Win an Alden Vacation and a Trip to the NEW Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center!

Have you visited St. Petersburg’s new Pier yet? Not only is it a fabulous dining and entertainment district, but it’s also the home to the brand-new Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center! Developed and operated by Tampa Bay Watch, a non-profit founded in 1993, the Discovery Center tells you the story of Tampa Bay’s vast and complex estuary — its history and recovery, and Tampa Bay Watch’s pivotal role in that effort. Next time you’re here at the Alden, make plans to take a short drive to downtown St. Pete and check out our newest attraction.

The Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center is the place to go for an entertaining, hands-on experience. We ALL love the Tampa Bay beaches, and there’s a reason why our water is so clear and our sand is so pure and white. Find out all you need to know about Tampa Bay’s unique ecosystem, right in the middle of it all! Tampa Bay Watch has been working for over 30 years to clean up our shorelines, and they do it in very unique ways. The Discovery Center’s Estuary Habitat and Touch Tank are key to understanding how the whole ecosystem works together- showcasing a variety of species found in Tampa Bay waters.

If you’re looking for a rainy-day family outing in St. Pete, the Discovery Center is just the ticket.  But the Discovery Center is not strictly an indoor experience. They also have a cool “wet classroom” with an amphitheater-style observation deck that hosts outdoor demonstrations.

The Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center is a perfect family activity for visitors to St. Pete Beach, and it also plays host to a variety of fun and educational events. Science Saturdays, Squid Encounters, and Adult Trivia nights are just a few of the featured activities that visitors to the Discovery Center can look forward to in the coming months. Click here to see all the fun coming your way!

The Alden is a proud sponsor of Tampa Bay Watch, having donated tens of thousands of dollars to the nonprofit over the last few years. We’re so excited to finally have a concrete way for our guests to experience the Watch’s vital work for themselves. That’s why we’re offering a special contest to award one lucky family with a Family Fun Day at the Discovery Center!

AND NOW, IT’S YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

We’re teaming up with the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center to give away an amazing prize. Here’s how to enter:

On Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, share a photo or two of how YOUR family helps keep our planet healthy. Whether it’s recycling at home, picking up trash, drinking from reusable water bottles, or volunteering with a local environmental group, we want to see what you’re up to! Make sure to use the hashtags #dawnofdiscovery #aldenwow and #aldendiscovery and to post publicly so we can see your picture!

We will pick one person to win a Family Fun Day gift basket that will include these two adorable plushies, a Tampa Bay Watch hat, 4 Tampa Bay Watch bandannas, a family 4-pack of tickets to the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center, and a 2-night stay at the Alden.

Mary Ann Renfrow, the Alden’s Director of Community Relations, will announce the contest winner LIVE on Facebook on Monday, September 28. So get to saving the planet and sharing your stories today!

Educational Activities for Kids in St. Pete Beach and the Tampa Bay Area

Summer is coming to an end which means the school year is starting back up. Whether your kids are going back to the classroom or continuing to learn from home, education is about to take priority once again. However, their learning doesn’t have to end with the syllabus. The Tampa Bay area has tons of affordable, educational activities that are fun for the whole family and the perfect supplement to any child’s curriculum! Here are our top six picks for the best educational activities in the area.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Meet the star of the hit movie, Dolphin Tale, Winter, and learn about her inspiring story of survival after losing her tail to injury at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Educational presentations, games and exhibits allow you to the chance to observe nurse sharks, say hello to North American river otters, get up close and personal with a sea turtle and even participate in stingray feedings. Also, be sure to walk through Shipwreck Alley and its underwater viewing tunnel. This unique natural attraction invites you to view, touch and experience the biology and behavior of the wonderful marine life that call Planet Earth home.

Great Explorations Children’s Museum

Let your kids’ creativity and imagination run wild at the Great Explorations Children’s Museum. This kid-friendly museum invites your children to build with various materials and discover their inner architect, play a life-sized game of operation in the medical area, treat stuffed animals in the veterinary clinic, learn how to grow vegetables, shop in a kid-sized supermarket, act like a newscaster at a miniature TV news desk and watch live shows with music and dance. The various art, science, tech and health exhibits—all designed to be touched, moved and explored—are sure to stretch their mental muscles, test wits and fire up their imaginations.

Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center

Welcome to The Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center, where visitors to the St. Pete Pier mix fun and learning. Developed and operated by Tampa Bay Watch, a non-profit founded in 1993, the Discovery Center tells you the story of Tampa Bay’s vast and complex estuary — its history and recovery, and the organization’s pivotal role in that effort. Along with an exhibit gallery, they offer a state-of-the-art classroom that accommodates school field trips and programs for students of all ages. But the Discovery Center is not strictly an indoor experience. The “wet classroom” offers larger outdoor demonstrations and lectures. It’s bordered by walkways and railings and includes an amphitheater-style observation deck. Have fun while you save the Bay!

Weedon Island Preserve

This 3,190-acre nature preserve is comprised of aquatic and upland ecosystems and is the perfect place to have an outdoor adventure without all the crowds. Rent a backpack—which includes maps to boardwalks and trails, field guides for identifying native plants and animals and suggested activities—and spend an afternoon walking along its boardwalks through its tidal flats and mangrove forests. You can even rent a kayak or canoe to explore the aquatic habitats up close. Be sure to visit the educational center where you can learn about the indigenous people who lived on the land for thousands of years.

Salvador Dali Museum

Considered one of the most important museums in all of Florida, the Salvador Dali Museum features the world’s most comprehensive collection of Dali’s work—including 94 oils, 200 watercolors and drawings and 1,000 graphics, sculptures and objets d’art. This kid-friendly gallery with an outdoor waterfront garden gives visitors of all ages the chance to appreciate the uniqueness that is Salvador Dali. Let your imagination run wild as you learn all about Surrealism and participate in a fun self-guided scavenger hunt to learn about the museum’s highlights while admiring Dali’s impressive masterpieces.

ZooTampa at Lowry Park

One of the top three zoos of its size in North America (and only a 30-minute drive from St. Pete Beach), Lowry Park Zoo features more than 1,500 animals representing 350 exotic species across 60 acres. The family-friendly encounters range from manatees to tigers, monkeys to rhinos and African elephants to koalas. Kids will be sure to delight in feeding giraffes treats from a feeding plateau and touching stingrays, as well as hopping on the jungle safari ride through the animal exhibits, feeding playful goats, and watching one of their engaging educational shows.

Alligator Attraction & Wildlife Learning Center

Have your kids ever snuggled a sloth? They can, while learning about local and exotic wildlife, at the Alligator Attraction, just 10 minutes from the Alden in John’s Pass. The Wildlife Center frequently hosts local students for field trips, and they offer special educational programs throughout the year. Their animals are pet surrenders and orphaned native wildlife that can not be returned safely to the wild. The facility is home to a little over 180 animals including alligators, lizards, pigs, skunks, guinea pigs, rabbits, snakes, sloths, fish, and more.

Sunken Gardens If you want to show your kids how to find tranquility and take a break from the fast-paced bustle of the city, look no further than the city’s oldest living museum, the Sunken Gardens. Stroll through four acres of winding paths and see an exotic collection of more than 50,000 tropical flowers and plants—including some of the oldest tropical plants in the region. This 100-year old garden is home to cascading waterfalls and hidden groves that are sure to help generate calm and relaxed feelings. Call to inquire about their private garden tours and horticultural programs.

As you can see, family field trip opportunities are plentiful here in the Tampa Bay area. We always welcome families here at the Alden, so if you’re choosing online education, why not consider taking a week-long trip here to St. Pete Beach and take your home-school on the road! Our suites have nice big tables for schoolwork and we have excellent wi-fi service. We will be happy to welcome your family here for educational enrichment, a change of pace, and plenty of FUN!

Spa Experiences in St. Pete Beach

After all of those months of being cooped up at home, we know you’ve missed the beach. We’re so happy to welcome you back to the Alden, and we want to make your vacation spectacular. Don’t you think it’s time to treat yourself to a spa retreat? Whether you’re coming on a girl’s trip, a bachelorette party, preparing for a wedding, or just taking a little ‘me time’ away from the family during your St. Pete Beach vacation, a day spa is just the ticket. Here are some of our favorite salons and spas in St. Pete Beach to make you say ‘aaaahhhh’.

Alyssa’s Salon

If you’re wondering the secret behind Alden Suites’ Director of Community Relations Mary Ann Renfrow’s always amazing hair, we’ll clue you in: she goes to Alyssa’s. Alyssa’s is a family-owned and operated Goldwell salon located on Gulf Blvd St. Pete Beach, Florida. They specialize in custom hair colors and highlights and can create intricate updos for wedding parties. They also do manicures and pedicures, so it’s a one-stop beauty shop within a short drive of the Alden. Give them a call to make a reservation in advance for your wedding and special occasion needs!

