Hot Florida

Family Guide to St Pete Beach with kids – Where to eat, stay & play

St Pete Beach is the ultimate family vacation destination with sunshine all year long

Welcome to St Pete Beach where the sand is as white as snow and 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.

I think this picture about sums it up

Yep those are my kids overly excited about finally arriving to St Pete Beach after a long flight!

Known as the sunset capital of Florida, St Pete Beach has been rated #1 top beach destination by 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.

Our family has visited St Pete Beach with kids 4 times over the last few years. It is one of our favorite beach destinations for a relaxing family trip.

And each time we visit we get to explore a little something new, whether it’s a kid-friendly pirate ship cruise through John’s Pass or bottomless crab legs at a gulf view restaurant.

Things to do in St Pete Beach with kids Pirate ship cruise
Look at those fierce pirates sailing through Tampa Bay

In this article, we put together all of our best tips about visiting St Pete Beach with kids to help you have the best Florida family vacation possible.

While reading this guide, you will find out about:

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Also, feel free to check out our related article on the best family hotels in nearby Clearwater Beach]

If you’re more of a visual person, check out our videos highlighting our family trips to St Pete Beach


Where to Stay in St. Pete Beach with Kids

Tradewinds Island Grand Resort

I am just going to say itTradewinds Island Grand is THE place to stay in St Pete Beach with kids. 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, I actually looked forward to the babies nap time just to enjoy some quiet time on the balcony.

Tradewinds Island Grande

Hot Tip: I wrote an extensive family hotel review for Tradewinds Island Grand, which you can read HERE. You can also see more photos, reviews and rates on TripAdvisor.

At first the 20-acre property is a bit overwhelming, because the Tradewinds Island Resort 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.

Pool area at Tradewinds Island Grand in St Pete Beach with kids
There is no shortage of bars on property to grab a bloody mary, beer, or tropical drink any time of day

I personally love their bloody mary’s at the Flying Bridge restaurant, but sometimes I go for one of these fruity island cocktails. They also have this awesome bar on property called Salty’s Tiki Bar and Beach Lounge which has live music throughout the day and amazing beach views.

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

RumFish Beach Resort (formerly Guy Harvey Outpost)

A part of the Tradewinds resort family, RumFish Beach Resort 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, RumFish has two pools, the Sandbox Beach Lounge and a number of adventurous activities. We absolutely love strolling over to RumFish for dinner and a nightcap at their beachfront fire pits

Guy Harvey Resort

Don CeSar Hotel

Take a step back in time as you enter into this historic pink palace. First opening in 1928, The Don CeSar Hotel 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 about bringing 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.

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. 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 great views of the gulf and waterways, the cuisine was pretty average at many places consisting of burgers, chicken fingers and fried shrimp. However, we did find a few delicious seafood restaurants that made my eyeballs roll back into my head!

Snappers Sea Grill

One of the best meals I had was at Snapper’s Seafood Grill 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.

I was told my chin was glistening with melted butter, as I took long lingering sips of my dry crisp chardonnay. We all cleaned our plates and left fully satisfied. It was definitely our most expensive meal of the trip, but some things are just worth it.

Hot Tip: If you are traveling on a budget, save on other meals by sharing or combining breakfast and lunch so you can splurge on at least one fantastic dinner.

Snappers in St. Pete Beach

Flying Bridge

Located on the grounds of Tradewinds Island Grand, Flying Bridge 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 $10-15 an entree so we saved money by splitting plates.

Flying Bridge in St. Pete Beach

Skidders Restaurant

Skidders has REALLY good breakfast and it is right across the street from Tradewinds Island Grand. There is an overabundance of delicious omelettes and breakfast items, and the prices are so wallet-friendly. We feasted on omelettes, 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!

Skidders in St Pete Beach

Sloppy Joe’s Treasure Island

The patio of Sloppy Joe’s 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 they were delightful. What really excited the taste buds was the Florida dessert platter which included Key Lime Pie, 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 honestly 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 Grille

Not too much to say except that Compass Grille had the best blackened tilapia sandwich! My dad couldn’t stop talking about it the whole trip. It is a nice, affordably family-friendly restaurant in St Pete Beach.

Compass Grill St. Pete Beach

Palm Court Italian Grill

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 light as the frogs provide a tropical soundtrack.

Palm Court at Tradewinds Island Grande

Bermudas Steak and Seafood

Another favorite on the Tradewinds property is Bermudas Steak and Seafood. This is where you go if you want some awesome seafood. I got all-you-can-eat crab legs for just $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 Grill is a great dining option if you are traveling with kids in St Pete Beach, 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! They have a great ambiance and seafood at dinner is also highly recommended.

RumFish St. Pete Beach

Where to grab a 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 family-friendly establishments we found in St Pete Beach.

Sandbox at Guy Harvey

Sandbox is probably my favorite spot for a night cap. Comfortable seating, fire pits, live music and $3 beer – all situated on the fricken beach. We could let the kids run free and play activities in the sand while we adults enjoyed listening to music by the fire with a cold one. 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

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 decided to share the Mai Tai Fish Bowl. Okay, quick funny story. My mom and I went to Sloppy Joe’s with the sole purpose of ordering this 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. So I walked across the street (sweating my butt off) to the beach shop and purchased two rubber sharks to stick in my drink.

