Things to Do: July 2020

Summer is in full swing and we are still looking for fun and safe activities to enjoy this month! Though there are not many events and gatherings there are many fun activities you can enjoy from your suite or outdoors!

4th of July in St. Pete Beach

This year, our July 4th celebrations are going to be a little different. So… no loud DJs or huge fireworks shows. (Dogs throughout the nation are doing the happy dance!) And no enormous picnics with family and friends you see only once a year. (Hey, at least Aunt Penelope won’t ask you if you’re married yet). Read on for ideas for how to celebrate Independence Day in St. Pete Beach this year.

https://www.visitstpeteclearwater.com/list/celebrate-july-4th-at-home

July Full Moon Yoga with Alina Hal

July 5 at 7 pm

Meet on the sand anytime after 7:00PM for a very special sunset / full moon yoga practice 🌈✨☀️ This invigorating yet deeply grounding yoga practice is appropriate for all levels of yogis- including and especially beginners 🙏🏾🙏🏾 Bring a yoga mat, beach towel or blanket and a bottle of water! Class is FREE, donations of any amount are appreciated but never required or expected 😊 Practice will begin at 7:30PM and end shortly after sunset at 8:30PM. Bring a friend – all are welcome! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🖤

https://www.facebook.com/events/270041427581849/

Corey Avenue Farmer’s Market

Every Sunday, 10 am – 1 pm

The Corey Avenue Sunday Market is back! Tampa Bay Made understands the importance of economic vitality for America and how buying local impacts the way we live, shop, eat and work. They celebrate the handmade and spotlight the entrepreneurs who inspire us with their craftsmanship. This is a downsized Summer version with social distancing rules in place.

https://www.facebook.com/events/2656835481212732/?event_time_id=2728159244080355

Book + Bottle

All Year Long

Looking for the perfect beach read AND the best wine to pair with dinner? St. Pete – Book + Bottle is offering free delivery of books and wine right to your door at the Alden.  Check out their bottled wine list here: www.bookandbottlestpete.com.

Email Terra Dunham at info@bookandbottlestpete.com or call (727) 240-7448 to order.

Water Activities in St. Pete Beach

All Year Long

Family Having Fun Stand Up Paddling Together in the Ocean on Beautiful Sunny Morning

The shore in St. Pete Beach, with sugar-white sands and gentle clear waves, brings bliss to our Alden Suites guests every day. But if you only stay on land, you’re missing much of the fun that Florida’s Gulf Coast has to offer. We love to get out on the water, and there are so many cool ways to take a boating excursion here in the St. Pete Beach area.  http://aldenwow.com/2018/02/22/get-out-there-on-the-water-in-st-pete-beach/

Sunken Gardens

All Year Long

Established in 1903 by George Turner Sr. in the bottom of a sinkhole, Sunken Gardens incorporates tropical and native plantings to create a lush palette of colors, textures, and aromas. Significant among the flora here are the bougainvillea and Cuban royal palms, some of the oldest in Florida! Mazy pathways keep you entertained with niche gardens and walls of blooms.

http://www.stpete.org/attractions/sunken_gardens/index.php

Orange Groves Winery

All Year Long

The only citrus winery in the state happens to also be the only Florida winery invited to participate in Disney’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival for the last 15 years. Florida Orange Groves Winery is family-owned and produces over 43 different tropical, citrus, berry, and even vegetable wines—many unique to Florida—all of which are made 100% from the juice as indicated by their bottle label. The winery houses a free tasting bar and gives free tours on the half-hour starting at 10 am Monday through Sunday and starting at 12:30 pm on Sunday until 4 pm each day. The best part—it’s only a six-minute drive from Alden Suites! https://floridawine.com/  

Clearwater Toy Show

July 16th

Vintage & Modern Toys, Hot Wheels, Slot Cars, Retro Gaming, Comics, Artwork & More Pop Culture Goodness!  July 16th  the Florida Toy Shows visits Minnreg Hall for an indoor summer show. Doors Open at 9 am! 

https://www.facebook.com/events/243651493551497/?active_tab=about

St. Pete Grouper & Craft Beer Fest Food Truck

July 24th

St. Pete is the GROUPER CAPITAL of the world and we’re all about celebrating the tasty, flaky white fish. Join Gulf to Bay and Visit St. Pete/Clearwater July 24th for food, fun, craft beer and live music at the St. Pete Grouper & Craft Beer Fest Food Truck Festival!

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

Things to do in John’s Pass

Located on the waterfront, John’s Pass is a quaint turn-of-the-century fishing village. After its creation by a hurricane on September 29, 1848, Pirate John Levique made the first passage through the newly created pass, hence its name. Today, it’s Pinellas County’s #1 tourist attraction, inhabited by over 100 merchants. Here you’ll find unique retail shopping, a variety of restaurants, the local fishing fleet, dolphin watching and shelling tours, boat rentals, parasailing and jet skiing. Day or night, “The Pass” is the place to be. Here’s a list of five must-do activities in this iconic Madeira Beach destination, just a short ten-minute drive away from the Alden!

