The #ALDENWOW50 Celebration Continues with a Blogger Bash!

Here at Alden Suites, we are celebrating our 50th Anniversary of ownership by the Renfrow family with exciting events all year long. This October, we brought in a group of influencers from across the USA to help us spread the word. Bloggers, Instagrammers, YouTubers, magazine writers and radio hosts joined together for a convivial gathering on St. Pete Beach.

It all started on Wednesday, October 16 with a party on the grassy lawn next to the beach. Dan Casey of Snappers grilled up drunken shrimp and filet mignon. Chris and Dave were on hand to mix up cocktails from our mobile bar cart. The influencers mixed and mingled, getting to know each other, and we heard from Leroy of Visit St. Pete Clearwater. 

The party moved to the Cabana Bar as the sun set, and the group enjoyed an incredible dinner made by Odise Armata of St. Pete Beach Produce and Deli. Armata specializes in Mediterranean food and he makes everything from scratch. The bloggers RAVED about his decadent Spanakopita, creamy hummus, and fresh Vegan wraps. But it wasn’t all healthy- he also spoiled the group with his baklava, honey cakes and nutty wedding cookies. After dinner and drinks, the influencers settled into their beachfront suites and bungalows, with some choosing to gather at the hot tub and pool for a moonlight swim.

On Thursday morning, the group gathered for coffee and breakfast, generously provided by Chick fil A of St. Pete Beach, in the Fountain Courtyard Room. The whole group gathered for a photo op in the courtyard, and then headed out for a day on the beach. They set up camp in our signature yellow cabanas- some chose to relax all day, while others swam in the ocean and tried out the paddleboards and jetskis from Suncoast Water Sports.

Bloggers Miami Mermaid Elle and Vegan Disney Food were announced as the winners of the first night’s photo contest, and their prize was a parasailing excursion with Suncoast Water Sports. Neither of them had every tried parasailing before, and they had a blast! Everyone gathered at the Cabana Bar for Cuban Sandwiches and sweet potato fries served up by our Alden Oasis food truck.

After lunch, Miami Mermaid Elle wanted to experience the Alden’s sparkling saltwater pools, so we wheeled her over in a luggage trolley and she splashed right in. Lucky young guests were able to join her in the water, learning how to blow heart-shaped bubbles and swim like a mermaid. It was truly a magical moment!

Since we were celebrating 50 years of the Alden, we decided to glam it up with a 1980’s party at the Cabana Bar. Chris and Dave really got into the spirit in their Richard Simmons outfits! They served up special cocktails and 80’s music filled the air as our guests showed off their totally awesome getups. If you’re thinking of a special gathering for an Alden Suites girls weekend or family reunion, we highly recommend an 80’s party- it’s always a riot!

Next, it was time to set sail on a Suncoast Watersports sunset cruise. Our crew continued the 80’s party in style on the boat, capturing photos and delighting in the dancing dolphins that followed the boat all the way down the coastline to Pass a Grille. The Suncoast team kept the drinks flowing so the group could soak up the sunset and relax.

Dan and Connor Casey of Snapper’s Sea Grill welcomed us into their restaurant for a spectacular dinner. First they tempted palates with Tandoori Beef Satay, Zucchini Sticks and their creative watermelon with fried goat cheese stack. Our influencers had trouble choosing between the entrees, but the Filet of Beef Tenderloin, Wasabi Crusted Tuna and Coconut-Cashew Crusted Mahi-Mahi were some of their favorites. We were even spoiled with dessert: Flourless Chocolate Cake and Oreo-Crusted Key Lime Pie wrapped up the evening and sent everyone home full and happy.

In the morning, we sent the bloggers off with an extra surprise. Our friend Stephanie Frank brought her VW Bus named Sky, which has been lovingly restored and fitted with a donut board for breakfast parties. It was all very Instagrammable for our influencers, and they explored all the fun areas of the bus and enjoyed coffee and donuts before heading back to real life.

We are so grateful to the bloggers who joined us and we want to share the stories they wrote about their time with us here at the Alden. Here are the links if you’d like to check them out!

How to get in the 1969 spirit for our #ALDENWOW50 Anniversary Party!

If you’re lucky enough to be on the list for our November 9 Anniversary Party celebrating 50 years of the Alden, you’ll want to get in the spirit! Guests will be wearing 1969-themed outfits while enjoying our Summer of Love-themed decor and music.

1969 is a fun year since we were right on the cusp between go-go groovy outfits and flower child hippie style. Feel free to express the throwback theme in whatever way appeals to you.

Here are some things that went on in 1969, just to get you inspired:

  • The Beatles’ last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records .
  • Woodstock attracts more than 350,000 rock-n-roll fans
  • The Pontiac Firebird Trans Am muscle car is introduced
  • The Top Song was Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In by The 5th Dimension
  • Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon.
  • The price of gas was 35 cents per gallon
  • The first U.S. troops withdrew from Vietnam
  • The average cost of a new house was $15,500
  • Box office hits included Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Midnight Cowboy and Valley of the Dolls
  • The Pontiac Firebird Trans Am muscle car is introduced
  • Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon.

