Ultimate Guide to St Pete Beach with Kids

St Pete Beach with kids

Welcome to St Pete Beach where the sand is as white as snow and as soft as powder, where the clear waters of the gulf are as radiantly turquoise as they are invitingly warm and where the sunsets are just too breathtaking to be real. Known as the sunset capital of Florida, St Pete Beach has been rated #1 top beach destination by TripAdvisor.com as well as earned a rating of #5 by Travel’s Choice Awards. Parent Magazine even rated St. Pete Beach as #3 of America’s Top 10 Best Beach Towns for Families in 2013. Packing the kids up and taking the next plane out town, this year we said goodbye to Naples and hello to St Pete Beach with kids.

Money Saving Tips:

Traveling expenses can add up, especially when airfare is required. In order to stay budget friendly this HotMama had to follow a few simple steps. The first big money saver of our trip was the date of travel; the week before off-season. Secondly, we tracked our airfare with SkyScanner.com, alerting us when our tickets reached our ideal price point. Finally, I thoroughly researched the dining options to find places that offered happy hours, free child dining and other various specials or coupons. See in more detail how I save, Here.

Where to Stay in St. Pete Beach with Kids

Tradewinds Island Grand:

 St Petersburg hotels are great for family beach vacations, but when traveling to St Pete Beach with kids Tradewinds Island Grand is the place to stay. An amalgam of expansive and quaint, this 20-acre tropical resort is only footsteps from the white sand beaches. The sweet rooms are oozing with island charm containing rich woods, white billowy bedding, warmly painted walls and alluring views of the gulf and lagoon. The view from our room was so nice, this HotMama actually looked forward to the babies nap time just to enjoy some quiet time on the balcony.

At first the 20-acre property is a bit overwhelming, because the Tradewinds Island Grand feels like a city within a city. There are five pools, convenient beach access and a plethora of activities, restaurants, bars and entertainment all located on the Tradewinds resort property. Hammocks are casually positioned around the resort ensuring that all their guests get in the right state of mind. This is Florida baby, time to relax. What always helps me relax is a good beach read and Mary Kay Andrew’s Ladies’ Night was the perfect pick since it takes place in St. Pete Beach.

Ladies Night by Mary Kay Andrews Rates:

Average rates are around $300 a night, but there are plenty of promo codes and package deals. Booking a package saves a percentage of food, drink and resort activities all with the discount room. We were lucky enough to travel for the VSS conference which saved us on the room rate, gave us unlimited access to resort activities as well as 20% off at the bars and restaurants. Read my full review. Check prices.

Tradewinds Island Grande

Guy Harvey Outpost

A part of the Tradewinds resort family, Guy Harvey Outpost is only 200 flip flops away, although it feels a bit longer when you are actually walking it with kids in tow. A smaller sportier version of the Island Grand, Guy Harvey Outpost features the artwork of Guy Harvey with the décor. With two pools, the Sandbox Beach Lounge and a number of adventurous activities, there is something for everybody. Check Prices.

Guy Harvey Resort

Don CeSar

Take a step back in time as you enter into this glamorous pink palace. First opening in 1928, The Don Cesar is one of the most glamorous  of St Petersburg beach hotels, accommodating iconic guests such as F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was even featured in Pitbull’s Sexy Beaches music video. Although ultra chic, don’t be intimidated to bring the children. The Don CeSar is very family-friendly with rooms that are bright, airy and spacious, a library of games, pools, beach access and even Camp CeSar Kids. There are even beach activities created to keep the traveling teen happy. Check Prices.

Loews Don CeSar

Where to Eat in St. Pete Beach 

Let’s just be honest, eating on vacations is probably one of the most exciting activities. That’s why I get so excited when I find something truly spectacular. For the most part St Pete Beach is very relaxed and the dining options reflect that laid-back vibe. Although many of the restaurants have amazing views of the gulf and various winding waterways, the cuisine was pretty average consisting of burgers, chicken fingers and fried shrimp. I was in Florida I wanted something amazing! I wanted seafood that was going to make my eyeballs roll back into my head!

