Thursday, July 12, 2012
Where to stay at the beach
We love the St. Pete’s area because of the tranquil, laid back atmosphere that is a St. Pete’s vacation.
I’ve been to Hawaii, and I’ve been to Siesta Key Beach... Which is the #1 beach in the USA! But one thing that they both have in common is people. Lots and LOTS of people!
Some days, that is fine with me! It can be a fun experience to crowd onto the beach and chit chat with the folks sitting next to you. Sometimes you simply can’t avoid it because it’s impossible to get far enough away from other people to have a private conversation.
I don’t much care for other people’s children running all over the place, kicking sand everywhere and making a ton of noise while I’m trying to relax, so I suspect that I should try to keep my kids from doing the same thing to other people.
That’s why I LOVE St. Pete’s! There are other kids about. There are quite a few people around. But the beach is spacious, the Gulf is warm, the waters are shallow and we can all have a good time!
Two years in a row now we have stayed at the Sirata beach resort at 5300 Gulf Blvd, St. Pete Beach.
Last year we ended up selecting the Sirata because of price. This year we ended up selecting the Sirata because of experience.
There are three pools on-site, and yeah, you’ll hang out at the pool even with the ocean RIGHT THERE! Each of the pools has a little bar and grill, so you’ll never go hungry and it’s easy to stay hydrated with rum punch or a cold draft beer.
In all honesty, the best service and food on the property come from Rum Runners bar and grill. (And they have a BigKahunaBrew.com sticker on their ice box.)
Because we like to travel to this area during June and July, the air temp and the Gulf’s water temp are often matching 89 degrees! No cold shock when you hit the water!
There are restaurants on-site at the Sirata, and we found ourselves eating Breakfast at the Compass Grill every morning that we were there.
The Compass Grill has great food, but I must say that the service is terrible! Two years in a row, eight mornings for breakfast, the service just sucks! But you notice that I said we kept eating there! The food and convenience make up for the lack of service... Mostly!
There is a surf shop across the street, and about every five or six blocks all the way up and down the coast. So anything you forget, sunscreen, towels, beach balls, chairs... It’s all right there.
I must admit that I’m a real live sucker for the beach shopping, and the area certainly lends itself to folks like me. Traveling north to Clearwater, you get to travel through eclectic little towns with names like Treasure Island.... How do you beat that?
The 25 mile drive takes a full hour because you’ll never break over 35 mph as you take in the beautiful scenery and stop for lunch.
The beach activities at the Sirata take the cake!
You can rent Wave Runners, hitch a snorkeling tour, take a dolphin watching adventure or parasail right from the beach at the Sirata.
There are several options for a family vacation, but for a salty soul like me, you can’t beat a beach vacation.
If two trips to the Sirata and a blog post are not enough to tell you what I think, we are planning our third visit for next year!