk more about the accommodations at the TradeWinds and what you can expect when vacationing with your family here. We stayed at the Island Grand property. The sister property, just 200 flip flops away, is called Guy Harvey Outpost. Personally I prefer the Island Grand property, it was much larger which allowed us to access many pools, the giant slides, and more. Plus the overall decor at the Island Grand is beautiful. The outdoor areas had lush landscaping with fountains and gazebos.
We pulled up to valet on the first day of our visit and entered the large lobby. It had a Florida coastal feel which left us feeling right at home. The staff was informative and welcoming. The impeccable service started as soon we walked into the door. Since we arrived early in the morning the front desk held onto our bags until check-in so we could make full use of the property on that first day. My girls loved that because they were anxious to get their bathing suits on and hit the beach.
We stayed in a suite which included two double beds, kitchen, living area and balcony. I loved that the bedroom had a door that closed from the living area. This makes such a difference when traveling with kids because they can nap and go to bed without everyone having to sit in silence in the dark. The room itself was so spacious and very nice. I loved having the balcony with views of the water. There is nothing more tranquil that watching the waves first thing in the morning. If you are traveling with young ones, especially if you have more than one, the suite at the Island Grand property is the way to go.
Pool– No brainer, right? With kids how could you possibly avoid the pool. But not all pools are created equal in my opinion. I have a certain criteria to help make my pool experience easy and enjoyable not only for my young girls but for my husband and myself. I always look for a pool that is large enough for my kids to play and jump and not bother other guests, has some shaded area in case a little one falls asleep and pool side service so we don’t have to leave to eat and mom and dad can enjoy a cold drink. The pools at the TradeWinds check off all this criteria and more. Mainly because they have a few different pools to choose from. With 7 pools on property there is one that is sure to fit your needs. There are adult only pools and kiddie pools but our favorite had to be the beachfront pool. This is where the action happened and my girls loved the themed games for kids (and adults) during the day and the dive-in movies at night. I really loved there was a pool directly behind it that was completely under cover where my girls could get a break from the sun without having to compromise fun.
Beach– The beaches in St. Pete Beach are beyond words. I would spend every minute of my vacation on this beautiful beach staring off into the horizon if my family would let me. One of the perks of staying at TradeWinds Resorts is their free cabana rentals on the beach. We loved having a place to rest after sand castle building and seashell searching. If you are looking for more action on your vacation, there is plenty to do on the beach. You can rent paddle boards, kayaks and even experience the cool Jetlev.
High Tide Inflatable Water Slide– This might have been my 5 year old’s favorite part of our trip. This giant water slide is fun for all ages. Even my little 2 year went on it with daddy. Be prepared to be spending some major time on this slide. Your kids (and you too) are going to love it so much you’ll want to ride it quite a few times.
Floating Water Park– The wind was pretty strong on the two days we were in St. Pete Beach so the water park was closed those days. We will definitely be making a trip back so we can try this awesome amenity.
Bucky the shark- Also closed during our visit but looked so fun. This ride will make for some funny photo opps.
Paddle Boats- The beautiful grounds at the Island Grand property have some incredible waterways. There are paddle boats that you can use for free to explore the property like you hadn’t before. Plus you will meet some of the beautiful swans and ducks that live on property. I had never experienced anything like this before at a resort and was pleasantly surprised with how much my family loved this activity.
Mini Golf- Need some time out of the water? My girls thought the mini golf was so fun. They aren’t exactly the best rule followers but at least they had a blast.
Feed ducks/fish – There are little vending machines with fish food around the property so bring your coins.
Touch tank – At the Guy Harvey Outpost property you can touch some of the fun creatures in their aquarium. This activity is for ages 5 and up.
Konk Camp- Want some adult only time? TradeWinds resorts helps with that too. For a small fee your kiddos can do crafts, learn about sea life and play games all while the adults have some much-needed down time.
Family Pirate Show- This show happens once a week and although we didn’t get to see it we heard its fun for all ages.
RumFish Grill– we made reservations during our visit to have dinner at RumFish Grill. If you are a seafood lover you will love the menu at Rumfish. Even though we enjoyed the food there is something about RumFish that makes it different from any restaurant we have ever been to. There is a giant aquarium filled with some spectacular sea life which was installed by the show “Tanked” in the dining room. It makes it such a fun experience for the family!
Ice Cream Shoppe- just a few steps from the pool is the TradeWinds very own ice cream shoppe. Talk about the perfect beach vacay. My girls were in heaven.
Flying Bridge- Close to the beachfront pool, the flying bridge restaurant has something for even the pickiest eater. It was our favorite on property because of its proximity to the beach. The TradeWinds has even more dining options that we didn’t get a chance to try like Beef o Bradys and Palm Court, which was ranked number 1 restaurant on St. Pete Beach by trip advisor.
Skidders- One morning for breakfast we ventured across the street for a simple breakfast. Great prices and delicious home cooked meals.
We had one of our favorite vacations on St. Pete Beach. Thank you so much to the TradeWinds for hosting us on this vacation. Everything from the impeccable customer service to family friendly amenities make this a resort we are sure to come back to when we want to stay on St. Pete Beach. I highly recommend it for your next vacation!
Have you been to St. Pete beach? What was your experience like? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.
Want to read more about our family travels. CLICK HERE