Gulf Beaches Therapeutic Massage

 At Gulf Beaches Therapeutic Massage your wellness is their priority.  This is the place to go for a serious athletic massage that’s focused on intense therapy. Located on Gulf Boulevard near Corey Avenue, it’s a relaxing space focused on healing and wellness. If you’re in need of a natural, safe and effective way to relieve pain, improve flexibility, or simply unwind after a stressful day, their Licensed Therapists will create a massage that draws on a range of techniques to relieve pain and restore balance throughout your body.  They offer a wide variety of massages to accommodate each client’s individual needs:  Swedish Relaxation, Deep Tissue, Neuromuscular Therapy, Trigger Point Therapy, Athletic Massage, Hot Stone Massage, Bamboo Massage, Aromatherapy, and Manual Lymphatic Drainage.

Hawaii Nail and Spa

Located in the Blind Pass Marina shopping center, this bright and fun salon is another Mary Ann Renfrow beauty secret. It’s always cheerful inside and impeccably clean. The nail technicians are friendly and VERY meticulous about making your fingers and toes shining and beautiful. Hawaii Nails does amazing SNS nails, gel nails, acrylics, shellac nails, and OPI spa pedicures. Feel beautiful after a day of pampering at Hawaii!

Lemon Tree Spa

Lemon Tree Spa is located just a few blocks north of the Alden, on the corner of Corey Avenue and they sure are a good neighbor!  Their team of consummate professionals provides a peaceful atmosphere to relax the mind and renew the body. This St. Pete Beach day spa provides a variety of customized massage options, including Relaxation Massage, Couples Massage, Reflexology, Pregnancy Massage, Deep Tissue Massage

Don’t miss the Gua Sha Facial. This facial uses an ancient technique that restores and enhances the health of your skin. Rose quartz and jade stones work together to stimulate the lymphatic system to flush toxins while naturally lifting and contouring the muscles of your face. This facial minimizes wrinkles/fine lines, reduces puffiness for entire face as well as under the eyes, and increases oxygen to your skin leaving it naturally glowing. You will see immediate results after one facial.

London Hair and Spa

London Hair and Spa is a full-service salon and spa that provides each client with a personalized experience during each visit. Located on historic Corey Avenue in the heart of St. Pete Beach, London Hair & Spa offers an elegant environment and uplifting salon and spa experience. Check them out for special occasion blowouts, wedding updos, and other beauty services to help you look and feel your best.

Paradise Spa

Located in Madeira Beach, just a few miles north of the Alden, this blissful spot has it all. The outside strip-mall entrance offers no clue to the relaxing oasis that lies inside. It’s a very spacious spa, with a variety of serene treatment rooms that offer a myriad of services. Their pricing is quite affordable and the atmosphere is always relaxing.  Our Alden team went to try them out and loved everything about this place. Their massages and facials are professional and effective, but the thing that blew us all away was the Hydrotherapy bath. It’s an optional add-on to any service and the experience is absolute bliss. Bubbles super-oxygenate the water to remove impurities from the body, while a series of super-powerful jets massage away every ounce of tension. The bath is perfect for relieving aches and pain and it leaves you floating on a cloud!

Tranquility Wellness Spa
Centrally located in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, this small-multifaceted spa offers a host of services for the body, face, nails and psyche. This is the perfect place to try unique treatments like reflexology, Reiki or even deep-tissue Ashiastu where the therapist is suspended from the ceiling and uses only her feet to knead out your aches and pains. They also offer add-ons, such as the Velvet Soft Body Scrub or the Extra Head and Scalp Massage with Warm Oil. Additionally, make sure to hit up the new co-ed steam room, which is free with any massage or facial service, as well as the gift boutique for specialty products from Decleor Paris that let you take the spa experience home with you. Leave your worries behind as soon as you trade your shoes for comfortable spa flip flops at the front door.

We hope these spa and salon suggestions will help you plan a perfect St. Pete Beach vacation. We sure did have fun researching them for you! If you know of another great relaxation experience near the Alden, feel free to let us know in the comments.

Things to Do in St. Pete Beach: December 2019

It’s the most wonderful time of the year here at Alden Suites! And there’s no better place to spend it than at the beach! Here are some of the events that will make your holiday season superb in and around St. Pete Beach.

