The iconic Don CeSar in St. Petersburg, Florida, aka “Pink Palace”, is the most famous hotel on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The “Don” has been and continues to be, freshened up with new renovations to further accent the beauty of this historic hotel. When staying in St. Petersburg…there is no place like the Don CeSar.
The Don CeSar opened its doors during the roaring ’20s, 1928 to be exact, and was visited by none other than F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby. “As an ode to his iconic presence (at the Don Cesar), we infused the modernized interiors with details that encapsulate the best of the roaring ’20s,” says Miriam Torres, Co-Founder of Parker-Torres Design, the company in charge of the renovation. “The Don” is set to enter a new era, honoring its rich history, beloved St. Pete Beach community, and its famous patrons. Don CeSar’s renovation preserves its colorful past while propelling the interior design and overall guest experience into the future.
I have stayed at the notable “Pink Palace” also known as the Wedding Cake, several times in the past. The National Historic Landmark hotel is located on the water, with incredible views and a luxurious ambiance. My daughter went to Eckerd Collage in St. Pete, and the Don is only seven minutes away.
The hotel is an amazing combination of the past and present, featuring grand public areas and family-friendly spots like Uncle Andy’s Ice Cream Parlor, one of my favorite places to visit. Don Cesar has several delicious restaurants, including The Sea Porch Cafe, and the Maritana. Dining out is also a treat in St. Pete with places like Gennaro’s, Sea Salt, and Eckerd student and family favorite: Skyway Jacks.
Things to Do in St. Petersburg
Of course it can be hard to leave the pristine beach and beautiful pool at the Pink Palace, but if you do want to wander the St. Pete area, there is plenty to do. If you love art, the two museums to see are the Dalí Museum and The Chihuly Collection. The Dali has an unparalleled collection of the works of artist Salvatore Dalí, someone one might not expect to find in St. Petersburg. The architecture of the museum is also notable. The Chihuly Collection is a 10,000 square foot facility filled with the unique artwork of Dale Chihuly. Both of these museums are stunning and should be at the top of your list when visiting St. Pete.
A visit to the St. Pete Pier is always a treat. It is much more than just a pier—it is a park, marketplace, a beach, and wet discover center for kids. There are so many activities and things to see on the pier you won’t believe it! My favorite? Watching the pelicans, of course.
North Beach at Fort De Soto Park is a worthwhile day trip from the Don Cesar. Named “Best Family Beach” by USA News in 2014, there is something for everyone. you can visit the fort and see old artillery holds and firing galleys. The fort is made of coquina shells. There are paved trails to wander, with canoes and kayaks for rent. Or, you can settle into the sugary white sand and enjoy the sea and sun.
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