Snappers Seafood Grill:

One of the best meals I had was at Snapper’s St Petersburg Beach. After days of casual dining, eating food served in baskets, Snapper’s mouth watering dishes were just what the doctor ordered. I really went for it, ordering the lobster, scallops and shrimp. My chin glistening with melted butter, I took long lingering sips of my dry crisp chardonnay, completely allowing myself to savor this delectable meal. We cleaned our plates and left fully satisfied. It was definitely our most expensive meal of the trip, but some things are just worth it. If you are traveling on a budget save on other meals by sharing or combining breakfast and lunch to save money and splurge on at least one fantastic dinner.

Snappers in St. Pete Beach

Flying Bridge:

Located on the grounds of Tradewinds Island Grand, this was one of our favorite places for late breakfast/early lunches. Flying Bridge not only had beautiful views of the beach and pool, the food had some yummy options such as the chicken salad sandwich. Like most the restaurants on the resort, the menu items averaged about $15 an entree so we saved money by splitting plates.

Flying Bridge in St. Pete Beach


Papa, who is 80 years-old, made the walk from our hotel to Skidders every morning for his breakfast. It was that good. Being night owls, we never joined him for breakfast usually opting for an early lunch. Finally, on the last morning of our trip we all went to Skidders St Pete Beach together and discovered what we had been missing out on the whole time. Not only were there an overabundance of delicious selections, but the prices were so wallet-friendly we got a little crazy with our order. Papa laughed his head off as we feasted on omelets, biscuits and gravy, cheese blitzes, pancakes, bacon, sausage, hash browns, corned beef hash, toast, gallons of coffee and juice. You’d think we never ate breakfast before. Looks like dad will have breakfast buddies on the next visit to St Pete Beach with kids.

Skidders in St Pete Beach

Sloppy Joe’s:

The patio spills onto the gorgeous beach of Treasure Island. We went to Sloppy Joe’s St Pete Beach with the goal of outrageous libation, but were pleasantly surprised to discover that the fare was quite scrumptious. We couldn’t leave without trying the Sloppy Joe Sliders and as expected, they were delightful. What really excited the taste buds was the Florida dessert platter which included Key Lime Pie (HotMama’s Pick), Coconut Bread Pudding and Banana Cream Pie. Once the desserts hit the table the kids snapped right out of there naps and dug into the sweets.

Sloppy Joe;s Treasure Island

The Wharf:

While visiting the Don CeSar in Pass-a-Grille, we decided to dine with a view, which is not hard to find in St Pete Beach. We chose The Wharf which captured our interest with its shabby charm and tranquil views of the waterways.Along with traditional menu items like a basket of fried shrimp, there were some very unique and dare I say, odd selections such as the meatball salad. Two meatballs and marinara sauce over a large Caesar salad. Apparently, it is a very popular dish so that’s what I ordered. It was really tasty indeed.

The Wharf Pasa Grill

Compass Grill:

Not much to say, except that they had the best blackened tilapia sandwich! My dad couldn’t stop talking about it the whole trip.

Compass Grill St. Pete Beach

Palm Court

If you like fine Italian cuisine, then Palm Court will satisfy your appetite. Located just off the lobby of the Tradewinds Island Grand, the patio flows out to the courtyard overlooking the pond. Dine over candle lit as the frogs provide a tropical soundtrack.

Palm Court at Tradewinds Island Grande


Another favorite on the Tradewinds property is Bermuda’s. This is where you go if you want an awesome deal on seafood. I got all you can eat crab legs for $30!!! Not those skinny wimpy legs either. These were real, meaty, juicy and yummy! Thank goodness it was all you can eat, because this mermaid mama can get A LOT! 

Bermuda's at Tradewinds Island Grande

RumFish Grill

RumFish is a great dining option if you are traveling with kids, because there is a huge 33,500-gallon aquarium in the dining room. The kids loved it! We had breakfast there, which was amazing by the way, and the kids were entertained the whole time!

RumFish St. Pete Beach

RumFish St. Pete Beach

Where to Drink in St. Pete Beach

By now, many of you know that this HotMama likes her drank. Armed with my toddlers, I’m always on a mission to find my next watering hole. Listen up parents! Here are some budget happy, family-friendly establishments in St Petersburgh Beach.