Hubbard’s Marina

Adjacent to the new state-of-the-art multi-level parking garage, you’ll find Hubbard’s Marina—the longest-running original offshore fishing and dolphin watching company in the entire state of Florida. They’ve been fishing and cruising local waters since 1928 and, four generations later, are still family-owned and operated. Hubbard’s offers party boat fishing trips, kayak and paddle board rentals, and private charters for corporate events, bachelor parties, family trips, cruises and more. They also have daily dolphin watching nature cruise and eco-tours, a daily sunset cruise with free wine and beer, a 3-hour beach shelling cruise, and an Egmont Key ferry with a snorkeling option that runs daily.

Alligator Attraction

Did you know that you can visit a sloth as part of your St. Pete Beach vacation? Alligator Attraction’s name is a bit misleading since they have SO much more than alligators. It’s a rescue zoo, with dozens of different exotic reptiles, tropical fish, skinny pigs, bunnies, pigs, and tortoises. The star of the show is the enchanting Sid the Sloth, a two-year old two-toed sloth who loves to hang with visitors. He’s sure to capture your heart!

Mad Beach Brewing

Craft breweries are popping up all around the Tampa Bay area and Mad Beach Brewing is one of the best. Voted 2020 Florida Brewpub of the Year and 2020 Small Brewery of the Year.  A family-friendly restaurant and brewery featuring award-winning inventive beers, ciders, and sangrias, the freshest chef-inspired dishes, and an atmosphere like no place else. Mad Beach Craft Brewing Company is a must-visit destination in Tampa Bay.

Florida Tiki Tours

Take a relaxing 90-minute tour around John’s Pass and Boca Ciega Bay on a Hawaiian style Tiki Hut with you and up to five of your friends. Whether you just want to have a great time with your best buds or take a romantic cruise with your special someone, Florida Tiki Tours is one of the coolest ways to get out on the water. Grab your cooler and climb aboard. This company offers sunset cruises, sandbar cruises and dolphin cruises. They even have whole day event rates for office events and meetings, birthdays, bachelor/bachelorette parties and weddings. (Yes, they do have their own minister.) No need to fly to the islands when the island experience is here waiting for you.

$10 Jewelry Outlet

Jewelry is one of the most fun things to shop for on vacation. You can wear it anytime to remember your trip, and it doesn’t take up too much space in your suitcase. The $10 Jewelry Outlet at John’s Pass is a haven for treasure-hunters, with a wide variety of designer jewelry, all for just ten dollars! It’s the perfect place to pick up a souvenir or a gift for someone special.

The Pirate Ship at John’s Pass

Ready your sea legs as you step aboard a 2-level, 46-foot U.S. Coast Guard-inspected Royal  Conquest Pirate Ship for a swashbuckling adventure that’s perfect for all ages. This hour and a half Family Fun Pirate Adventure includes great music, a dance party, dolphin watching, pirate stories, water gun battles, a treasure hunt, face painting and limbo for kids. Adults can sit back and watch the show—as well as the beautiful surrounding scenery—with free beer and wine. Free soft drinks and water are also available. Cruises leave at 11 am, 2 pm and sunset every day. No matter your age, this entertaining crew will lead you in some pirate fun that all will be sure to enjoy.

Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen! Yer booty awaits at John’s Pass.

Things to do in St. Pete Beach – June 2020 Edition

As things are starting to open back up we are looking for more fun and safe activities to enjoy this month! From a virtual museum visit to an awe-inspiring dolphin tour, there are many fun ways to start your summer safely here in St. Pete Beach.

Suncoast Watersports Two Island Snorkel and Explore Dolphin Tour

All Summer Long

This summer, why not try the Suncoast Watersports Two Island Snorkel and Explore Dolphin Tour?

This will be the highlight of your vacation. The 3.5 hour tour has 1 hour stops at two amazingly unique islands where you can either snorkel or explore. Sand Dollar Island has an abundance of sand dollars and other great shells including horse conchs, shark eye shells and tulip shells to name just a few. You will come back with a bag full of awesome shells you can’t find on any of our vacation beaches. The snorkeling at Sand Dollar Island is known for crystal blue water that is great for novice and young snorkelers!

http://www.funstpete.com/cruises.php

Florida Residents Reopening Special

June 1-7

To celebrate the Clearwater Marine Aquarium reopening, they are providing a special offer to restless Floridians to come out and visit Winter the Dolphin and all of the rescued animals at Clearwater Marine Aquarium! From Friday, May 22 through June 7, Florida residents with valid proof of residency can receive adult admission for $19.99 and $15.99 for kids 3-12.

Come and meet the aquarium’s new resident rescued dolphin! He is joining Nicholas at Dolphin Terrace! All guests are invited to enjoy special reopening pricing for the educational and relaxing 60-minute Dolphin and Wildlife eco-boat tours available for $14.99 per person. Clearwater Marine Aquarium is implementing significant additional safety precautions to protect staff, animals, and guests, while ensuring a fun and educational visit with limited guests. Learn more about visiting and reserve your tickets online at SeeWinter.com.

https://www.facebook.com/events/247622762967654/

Virtual Coffee with a Curator

June 3rd

Even though the Dali Museum is closed you can still visit virtually with Coffee with a Curator!

