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!

September 2019 in St. Pete Beach: Things to Do

School has begun here in St. Pete Beach but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end! Here at Alden Suites Beachfront Resort, there are many ways to enjoy fall: mark your calendars now for Taste of the Beaches, Bier Fest, Art Festivals and the start of Howl O Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay!

Busch Gardens Bier Fest

Aug. 17 – Sept. 8

Now through September 8th experience Busch Gardens Bier Fest! Explore craft beers from around the world at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, including over 40 new brews! This festival blends the local Tampa Bay craft scene with time-honored traditions to create a unique food and beer celebration. Enjoy live entertainment and contemporary fare that pays homage to a traditional Oktoberfest with a modern spin. Event access is included with park admission. #SundayFunday

That ART Festival

September 7

That ART Festival is an all ages, family and pet-friendly event that will paint Jannus Live vibrant this September 7, from 12 – 6 p.m. This free event is open to the public and will have a DJ supplying the tunes in the courtyard, ticket raffles, a live interactive piece for the artists and patrons to collab on, as well as a children’s creative corner with a free face painter. And of course, a ton of art!

https://www.thatartfestival.com/

St. Pete Beach’s Taste of the Beaches

September 28

September 28 experience St. Pete Beach’s Taste of the Beaches! Taste of the Beaches celebrates great music with local bands and amazing food from area restaurants & vendors. The event is a fundraiser for the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce as well as supporting a member non-profit, Habitat for Humanity.

https://web.tampabaybeaches.com/events/Taste-of-the-Beaches-5693/details

Rapp Brewing Oktoberfest

Sep 21 – Oct 20

Dust off your dirndls and lederhosen, grab your Rapp steins and join the fun at Tampa Bay’s first German brewery! Rapp Brewing kicks off their annual Oktoberfest event in September. Every Saturday from September 21st through October 20th , you’ll find German lagers on tap, stein specials, growler specials, limited edition Oktoberfest wristbands, t-shirts, costume contests, unique stein contest, literholden, and more!

https://www.facebook.com/events/384320205619690/?active_tab=about

Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens

September 20 to November 2

September 20th is the start of Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens! Now through Nov 2nd be spooked by unexpected terrors around every corner! Experience 300 acres of terrifying horrors and merciless roaming hoards. The park will be open from 7:30 p.m.-1 a.m. on select nights through the end of October.

https://buschgardens.com/tampa/events/howl-o-scream/

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

Join the #ALDENWOW50 Family Reunion this November!

Fifty years ago in 1969, Robert and Gennifer Renfrow purchased a small beachfront motel called the Alden. The Renfrow family still proudly owns and operates the Alden Suites Beachfront Resort and we are celebrating this major milestone with a year-long Golden Anniversary campaign. We kicked off the year with some major philanthropic giving, supporting our local community with large donations and hands-on work to make St. Pete Beach a better place.

Earlier this year, we shared the story of how the Alden grew from a beachside motel to the full-service resort that she is today. Our celebratory video series has taken guests on a trip through the way-back machine to the Alden in the 1960’s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Guests are sharing their stories all year round through our #ALDENWOW50 social media campaign, plus we’ve unveiled a new mural and lots of special Golden Giveaways. It all leads up to the big Alden Family Reunion set for November 9, where longtime guests will gather from all over the world to celebrate the big anniversary.

The theme of the party will be “Summer of Love”, and we’ll all be decked out in our hippie-inspired best: bell bottoms, embroidered shirts, headbands, and trippy tie-dye. We’ll have a VW van full of treats, delicious food and drinks, and 1960’s inspired decor. The band “Messenger” will play live music from the 1960s to the present day, and we’ll dance and celebrate into the night with Alden guests and supporters who’ve become a part of the family.

Want to join us for our 50th Anniversary Celebration on  November 9th?

Now you can win a free trip, including two nights at the Alden, a $500 Southwest Airlines gift card, and tickets to the big bash. All you have to do is share a story about your Alden Suites vacation.

If you want to make SURE you can be here for the party, there’s still time to book your weekend at the Alden to celebrate our big anniversary? We’re offering a 25% discount for bookings from November 8-10 for the big party weekend. There are fewer than 30 rooms still available, so make your reservations now!

St. Pete Beach Things to Do in May 2019

Summer is here and there’s no better place to spend the season than St. Pete Beach! From Mamma Mia! to Cinco De Mayo, May is the month to celebrate and soak up the sun. When you stay at Alden Suites, you not only get the beaches of St. Pete Beach, but also the cultural and foodie fun of St. Petersburg. It’s the best of both worlds!

Shuffleboard St. Pete

Every Friday

Join the fun at the world’s largest shuffleboard club! Free every Friday night from 7-11 p.m., locals and visitors alike flock to the St. Pete Shuffleboard Club. Brush up on your shuffle board skills to smoke the competition when you play at our very own court here at the Alden!

https://stpeteshuffle.com/

Mamma Mia

May 1st -12th

May 1st through May 12th, the magic of American Stage in the Park and the timeless pop-hit songs of ABBA come together in this up-beat musical set on a tropical Greek Island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. This enchanting tale of love, laughter, family and friendship features a large cast, non-stop laughs and explosive dance numbers for an unforgettable night under the stars!

https://americanstage.org/park/

Casa Tina Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

May 5th

Every year, Casa Tina blocks off Dunedin’s Main Street for their annual Cinco de Mayo fiesta! Enjoy delicious Mexican food prepared by Casa Tina. Mariachi music fills the air, colorful dancers grace the stage, and salsa lessons begin to prep the crowd for the upcoming dance party. Celebrate Cinco with this free event 7 – 11 p.m. 

