The #ALDENWOW50 Celebration Continues with a Blogger Bash!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://bungalower.com/2019/10/19/bungalower-and-the-bus-episode-141-ethos-with-anna-eskamani/
https://www.colemanconcierge.com/best-things-to-do-on-a-st-pete-beach-getaway/
https://beautyandthebeets.com/alden-suites-st-pete-beach/
https://www.mommatogo.com/alden-suites-st-pete/
https://www.ronagindin.com/blog/alden-suites-on-st-pete-beach-florida
https://www.wheresamanda.com/getaway-to-alden-suites-beachfront-resort-in-st-pete-beach-florida/
https://www.detailorientedtraveler.com/alden-suites-st-pete-beach-resort-review/
https://bungalower.com/2019/11/15/straight-trippin-to-st-pete-beach/
https://www.foodwinesunshine.com/reasons-to-visit-st-petersburg-florida/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Nightlife in St. Petersburg

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

The Mandarin Hide

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

Flûte & Dram

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

Ruby’s Elixir

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

The Ale & The Witch

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

Right Around the Corner – Arcade Brewery

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

Old Florida Finds in St. Petersburg

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

Sunken Gardens

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

Coney Island Grill

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

St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club

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

Candy Kitchen

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

Polynesian Putter

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

St. Pete Beach Things to Do: October 2019

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

St. Pete Saturday Morning Market

Every Saturday



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

https://www.facebook.com/SPSaturdayMarket/

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream

Oct. 1 – Nov. 2

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

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

Autumn Harvest at the Pinellas Pioneer Settlement

October 12

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

http://events.stpeteparksrec.org/events/5630

SHINE St. Petersburg Mural Festival

October 18-24

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

https://www.facebook.com/shineonstpete/

Stadium of Screams Haunted House & Fall Festival

October 25th  and 27th

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

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

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

https://www.evensi.us/stadium-screams-haunted-house-fall-festival-lang/340299218

St. Pete Beach Community Center Trunk or Treat

October 24th -25th

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

https://www.facebook.com/events/393202468299008/

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

Things to Do with Toddlers in St. Pete Beach

We here at Alden Suites pride ourselves on being a family-friendly resort. We want to make sure guests of all ages are having a great time soaking up the sand, surf, and sun of St. Pete Beach. However, we know that it’s sometimes hard to find things everyone in the family wants to do. This is often especially difficult when traveling with toddlers. Therefore, we thought we’d put together a list of some of the best things to do during your vacation that’ll entertain and engage both you and your little ones.

If you want to spend some time in the water with your toddler(s) but don’t necessarily want to get them in the ocean just yet, we recommend checking out the St. Pete Beach Family Aquatic Center. This year-round heated/chilled facility consists of a six-lane Junior Olympic swimming pool and an attached children’s play area with several water features that spray, drop and squirt water. There’s also a mushroom-shaped waterfall and colorful dumping cones. Older kids can also enjoy two large tubular slides. This is a great place to sunbathe or even escape the hot sun under a shady umbrella.

Just outside of the Aquatic Center you’ll find Colonel Michael J. Horan Park. This park has a playground that’s perfect for kids of all ages and has great waterfront views (and breezes)! They even host free concerts and events like Trunk or Treat & Movie in the Park in October and Christmas in the Park with their very own Mistletoe Market in December. The entire Community Center complex is a short three-minute drive away from Alden Suites.

We love our neighbors over at RumFish Grill and toddlers are entranced by their incredible Swim With The Fishes experience. Their 33,500-gallon aquarium was built by Wayde King and Brett Raymer of Acrylic Tank Manufacturing (the rockstars from Animal Planet’s hit series TANKED) and features fish that are indigenous to Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico like snook, grouper, tarpon, southern stingrays, and even a green moray eel. Swimmers ages 8 years old and up have the exclusive privilege of snorkeling in the tank in a program led by experts from the Marine Exploration Center. Parents with toddlers, however, can watch the snorkeling from the restaurant for free!