Curator of Education, Peter Tush presents An Introduction to Dalí’s Symbols. It is often stated that Dalí’s puzzling images invite symbolic interpretation and that his symbols are both general and personal. This talk will survey a selection of the most memorable symbols found in Dalí’s art, and demonstrate how he uses these symbols to create a personal language and an iconic brand. From crutches to ants to melting watches, understanding Dalí’s symbols allows a deeper experience of his art. Visit the Dali Museum YouTube channel at 10:30am June third to discover the rich world of Dalí’s art https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZLq3ywvtZo&feature=youtu.be

PAW and Churros!

June 6

Gather the family and head on out to Pinellas Ale Works as Brazilian Fun Foods comes to PAW with their delicious churro cart!

They will be selling Sandwiches, Breakfast Burritos, Traditional Spanish Churros, and delectable Stuffed Churros.

https://www.facebook.com/events/568685894022372/?active_tab=about

Father’s Day Paint Me A Story Time

June 6th

Join Practically Pikasso for a reading of “Froggy’s Day with Dad” followed by pottery painting. Choose from a mug for dad, just like Froggy paints, or a frog figurine. This is a great way to do something fun to celebrate Dad and give him a gift he’ll never forget!

https://www.practicallypikasso.com/

Corey Avenue Drive-Thru Market

June 7th

Sunday, June 7th  is the Drive-Thru Market on Corey Avenue! Visit www.tampabaymade.com now to shop with your favorite vendors. Pre-order and pick up between 10am – 1pm. Safe, efficient, and always delicious. Order online for pick up on Corey Avenue!

https://www.facebook.com/events/2656835481212732/?event_time_id=2656835501212730

Sunrise Paddleboard Yoga

June 12

Join Salty Souls Yoga to grow and expand your love for outdoor yoga on your paddleboard. If you do not have a board, they can reserve one for you. Meets Friday mornings in St. Petersburg, for all the details check out their Facebook event.

https://www.facebook.com/events/2344223839208131/

Art Walk

June 13th

St. Pete ArtWorks opens at 12 – 7 p.m. for the June 13 Art Walk. The number of guests allowed inside at one time will be 6. Enjoy a mini-concert outside on the sidewalk from 5 – 7 p.m. by jazz flutist, Bruce Daniels. 

Feeling cautious? Visit the online exhibition, “Mother ‘May’ I”, a group exhibit by members of the Gulf Coast Artists Alliance now through June 15th.

https://www.stpeteartworks-onlinestore.com/about

Musical Bingo Nation at 3 Daughters Brewing

Every 2nd & 4th Thursday

Join 3 Daughters Brewing every 2nd & 4th Thursday from 7-10pm for Musical Bingo!! The event is FREE to play and they have over 30 music rounds for you to enjoy. Each round is almost an hour long and has two winners, and you can join in at any time during the round or event. You can WIN prizes like brewery bucks and promotional items (Drink Koozies, Magnets, Stickers.

Musical Bingo is a game with the same concept as traditional bingo but instead of numbers, they are replaced with song titles & artists. Players compete to win based on their knowledge of music and the unpredictability of the game.

https://www.facebook.com/events/260638881946888/

Arrowhead Nature Trail

All Year Long

Explore several coastal habitats on the Arrowhead Nature Trail at Fort De Soto Park, an interpretive walk with plenty of stops where you’ll learn all about the salt-dependent plants along the rim of Mullet Key Bayou.  Openings between the mangroves enable you to enjoy scenic views with a wide sweep of the shallows of the bay, where dolphin and manatee might be cruising just offshore.

The trail can be a bit squishy underfoot as you draw near to the coast, and it’s important that you follow the signs or directions so you don’t walk in circles! Still, this easy 1.4 mile network of trails offers a great overview of the flora and fauna of the Gulf Coast. https://floridahikes.com/fortdesotoarrowhead

We hope you enjoy the new events this month at the Alden! If you have any suggestions of more great things to do in St. Pete Beach, please leave a comment below!

How to Save Money on a St. Pete Beach Vacation

St. Pete Beach has so many activities and attractions to enjoy. Whether you’re looking to spend time by the ocean or hide away from the heat, there are tons of options for you and your family that won’t have you leaving with an empty wallet. A vacation here doesn’t have to break the bank if you know how and where you can save money. Here are just a few activities that are just as fun as they are affordable!

Surf, Sand & Sea

One of of the biggest reasons tourists come back year after year is the gorgeous turquoise waters of the Gulf. It doesn’t cost anything to lay out on our white sugar sand beaches and listen to the sound of the waves. There are a few beaches that require you to pay for parking but, luckily, staying at the Alden gives you direct access to four gorgeous acres of private beachfront—so no transportation required! Looking for something more tailored to you? Spend time on family-friendly shores with kids’ actives and playgrounds, get your adrenaline pumping on a remote beach with hiking and biking trails, or choose a romantic spot featuring a waterfront restaurant. St. Pete’s beaches are as versatile as they are relaxing.

