Exciting stuff has been in the works for the Gem & Co. family. One of these new projects includes the Gem Journal, our first ever blog! It is our goal for this blog to go beyond just selling jewelry, and work to bridge a connection between the pieces themselves, and why we wear them. While we plan to cover a broad assortment of topics (can’t give away all of our surprises), our first series is the Destination Series, making way for the launch of the Destination Gem Box.
With summer in full swing, we know all you fellow gem lovers are #vacationmode ready! This series was designed by the wanderlust within us, afterall, who doesn’t want to see the world? And in style, at that. Like all good art, pulling inspiration from what surrounds us plays a pivotal role. As we explore some of our favorite cities, we will highlight the best of our experiences: sights, smells, tastes and vibes aplenty.
To kick things off we have decided to feature the city where it all began. Located in the Sunshine State and home of our beloved alma mater, St. Petersburg is our first destination. St. Pete, although on the smaller side, is one of the most distinguished, vibrant, fun-filled, and dog friendly cities we’ve come to know. The combination of perfect weather, beautiful beaches, and more niche spots for food/drink than you can imagine deems St. Pete as a real gem of its own.
City Vibes and Views:
Take a stroll along the downtown, waterfront Vinoy Park, where you’ll find happy hammockers, blades and boards, and more puppy play than your heart can handle. Along the way you’ll come across the new St. Pete Pier! With its grand opening only one year ago, the St. Pete Pier houses two excellent restaurants, a craft brew stop, an ice cream shop and cafe, and St. Pete’s second rooftop bar/lounge! With its amazing art installation at the center, the pier is a perfect way to spend your evening.
Beach Drive is home to many upscale boutiques and restaurants, one of which is a favorite, date night spot and a St. Pete staple. Be sure to stop by Annata on a Sunday evening for an amazing charcuterie board, and half priced bottles from their fantastic selection of fine wines. Not only is the food on point, but the views are even better. Enjoy patio dining alongside the stunning marina and Banyan tree filled park, and don’t forget to pop over next door to Paciugo for a scoop of decadent gelato. Oh, and if you’re looking for the ultimate sunset spot, head on up to The Canopy for the viewing of a lifetime, and not to mention the best spicy marg!
Ready for lunch? Care to shop around a bit? Maybe you’d like to peruse an art museum and follow it up with a nice, stirred cocktail or local, craft brew. Central Ave is easily the happiest and most happening part of St. Pete. (And our personal favorite part of town) The bars and breweries are endless, and the streets are quite literally lined with unique food spots and fun shops. Looking for an easy way to spend the day? Here it is. We love Bodega for their sandwiches and platos, paired perfectly with a fresh pressed juice or a nice michelada. Across the street is Greenbench Brewery, and Intermezzo, a coffee shop by day, and craft cocktail lounge by night. We love Karma for their smoothie bowl perfection, and just down the road you’ll come across Lida’s Jungle, the best spot for all you plant mamas out there! (The list goes on and on…)
The art and shopping scene in downtown St. Pete is abundant! Not only is all of Central covered in magnificent murals, but downtown also houses the incredible Dali Museum and a Chihiuly exhibit. A huge part of what makes St. Pete so special is all its #locallove. Our favorite shops include some amazing thrifting, such as Wendy’s closet, but also, the pop-up indie and artisanal markets galore! We especially love the Baum Ave markets, and of course, the Saturday Morning Market. These markets are where we have found so much of our favorite accessories, unique gifts, fixings for a dinner with friends, and the prettiest flowers!
Explore the Outdoors
If you are familiar with Tripadvisor, you might have read that St. Pete Beach was just recently named the #1 beach in the U.S.! City vibes aside, the beaches there really do it best. Our ultimate favorite spot is Upham beach, nestled alongside jetties and a secret garden. This beautiful little cove is the perfect place to post up and read a book and enjoy the dolphins that routinely pass on by. If you are looking for something a bit more upbeat, maybe a drink or two, some live music and volleyball courts, we suggest hitting PCI where the energy is always right! As aforementioned, St. Petersburg is friend to all, especially the four-legged furry ones. Fort De Soto, a preserved state park, has immaculate white sand beaches for miles and miles, and dog-friendly at that! This beach is a great place to spend the day, pack a picnic, play some frisbee, and even camp!
But wait...there’s more! For all those lovers of outdoors, St. Pete has more to offer than its fine beaches, crazy right? Check out the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve and learn about the quintessential mangroves, or the Sunken Gardens, located right off 4th street, which is another hot spot for food!
You will come to find that no matter your vibe, St. Pete has everything and more to offer, so long as you don’t mind a little sunshine. To make things easier, below we have a list of our favorite places to eat, drink, shop/explore and stay.
- Annata (Italian)
- Bodega (Cuban/lunch)
- Frescos (Waterside)
- Red Mesa Cantina (Mexican)
- Oyster Shucker (Waterside)
- Engine No. 9 (Burgers)
- Sushi Inc
- Lemongrass (Thai)
- Fresh Kitchen (Lunch)
- Stellas (Brunch)
- Cassis (Brunch)
- Pia’s Trattoria (Italian)
- O’Maddy’s (Waterside)
- Hawkers (Asian fusion)
- Buoys (Waterside)
- Island Grille (Waterside)
- Doc Ford's (Waterside)
- The Canopy
- Rooftop / amazing happy hour deals
- Mandarin Hide
- Intimate craft-cocktail bar
- Our personal FAVE
- Bottomless mimosa sunday
- Best espresso martini ever! (No, seriously.)
- The Floridian
- The Bends
- Greenbench Brewery
- We love their Sunshine IPA and seasonal movie-showings
- The Dog-Bar
- Ruby’s Elixir
- Exposed brick, jazz lounge with live music every night
- Black Crow Coffee Shop
- Upham beach, Postcard Inn, Fort de Soto
- Sunken Gardens
- Boyd Hill Nature Preserve
- Busch Gardens Amusement Park
- Ashe Couture
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Tubular Tokes
- Lida’s Jungle
- Wendy’s Closet
- Downtown Gulfport
- The Saturday Morning Market
Places to stay
- The Vinoy
- Historic hotel located waterside, downtown with amazing access to restaurants, shops and the park
- The Hollander
- Another great downtown spot, with a lovely rooftop pool
- The Don Cesar
- Located on St. Pete beach, this spot is perfect for an upscale stay with amazing amenities
- Spanish style architecture, bright pink, and visible from the water!
So now that the tone has been set, let’s imagine the perfect weekend in St. Pete. Is it a pair of sexy, strappy heels and a girls night on the town, complete with dinner at Red Mesa and cocktails at Mandarin?
Maybe it's a floral, flowy sundress to take you to the Saturday morning market and brunch at Cassis. We know you won’t miss a day spent on the beach in your favorite bikini, cold drink in hand and the warm sun on your skin!
Good news, with our new Destination Gem Box you’ll have three gems, inspired by St. Pete, to pair perfectly with all of the above. This is the first of a limited release series where we plan to explore our favorite destinations. In addition to a curated collection of gems, you will also receive a printed copy of our tour guide and an exclusive style guide, custom-made by yours truly.
The Destination Gem Box ~St. Pete edition~ is available for pre-order now!