A relaxing weekend getaway is a great way to unwind and unplug from the stress of a normal work week. I'd like to say we just hop in the car and go, but I'm a planner, so I spend a little time on Google before we pack up the car. Knowing the area helps to save money on activities and great food too, because a weekend getaway shouldn't break the bank. That would stress me out and defeat the purpose of getting away, right?!
Don and I are pretty
St. Petersburg, FL has gorgeous beaches, y'all. We love to relax and people watch or go for a walk and hunt for some fun shells. Be sure to slather on the sunscreen and stay until the sun goes down. You can't miss watching the sunset over the Gulf when visiting St. Petersburg. The sky puts on quite a show each and every night, so relax and drink in the breathtaking beauty of nature. It won't cost you a thing. You can't beat that!
When planning a weekend getaway, I also like to look for unique things to do in the area we'll be visiting. While researching about St. Petersburg, I came across the Florida Orange Groves Winery and saw they offer a FREE tour and wine tasting. Be still my frugal little heart! You can bet I added that to the itinerary right away!
The Florida Orange Groves Winery is a great place to visit and get out of the Florida heat. You can even cool off with a wine smoothie! Both Don and I enjoyed the tour very much. We learned about how the tropical fruit wine is made and even tasted 8 different varieties along with 3 different smoothie flavors. They were more like slushies, but either way, they were delicious and refreshing! Why have I never heard of this tropical fruit wine before?!
The large wine selection is made from a variety of fruits. Have you ever tried blueberry wine? Or how about key lime, mango, orange, peach, the list goes on... You can learn more about it by visiting FloridaWine.com or better yet, just stop in and pay them a visit. You'll be glad you did. I sure wish I brought home more of that delicious wine, so if you happen to get by there please pick me up some blueberry wine. You'll be my favorite forever and ever <smile>
I always scout out inexpensive places to eat too. Because we are so used to cooking with fresh, seasonal food at home, it is important we find restaurants that do the same. This isn't always easy to do while keeping it affordable, so it is crucial to plan ahead. Planning ahead is the best way to find hidden gems and save money too! Asking friends and researching on Google always gives me great options like Bodega on Central in St. Petersburg.
According to friends, Bodega is a local favorite committed to fresh, made-to-order food and known for their Cuban sandwich. The Cuban sandwich originated in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, so we knew we had to try it!
Bodega's did not disappoint! They have the absolute best Cuban sandwich y'all! Seriously, you have to try it! I make a tasty Pulled Pork Cuban Sandwich at home, but I admit (and I don't do that often), Bodega's is better. It's worth a drive to St. Petersburg to give this tasty Cuban sandwich a try! It's a BIG sandwich too. Don and I ended up splitting one and were completely satisfied, although, no doubt I could have stuffed myself silly with a whole one. It was THAT good! Be prepared for a line and a bit of a wait, but it's totally worth it! Visit bodegaoncentral.com to learn more about this must try spot.
We also enjoyed a delicious Sunday Brunch at Z Grille. It was so difficult to choose from such a wonderful menu, and even though it was after noon already, I enjoyed the brie stuffed sourdough bread topped with a blueberry bacon cinnamon whiskey compote. Oh my yumminess! How amazing does that sound?! Yep. It made my day!
Don opted for more of a traditional lunch and absolutely loved the Locale Market dry aged roast beef, provolone, tomato, baby arugula, olive spread, and spicy mustard on ciabattini with fries. We were pleasantly stuffed and lingered a little bit before heading out to walk off all the good eats while seeing a little more of downtown St. Petersburg.
Because you are likely going to be driving several hundred miles on a weekend getaway, it is wise to drive a fuel efficient car like the Mitsubishi Mirage GT. This little car gets nearly 40mpg combined city/highway driving, so you can go far and save money at the same time! I like that!
Although the Mirage is compact, it has 4 doors and there was plenty of room for all of our things. That's saying something too, because Don and I always pack snacks and drinks in a big cooler to save money while traveling. We were able to fit our luggage and the cooler in the car and still have plenty of room to spare.
The compact size is perfect for tooling around the city too. We were able to fit into any parking spot, even the tight ones, and parallel parking was a breeze! We joked we could probably fit 2 of them in one spot! <smile> The interior is fancy and comes loaded with features, along with being a comfy ride!
It is a great all around car, not only for road trips, but also for running errands or just relaxing on the beach watching the sunset over the ocean.
I hope I inspired you to get away from it all every once in a while for a quick weekend vacation. With a little planning, you can hit the open road and enjoy the beauty of Florida or your own state without spending a fortune! Happy travels!
I partnered with DriveShop to test drive the Mitsubishi Mirage GT for a week to facilitate this review. No further compensation was provided by DriveShop, Mitsubishi, or any of the businesses mentioned in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.