Soak up the Sun

The best show to watch here doesn’t even require admission. St. Pete is known for our incredible sunsets. (Don’t believe us? Check out some fabulous shots our guests have captured over on our Instagram.) It’s absolutely worth it to adjust your schedule so that you have time to catch them when you’re near the ocean which, at Alden, is all the time! Some folks even sacrifice sleep to catch the equally breathtaking sunrises over on the east side of Gulf Blvd. Day or night, make sure your phone is handy so you can capture the magnificent beauty. There’s nothing like seeing the sky awash in color and the sun sinking into or escaping the horizon.

Wild, Winged Wonders

Spend a day at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, the largest nonprofit wild bird hospital and sanctuary in the United States. This place, located just 24 minutes away from Alden, admits up to 10,000 injured birds annually. That means, 365 days a year, you have the chance to see species like owls, pelicans, and rare woodpeckers, among many other permanently injured birds, living here in this beachfront paradise. Stroll through the 1.5-acre sanctuary, learn about birds and avian medicine in the education center and enjoy the breathtaking view on the observation tower—all for the low cost of nothing (although donations are greatly appreciated)! Special presentations are hosted daily, so make sure to check the website before you visit.

America’s #1 Beach

Back in 2005, Dr. Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, awarded that title to Fort DeSoto Park—located just 27 minutes south of Alden Suites. Fort DeSoto has seven miles of powder-white sandy beaches, more than a thousand unspoiled acres and all the amenities you can imagine. There’s an extensive walking, biking and rollerblading trail, nature trails with free guided tours and a historic fort dating back to the Spanish-American War. You’ll also find plenty of picnic areas, restrooms and water fountains, play areas and even a snack bar. Want to get on the water and see some manatees? Guests can rent canoes or kayaks for a trip through the mangroves. While there is no charge to enter the park, you will need to pay 85 cents in tolls to get there—a small price for the exposure to classic American history and an escape from the norm.

The Mouse’s Favorite Wine

The only citrus winery in the state happens to also be the only Florida winery invited to participate in Disney’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival for the last 15 years. Florida Orange Groves Winery is family-owned and produces over 43 different tropical, citrus, berry and even vegetable wines—many unique to Florida—all of which are made 100% from the juice as indicated by their bottle label. The winery houses a free tasting bar and gives free tours on the half hour starting at 10am Monday through Sunday and starting at 12:30pm on Sunday until 4pm each day. The best part—it’s only a six-minute drive from Alden Suites!

Test Your Culinary Skills

Along with free wi-fi, flat screen TVs and large closets, all suites are equipped with refrigerators, cooktops, microwaves, cookware, dishes, coffeemakers and utensils. Utilizing your in-suite kitchen is a great way to cut back on costs. Grab some fresh seafood and shellfish (along with tasty seasonings and spices) at Key West Shrimp Co or just head on over to Publix if you’re looking for a larger and more familiar selection. If you’re staying with us from October to May, we also highly recommend visiting the Corey Avenue Sunday Market for homemade produce, take home foods, ready to eat lunch bites and so much more. Book a room with us now and get a suite for the price of a room with zero resort fees!

7 Ways to Celebrate Mom this Mother’s Day

We all want to celebrate mom this Mother’s Day but with the current situation, many of us will be unable to take Mom out to the usual Mother’s Day dinner. The Alden is OPEN and we are excited to celebrate with many families this year. But going out is not the only way we can show our mothers how much we care! Here are some ways to show our moms love from our homes or in places safe to celebrate while social distancing.

A tried-and-true classic: Breakfast in bed. Make mom feel like she’s in a five-star hotel with an indulgent experience! Here’s a great fluffy pancake recipe you could try. Toss in some chocolate chips or mom’s favorite fruit for a real treat. https://www.africanbites.com/fluffy-pancakes/

Dress up some old mason jars with this tutorial from Home Stories A to Z. Mom is always looking for the best ways to display photos of her kids, and these are colorful options that she’ll love. https://www.homestoriesatoz.com/crafts/mason-jar-picture-frame-vase.html?ref=pcrorganicgglunkwn&prid=pcseogglunkwn

Looking for some fun Florida nature to explore with Mom?  Boyd Hill Nature Preserve is a wonderful place to walk, run, learn and explore! Hike with your family through clearly marked paths and enjoy a bird sanctuary and lots of local wildlife!

http://www.stpeteparksrec.org/boydhillpreserve/

Set up a salon at home to give mom a much-needed mani/pedi. Not sure where to start? Here are 10 steps to getting the perfect manicure at home.

https://www.glamour.com/gallery/10-steps-to-the-perfect-at-home-manicure

Send a silly video Record a mini clip of you reciting a mini poem about mom, singing her favorite song or just listing all of her best qualities. Grandmothers love seeing fun videos of their grandkids, so don’t forget to include them in the script.