Busch Gardens Christmas Town

December 1st– January 6th

December 1st  through 31st  head to Busch Gardens for some great thrill rides and to see the park transform into a holiday wonderland of Christmastime entertainment, holiday shopping, and more than a million twinkling lights!

https://buschgardens.com/tampa/events/christmas-town/

Florida Holiday Boat Parades

All December

Here in St. Pete Beach, boat parades are a treasured tradition. Take a look at all the Florida boat parades taking place this December and make plans to join in the fun!

https://www.floridabywater.com/welcome/1647-boat-parades-

Holiday Lights in the Gardens

December 1st– January 4th

This season, escape into a wonderland of twinkling lights and fun entertainment! The annual “Holiday Lights in the Gardens” is back December 1st  through Jan 4th! Over 1 million LED lights are shining throughout the Florida Botanical Gardens highlighting their plants and in nature-themed or holiday-themed light displays. This is a family-friendly event with nightly entertainment, including visits with Santa. The event begins at 5:30 pm and a $5 suggested donation is encouraged for entry.

Winter Wonderland at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium

December 1st– January 6th

Join the Clearwater Marine Aquarium for a splashing great holiday celebration! Watch as the aquarium transforms into Winter’s Wonderland December 1st through Jan. 6. Experience Winter’s Wonderland with lights and décor all around, see the holiday-themed habitats, enjoy the kids’ fun zone in the 3rd-floor classrooms and learn about penguins and polar bears, and watch special Santa dive presentations at Mavis’s Rescue Hideaway. https://www.seewinter.com/event/winters-wonderland-2019/

St. Pete Beach Drive & Wine Tour

December 1st-10th

December 1st  through 10th  explore the beautiful waterfront Beach Drive neighborhood via the 3- hour St. Pete Beach Drive & Wine Tour. The tour meets at The Vinoy Hotel the “Grand Dame” of downtown St. Pete and while sipping a signature cocktail we explore this spectacular historic resort. The tour continues to The Birchwood Inn & Locale Market for wine and food pairing. Up next we visit Flute & Dram for a taste of the good life with a champagne and caviar tasting. Finale desserts and coffee at Cassis St. Pete.

https://www.tampabayfoodtours.com/st-pete-beach-drive-dine-wine-tour/

Tampa Bay Beaches Festival of Trees

December 7th

Join the Tampa Bay Beaches Festival of Trees! Get in the holiday spirit and support the community with your family. Bid on your favorite Christmas tree to spruce up your home or business, while enjoying a winter wonderland of fun!

https://web.tampabaybeaches.com/events/Festival-of-Trees-5787/details

North Straub Park Snowfest

December 8th

Sixty-five tons of snow are expected to fall in North Straub Park at the annual holiday Snowfest celebration. Join the fake snow fun December 8th  from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Activities include a big and kiddie toboggan slide, art tent, karaoke, moonwalks, giant slide, “glice” ice skating, and a Kiddyland area designed especially for pre-schoolers with inflatable train, cookie decorating and more! #SundayFunday http://www.stpeteparksrec.org/holidayevents/?fbclid=IwAR0e35mR4Fj1HBw_XdJQ0MooiZSfZE2CLSHFlG980YREdcpEX51aR3rtxrg

1st Annual Gulfport Santa Rampage

December 14th

Twas 11 days before Christmas and all through our ‘hood, the Santas were partying and up to no good. Grab your best Santa costume and come to Gulfport with all of your Christmas spirit for our 1st Annual Gulfport Santa Rampage! Get your Creative Claus on and get ready to elf things up as we take over the town and paint it red. For more info visit the events page here. https://www.facebook.com/events/2627068487336849/  

Gulfport Christmas Boat Parade

December 14th

December 14th  at 6 pm, enjoy the 34th Annual Gulfport Lighted Christmas Boat Parade! Each year, we all come together to spread holiday joy by decking the hulls and heading out on Boca Ciega Bay to parade. Don’t miss this treasured Florida tradition. https://sailbcyc.org/ChristmasBoatParade

First Night St Petersburg

December 31st

First Night St Petersburg is our area’s only family-friendly New Year’s Eve, Community Celebration of the Arts and each year they ring in the New Year with eight hours of music, dance, aerial arts, silent disco, fire, bubble stompin’, puppets, aerial art, creative fun, fireworks a scavenger hunt and so much more! This awesome event goes from 12 pm to 12 am so stop by anytime to ring in 20202!

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

Four Fine Dining Restaurants You Can Walk to from the Alden!