Fish bowl cocktail at Sloppy Joe's

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.

Pirates Pub n 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 most of the time. Similar to the Sandbox, the kids could play in the sand while we listened to live music and enjoyed tropical libations. It is located at the Tradwinds Island Grand between the main pool and the adults-only pool.

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!

Kid’s activities at Tradewinds Island Grand Resort

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 literally has the pool for you. The kids lived at the pool – day swimming, night swimming, swimming after the beach, etc.

Beach side family pool at Tradewinds Island Grande Resort

The Beach & Waterslide

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 must be the biggest water slide in St Pete Beach, and it has been a fixture there for all the years we’ve been going there.

Beach Slide at Tradewinds Island Grande Resort

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

St Pete Beach activities with Kids

Paddle boats

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

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? At night they have live music and allow the kids in there until closing. It was literally steps from our room one trip and it was such a convenient way to have fun and end the night together as a family on vacation.

Sharktooth Tavern at Tradewinds Island Grande

Konk club

As if all that wasn’t enough, there is also a kids club with daily crafts and pirate adventures. On our last trip the kids made slime and did group activities in the Konk club while we drank Coronas outside. That’s called win-win.

Activities at John’s Pass

John’s Pass has shops, dining and adventures. We chose to board the Pirate ship Royal Conquest for pirate adventure. Your kids get to enjoy a day being honorary pirates while parents get to relax enjoying the view with unlimited beer and wine. That’s another win-win if you’re keeping score!

Pirate ship at John's Pass

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

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 Pete Beach is the perfect destination for a beautiful family beach vacation. See you next year St Pete!

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Related Posts

Our review of TradeWinds Island Resort

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Guide to visiting St. Pete with Kids

I am a busy mama with 3 delicious babies and a serious itch for travel and writing (when I am not bartending, that is)! After graduating from Cal State San Marcos with a B.A. in Communications, I decided to start a family and pursue a career in freelance writing. I created HotMamaTravel as an outlet to do what I love while sharing useful travel tips and inspiration with others. Our mission is to show parents how to master travel with kids, while keeping your Saturday-night selves. We call it "Family travel...with a twist".


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

    • 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.

  2. 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!

    • 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.

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

  4. Toni calcaterra Reply

    Want to come to sp for Christmas but need help planning

      • heather farina 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

        • 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 for hotels and google flights and for flights. Let me know if you have any more questions. Have a fun trip!!

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  15. 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.

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

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

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

  19. Alexandra Howard Reply

    Im planning on visiting SPB in July with a 7yo and 3mo. We looked into staying across the street at the sunrise resort, which would give us access to tradewinds. However, Im a bit worried about finding respite from the heat for the baby/nap time should we decide to spend our days at tradewinds. Tradewinds is far out of our budget (the exchange from the CAD dollar is awful). Thoughts?

    • Hi Alexandra! So we have always gone to SPB in May and always stayed at Tradewinds (both because that is the location of a science conference my husband attends, and we like to tag along). I imagine July is substantially hotter and more humid so you are smart to be concerned about the heat with a 3mo. In fact, just this past May 2018 I took my 3mo to SPB and it was something we had to contend with (we all had a totally safe and great time there, btw). My advice is to take frequent breaks to go indoors and escape the heat with the 3mo. Luckily Tradewinds has a few spots you can casually escape to, for example, by grabbing lunch at Beef O’ Bradys or the flying Bridge, or grabbing a drink at the Awakenings center bar in the lobby. Sharktooth tavern is next to the kid’s pool and is a place we like to escape the heat as well (and grab a cold beer!). I would call ahead and find out if they will allow you to purchase a wristband to use the facilities (waterslide, paddleboat, etc) if the kids are interested in that, but I imagine it would be similar to their resort fee of $45, but to be honest I am not sure what they do now because it seems policies have changed. I’d give them a call about that.

  20. Thanks for all the info. We are headed there in a few days and staying at Guy Harvey! How many of the restaurants were you able to walk versus drive to? Did you do much driving? We are deciding whether we need a rental car for the whole trip or not. Thanks!

    • Hi Emily! You guys will have a blast there. Honestly, our first trip we rented a car and that allowed us to drive a few mins down to Pass a Grille to check it out, and about 15 mins north to St John’s Pass, which is a funky marina-side area where we took a 1 hour tour on a pirate ship for the kids. But the last 3 times we’ve gone, we actually did NOT rent a car because honestly we had no desire to leave the Tradewinds properties. Between Tradewinds and Guy Harvey there are probably a dozen different places to eat, and there are several others within walking distance. You can totally get away with not renting a car and spending the whole trip at Guy Harvey and Tradewinds, and you won’t regret doing so (and saving some money on the rental). Hope that helps!

  21. We visited Johns Pass when we stayed at Madeira Beach last year! What a wonderful vacation and such a beautiful area! Can’t wait to go back and spend more time on the St Pete side!

    • We have never made it up to Madeira Beach, maybe next time~ We highly recommend staying at Tradewinds, though, if you decide to stay in St Pete. LOVE that place!

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