The Pinning Mama has finally found a great use for the stubs of old crayons. Help your little ones follow these careful instructions to create a colorful candle for Mom. The best part is watching them choose which colors she’ll love most.

https://www.thepinningmama.com/diy-crayon-candles/?ref=pcrorganicgglunkwn&prid=pcseogglunkwn

Looking for a perfect way to celebrate Mother’s Day virtually? Set up an online call for your mom with friends, family, and siblings. Your mom would be thrilled if she sat down in front of her computer on Mother’s Day and discovered you arranged a Zoom or FaceTime call with her family and favorite friends!

We hope this list helps you celebrate mom this Mother’s Day. If you have any suggestions leave them in the comments here!

We Want You Back! Alden Suites Beachfront Resort Reopens May 1, 2020

The Alden Suites Beachfront Resort looks forward to welcoming guests once again beginning on Friday, May 1, 2020. We take the health and safety of our guests and associates seriously, and our re-opening follows the guidelines of the State of Florida, Pinellas County, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Our team has enhanced cleaning, communication, and promotion of healthy hygiene practices and will enforce social distancing protocols as recommended by state and local authorities.

For guests looking for a change of scenery and some quality time on the beach, we offer unique amenities here at Alden Suites that make it easier for guests to practice social distancing. Our suites all have full kitchens, which allows our guests to prepare food and drinks in their suites instead of going out to restaurants and bars. Publix delivers groceries here at Alden Suites, so you can enjoy a stocked refrigerator without fighting the crowds at grocery stores. We also have 4 gas grills on our BBQ deck, adequately spaced apart so our guests can prepare food on the grill.

We are taking the following steps in the interest of our staff and guest health and safety:

  • Our housekeeping department has always cleaned with hospital-grade disinfectants. We have increased the thoroughness of our cleaning schedule and practices to improve sanitation.
  • Items cleaned in suites include phones, remotes, hair dryers, irons and high traffic touch points.
  • Hand sanitizing stations are accessible to guests in all of our public spaces and lobby.
  • Key cards and parking passes are being sanitized between each guest check-in.
  • We provide masks, surface disinfecting products and hand sanitizer for associates, including front desk agents, housekeepers and maintenance personnel.
  • For guests checking in, associates are asking guests to disinfect their hands upon arrival and sharing hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette tips.
  • Our managers have been provided with detailed health and safety procedures to share with their associates. Managers will ask associates to stay home when they are sick. Additionally, we have communicated directly to all associates regarding the necessity of safe hand washing and hygiene practices.
  • The Alden pools will be open, staying under 50 percent capacity and adhering to strict CDC cleaning protocols. The Alden Suites team will properly clean and sanitize pool decks, furniture, railings, safety devices and other equipment.

We will ensure staff and guest compliance with the following social distancing guidelines:

  • Individuals shall adhere to CDC social distancing guidelines, including but not limited to; Persons shall not congregate in groups, and groups of more than 10 are prohibited; All persons not part of the same family unit must remain at least 6 feet apart.
  • As of Monday, May 4, 2020, the public beaches surrounding Alden Suites will be open subject to these regulations. The Alden Suites private beach continues to be open and has never been required to close.
  • Signage on the Alden Suites property will remind guests and team members of the social distancing protocols.


We also want to share that here at Alden Suites, we have closed the Cabana Bar until further notice as required by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. As the phased re-opening of the St. Pete Beach area continues, we will follow the guidance of authorities as it pertains to re-opening. The food truck is still open for takeout orders.

We have modified our cancellation policies to accommodate guests who are experiencing a change of plans. The Alden Suites Beachfront Resort is delighted to reopen and we look forward to welcoming our guests.

Beachy Crafts to do with the Kids

Summer is just around the corner. Hopefully, that means spending plenty of time on the beach at the Alden with your family, soaking up the surf and sun! However, those fun in the sun vibes shouldn’t be limited to just three months a year. If your favorite thing to do is relax in the sand, you’ll love the look of a beach-themed home. Beach crafts are great for displaying around the house and a fun way for the entire family to get creative during your summer vacation! Here are seven different beachy craft ideas that you and your kids can make together.

Note: Live creatures should never be removed from their natural habitat. Only collect shells that are empty and starfish that have expired. Additionally, any sharp or hot tools should be used solely by adults or at least with adult supervision.

Photo and more details: https://www.broogly.com/project/sand-hand-prints

Sand Handprint: This one takes a bit of extra preparation but it’s a great way to capture precious memories. You can get plaster of Paris at any craft store such as Michaels or Jo-Ann. To make things easier, pre-measure four cups of plaster into each of six or seven gallon-sized Ziploc bags and then mix in two cups of water into each bag. When you want to start casting, find a spot of clean and somewhat damp sand, press your hand deeply into the sand and then lift it straight back up. Fill up the print with beach treasures like rocks and broken shells. Then add an estimated two cups of seawater to your plaster, close up the bag and knead it with your hands to mix. Open it back up and pour the plaster to fill your mold. Wait 30 minutes or so while it hardens before digging it out of the sand and then give it a quick rinse in the ocean. Play around with different shapes such as footprints or hearts!