Staying at Alden Suites you have already made the wise choice of being comfortable, taken care of and you’ll still have a vacation budget to indulge. We want to make sure you enjoy whichever occasion you’re celebrating with us, and that you eat well! We’d love to share some of our favorite restaurants for your special dinner out and they are all within a mile of Alden Suites! Alden Suites is conveniently located on the beach with lots of choices for shopping, dining out and entertainment, but if you’re looking for something a little more special, we’ve got you covered! If you’re finding it hard to celebrate a special meal that doesn’t feel like you fell into a tourist trap with a menu that’s mostly fried, we suggest these 4 amazing restaurants to indulge and escape from the ordinary.

Snappers Sea Grill

Right across the street from the Alden is a wonderfully romantic restaurant called Snappers. The romantic ambiance and personalized service at Snappers set the scene for a truly special meal. Snappers is famed for their stuffed grouper, dry aged steaks, and blue tuna appetizer, and we’re totally addicted to their hand-cut fried zucchini sticks! Don’t forget to try their house-made desserts, the perfect accompaniment to a delicious celebration!

Fetishes Dining & Wine Bar

Fetishes offers an intimate and cozy setting with tableside service that makes the whole experience like no other. They have a garden out back where guests can see the fresh herbs used to make their meals. With dishes like duck a l’orange, steak Diane (cooked tableside) and their famous crab cakes accompanied by a thoughtfully selected and reasonably priced wine list, we know you’ll enjoy your night out!

Seared 1200 Chophouse

If the way to your love’s heart is steak, Seared 1200 Chophouse holds the key. Set in a refurbished 1940’s home along the intercoastal waterway just across the street from the Alden, 1200 Chophouse elevates steak to an art form, with incredible side dishes and a wine list to match. The flavor combinations and presentation will have you visually stimulated while you savor every bite! The truffle fries with gouda dipping sauce and seared duck breast are not to be missed. .

Sola Bistro and Wine Bar

Sola’s warm, quaint and comfortable atmosphere is cozy and intimate, perfect for a romantic evening out. The creative and passionately prepared dishes and attentive service offer a first-class dining experience. Ranging from unique dishes for the area like rabbit and venison and more traditional meals including pork belly and grouper, the menu offers a wide variety for everyone to enjoy. Romantic setting, amazing wine selection, and live music make for the perfect date night or celebration dinner, but we highly recommend you do NOT skip dessert here! Their famous honeycomb cake is a dish no one should leave St. Pete Beach without trying!

We hope you have a fabulous night out and indulge in a fine dining experience to complete your special stay with us. It’s great to live the no shoes, no shirt, no problem lifestyle, but if you’re looking to snazz it up a bit, all these phenomenal restaurants are all less than a mile away! It’s your vacation, why not enjoy the best of both worlds? Bon Appétit!

Alden Suites Historical Milestones… 50 Years of WOW!

We’ve been taking a trip in the Way-Back Machine to learn more about the history of Alden Suites, as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary of ownership by the Renfrow family. Digging through files of old advertisements, postcards, and newsletters has uncovered so many fun photos and historical treasures. We’d like to share a trip back in time through Alden history for those who want to know a little more about how the Alden came to be the beautiful resort that she is today.

1954 Alden Suites Beachfront Resort was born when the original owner/developer (name unknown) began constructing 40 cottage-style units on nearly three acres of Gulf front land along St. Pete Beach in unincorporated Pinellas County. Gulf Boulevard was a two-lane road with no sidewalks.
1955 – The original Alden Motel opens.

1962-1963 – The original developer/owner adds 27 units, now called the “Bermuda Building.”
1957 – St. Pete Beach officially becomes The City of St. Pete Beach.
1965 – Gilbert Fortune purchases the Alden. Gilbert also owned the Normandy Hotel and the Odyssey Hotel, just south of the Alden, which ultimately became the Tradewinds Resort. Fortune adds another 20 Gulf front units in early 1969, now called the “Lanai Building.”
1969 – Robert P. Renfrow, his wife, Gennifer, and Dr. Sydney Nathans purchase the 91-unit Alden Motel & Apartments from Fortune.
1973 – Renfrow buys out Nathans and brings in his brother in law, Robert Featherstone, as a new investor /owner. Renfrow then buys what was two acres of vacant land immediately adjacent and to the north of the Alden property, for a whopping $200,000. (Two acres of Gulf front land on St. Pete Beach now sells for $3 to $4 million per acre!) Renfrow hires a husband-wife management team to live on property and run the day-to-day business. Eventually, they buy into the ownership group.


