48 HOURS IN ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
Start with a cold-pressed juice and end with glow-in-the-dark SUP.
Averaging 361 days of sunshine a year, St. Petersburg—or St. Pete as it's more commonly referred to—is a magnet for adventurous travelers, boasting white sand beaches, palm and mangrove forests, and pops of bright color at every turn. It also has plenty of luxe accommodation options and healthy, gourmet eateries.
WHERE TO STAY
Set on St. Pete Beach, The Don CeSar has a glamorous history. Known as the Pink Palace because of its pastel pink exterior, the hotel has welcomed the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Franklin Roosevelt. Rooms and suites combine clean white lines and blue palettes with coastal décor and ocean views.
Downtown, The Avalon mixes Art Deco-style with sleek, modern lines. Although very walkable, the hotel offers complimentary rides to and from the shops, breweries, parks, beaches, museums, and restaurants.
Start the day with a wholesome breakfast at Karma Juice Bar & Eatery. Try the Rocket Power juice with pineapple, cucumber, spinach, green apple, and lime, or the Brainiac, an acai bowl with banana, blueberries, granola, pumpkin seeds, raisins, chia, and local honey.
Choose Your Afternoon Adventure
OPTION 1: CULTURE
Submerse yourself in the world of surrealist art at the Dalí Museum. You’ll find a free-form glass bubble adorning the outside of the museum, a vast array of paintings and photographs, and Café Gala, a casual eatery that pays homage to Dalí’s roots with small Spanish-style eats like cheese plates and salads.
OPTION 2: FITNESS
Rent a bike, pack a to-go salad from Karma for lunch, and pedal out to Pinellas Trail where 38 miles of protected greenspace is free range for cyclists and runners. If you prefer to spend more time on the water, rent a kayak at Fort De Soto Park, a 1,136-acre scenic county park on the Gulf of Mexico.
Head to the Don CeSar for a spa treatment. Then, get ready for dinner. Set in a modern, dimly lit space, Reading Room has an always-changing New American menu. Try the salt-and-peppered quail with pomegranate molasses and xeres; there also vegan and vegetarian options.
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Simple yet delicious, Cassis serves American and French brunch classics like croissants, avocado toast, and breakfast cocktails. The quiche is a hearty portion served with a refreshing side salad.
Choose your Afternoon Adventure
OPTION 1: CULTURE
A five-minute bike ride from Cassis is the Chihuly Collection, a vibrant wonderland of glass artwork. Walk slowly through this glowing permanent exhibit and see the massive curlicue chandeliers, colorful anemone and sea grass-shaped structures, and ceiling littered with artworks of all shapes and sizes. Grab a bite to eat at Bodega, a Latin American establishment known for its Cuban sandwich. Lighter fare includes the grilled tempeh with spicy slaw.
OPTION 2: FITNESS
On a walking tour of St. Pete murals, you’ll find entire walls of buildings are covered with artwork. Official tours are available on Saturday mornings, but a trip down Central Avenue and the surrounding streets is a solid alternative. When you get hungry, veer back to Central for lunch at Bodega.
Stop back at the hotel to get a second wind, then head to Farm Table Cucina. Serving Italian-inspired cuisine from James Beard award-winning chef Michael Mina, the restaurant shines with regionally-sourced ingredients. The olive oil seared grouper (St. Pete is the grouper capital of the world) is a win with toasted farro, cherry tomatoes, and preserved lemon.
Whether the sun sets before or after dinner, a great way to take it in is on a glow-in-the-dark paddleboard. Choose which color will shine under your board and hit the water for a calm paddle before you turn in for the night.
Photo: VISIT FLORIDA