Framed Sand Writing: They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. Collect some shells, beach glass or driftwood and use a broken shell with a sharp edge to write your name or a message in the sand. Decorate your scene with your collection and take a lot of pictures from different angles and different distances. When you get home, choose your favorite and use free websites like Picnik or Sumo Paint to make color corrections, crop, etc. Then print your picture out and put it in a cute frame. Finally, use hot glue or E6000 to add shells and sea glass to the outside of the frame. Display the picture anywhere you like!

Photo and more details: https://craftsbyamanda.com/gone-swimming-beach-plaque/#wprm-recipe-container-21899

Gone Swimming Beach Plaque: This pretty plaque is a very creative way to show off your found beach treasures. Using a flat paintbrush, paint an oval paper mache hanging plaque with antique white acrylic paint. Repeat with a second coat and let it dry. Hot glue a large starfish to the left side of the plaque and glue your assorted seashells and any remaining starfish around the right side and bottom of the plaque. Pull off the excess strings of hot glue after a minute or two. In the center of the plaque, use a black craft pen to write “gone swimming”. Next, mix together a nickel size amount of white craft glue and a little water—just enough to thin the glue and make it paintable. Using the flat brush, paint the glue mixture wherever you want sand to stick. This should be done in about three or four sections so that the glue doesn’t dry before you add the sand. Start at the top of the plaque and work your way to the left, painting the glue mixture around the large starfish. Then, pour some sand over the glue and let it sit for a moment before tapping off the excess. Repeat this around the shells and other starfish, wiping off any glue that may get on the tops of the starfish or shells before adding the sand. When that’s finished, dip a scruffy paintbrush into tan paint and dab off excess paint onto a paper towel so that the brush is almost dry. Add tan touches around the words and along the edges of the sand. Finally, spray the entire surface with acrylic sealer and allow it to dry completely. Hang it on any wall for a lovely addition to your home!

Photo and details:  https://hearthandvine.com/how-to-make-a-seashell-sea-glass-wind-chime/

Shell Wind Chimes

These simple wind chimes are easy to make and look very pretty hanging. Using fishing line or jewelry wire, string up three to five lighter weight shells with holes in them along a 12-inch length, tying them on to secure. Repeat five times. Then, tie one end of each string to the leg of a starfish, allowing them to dangle down. If you want, you can create two strings for each leg for more shell action. Finally, wrap a ribbon around the center of the starfish and create a loop to hang it from. Hang it in a place with a light breeze and enjoy the delightful sounds it makes!

Photo and details: http://mypinterventures.com/beach-glass-coastal-ornament/

Beach in a Glass Coastal Ornament: If you find yourself longing for warmer days during the winter months, this beautiful holiday decoration will be a welcome addition to your home.  Mix a bit of sand with snow white fine glitter and funnel it into a clear glass or plastic ornament. When that’s done, drop in some shells and sea glass. Next, braid about three feet of twine and hot glue it around the top of the ornament in a spiral pattern, cutting off the knot when you’re done. Use craft glue to glue down the rest of the twine until you get the look you like. Make sure to add glue to the top the ornament before replacing the topper. If you don’t, the topper may pop off due to the weight of the ornament. Then, take three pieces of twine and tie them onto the topper. Glue your leftover seashells to the end of the twine. Finally, wrap the silver topper cap with twine.

Photo and details: https://funfamilycrafts.com/seashell-door-hanging/

Seashell Door Hanger: This beautiful door hanger is a great way to display your favorite shells. Begin by hanging 13 or another odd number of seashells on hemp twine. If your shells are more flat, a small drill bit can be used to create a hole in each one. If they’re more cone-shaped, tie a knot at the end of a piece of twine and place the knot near the inside center of the shell. Then use a pointy object like needle-nose pliers or a chopstick and push the knot into the shell. Gently tug the twine upward while holding the shell so the knot gets caught at the top of the shell. If any of the shells are loose, secure with a dot of hot glue. Once that’s done, tie a thick piece of rope to each side of a piece of driftwood for hanging. Next, layout your seashells in a “v” shape pattern. Start with the biggest shell first and hang it in the center of the driftwood. Working your way out, add the remaining shells going large to small. Each shell should come up about half an inch on both sides of the center. After all the shells are hung evenly, triple tie the twine at the top, making sure the loose ends face towards the back. Then flip the hanger around and trim the excess twine to about one inch. Hot glue the ends onto the driftwood. Finally, add faux succulents by tucking the stems into the rope knots or hot gluing them right onto the driftwood for a cute “sprouting” effect!

Photo and details: https://craftsbyamanda.com/driftwood-art/

Driftwood Art: This beach craft is easy to make and will look great as your new piece of home decor. Start by painting a wooden shadowbox. The outer edge should be white while the very back should be grey. Allow it to dry completely before continuing. Use driftwood pieces that are slightly longer than the frame allows and use a saw to cut them down to size. Try different combinations until something fits wells and works for your piece. Remember, no two pieces of driftwood are the same, but that’s the beauty of it. First, add the driftwood to the back of the box and then a starfish on top. Use hot glue to secure everything into place. Your driftwood art is now ready to be added to any room in your home!