Sandbox at Guy Harvey:

Sandbox is probably my favorite spot for night cap. Comfortable seating, fire pits, live music and $3 beer; all situated on the beach. We could let the kids run free and play in the sand while we adults enjoyed listening to the music by the fire. My kids made some friends and were entertained for hours. I’ve never been so relaxed while having drinks out with my kids.

Sandbox at Guy Harvey

Best Bloody Mary’s at Flying Bridge:

I love Bloody Mary’s and the Flying Bridge had a fantastic one with garnishes galore. Hardy and spicy, I started every day off right with one of these bad boys as my breakfast.

Bloody Marys at Flying Bridge in St. Pete Beach

Sloppy Joe’s:

Just because it is fun! We shared the Mai Tai Fish Bowl.

Fish bowl cocktail at Sloppy Joe's

Okay, quick funny story. My mom and I went to Sloppy Joe’s with the sole purpose of ordering the fish bowl cocktail. Call me silly, but I really was excited about that little shark. When we ordered the drink, it arrived with NO SHARK!!!! The sweet server apologized; they were out of sharks. Totally bummed, because A. I’m really into presentation and B. I promised my baby boy he could have the shark; I walked across the street (sweating my butt off) to the beach shop and purchased two rubber sharks to stick in my drink.

My husband and dad thought I was ridiculous, especially since I forbid them to sip from our Mai Tai until I returned. As soon as I placed my hot pink shark on my fish bowl the server came running out with two sharks. The shipment just arrived. Haha! Well, I definitely got my fill of sharks that day. P.S: The shark in the photo is the one I bought.

Pirate Pub and Grub:

A fun little bar with cheap beer, overlooking John’s Pass.

Pirate's Pub n Grub at John's Pass

Salty’s Tiki Bar:

Definitely a favorite, Salty’s was where we hung out the most. Similar to the Sandbox, the kids could play in the sand while we listened to live music and enjoyed tropical libations.

Salty's Tiki Bar in St. Pete Beach

Things to do in St. Pete Beach with Kids

The entertainment was endless in St Petersburgh Beach with plenty to keep families busy and happy. Here are some fun things to do in St Pete Beach with kids! Let’s explore all there is do in St Pete Beach for kids

Tradwinds Island Grand:

5 Pools:

On the Tradewinds resort there is a toddler pool, an adult only pool, a beach front pool, a shady pool, and lap pool. No matter the need, Tradewinds resort has the pool for you. For a successful day a the pool, check out some of my favorite easy for travel pool items.

Pool Must-Haves:

Beach side family pool at Tradewinds Island Grande Resort


In addition to regular family beach vacation fun, there is a 3-story-high water-slide at Tradewinds Island Grand that my kids went on repeatedly. It just way be biggest water slide in St Pete Beach.

Beach Slide at Tradewinds Island Grande Resort

I am not a huge fan of bringing too much to the beach, especially when traveling. However, there are some items that make that can help make you day at the beach simply beachy.

Beach Must-Haves:

There are also plenty of water sports available at Tradewinds resort such as water playground in the sea, jet packing, parasailing, water cabanas, rafting and much more. Everything you need for the perfect family beach vacation.

St Pete Beach activities with Kids

Paddle boat:

As a guest of the Tradewinds resort we had unlimited access to the paddle boats. It was fun to paddle around the lagoon that wraps around the resort. Kids love it! Bonus: you can take your beer.

Paddle boat at Tradewinds Island Grande

Live music all day, every day.

Live Music in St Pete Beach

Shark Tooth Tavern

Here, adults can have fun singing their hearts out during Karaoke night and kids can enjoy in the wild tales of Red Beard. There are even real shark teeth hidden in the sand outside for the kids to find. How fun is that?

Sharktooth Tavern at Tradewinds Island Grande


As if all that was enough there is even kids club with daily crafts and pirate adventures.

John’s Pass:

John’s Pass has shops, dining and adventures. We chose to board the Royal Conquest for pirate adventure. Your kids get to enjoy a day being honorary pirates while parents get to relax enjoying the view and unlimited beer and wine.

