Winter is upon us and it’s brutally cold across most of the country. If you’re like me, the dreary weather has you longing for sunshine and dreaming of a beach vacation. Luckily, spring break and summer will be here before we know it; perhaps planning a trip to Florida will cure those winter blues!
Please note: This story originally appeared in Macaroni Kid Family Travel in 2018. As of January 2021, all attractions mentioned in this story remain open, with COVID precautions in place. We urge you to check with locations for the latest information before traveling to that area.
St Pete Beach, FL
For families looking for a pristine beach with powdery, white sand and calm, crystal-clear water, St. Pete Beach on the Gulf Coast of Florida is the place to be. Located within a 30-minute drive from Tampa (TPA) and St Pete-Clearwater (PIE) airports, St Pete Beach is an easy-access destination. Set on a barrier island, the resort city is known for its beaches, earning 3rd place in TripAdvisor’s ranking of top US beaches last February. With an average of 361 days of sunshine a year, St Pete Beach offers a wealth of on- and off-shore activities.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Clearwater, FL
From swimming to paddle boarding, parasailing to jet skiing, and boogie boarding to windsurfing, there are many water sports to be enjoyed here. A must-do is a boat cruise with Suncoast Watersports to nearby Shell Key Preserve for beachcombing, dolphin watching, and/or snorkeling. The nearby area offers many family-friendly museums and attractions, such as LEGOLAND, Busch Gardens, and Lowry Park Zoo.
Don’t miss an opportunity to visit Winter and Hope from the Dolphin Tale movies at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, a marine life rescue center that treats ill and injured animals through rescue, rehab, and release. Explore art and architecture at the Dali Museum in St Petersburg, where renowned artist Salvador Dali’s distinctive mustache guides a family audio tour that is sure to entertain visitors of all ages. A plethora of restaurants, from seafood to Cuban flare, will tantalize every taste bud after a day of fun-filled activities.
Dali Museum, St Petersburg, FL
13 acres of beach, warm hospitality, and family-friendly accommodations await at the Sirata Beach Resort. With three pools, two hot tubs, a fire pit, an Xbox game room, a fitness center, bike rentals, plus a playground, volleyball court, seasonal inflatable slide, hammocks, beach chairs, and cabanas right on the beach, the resort offers plenty to do on-property. Beachfront room options include 1 bedroom suites equipped with a kitchenette and a separate living area with a balcony, and the resort is pet-friendly! In-room dining, three on-site restaurants and a gift shop with sundries and souvenirs round out this one-stop destination resort.
Sirata Beach Resort, St Pete Beach, FL
You’ll find sand, sea, and something for everyone at the Sirata Beach Resort and the surrounding St Pete Beach area. With an award-winning beach, sunny weather, stunning sunsets, top-notch accommodations, relaxing atmosphere, and lots of fun activity options, it’s the ideal setting for your next Florida vacation.
Disclaimer: The author was a recent guest of the Sirata Beach Resort during which accommodations, transportation, activities, and meals were complimentary. All opinions expressed within this article are 100% her own.