Photo courtesy of @boxmotha

If you’d rather not leave the comfort of our resort, we have plenty of amenities and activities for your entire family to enjoy. Play a game of cornhole, hop aboard a kayak, strap into a parasail wing, relax on a sunset cruise, splash around in one of our two sparkling outdoor pools, or even build a sandcastle on our beautiful white sand beach. We’re here to ensure that every member of your family is having a vacation they’ll remember forever.

Things to Do in St. Pete Beach: August 2019

Summer is coming to an end! This is the best time to catch the tail end of the summertime fun. Enjoy the fun in the sun with your family, and create some great Summer 2019 memories here at the Alden before school starts.

Sunset Beach Song Series

August 1st

Head out to Sunset Beach in Tarpon Springs on the first Thursday of every month for great live music overlooking the Gulf of Mexico! The Shakes Society will be performing Thursday, August 1st at 7 p.m. Stop by for great music and tasty snacks.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. The Marlins

August 4th

Sunday, August 4th at 6:10 pm see the Tampa Bay Rays face off against the Marlins. After the exciting game, enjoy the neighboring Edge District, which is lined with local and authentic breweries, shops and restaurants.

https://www.mlb.com/rays/schedule/2019-08

Green Beach Brewing Yoga

August 11th

Get your workout on in the Green Bench Brewing beer garden Sunday, August 11th at 11 a.m. On the second Sunday of each month, group yoga will be led by The Body Electric Yoga Company. Do a little downward dog before you down a cold craft brew! #SundayFunday

https://www.greenbenchbrewing.com/

Above the Fold

August 18th– Sept 22nd

August 18th through Sep. 22, 2019 immerse yourself in the “Above the Fold” exhibition. This display demonstrates the extraordinary power and potential of contemporary origami. Celebrate the artists who are redefining a traditional Japanese craft as a modern global genre and inventing unexpected forms of artistic expression. 

https://mfastpete.org/exh/above-the-fold/

PARC’s Top Chef

August 22nd

Join us for PARC’s 5th Annual foodie event, Top Chefs, and taste the flavors of some of the hottest restaurants and catering services in Tampa Bay. Guests will enjoy a night full of mouthwatering entrées, signature drinks and decadent desserts, all while supporting a great cause!

www.parc-fl.org/topchefs

Geckofest

August 31st

Explore the quirkiness of Gulfport at the annual Geckofest over Labor Day Weekend. Browse great art, listen to live music and check out some street performers from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. along Beach Blvd. This year’s theme is “Gecko Con!” A celebration of superheroes, villains, cult characters, imaginary locations and more from comics, books, movies, TV shows, anime, and other pop culture genres! 

https://www.facebook.com/events/534597447006883/

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

Things to Do in St. Pete Beach: July 2019

This month starts up with the celebration of America’s Independence and flaming fireworks on the Fourth! But that’s not the only thing to celebrate this month. From the Florida Hard Seltzer Fest to the Grouper Food Truck Rally, we are so excited for an epic July here at Alden Suites.

4th of July Celebrations

July 4th

Alden Suites is proud to sponsor this year’s 4th of July festivities. The City of St. Pete Beach Rock the Beach Fourth of July celebration will take place at Upham Beach, 6850 Beach Plaza, St. Pete Beach. The event will include live music by the Brian Caudill Band from 2 to 6 p.m. followed by headliner Stormbringer until 9 p.m. when the fireworks display will begin.

Here are some other great places nearby to enjoy 4th  of July festivities:

https://www.mytreasureisland.org/calendar_app/calendar_event_detail.html?eventId=194&date=7/4/2019&show=no

http://events.stpete.org/events/6528

https://mfastpete.org/event/mfa-cafes-12th-annual-fireworks-buffet/

Cinema on the Sand

July 12th – Aug 23rd

July 12th– August 23rd enjoy nights under the stars watching a blockbuster hit movie from St. Pete Beach or even get in the water. Movies will be displayed on a big screen on a barge! This free weekly event starts at 8pm. at Paradise Grille on Upham Beach.  Check out this site for the whole line up of movies this summer!