1978-81 – Renfrow develops a new, six story, 42-unit all-suite building on the newly-purchased land, in phases: three stories in 1978 and the additional three stories in 1981.
1984-1985 – Renfrow demolishes almost all of the remaining cottage-style units, develops the six story, 45-unit “Nassau Building,” and adds a second swimming pool, two elevated tennis courts with parking below. The resulting unit count is now up to 144 units, with all but five being “suites,” spanning 4.84 acres of Gulf front land.

1995 – The Cabana Beach Bar is added, along with the Fountain Court Conference Room, two new hot tubs, and the BBQ grill deck.
2001 – Robert Renfrow passes away at just 72 years old after a battle with cancer. Prior to his death, he names his son, R. Gary Renfrow, age 42 years old at that time, as the new president of Alden Enterprises,Inc. Gary Renfrow had spent his entire adult life working in the hotel franchising and development industry, as well as with an international accounting firm that specialized in hotel market feasibility studies and hotel operational consulting.2003 – Gary Renfrow hires Anthony “Tony” Satterfield as the new General Manager. Satterfield is eventually promoted to Vice President of Operations and a Corporate Officer.
2012-2013 – A new 12-person hot tub is added, and the Snappers Oasis Food Trailer opens for business.

2015 – Gennifer Renfrow passes away. The new majority owners become Gary and his wife, Mary Ann, and his two sisters, Leigh Renfrow and Jennie Renfrow.
Alden Suites Beachfront Resort earns the coveted TripAdvisor® Award of Excellence.
2017 – TripAdvisor®’s Travelers’ Choice Awards recognition.


2018 – The ownership team completes a comprehensive gutting, renovation and conversion of the remaining original cottage units into seven all-new beautifully appointed beach bungalows.

-and-

2019 – The Alden Suites Beachfront Resort celebrates 50 years of ownership by the Renfrow family with a year-long #ALDENWOW50 celebration!

We’d love to hear more tales of the old days from our guests who’ve been coming for decades to spend vacations here at the Alden. Please leave your memories here in the comments. And don’t forget to post your photos on social media using the #ALDENWOW50 hashtag to win prizes all year long!

St. Pete Beach Things to Do in November 2018

We’re so thankful for all the fun events lined up for the Thanksgiving season in St. Pete Beach. We’re hitting that magical time of year when it’s an absolute joy to be outside: bright sunny skies, not too humid, with soft ocean breezes.  Festival season is upon us, plus we have a marathon and lots of holiday shopping opportunities. Start the holiday season right here at the Alden Suites Resort in St. Pete Beach.

 

Clearwater Beach Uncorked

November 3 – 4

 

Every year foodies flock to Clearwater Beach for Uncorked. The food and wine festival hosted right on Clearwater Beach is a truly unique gastronomic experience. All guests will receive a limited-edition wine glass, custom tote bag and enjoy the Grand Tasting Village with unlimited tastings from 1 to 4 p.m.  Join the festivities at Clearwater Beach from 1 – 4 p.m. on November 3rd through 4th!

http://clearwaterbeachuncorked.com/2018/ 

 

The Sponge Docks Seafood Festival

November 9 – 11

Tarpon Springs is famous not only for the world’s finest sponges, but also for some of the best Greek restaurants, markets, and bakeries in the country. This three-day outdoor festival will feature tons of fresh local seafood to tempt your taste buds, an art & craft show with up to 60 local and regional artists selling their work, continuous live music, unique retail shops and complimentary festivities for the whole family.

https://www.facebook.com/SpongeDocksSeafood/

 

Ribfest

November 9-11

Ribfest is a charity fundraiser that helps a variety of youth-oriented causes, and the festival celebrates its 30th year in 2018. They’re offering a special $5 admission deal on Friday, November 9. The 3-day festival at Vinoy Park draws the big names in BBQ and music. It features the best BBQ ribbers in the world and great musical artists such as Fire & Ice, Josh Turner, Los Lonely Boys, and the Barenaked Ladies. Stop by for rockin’ ribs and helpin’ kids!

https://ribfest.org/

 

