Tampa Aquarium and St Petersburg Winery

FRIDAY!! I tried to look up some fun…Today in History…but didn’t find anything that jumped out at me. Then I looked for the National Food Holiday…and found out it was National Eat Something Bold and Pungent Day. Cool?? Pungent isn’t something that I really aim for when I’m cooking…to me that has a negative connotation.

So for some Friday fun…I thought I would share with you some St Petersburg Fun! About a year ago, one of my best friends from College came to visit and we stayed in St Pete for the weekend. I had been looking at all of the wineries in Florida and set it as my goal to visit each one of them! With Lakeridge Winery already on the list, I had seen the Florida Orange Groves Winery in St Pete. I didn’t really know much about the winery when we arrived but it was DEFINITELY not what I expected. The groves were not locate don site, so it was mostly a cute little store and the fermenting vats. We learned about the history of the winery and had a tour along with a wine tasting.


The most notable fact about the winery is that their wines are NOT made from grapes for the most part. I think of wine and grapes automatically pops into my head. At the Orange Groves Winery they make wine from bananas, mangos, strawberries, coconuts, cranberries and anything else you can think of. They have champagnes, ports, vegetable wines, smoothies and more. It’s mind boggling the things that they do here. The tasting allowed you to select which wines you wanted to try, as well as a smoothie. Each wine tasted exactly like the fruit that was used in fermentation and varied from sweet to dry.

Each one was more surprising than the last. Brent and I bought the Festiberry Wine, which was a wine made from cranberries and Florida Banana, which if you can’t guess is made from Bananas. I brought both of them back with me for Thanksgiving for my family to try. The cranberry wine was extremely good, and went well with the Turkey dinner. I thought the Banana had a very surprising flavor. It wasn’t as sweet as you would have pictured but had a true banana flavor. And I just love things that aren’t typical. The more different the better 🙂

After the winery, we headed to the Tampa Aquarium. I had heard some great things about the aquarium and had some high expectations, especially with it being located on the gulf. They had a petting area when you first walk in where you can get your hands on some slimy sting rays.

And above they had some beautiful tanks with all different kinds of fish. One of the neatest things was how they lit the tanks up. It gave the fish a completely different look. Some creepier than others.

I know sharks aren’t particularly nice…but man does that shark look mean. The look in his eye isn’t something that I would want to mess with.


They also had an area to check out a few UNIQUE little birdies. The different types of animals and their adaptations are really amazing to me. They’ve all got their different ways to survive and it’s so fun to learn about their habits because each one is so different from the other.

And clearly they aren’t afraid to get right up in your face. There’s no super zoom on my camera here. But then again, it’s probably better because otherwise you might be getting a close look at this guys nostrils.

CUTIES. It’s almost like they stop and pose for you.

Overall, the aquarium was a bit smaller than I would have thought and you can get through it in about an hour or 2. I’m still a huge Boston Aquarium fan. I haven’t met one that lives up to those expectations 🙂

To top off the day, we drove around a bit and headed towards Davis Island. Davis Island is right off the coast of Tampa and is where a lot of nicer houses are. It is also where my fav Yankee player has a house! Derek Jeter, whoot whoot! So I’m upping my creeper status by sharing a photo of his off season abode.

I wish I had a photo from the bay, because you can really get a sense of how large it actually is. It’s very…cement looking too.

Anyways, it was a fun little trip and something fun and easy for a Friday! St Pete is breath taking and all of the locals agree that if you are going to the beach, anything on the gulf side is the way to go.


Any big plans for the weekend?! What’s your favorite thing to do on the weekend?? Something low key or something thrilling?!

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