1st Annual Florida Hard Seltzer Fest

July 20th

Don’t miss out on the 1st Annual Florida Hard Seltzer Fest July 20th! Join 3 Daughters Brewing and 15 local bars and restaurants for an afternoon full of live entertainment, drinks and food. 5 local restaurants will be onsite showing off some of the best food in the area. Tickets include unlimited drinks and food while supplies last.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/3-daughters-brewing-presents-inaugural-florida-hard-seltzer-fest-tickets-55814308098?fbclid=IwAR2HyjzoUeZ4fExDJSm0-rNoD8T1rVjH_WUTSG6rmQbUpKeWnu2wwh8y7Vo

Grouper Food Truck Rally

July 26th

Grouper Week is coming to St. Pete! We’re rallying up all your favorite food trucks to celebrate! Head to Albert Whitted Park on July 26th for an awesome lineup of food trucks all serving up specialty grouper & seafood inspired dishes. Enjoy good food, live music, beer, and more fun for the whole family!

https://www.facebook.com/events/422163935262378/

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

St. Petersburg’s Little Italy

Did you know that the St. Petersburg area has a substantial population of Italian immigrants? Drawn to the sunny weather, gorgeous beaches, and friendly, relaxed lifestyle, many Italian families have moved to our town over the years. And they brought some of the best of Italian culture and food along with them! We’d like to share some St. Petersburg and St. Pete Beach Italian treasures that will help you live La Dolce Vita here at Alden Suites.

The most famous Italian food destination in the St. Pete area is Mazzaro’s Italian Market. It’s about a 20 minute drive from St. Pete Beach, and you’ll want to time your visit well since Mazzaro’s gets VERY busy on weekends. The market is a festival of everything Italian, with freshly made breads, hand-sliced prosciutto, gelato, handmade cheeses, fresh pasta, and all the spices and sauces you need to make an Italian feast. It’s a perfect place to stock your refrigerator for a week of delicious meals in your suite at the Alden. While you’re there, grab a sandwich to eat on the outside patio, and check out the cool shop next door full of Italian imports.

Downtown St. Pete has an upscale Italian restaurant that many Alden guests enjoy for a romantic night out. It’s called BellaBrava, and they offer some unique, modern twists on Italian food. All of their pastas are homemade, which makes even something as simple as cacio e pepe, fresh spaghetti with cheese and pepper, truly delicious. Foodies rave about their squid ink pasta, calamari and inventive appetizers. It’s a cool place to hang out too, with live music in the bar most evenings.

Closer to home, just a few blocks north of Alden Suites, we have our own Italian Market called La Casa del Pane. They have a small market with Italian candies, sauces, and pastas, but the real star is the fresh-baked bread. Pick up a fresh baguette, ciabatta, or a soft focaccia to make a delicious meal. La Casa del Pane is also a great place to grab a delicious fresh-made sandwich for a picnic on the beach. Who knew you could eat so well while enjoying a blissful beach day?

And speaking of Italian, we have some Italian restaurants here in town that you won’t want to miss. Just a couple of blocks south of the Alden, you’ll find Buona Pizza, the perfect place to pop in for a slice at lunchtime. This waterfront gem offers way more than pizza, with seafood and pasta specials that change every day, and their garlic knots are to die for! Verducci’s Pizzeria and Trattoria is another romantic spot for a classic Italian meal. Famed for their gnocchi and osso bucco, the chefs at Verducci’s have been delighting visitors to St. Pete Beach since 1976!

You never have to worry about depriving your tastebuds of Italian deliciousness when you’re staying at the Alden. Arrividerci for now, and let us know how you enjoy our Italian foodie favorites!