https://www.casatinas.com/single-post.html#post2

The American Athletic Conference Baseball Championship

May 21st- 26th

The American Athletic Conference Baseball Championship returns to Spectrum field May 21st through the 26th for this round-robin style baseball tournament. There’s no better way to kick off the summer than with an exciting ballgame!

http://www.theamerican.org/sports/2018/12/19/2019BSBChampCentral.aspx

Clearwater Arts Festival

May 25th-26th  

Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend by jamming out to this two-day music festival happening on Clearwater’s beautiful waterfront of Coachman Park! Enjoy live music by a lineup of national recording artists, fine art displays and dozens of fun attractions. The best part? Admission is free! Happening May 25th to the 26th from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

 https://clearwaterartsfestival.com/

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

Alden Suites Beachfront Resort Celebrates 50 Years with a New Mural Painted by Pinellas County Students

Here at the Alden, we love to support the arts, and our Director of Community Relations, Mary Ann Renfrow, came up with an exciting idea to celebrate the Alden’s 50th anniversary of ownership by the Renfrow family. She connected with Brian McAllister, a talented muralist who leads a group of students from the Gibbs High School Mural Club. The newly renovated Alden Suites bungalows provided a perfect canvas for a new art piece to celebrate the past, present and future of the Alden.

This club is a community outreach mural program designed to provide local businesses with quality murals while showing students how to have a positive impact through art. Brian was excited for the opportunity to brighten up our historic resort on St. Pete Beach.

The process began in January of this year, as Brian met with the Alden team onsite to discuss designs and make plans. The team decided on a vintage postcard design celebrating the early years of the Alden and decided to paint the mural on the side of one of the Alden bungalows that faces the central pool area.

Mary Ann Renfrow chose some special elements to honor longtime guests of Alden Suites, including a painting of Cayanne, a sweet dog who lit up the Alden for over 15 years of visits with the Green family from St. Louis. The artists also included an image of a boy hanging in a palm tree, in homage to the Snelson family who won the #ALDENWOW50 photo contest this year.

Once the design was finalized, Brian drew the outlines on the side of the building. Then the students got to work, filling in large blocks of color first, then adding in details. The process of painting the mural took several weeks, and Alden guests were delighted to watch the progress, both in person at the resort and online through social media.

Sue Castleman, PreK-12 Visual Arts Specialist at Pinellas County Schools says: “I think the mural really represents what the Alden was looking for to celebrate their anniversary, and what’s really special is that we’ve involved our students from Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School. It’s interesting that it’s young children, our students that are painting this mural that represents 50 years for the Alden. It helps them in their experience as a working artist, to see what artists have to do, and helps them learn about how to look at something and represent it historically.”

On April 5, 2019, local St. Pete Beach dignitaries gathered with students, parents and the Alden Suites team to celebrate the unveiling of the new mural. The students were so proud to share the beautiful result of their weeks of hard work, and the Alden shared it in a Facebook live stream with thousands of viewers from across the nation. 

Al Johnson, Mayor of St. Pete Beach, says it best: “The Alden is part of St. Pete Beach and that mural fits. It’s perfect for the Alden, it’s perfect for the area, it’s perfect for the city. It’s absolutely wonderful.”

#ALDENWOW50 Contest Launches the Alden’s 50 Years Of WOW Celebration!

2019 is a banner year for us here at the Alden Suites Beachfront Resort. Fifty years after Robert and Gennifer Renfrow purchased a small beachfront motel called the Alden, this year the Alden Suites Beachfront Resort celebrates its 50-year anniversary of ownership by the Renfrow family. Over the past five decades the property has grown exponentially, with two new all-suite towers and several top-to-bottom renovations. It has evolved from a small motel into a full-scale beachfront family resort with two pools, a hot tub, two tennis courts, and a Cabana Beach Bar.

To commemorate this major milestone the Alden Suites Beachfront Resort has launched a year-long Golden Anniversary campaign that invites our guests to celebrate the many things they love about the Alden. The 50th Anniversary celebration begins in January 2019, and continues throughout the year, with a different element each month. Giveaways, charity highlights, contests, and exclusive vacation packages will bring the fun to each and every Alden guest, and to our local St. Pete Beach community.

And to kick it all off, we’re inviting YOU to participate in our #ALDENWOW50 Contest. Between January 4 and February 28, 2019, we are holding a contest for the best #ALDENWOW50 photo. The winner will receive a two-night stay at the Alden, a sunset sail on the Compass Rose from Dolphin Landing, dinner at Snappers Sea Grill, and their image on the Alden mural.

Past and present guests are invited to join the #ALDENWOW50 contest by sharing photos and memories gathered during any stay at the Alden Suites Beachfront Resort and tagging them with #ALDENWOW50. We’d especially like to see photos from years gone by, to show the history of our guests’ vacations at the Alden.

Select user photos will be shared on the brand’s social media channels, in a display in the Alden Suites reception area, and in a video at the 50th Anniversary celebration. One family will be chosen to be included in our commemorative mural painting, becoming a part of Alden history for all to see. If you’re not active on social media but you want to engage in the celebration, feel free to email photos or videos to the Alden team at info@aldenwow.com. We are so excited to see your photos, and will be sharing more news soon about the big #ALDENWOW50 celebrations!