Any of these crafts can be modified to fit your own personal style so have fun exploring different options and combing the beach for the perfect supplies! We’d love to see what you’re making while you stay at home, please show us in the comments!

Alden Suites Cabana Bar Favorites to Make At Home!

We ALL miss the Cabana Bar these days, not just for the delicious drinks, but the smiles and energy we share with our guests. Chris, Dave, Bob and Betsy shared some of their favorite recipes for tropical cocktails so you can keep that Cabana Bar spirit going until you come and see us again! All of these recipes are for a single drink, just multiply by how many drinks you want to make, or make a great big pitcher full, we won’t judge!

Betsy’s Mojito Magic

“When you want something refreshing and not too intense, a mojito always hits the spot.” -Betsy, Cabana Bar

  • 10 fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 2 ounces white rum
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh lime juice
  • 2–3 teaspoons honey simple syrup
  • ice
  • club soda

Honey Simple Syrup: Combine equal parts honey and water in a saucepan.  Warm over medium heat until the mixture reaches a simmer, then whisk together and watch the honey melt into the water. 

Add the mint leaves, rum, lime juice and honey simple syrup to a cocktail shaker.  Muddle the mint (using a cocktail muddler or a wooden spoon) to release its flavors. Add 1 cup of ice.  Then cover the cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 15 seconds, until chilled.  Strain into a tall glass filled with ice.  Top with club soda, as well as extra mint or lime wedges for garnish, if desired.

Dave’s Steel Drum

“A fun twist on a pina colada, this drink is a party in a glass!” -Dave, Cabana Bar

  • 2 oz. Coconut Rum
  • 2 oz. Pina Colada Mix (we like Daily’s best)
  • 4 oz. Pineapple Juice

Shake it up with ice and garnish with a slice of fresh pineapple and a cherry.

Twisted Pinkies by Chris

“This is one of my favorite drinks to prepare and it’s super easy to do at home. I love how the coconut rum cuts through the acidity of the pink grapefruit juice. It’s so refreshing!” -Chris, Cabana Bar

  • 6 oz. Pink Grapefruit Juice
  • 2 oz. Coconut Rum

Shake up and serve over ice.

Chris’ Rumchata Pina Colada with a Coconut Rum Float.

“This twist on the classic Pina Colada is my favorite!” Mary Ann Renfrow, Alden Director of Community Relations

  • 3 oz. RumChata
  • 1 oz. Light Rum
  • 1 oz. Pineapple Juice
  • ½ oz. Cream of Coconut
  • ½ oz. Coconut Rum

Blend with ice. Top with a floater of coconut rum.

Dancing Bird of Paradise by Max Blower Rojas

Max Blower Rojas is a St. Pete Beach native who now works in New York City. He created this recipe, a favorite of Mary Ann Renfrow, as a submission for the Shake Stir USA and Cocktail Courier cocktail competition.

  • 2 oz Jose Cuervo Tequila Tradicional Anejo
  • 1 oz Tahitian Vanilla Bean Syrup*
  • 1 oz Fresh Blood Orange Juice
  • ½ oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • 3 dashes Bittermens Burlesque Bitters (or any bitters you like)

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice.

Shake and strain into glass with fresh ice.

Garnish with Blood Orange peel.

*To make syrup, slit one vanilla bean and mix seeds into 1 cup of sugar. Add hot water and stir until dissolved. Let cool. You can also substitute the vanilla bean for 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract mixed into 1 cup of simple syrup. (Fancy bitters optional)

Bahama Mama

“The Bahama Mama is an irresistible Cabana Bar cocktail. I always have one when I arrive at the Alden and it pairs perfectly with a St. Pete Beach sunset!” -Sunshine Woodyard, AdGals social media consultant for Alden Suites.

  • 2oz coconut rum
  • 1 oz gold rum
  • 2 oz pineapple juice
  • 2 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz grenadine

In a bar shaker, combine all ingredients with a few ice cubes. Shake until blended and pour over ice cubes. Garnish with maraschino cherries and pineapple wedges.

Betsy’s Secret Margarita

“🍹 Here is my personal recipe for an amazing margarita!” -Betsy

  • 1.5oz Silver Tequila
  • 1.5oz Triple sec
  • 4oz Margarita mix
  • 1.5oz O.J.

Fill w/ice shake, shake, shake. Salt/ no salt, however you like it. Float with Grand Marnier. Consume!!

We can’t wait to see you back at the Cabana Bar very soon!

St. Pete Beach Gives Back

As you may have heard, the Alden is closed through the month of April due to COVID-19. While we are unable to serve our guests in person during this time, we will be connecting with you online through our blog, social media and email to keep the Alden Family spirit alive! This week, we’d like to share some of the amazing things that local St. Pete Beach businesses are doing to support our community at this time.