Turkey Trot

November 22

This Thanksgiving why not make plans to participate in the Turkey Trot? It’s the largest running event in the Tampa Bay area with more than 17,000 runners burning off their Thanksgiving indulgences in advance, early on Thanksgiving morning. There’s a race for every skill level, so you can bring the whole family and enjoy. Just remember to register in advance so your t-shirt will be ready for you. It’s the 40th anniversary of the Turkey Trot this year, so it’s sure to be a fun run!

http://www.tampabay.com/marketing/turkey-trot/

 

Tarpon Springs Art & Craft Festival

Nov 14 & 25

 

On the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving, celebrate Small Business Saturday by shopping local for your gift-giving needs. Kick off your holiday shopping over Thanksgiving weekend at the Tarpon Springs Art & Craft Festival. You’ll find folk art, pottery, paintings, wearable art, personalized gifts, handmade lotions and scrubs and so much more. It’s a great way to discover unique gifts and treasures from local shops, and stuff your family’s stockings with treasures they’ll truly enjoy.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1007993162711260/

St. Pete Beach is the place to be for cool events and sunny days this November. We hope you’ll make plans to join us here at Alden Suites very soon!

 

St. Pete Beach Things to Do – September 2018 Edition!

September has Started! School is back in session but that doesn’t mean you can’t relax by the beach, and it’s a nice, uncrowded time of year to be here. Train rides, markets, boat races, and a bridal show are just a few of the great St. Pete Beach things to do this September.

Free Ride on the Largo Central Railroad

September 2

All aboard! Take a free train ride around Largo Central Park today! The modeled to scale locomotives pull you and your family along a mile-long loop through great scenery, a spooky tunnel, and a waterfall pond. http://www.lcrailroad.com/

Busch Gardens Bier Fest

Every Weekend ending September 16

Busch Gardens’ newest event, Bier Fest is happening every weekend through September 16! Savor this food and beer celebration featuring more than 100 beers from 60 different breweries around the world.

https://buschgardens.com/tampa/events/bier-fest/

Night Market St Pete

September 20th

Shop under the stars at St. Pete’s largest night market yet! Located in the Warehouse Arts District next to 3 Daughters Brewing, enjoy eats, beats, art and drinks from some of St. Pete’s finest vendors!

https://www.facebook.com/events/474284286340345/

 

Sunken Gardens Bridal Show

September 23rd

Is there a bride in your life? Planning a wedding someday soon? You might want to visit the Sunken Gardens today for the 2018 Bridal Show! We predict free cake 😉

https://www.eventbrite.com/o/bridal-shows-in-st-petersburg-fl-4794086327

The Clearwater Super Boat National Championship

September 28-30th

The 10th annual Super Boat International race is coming to town. Many beach-going spectators enjoy the races from Clearwater Beaches powder white sugar sand, others take advantage of the VIP watch parties from the comfort of sponsor hotels, restaurants, and condos throughout the island.

From race team meet and greets to our super boat parade and one of a kind Clearwater Beach cuisine, this year’s 2018 Festival is guaranteed to be bigger better and faster than ever!

https://www.clearwatersuperboat.com/

St. Pete Beach is the place to be for cool events and sunny days this September. We hope you’ll make plans to join us here at Alden Suites very soon!

 

Where to go Shopping in St. Pete Beach

One of the great pleasures of a St. Pete Beach vacation (or really any vacation) is SHOPPING! You’ve got to bring something cool back to friends and family back home, and it’s nice to have a little souvenir to remember your trip. We love shopping for home décor, art, and jewelry while on vacation, since those are things we can keep around and use all the time, to remember our travels! We’ve got some insider tips on the very best shopping in St. Pete Beach, so you can hunt for the very best treasures in town.

A Little Room for Art


This adorable little pink shop perches on a corner just a block from the beach in Pass-A-Grille, the historic section of St. Pete Beach. A Little Room for Art is run by a juried cooperative of 25 artists who collaborate to sell their creations. Our guests love having this opportunity to purchase original works of art directly from the artists at moderate prices. We always make a point of stopping in to discover the ever-changing collection of artwork!

http://www.alittleroomforart.gallery/

Bamboozle and Bamboozle etc.

