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Florida Travels

March 9, 2022

Recommendations for traveling to St. Petersburg, Destin, & more

Oh man did we have fun on this road trip! We decided to drive out so we could have a car and take the doggies! 

Originally we were suppose to go to Bali for my 30th but due to a new puppy and the borders being hard to cross, we decided on Florida! 

I always had fond memories growing up going down to Florida in the middle of winter. It was an escape from the cold and gray of Ohio. We wanted to go somewhere warm, by the ocean, not California- lol way too expensive. 

I have a few friend that live in St. Petersburg area and thought it would be a good place to explore from being in the middle of the state. We spent 7 weeks all together driving out and living in Florida. 

With my job being really relaxed during winter- almost no weddings happening- I usually take off 2 months and go to Hawaii. Ian’s job is remote so we can go literally anywhere 🙂 

Louie learned how to swim in the ocean while we were there and grew up so much!! 

I really took these few months to rest and not work. I only had TWO shoots. That is unheard of for me. I drew almost every day in my journal and read a lot of books. Grateful for this time to refresh after a long busy season in the fall with 20+ weddings. We stayed at an air b+b in North Kenwood. I would suggest to not stay up there personally. Try to stay close to the beach! Although expensive, definitely worth staying closer to the beach. We had to drive 15-20 mins to even get to the ocean!

Below is our road trip and Florida days!

Drive out:

Austin, Texas- 2 days

New Orlean, LA – 3 days 

While in Florida:

-St. Petersburg – much bigger of a town than I expected! Great restaurants, little peninsula so the ocean is close and all around, cute shops, and a lot to do!! 20 mins from Tampa, St. Petes offers a wide variety of museums, boats, kayaking, amazing restaurants, and bars. Great dog beach- Fort de soto! And amazing beautiful beaches for miles and miles to walk and watch the sunset every night!

-Clearwater- Close to St. Petes, I bet this place is popping in the summer but not much to write home about. 

-Naples- Beautiful beaches and quiet little town. 

-Orlando- We only went there for Disney! 

-Crystal River- small little town but we swam with the manatees here in the springs! HIGHLY SUGGEST DOING THIS! Beautiful experience. 

-Tampa-Big city close to St. Petes. This is where we flew in and out. Didn’t spend much time there because we don’t like big cities, but def worth checking out! 

-Miramar Beach- we stopped here on the way home for 3 days and LOVED IT. Quiet little beach town with incredible beaches, white white sand. We watched the sunrise and sunset here daily. Great place to rest.  

-30A highway- is a must go to!! There are these little beach towns along 30A highway that are amazing stretches of beaches along with cute shops and restaurants. Seaside, Rosemary, Alys beach, Grayton beach.

Drive Home:

Miramar Beach, Florida

Tyler, Texas

Things we did in Florida:

Kayak through mangroves in Key Shell Preserve

Swim with manatees- In Crystal River 

EAT a lot of good food!!

Sunset boat trip- in St. Petes

Dog Beach- Fort De Soto

Hunt for shells- everywhere!! This coast of Florida is known for their shells! 

Disney World for 1 day (1.5 drive)

Favorites in St. Petersburg:

-Pass-a-Grill Beach- quiet beach could walk for hours

-Central Ave- all the food + shops

-Kayaking – shell key preserve 

-Board walk- downtown

-Dali Musume 

Places we ate:

-Karma

-Tapas

-Bogo

-Hawkers

Overall, the trip was memorable and beautiful. I would suggest going when its a little bit warmer, but we were lucky to leave Flagstaff during the intense winter months.

-Hannah Rose

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Meet the HRG Team

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The Hannah Rose Gray Team is a boutique photography team aimed on documenting your family legacy with authenticity, fun, and passion! We believe in making friends over clients, creating an unique experience for each friend that comes our way, and creating art that will last generations.

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