The Alden’s Director of Community Relations Mary Ann Renfrow joined Feeding Tampa Bay this week for a drive-through food pantry serving St. Pete Beach’s hospitality workers with the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce. We are grateful to St. Petersburg’s Lantmannen Unibake for donating the bread and to our Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputies that assisted. The common theme from all who came out to receive donations was, “We want to get back to work”.

Brian McAllister and the Gibson Mural Club created an amazing mural last year at the Alden, and now he’s carrying on the Club’s work- take a look!

The Food Truck Convoy organized a convoy of food trucks and partnered with local restaurants to serve meals to neighbors in need, and help to keep food trucks and restaurant owners/staff working.

In a Seminole neighborhood near Starkey Elementary School, people are showing their love for families with school children by putting teddy bears in their windows.

St. Pete Rising is teaming up with one local restaurant and one hospital or healthcare provider per day to raise money to provide daily meals for healthcare workers. It’s a great way to donate to help the St. Pete Beach people that we all know and love.

Our good friends at Grillin N Chillin are offering free pulled pork sandwiches to out-of-work hospitality workers.

3 Daughters Brewing Co. in St. Petersburg is making thousands of containers of hand sanitizer for local healthcare workers, and giving them away for FREE!

Join the Great American Camp-In Challenge! Families are Camping IN at home and getting creative. Whether you’re imagining yourself in a jungle, the safari or even another planet they want to see your Camp-IN campground. Share pictures, stories, games, recipes and camp songs for all families to enjoy TOGETHER!

Clearwater Marine Aquarium is sharing an inside look at the lives of their aquatic inhabitants, including the famous Winter the Dolphin:

Tampa Bay Watch is sharing educational stories and videos about the natural beauty and incredible wildlife that we enjoy here in St. Pete Beach.

And if you want some educational entertainment, we recommend Florida Stories from Florida Humanities. “Florida Stories” tours are high-quality, packed with photos and rich audio that will open your eyes to many of Florida’s cities and towns in a way you’ve never experienced before.

We love to support these local businesses and hope that you’ll support them next time you’re here at the Alden!

We want to give you a welcome distraction and something to look forward to, so we are offering a very special contest this April: We love our Alden Family, and we want to get to know you better! Follow this LINK and show us a picture of you and your favorite travel buddies from one of your favorite adventures together, anywhere in the WORLD, for a chance to win some great prizes.

We have a special plan for the winners- we will pick our top three entrants to participate in the first-ever Alden Jeopardy! You’ll go LIVE on Facebook with us on 4/30/20 to play Alden Jeopardy, and the winner will get the grand prize of a future two-night stay at Alden Suites! Here’s the link to enter:

https://aldenbeachresort.stories.travel/invite?contest=My-Alden-Travel-Buddy-2020-04-03

Stay tuned to our Facebook Page for fun videos, contests and ways to share your Alden memories. Our prayers are with you and your families. Stay safe and healthy so you can come back and enjoy more beautiful moments with us right here in St. Pete Beach.

Visiting St. Pete Beach? Steps We Are Taking to Help You and Your Family Stay Safe

At Alden Suites, we take the health and safety of our guests and associates seriously. We are closely monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization’s statements regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and following the guidelines from these agencies as well as local health departments and medical professionals. The CDC has not issued a travel health notice for the continental U.S. regarding COVID-19. Yet as an enhanced preventative measure in light of current related events in Florida, we’ve further enhanced our cleaning, communication, and promotion of healthy hygiene practices.

Our housekeeping department has always cleaned with hospital-grade disinfectants. We have increased the thoroughness of our cleaning schedule and practices to improve sanitation. Items cleaned in suites include phones, remotes, hairdryers, irons, and high traffic touchpoints. Hand sanitizing stations are accessible to guests in all of our public spaces and lobby. Key cards and parking passes are being sanitized between each guest check-in.


For associates who have direct contact with guests, e.g. front desk agents, housekeepers, and maintenance personnel, we provide surface disinfecting products and hand sanitizer. For guests checking in, associates are asking guests to disinfect their hands upon arrival and sharing hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette tips.

Our managers have been provided with detailed health and safety procedures to share with their associates. Managers will ask associates to stay home when they are sick. Additionally, we have communicated directly to all associates regarding the necessity of safe hand washing and hygiene practices.

We also want to share that here at Alden Suites, we have closed the Cabana Bar until further notice as required by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The food truck is still open for takeout orders. Essential beach supplies and snacks are available at our Grab and Go shop. We do have some amenities here at Alden Suites that will help make it easier for you to practice social distancing. Our suites all have full kitchens, which allows our guests to prepare food and drinks in their suites instead of going out to restaurants and bars. Publix delivers groceries here at Alden Suites, so you can enjoy a stocked refrigerator without fighting the crowds at grocery stores. We also have 4 gas grills on our BBQ deck, adequately spaced apart so our guests can prepare food on the grill. We have modified our cancellation policies to accommodate guests who are experiencing a change of plans. As of right now, the Alden remains open for business and we look forward to welcoming our guests.