Our friends at TripAdvisor highly recommended Bamboozle, so we had to go check it out. This pair of stores anchors the block in Pass-A-Grille, offering an attractively displayed array of clothing, home goods, art, and souvenirs. Bamboozle is the go-to place for contemporary beachwear. They have the latest natural fabric fashions from popular brands like Fresh Produce Sportswear, Flax, Johnny Was and Luna Luz.

http://www.bamboozlepassagrille.com

Freaky Tiki Surf Shack

Forget those beachwear superstores with racks of overpriced cheap swimwear and mass-produced plastic souvenirs. You can do better! Just walk a couple blocks south to Freaky Tiki Surf Shack. It’s housed in a historic 1920’s home that Freaky Tiki Surf Shack lovingly restored with 100% salvaged materials. And everything there is designed and produced locally, right here in the Tampa Bay area. They only make 48 of each garment, with no repetition, when you wear Freaky Tiki, you’re an original. You’ll find cool surf clothes and fun t-shirts in soft fabrics and modern designs. Don’t miss the $15-and-under rack in the back- so many amazing deals to discover!

https://www.freaky-tiki.com/

Island Time Design


We’ve got another perfect way to take your beach lifestyle home with you- buy a colorful St. Pete-made custom Adirondack chair! Island Time Design custom crafts high-quality outdoor furniture both in their signature bright shades and in sports team colors. Comfy and durable, these chairs will put you in an island state of mind wherever you may live!

https://islandtimedesign.com

We hope you’ll try out some of our local shops on your next St. Pete Beach vacation, and make sure to show us what treasures you discover! Did we miss any of your favorite places to shop in St. Pete Beach? Feel free to chime in below in the comments, we’re always looking for great ideas to share with our guests!

St. Pete Beach Things to do… June 2018 Edition!

Summer is here! We love this time of year, when families gather for reunions, getaways, and vacations here at the Alden. We totally can’t blame you if you just want to hang out at the Cabana Bar with Chris and Dave, but if just in case you’d like to go exploring, we’ve got a month full of festivals, boat races, art and music on deck for our Alden Suites visitors. Here are some of our top picks for June 2018 in St. Pete Beach!

 

June 1-5

St. Petersburg Opera: Verdi’s La Traviata

Verdi pulled out all the dramatic stops for this romantic tale of Violetta and Alfredo. It’s one of the ten most popular operas of all time for very good reasons. Performed at St. Pete’s Hough Hall, the Palladium’s 850-seat mainstage performance space, which blends nearly-perfect acoustics with history-rich ambiance.

https://www.mypalladium.org/st-petersburg-opera-verdis-la-traviata/

June 2

Tampa Bay Rowdies v. Atlanta United

Come on out and watch Tampa Bay’s own pro soccer team, the Tampa Bay Rowdies, taking on Atlanta United at Al Lang Stadium in Downtown St. Pete. Mascot Pete the Pelican will be waiting for you to cheer the team together!

https://www.rowdiessoccer.com/

June 8-10

Opa! Palooza

Celebrate Greek heritage and culture at the Opa! Palooza Greek Festival, being held at the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks. Enjoy food, pastries, music including a ‘Battle of the Bands,’ artists and craftsmen vendors, and more (all Greek-style, of course!).

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/opa-palooza-greek-festival-tickets-45772765574

June 16-17

2018 SuperStock USA Championship

Feeling the need for speed? Today in St. Pete Beach we’re hosting the penultimate round of the 2018 SuperStock USA Championship. Join in for the sights, sounds, and sandy beaches of the second annual Grand Prix of the Gulf, as the P1 Powerboats display their horsepower.

https://p1superstock.com/race-info/St.%20Pete%20Beach/2018/86212

June 22-24

St. Pete Pride Festival

This weekend’s St. Pete Pride Festival will again be the largest community event of the season as festival goers come together to make history while enjoying a day of live performances and entertainment, community booths, art and fantastic food in paradise. Check out the fun from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the Grand Central District.

https://www.stpetepride.com/en

June 27

Summer and Sift: Callaloo

Tampa native Chef Gary Moran has trained and worked in some of the best restaurants in the Northeast after training in Europe. Former Chef d’ Cuisine at the famed Tavern on the Green in New York City, he moved back to Tampa, commanding his own kitchen as the executive chef for Datz and The Mermaid Tavern.  Moving to his own restaurant, the award-winning chef opened South Tampa’s highly popular Wimauma restaurant where he fused his international culinary skill with traditional Southern fare, a tradition he has embraced with Callaloo. He’s bringing his celebrated cuisine for a magical evening of dining and art at the Museum of Fine Arts.

http://mfastpete.org/event/simmer-and-sift-callaloo/

We hope you’ll take some time to explore the amazing cultural offerings here in the Tampa Bay area- here at the Alden, we never run out of fun things to do!