St Petersburg to Sarasota, FL

We spent more time in St Petersburg than anticipated but it was worth it. Unfortunately, there are no anchoring or mooring ball options at the moment in the downtown harbor (due to the construction of a new pier). Fortunately, St Petersburg Yacht Club is right in the heart of downtown and we used our reciprocal membership to Portland Yacht Club to stay on one of their docks (we still pay to tie up but are able to enjoy all the amenities).

St Petersburg Yacht Club – right in the heart of downtown.

As Thistle sailors we appreciated the decor at SPYC.

The city is very easy to explore by foot and has a wonderful arts district. We went to the Chihuly Museum and saw some amazing glass art. We also toured the Florida Holocaust Museum which had a Virtual Reality experience where a survivor takes you back to the concentration camp where we was held and lost his family. It was very chilling as you felt physically like you were right there with him.

Double trouble – we are Loopers on The Great Loop and we were also Loopers on the St Pete Trolley.

Hard to capture the size of this installment – it was simply amazing.

Chandelier, which had to be 20′ or so tall.

Close up, showing just how many individual pieces of glass it takes to produce the chandelier.

Again, the scale is hard to capture but beautiful large glass balls in assorted colors.

Glass blowing demonstration.

Holocaust Museum – original boxcar used to transport people to the concentration camps.

Building art in downtown St Pete.

Staying in St Pete over the weekend meant we also were able to experience First Friday and the Saturday Market. For First Friday they shut down a few blocks downtown, get a couple of bands to play and offer food/beverages. It was good entertainment and equally good company as we met up with fellow Loopers on Late Harvest. The next morning we walked to the Saturday Market where we stocked up on fruit/veggies and some amazing olive tapenade. This was absolutely the best farmers market we have been to so far.

Downtown restaurant – 55 taps, you pour your own, you pay by the once, what could go wrong?

Saturday Market.

From St Petersburg we sought some shelter from the predicted 20 mph winds at Owl Creek near the St Armands Circle area of Sarasota. This area is a very upscale neighborhood where we spent 3 nights at anchor.

Gorgeous homes along the St Armand area.

While in the Sarasota area we walked to the Mote Laboratory and Aquarium where we saw our first manatees and learned a lot about the fish and ecosystem of Florida. We also caught a Lyft into downtown Sarasota to walk the waterfront and visit the Ringling Museum of Art. John and Mable Ringling (think Ringling Circus) had a huge art collection that was donated to the state of Florida and it was required that it be open to the public for free once a week. Fortunate for us we were there on the free admission day.

Manatees at Mote Aquarium

27′ tall statue “Unconditional Surrender” in downtown Sarasota.

Ringling Museum of Art.

Ca’ d’Zan – home to John and Mable Ringling. Built in 1926 it is truly a mansion right on the waters edge of Sarasota Bay.