St. Pete's Beach: Full of Sun, Sand and Famous Art

by Aeryn Lynne

For a week, near the end of October, four of us went on a wild road-trip across Florida. Our destinations included Jacksonville, St. Augustine and St. Pete's Beach & Clearwater.

Thanks to the trials and tribulations of flying by air, we missed a day of our trip to St. Pete's, which was tough, but we handled it by ditching our flight tickets and kayaking our way down to Florida.

Kayaking with Buddy in Jacksonville

Girls getaway vacation to Florida with (left to right) Paula, Margarita, and Sandy!

That's absolutely the story I'm sticking to.

TradeWinds Resort, St. Pete's Beach Florida

It took us a day, but we finally made it to our first destination, St. Pete's Beach, and I was all kinds of floored with the resort. I didn't want to ever leave!

TradeWinds Resort Beach Courtyard Pool and Lounge St Petes Beach Florida

Paula and I shared this Two-Queen Bed suite. When you first walk into the suite, all you see are these two beds and a dresser (the door is hiding on the left of this photo.)  It looked a little compact at first glance.

TradeWinds Resort Two Bed Suite St Petes Beach Florida

But then you glance over at the door on the other side of this room, and there's a long hallway, that leads to a much more open space that includes the bathroom, kitchen and living area. Oh, and don't forget the balcony view of the ocean!

TradeWinds Resort Two Bed Suite St Petes Beach Florida Funny Thing

Large, spacious bathroom...

TradeWinds Resort Two Bed Suite Bathroom St Petes Beach Florida

While indoors, and not running around St. Pete's beach, this is where I enjoyed hanging out the most. Great view of the beach (during the day,) and a comfy place to hang out, especially if you happen to bring your laptop with you to edit photos and write a bit.

You know, as you do while you're on vacation, right?

TradeWinds Resort Two Bed Suite Living Space St Petes Beach Florida

I didn't get a chance to use the kitchen fully, but it was awesome to have that option!  Especially if you'd rather relax for breakfast, instead of searching for places to eat all the time.

TradeWinds Resort Two Bed Suite Kitchen St Petes Beach Florida

The TradeWinds resort is massive. This is a smidgen look into maybe 1-fifth of what the resort encompasses.

TradeWinds Resort Beach Courtyard St Petes Beach Florida

Every time I looked at this gazebo, all I could imagine was how pretty it would be for an outdoor wedding.

TradeWinds Resort Beach Gazebo St Petes Beach Florida

I don't drink much, but I think I would have made an exception to have an obnoxious fruity drink in a tiki glass at Salty's Tiki Bar! Alas, the weather was not on our side.

TradeWinds Resort Beach Saltys Tiki Bar St Petes Beach Florida

THIS is what we were looking for! And the gorgeous blue waves didn't happen for us until the last day of our stay in St. Pete's.

TradeWinds Resort Beach Waves St Petes Beach Florida

Doesn't that slide look awesome?? It was teasing me from our balcony...

TradeWinds Resort Beach Water Slide St Petes Beach Florida

TradeWinds Resort is peppered with lounge chairs all throughout. I probably would have fought someone for one of those hammocks though.

TradeWinds Resort Beach Lounge Chairs St Petes Beach Florida

Bucky the Shark makes me giggle every single time I look at this photo.

TradeWinds Resort Beach Bucky the Shark St Petes Beach Florida

The bird life here is totally chilling with you. I didn't use a zoom lens for this pick, they just plopped themselves here and didn't seem at all concerned that there were humans within reaching distance.

TradeWinds Resort Beach Bird Life St Petes Beach Florida

Regal swans, looking all regal in their pond.

TradeWinds Resort Beach Swans St Petes Beach Florida

No idea what tree or flower this is. It looked pretty.

TradeWinds Resort Beach Flower St Petes Beach Florida

RumFish Grill

When I had cable, I was absolutely addicted to the TV show Tanked on Animal Planet.  To find out that one of ATM's tanks was in a restaurant nearby? This fangirl was ready for lunch at 5am!

Check out TANKED's visit to TradeWinds Resort and what it took to put a massive tank into the RumFish Grill!