Pirate ship at John's Pass

The pirate entertain the kids the entire 2-hour cruise through John’s Pass with treasure hunts, water gun fights, dance parties, face painting and story-telling.

Pirate Ship at John's Pass

That’s a Wrap!

St Pete Beach with kids was an awesome experience. My kids woke up the first morning home and burst into tears, because they wanted to be back in Florida. Waking up and running onto the sand, knowing that a day full of adventure lies ahead. St Petersburgh Beach is the perfect destination for a beautiful family beach vacation. See you next year St Pete!

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Guide to visiting St. Pete with Kids

  1. avatar image
    Maggie at June 10, 2014 Reply

    This sounds like an incredible family trip. Thanks for the hotel review. That’s always the key for a family vacation.

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      Hot Mama at June 10, 2014 Reply

      It was really fun and Tradewinds was great for families. Even the valet was awesome! My son got carsick on the way to the hotel and the valet guys were so sweet to help me and keep my little man happy while I cleaned up the mess.

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    Laura at June 10, 2014 Reply

    How have I never heard of Yapta?! Definitely using it to plan our ned trip, great tip Hot Mama! Thank you 🙂 Ps, your kids are adorable!

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      Hot Mama at June 11, 2014 Reply

      Aww, thank you! I know I love Yapta. I just discovered Google Flights a couple days ago and now I’m obsessed! I’ll be talking it in today’s post.

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    Andrea at June 11, 2014 Reply

    Great review! Thanks for sharing. Looking to go to Tradewinds in the fall. What were the dates of your travel? Thanks!

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      Hot Mama at June 11, 2014 Reply

      Thank you! We went in mid-May. We had a great time and I think you will too!

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      Hot Mama at June 12, 2014 Reply

      If have any questions I might be able to help. Let me know.

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        heather farina at January 15, 2015 Reply

        I am just wanting to get a perspective on taking a trip during early June and hotel accomodations, best family spots, saving money, etc etc

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          Hot Mama at January 16, 2015 Reply

          Hi Heather,
          Check out St. Pete Beach, Pass a grill and treasure island. They are all great for families. I took the kids on a really fun pirate adventure at John’s Pass. The Tradewinds is extremely kid-oriented, but it can be pricey. Rates may drop in June, so double check. I like to use the site booking.com for hotels and google flights and yapta.com for flights. Let me know if you have any more questions. Have a fun trip!!

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    Vyjay at August 20, 2016 Reply

    St. Pete Beach, sure looks like a great place to head to with the family in tow. The resort also is so spacious and a great place to relax and unwind.

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      Hot Mama at August 22, 2016 Reply

      Yes. One of my favorite vacation destination, because it is so relaxed.

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    Harmony, Momma To Go at June 8, 2017 Reply

    THis looks really great! So many dining options! So I’ve been to Clearwater is that the same????

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      Hot Mama at June 9, 2017 Reply

      It is near Clearwater, like neighbors. St. Pete is really cool though. Lots of beaches.

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    Jon Bailey at October 23, 2017 Reply

    The scallops and shrimp at the Snappers Seafood Grill look incredible. I agree, some things are just worth it!

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    Carol at October 27, 2017 Reply

    Always love your super comprehensive posts, Hot Mama! You make research for family destinations so much easier for me! Them food looks soooo good!

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    Sol Solntze at October 29, 2017 Reply

    Great beaches, such a lot to do, although you had me at all the fabulous seafood!

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      Hot Mama at November 2, 2017 Reply

      Right who can turn down gorgeous beaches and seafood!?!

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    Antonina at October 31, 2017 Reply

    The beach is gorgeous, I wish I could take my kids there one day!

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      Hot Mama at November 2, 2017 Reply

      It is a great beach for families. Hopefully you make it out sometime!

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    Maria at November 7, 2017 Reply

    OMG, this is so much my kind of place: gorgeous beach, great food and that relaxing vibe all around. Thank you for sharing!

    1. avatar image
      Hot Mama at November 7, 2017 Reply

      We just love St. Pete. It is the few places we travel where we can just relax.

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