We specifically came to St. Petersburg, Florida because Aaron’s company was having their annual party there, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t take some time to explore! Don’t miss our blog about our food-related activities!
Museum of Fine Arts
This was one of the excursions that Aaron got to choose from for his company party and he was pretty excited to see the Star Wars exhibits! Anyone who knows him knows he flies his geek flag proudly so for him to see all of the major characters actual costumes was something he was absolutely giddy over. That’s not the only thing the museum has to offer, however, as there is a much larger set of exhibits ranging from pottery to paintings to wooden carvings expanding the entire known history of man. It was easy to spend almost 3 hours in the museum with all it has to offer.
Hayden found this park while researching things we could do in the area and since it’s known to have alligator sightings, we were pumped to go check it out. It’s crazy when you first get there because you’re driving through the cityscape and then all of a sudden you are in this great park. There’s a boardwalk loop that you can walk that runs about 2 – 2.5 miles that takes you through all of the wetlands and marsh areas of the park with regular lookout points throughout. This park is big for birding and we saw quite a few different species on our walk. We didn’t see any alligators at the first lookout point, but we heard there was one spotted at the next one, so we raced to the next one and looked around but didn’t see anything. We were about to leave disappointed when we peeked underneath the boardwalk platform and sure enough, there she was! In the area were also softshell and snapper turtles whom the alligators eat, so we hoped we wouldn’t witness that. After taking some photos and video, we walked the rest of the loop. We learned that we needed to check under the first platform we went to and found that there was a juvenile alligator under there as well. So cool!
Kayaking with Manatees
Knowing that dolphins frequent the gulf, we wanted to get on a boat to check them out. We found a Groupon for Dolphin Quest where we could both get on the boat for a total of $21 which made it super affordable. They took us out to the gulf and within just a few minutes we spotted a small pod of bottlenose dolphins nearby. We spent some time watching them swimming free with their family, before heading back into the bay area. From there, they took us on a tour of the homes in the bay that are right on the water. It was kind of cool and relaxing, but definitely not a dolphin excursion once we left the gulf.
Kayaking with Dolphins
We decided to put our kayaks into the water at Fort De Soto County Park, where we were camping, with no expectations of seeing wildlife. We definitely did not expect to come across two dolphins that were not only cruising around nearby, but they started feeding on fish directly in front of us! We spent some time in absolute awe as we witnessed them circling and thrashing in the very shallow water.
Overall, St. Petersburg, FL offered us some amazing wildlife sightings and we would highly recommend visiting this area.