One way to go is Mary Quant-style mod: mini-skirts with knee socks, platform shoes, pinafore dresses and short shift dresses. Mod men wore narrow pants and ties, patent leather shoes and vests.

And on the other side of the spectrum is beatnik style- personified by Jimi Hendrix and Jane Birkin. Bohemian looks like wide flare collars, bell-bottom pants, peasant tops, flower crowns, embroidered shirts and earthy jewelry bring out the hippie vibe. So whether you want to channel Ali McGraw, Cher, Stevie Nicks, George Harrison or John Lennon, 1969 is the year of freedom and fun!

If you need help finding a great 1969-themed costume, we recommend ARTPool Gallery in St. Petersburg. They have a full range of authentic, original 1969 clothing, plus hippie accessories to complete your look. Just tell them the look you are seeking and they will help you find the perfect outfit for you. Enjoy, and we’ll see you at the party!

Best Nightlife in St. Petersburg

From funky to swanky to chill, St. Petersburg’s nightlife scene truly does have something for everyone. Here are five of our favorite places to take a load off at the end a long day playing in the Sunshine City!

The Mandarin Hide

If you’re not looking for it, you just might miss it. Tucked away in a small storefront, The Mandarin Hide is the quintessential speakeasy. It boasts an impressive cocktail menu with Prohibition-era staples such as Tito’s Blind Pig, the Sidecar, the blue-tinted Aviation and, of course, their famous Moscow Mule, but if nothing on the menu suits your fancy, the bartender will happily whip you up a signature concoction just for you. The ambience is relaxing with a live music several times a week and it can be incredibly affordable with drink specials nightly. We highly recommend going on Test Kitchen Tuesdays when the staff curates a new list of gorgeously crafted cocktails for patrons to try every week!

Flûte & Dram

Want to feel fancy for the night without leaving with an empty wallet? You’ve come to the right place. St. Petersburg’s first champagne, caviar and whiskey bar opened just last year and boy, is it a welcome addition. This upscale bar is praised for its knowledgeable and friendly staff who are just as happy to accommodate dietary restrictions as they are to spend time with guests and educate them on the fine details of champagne and caviar. Flûte & Dram boasts the largest champagne collection in St. Petersburg and beautifully displays it on the shelves over its long marble bar—complementing the chic and cozy decor of the place. Always elegant but never pretentious, Flûte & Dram is the place to let your inner socialite shine!

Ruby’s Elixir

Ruby’s Elixir started as Central Cigars in the late 1990s and hasn’t forgotten its roots. The retro-chic speakeasy vibe is reminiscent of days past and adorned with 40s/50s flair. A home-away-from-home for both locals and tourists alike, Ruby’s is Downtown St. Petersburg’s longest running live music venue where you can hear jazz, blues, funk, rock and more from national and touring acts around the world and favorite local musicians on any given night. However, the main attraction here is St. Petersburg’s largest selection of premium cigars. Enjoy a smoke along with one of their specialty or classic drinks. This is a great place to chill after a long day having fun in the Florida sun!

The Ale & The Witch

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble, fire burn and brewskis bubble. The Witch & The Ale is known for its award-winning brews and weekly cask from America’s own great brewers. Their selection of 32 American craft beers are on constantly rotating taps. Follow them on Twitter to see their real-time updated tap list. The other reason both locals and tourists keep on coming back to this happy haunt is the wicked live music on almost every night of the week. Jazz, blues, rock, bluegrass and folk are just some of the styles you’ll hear performed by local singers and bands. Grab a seat in the courtyard outside, kick back, relax, and let The Witch work her magic!

Right Around the Corner – Arcade Brewery

Yes, you read that right. ‘80s nostalgia is huge right now and there’s no better place to indulge your inner gamer than at Right Around the Corner. This neighborhood craft beer brewery was founded just three years ago with three interests in mind: a comfortable atmosphere, delicious craft beer, and old school games galore.  Enjoy hand-picked beers from some of the best breweries in the world on eight rotating taps while you brush up on your pinball skills, throw some steel tip darts, crush your friends in foosball, or try to beat your high score in Pac-Man. If you’re looking for a fun place to hang out but still want a chill and low-key night, you’ve come to the right place. Game on!

Old Florida Finds in St. Petersburg

Got a hankering for some vintage Americana? You’ve come to the right place! St. Petersburg has some hidden treasures that will immediately transport you back to the good ol’ days—without even needing a time machine!

Sunken Gardens

In the Historic Old Northeast neighborhood, you’ll find St. Petersburg’s oldest living museum, the Sunken Gardens. This 100-year-old garden is a botanical paradise filled with cascading waterfalls, beautiful demonstration gardens, gorgeous flowers, and more than 50,000 tropical plants (some of which are the oldest in the region). Make sure to check out their animals, too, like their relaxing koi pond and their new flock of 20 fabulous flamingos which have joined George and Lucy—the two remaining Chilean flamings from the original flock that have been on exhibit since 1956.