7 Things to pack on your beach trip with a baby

Traveling with a baby can be daunting, especially when you start to pack! Babies come with so much gear these days it can quickly become overwhelming when thinking what to bring on a beach vacation! Luckily, you’ve booked your beach vacation at Alden Suites in St. Petersburg Florida, so you’re already ahead of the game! Alden Suites caters to the needs of families staying at our resort and the 5 acres of beautiful calm Gulf Coast waters are perfect for taking your little one to the beach for the first time. There are also two spacious heated pools perfect for swimming lessons for the little tikes not ready to get salty.

Here at Alden Suites we have already taken care of so many of the packing concerns parents have during their stay. Each suite has a kitchen stocked with glasses, plates, mugs, dish towels, dishwasher w/ detergent, dish soap, coffee maker, and even a Tupperware container and pitcher to save some leftovers and make sun tea on our private balcony (for Mommy’s 2pm caffeine pick-me-up)! We hear from our guests often how relieved they are that they didn’t have to overpack to have a comfortable stay. That being said, here are some things you WILL want to pack when staying at Alden with your little one.

1. Safety Outlet Covers: The Alden offers suites with plenty of outlets for all your chargers and electronics you bring. Although convenient for all your technology needs and comforts, we know your little one will gravitate towards anything at their eye level. You can shut off the doors to your bedroom and bathroom, so your little tornado can run around free, but they always seem to find something to get into. We hear from our parents they easily baby proofed their suite with a few safety outlets covers and a chair blocking the oven door, so it can’t be pulled down by your curious toddler.

2. Bottle Brush: The Alden provides every suite with a dishwasher, detergent, dish soap and dish towels, but if you have bottles to wash, a bottle brush definitely would be a good idea to pack. It will be quicker to scrub your bottles out with a bottle brush then wait for the dishwasher to be full and you won’t have to pack as many bottles!

3. Hook-on Booster Seat: Hook-on booster seats are a life saver while traveling! No one wants to pack a high chair. Luckily for under $30 you can purchase a hook-on booster seat of your very own. Every suite has a dining room table and chairs making it comfortable and easy to have meals in your room!

4. Baby Blanket: The Alden offers cribs that will be waiting for you, in your room, when you arrive free of charge. The crib we provide is perfect for sleep and serves well as a playpen when you need a hands-free moment! We hear this alone alleviates so much of the stress parents have packing, but it might be a good idea to pack your little one’s favorite blankey to give them some comfort and familiarity of home.

5. White Noise Machine: We hear from our guests all the time how surprised they were with how quiet their rooms are at night, but sometimes with a new baby we know they aren’t used to complete silence while they sleep. If your little is accustomed to having some kind of white noise while sleeping, you may want to pack your white noise machine to help them sleep peacefully.

6. Yoga Mat: Here’s one of the more genius mom hacks we’ve heard from a guest: One mom told us she found multiple uses for her yoga mat while vacationing with us. She used her yoga mat for her morning exercises, then later in the grassy area during lunch at the food truck with the beautiful view of the beach, on the beach in attempts to keep the baby from picking up all the seashells and trying to eat them, and then brilliantly in the tub at bath time to avoid slipping. Multi-functional, light weight and easy to pack!

7. Wine Key: Nope, this one is obviously not for the baby, but your baby is going to sleep so well after an action-packed day on the beach and in the resort’s pools that you’re going to have some free time to enjoy a beer or glass of wine before bed! There’s a great Cabana bar located on premises open from noon till 10pm & 11pm on weekends (weather permitting), but with a sleeping baby in your room you can relax and enjoy an adult beverage from your private balcony with an amazing view of the Gulf Coast.

You may have thought this list would have gone to 10, but honestly there’s really no need to overthink or overpack while staying at Alden Suites. The rooms are so thoughtfully stocked to provide you with a stress-free and functional stay, you won’t find much you’ll need that isn’t already provided! If you do find things you need that aren’t already in your room, our friendly staff will either provide it for you or help direct you to many of the conveniently located shops in walking distance. So, relax Mom and Dad, you already made the amazing choice to stay at Alden which will make packing and traveling with a baby stress-free and enjoyable!