Here's something we didn't know about RumFish Grill. Their lunch hours are only from 11:30 AM to 2 PM. We hadn't realised this until we were enjoying our time at the Salvador Dali Museum, thinking we'd have a late lunch around two.

So, yeah, if you're going to have lunch here (which you definitely should,) be sure to plan for "normal" lunch hours.  Better yet, make a reservation, and try to get a table that is right up along their massive tank!
RumFish Restaurant St Petes Beach Florida

Comfortable, and dark settings for lunch (11:30 AM to 2 PM) and dinner (5 PM to 10 PM).

RumFish Grill Dining Room St Petes Beach Florida

Probably the best tuna poke I've ever enjoyed. Everything about it, from the fresh veggies, to the nicely large chunks of tuna, to the crispy crackers to scoop help scoop the heaven up, it was all amazing.

RumFish Grill Tuni Poke Appetizer St Petes Beach

Grilled Jerk Swordfish Burrito Sweet Potato Steak Fries

The burrito definitely hit the spot, and I can easily say that I had never eaten swordfish before, so that was an experience. While I would easily enjoy it again, I would likely try the rest of the menu first.

These Sweet Potato Steak Fries though? They stole the show!  Crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, and seasoned deliciously with cinnamon. I was sad to see the empty bowl at the end.

RumFish Grilled Jerk Swordfish Burrito Sweet Potato Steak Fries

The TANK! As much as I really enjoyed our lunch, I was fangirling all over for this massive wall of swimming fish. And the pumpkin.

RumFish Restaurant Tank Brothers St Petes Beach Florida

Swimming ALL THE TIME is tiring, yo.

rumfish grill sting ray VSPC Tradewinds Resort Florida

These next fellas are in a separate, smaller tank that features Pacific tropicals and lionfish.

rumfish grill polka dot fish VSPC Tradewinds Resort Florida

That dude in the back with the teeth. Freaky.

rumfish grill blue fish VSPC Tradewinds Resort Florida

Seriously! This guy freaks me out... and I couldn't get a solid photo of him, urgh.

rumfish grill creepy fish VSPC Tradewinds Resort Florida

This fish was probably all, "What are you looking at?" the amount of photos I have of him...

RumFish Grill Pink Fish Tank

Pouty lionfish is pouty.  Apparently, despite their looking all awesome, lionfish are an invasive species, really not being friendly along the reefs of the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and up the Atlantic coast.

rumfish grill lion fish VSPC Tradewinds Resort Florida

When The Weather Doesn't Want to Play Nicely

As much as we wanted to relax on a sun-filled beach, the weather wasn't going to cooperate.

And I'm kind of glad it didn't.  Thanks to the grey skies, and intermittent heavy downpours, we got to see a side of St. Petersburg that I had no idea existed.

It's an art-loving town!

Driving downtown on Central Avenue North, we were treated to an awe-inspiring display of street art. I wish I had photos to share, but both driving, and poor weather made photography impossible for me. #SadPanda

But we did find a museum and art gallery to appreciate for the day....

Salvador Dali Museum

While the original Dali Museum launch in 1982, this building was later built specifically for the museum (doors first opened in January 11, 2011,) including the Enigma. A 75-foot dome (1062 triangle panes of glass) that pays homage to the Dali domed museum in Spain.

Dali Museum Front Exterior Glass Facade

Audio Tours to Walk Your Way Through Dali

What better way to experience art, than by having a tour guide with you that will explore the way you want to. Using these smartphone-style devices, you would click on a short audio file that would describe whichever painting you were appreciating at the moment. Really came in handy!

Audio Tour Salvador Dali Museum

Part of the interior architecture includes this helix-inspired staircase, as Salvador Dali was facinated with the shape of a DNA molecule and the double helix.

Dali Museum Interior Stair Case St Petes Florida

Dali Museum Helix Spiral St Petes Florida

One of the first paintings you will likely see when visiting the Salvador Dali Museum, and one of my favourites of his artwork.

The Daddy Longlegs of the Evening-Hope!

Dali Daddy Long Legs Painting Anti-War VSPC St Petersburg

If you have the chance to catch a guided tour with one of the museum's docents, seize that moment. There is just so much context embedded within each work of art, that will be missed otherwise.