Coney Island Grill

Come on down to the oldest family-owned restaurant in St. Petersburg! Coney Island Grill is the quintessential mom-and-pop restaurant. Sit on a stool at the old-school lunch counter and watch speedy short-order cooks serve up delicious burgers, hot dogs, chili dogs, fries and hand-dipped milkshakes. This St. Petersburg staple has been in business since 1926 when hot dogs were only a nickel and burgers were only a dime. Prices are a tiny bit higher than that today but we promise, your meal here will be worth every penny!

St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club

In between Mirror Lake and the famous Coliseum Ballroom, you’ll find the oldest and largest shuffleboard club in the world with 32 lighted courts (65 total) and an amazing old grandstand. St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club was founded in 1924 and was neglected for years until 2005 when it started hosting Friday night games and 2008 when it underwent the ultimate revitalization. Now it’s a hotspot for people in their 20s and 30s and even college students who come to hang out, listen to live music and learn the game.

Candy Kitchen

No, this isn’t Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory—but it’s the closest you might just get! Candy Kitchen is an iconic landmark on Madeira Beach that has something to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. Founded in 1950, this family-owned business prides itself on making homemade ice cream, fudge, Italian ice, and selling nostalgic candy from your childhood. Generations of locals and visitors have ended their trips to “Mad Beach” with stops at this mom-and-pop shop, cooling themselves off with a simple scoop of ice cream or even the famous Big Mouth brownie ice cream sandwich.

Polynesian Putter

Drive just two minutes south of Alden Suites on Gulf Blvd and you’ll come across an Easter-Island-style moai head and a giant, green coiled snake. Welcome to Polynesian Putter, a classically retro 18-hole miniature golf course built-in 1966. This roadside attraction hasn’t changed much during the last 50 years, which is great, because the crazy statues that pay homage to the once-popular Tiki culture make it the perfect spot for Instagram photoshoots! Just don’t forget to address the ball. (“Hello, ball!”)

St. Pete Beach Things to Do: October 2019

Spooky scares are in store for you this month in St. Pete Beach! Although the weather may not show it, here on the beach, Fall is here!  Embrace the change in season with autumn harvests and terrifying haunts all month long. Here are some of our favorite events in the area this October!

St. Pete Saturday Morning Market

Every Saturday

The St. Pete Saturday Morning Market is back at the Al Lang Stadium parking lot. Every Saturday from 9am to 2pm, you can explore this massive farmers market featuring quality local vendors from all over the state. Find locally made crafts and gifts, local honey, fresh flowers, tacos, coffee, kettle corn, artisinal bread and decadent cookies, plus a plethora of produce!

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream

Oct. 1 – Nov. 2

Be spooked by unexpected terrors around every corner at this year’s Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens! Experience 300 acres of terrifying horrors and merciless roaming hoards. Howl-O-Scream 2019 unearths long-buried icons of the past and new nightmares as Busch Gardens Tampa Bay celebrates “20 Years of Fear” with sinister surprises at every turn. Brave souls can venture through horrifying houses, terrifying scare zones and thrilling rollercoaster rides in the dark for 22 select nights.

Autumn Harvest at the Pinellas Pioneer Settlement

October 12

October 12th join the Autumn Harvest at The Pinellas Pioneer Settlement in St. Petersburg.  Celebrate the tradition of gathering the harvest and giving thanks at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Enjoy Hayrides, crafts, games, live music, food trucks and more!  Also, join in on the pie-eating contest hosted by Village Inn. Admission is FREE. Tickets are available for purchase for activities, such as hayrides, games, crafts, and pumpkins. Proceeds benefit the Pinellas Pioneer Settlement.

SHINE St. Petersburg Mural Festival

October 18-24

This October 18-24, SHINE will transform our city streets into a curated, open-air museum showcasing large scale murals painted by world-renowned artists in downtown and surrounding art districts. Additional art exhibits, events, and nightlife throughout St. Petersburg will also be taking place.

Stadium of Screams Haunted House & Fall Festival

October 25th  and 27th

This Halloween, kick fear up a notch and show support for the St. Petersburg Free Clinic and the Tampa Bay Rowdies Foundation at the inaugural Stadium of Screams! Get ready for two terrific days of frightful fun!

Friday, October 25th: experience sheer terror as you explore your biggest fears and step into a dark world ruled by Hollywood’s most horrific creations, all hell-bent on making sure you won’t make it out alive.

Sunday: turn down the screams and bring the family for fun and a little less fear. Enjoy Halloween family-classics on the mainboard, silent auction, food trucks, bounce house, and more family activities!

St. Pete Beach Community Center Trunk or Treat

October 24th -25th

Looking to trick or treat during your stay at the Alden? Experience one of St. Pete Beach’s events of the year! Trick-or-Treat safely from the “Trunks” of local citizens and businesses. Make sure to stay afterward for the Movie in the Park and as always, this event is FREE! Trick or Treating starts at 5:30 pm

We hope you enjoy the frightful festivities this month at the Alden! If you have any suggestions of more great events leave a comment below!