Dali Museum Patrons of the Museum St Petes Florida

Dali & Schiaparelli

In Daring Fashion is a current exhibit dedicated the collective works of Salvador Dali and Elsa Schiaparelli. The artistic partners took Paris, and the world at large, by storm, much of which can be appreciated at the Salvador Dali Museum until January 14, 2018.

Dali Museum St Petersburg Florida

Schiaparelli was an absolute genius in the fashion world between the two World Wars.

Her "invented" fashions, subverted traditional roles of women through her groundbreaking design and vision.

Dali Museum Dresses St Petes Florida

I don't know if I entirely agree with all of her commandments, but I love her passion for an independent woman.

Dali Museum 12 Commandments St Petes Florida

This room is hidden within the exhibit. I only caught on to its existence at the last minute before we had to head out.  I'd likely have spent a considerable amount of time with my camera in here!

Dali Museum Backstage Mirror

Dreams of DALI VR Experience

One of my very favourite moments of the Salvador Dali Museum is the Dreams of DALI VR experience. Where you immerse yourself into Dali's painting Archaeological Reminiscence of Millet’s “Angelus”.

Dreams of Dali VR - Inception VR - Download Visit St Petersburg Clearwater

I'm not sure how much time we were given to sit within the VR world of Dali's vision, but no matter how much time, it wouldn't ever be enough.

Dali Museum Dreams of Dali VR Experience VSPC St Petersburg

In Need of a Holodeck Stat! (aka Dali Museum's Epic VR Experience)

If Star Trek's Holodeck existed today, you would find me living within the Dreams of Dali virtual world for hours a day.

Here's a video on YouTube that gives you a basic glimpse of what it would be like to explore Dali's vision through virtual reality.

While this YouTube video gives you a taste of the VR experience.  Go download the Inception VR app on your Andriod or Apple smartphone, and purchase the Dreams of Dali full experience, it is so much better!

Chihuly Collection

Found in the Morean Arts Center in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, this permanent collection, and the rooms encasing it, has been designed to wow and inspire its visitors.

I've heard and seen pictures of Dale Chihuly's art, but I never truly appreciated it until walking into this collective exhibit.

St Petes Beach Chihuly Collection Vases

Every angle and corner you turn around into is breathtaking. The number of times I uttered a "Whoa!" was probably annoying to everyone else appreciating Chihuly's art.

chihuly collection globes st petersburg florida

I can't tell you why, but this is easily my favourite piece in the Chihuly Collection. Maybe it's the colourful chaos? Hmm...

chihuly collection st petersburg florida

Fantastic gift store, filled with bits of Chihuly art and photography that you can take home. I took home a couple of "Chuhily's Kisses" that I need to find... I know I unpacked them...

Chihuly Collection Gift Shop St Petes Beach

What else happened during our girlfriend getaway in Florida?

Visit Paula at Thrift Mommas Tips to learn all that we got up to at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium!

Check out 56 Fascinating Facts that Sandy, of Canadian Blog House, discovered about Jacksonville, Florida!

Learn from Margarita of DownshiftingPRO on exactly what it takes to plan a memorable girls getaway vacation. I can honestly tell you, she's a pro at it!

Those vacation photos that you would totally bring out for the neighbours to see...  or, you know, Facebook.

Awesome group shot at Clearwater Marine Aquarium Group Photos

Clearwater Marine Aquarium Group Photos

Clearwater Marine Aquarium Group Photos with Paula, Sandy and Margarita

Are you planning a trip to Florida soon?  Are you going to see the Mouse, or planning to shake things up a bit?

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Visit Florida in a partnership with Geek with Style to provide you the most up to date facts, helping you make better-informed decisions. All opinions in this article are my own.

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Aeryn Lynne

The Geek at Geek Life
Living in Superman's Metropolis (aka Toronto, Canada), Aeryn Lynne found a way to entirely over-share everything she loves, and make a career out of it! Ultimately a geek, she waxes poetically over technology, fights for fashion-equality, squees over comic art, and literally sparkles, thanks to her makeup addiction.
Aeryn Lynne

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  1. Anita Anderson November 23, 2017
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