And as the title says, that’s EXACTLY what we did! Recently, we were invited to come check out a new aspect of the TradeWinds Islands Resort on St. Pete Beach called the Guy Harvey Outpost. This awesome new addition has TONS to offer its guests. Not only is it prime real estate for beach goers, it also has a full restaurant (equipped with amazing fish tanks made on the TV Show, TANKED), two pools, beach bars, lounges, an entire kid-friendly area, and a great new food spot called RumFish Grill.
Opened June 1st of this year, these new additions to the TradeWinds not only expanded the resort, but have now set their target on some new clientele. Locals. As you walk up to the front of RumFish, you can see the outdoor dining space and bar equipped with tvs, comfy furniture, great music and misters/heaters when necessary. As you walk inside, you make your way through a 2,200 sq. ft. retail space, one which we commented was very open and spacious (unlike many of the typical beach stores that you have to play a calculated game of driver’s ed to make it through without leaving behind any broken knick knacks). After passing through the retail space, guests can take their choice of where to go next: the restaurant to sit and eat (a bit more upscale with great views of the largest fish tank on site), the hallway gallery of art leading to the largest aquarium on site, or the bar and grill section of the restaurant that boasts a jumbotron of televisions, great drink specials and some delicious sounding bites to eat. Before heading towards the bar and grill, be sure to stop and snag the photo-op of you reelin’ in a big one!
Check out this virtual tour to really get an idea of what I experienced:
If guests choose to head down the hallway of art, they will notice pieces on display by local artists. A great thing about this resort is that they are very interested in involving the locals and want them to enjoy the amenities they offer. Additionally, they are hoping to “give back” to the community by promoting local artists within their property. After passing through the art gallery, visitors reach a dead end where an aquarium wraps up and over your head with an array sea life that are all indigenous to the Gulf of Mexico enjoying a leisurely swim. This is also the same tank that overlooks the dining area where resort guests are now invited to take a lesson in snorkeling to “Swim with the Fishes”.
Once visitors have checked out the art and the largest tank on the property, they can head into the bar area for a refreshing cocktail or to catch their favorite sporting event on TV. Now we all know that we here at NHIE love us some tequila, and yes they have tequila at the bar, but what makes this bar so different is that they have their own concoction of rum created on site called the Vanilla RumFish. We had a chance to taste test, and I was very intrigued. In addition to their own rum, patrons can choose to test out a series of rum flights which is a great way for someone who likes rum to enjoy a variety of different flavors in one sitting. When ordered, the flights of rum are presented on a “placemat” of sorts that describes each of the different tastings that are provided. Another aspect of the bar that I found to be awesome was the fact that they serve craft beer from one of our favorite, local breweries, 3 daughters (It’s not every day that you see craft beer at a beach bar in Tampa Bay, so this will hopefully also draw more of the local crowds to the bar as well.). This area of the bar and grill had both an indoor and outdoor option for guests’ enjoyment. Although my first thoughts were,”UGH, outside in Tampa during the summer is awful because of the heat and humidity”, the seating area outside is equipped with misters to keep guests cool in the heat and heaters for the winter chill. Pair that with the local music that is offered from 8-12 every night, and you can’t go wrong.
I could probably go on and on about all of the great amenities the resort boasts inside, but I’d rather you see it for yourself, so let’s move on to the best part…. The BEACH! Once we made our way around the inside of the resort, we walked out the back, through the poolside restaurant and outdoor “Sandbox” where there is live music each afternoon and the “Serpentine Lounge” where guests can kick back and relax on lounge chairs and outdoor furniture. The weather was beautiful the day we toured, so we set up shop on some lounge chairs closest to the water and relaxed with a delicious cocktail from the bar. After enjoying the day of sun and sand, we packed up our things and went back up towards the resort to play on some of the attractions they offer the younger guests. I tested my luck (and balancing skills) on the mechanical surf board, but passed on the giant blowup slide and mechanical shark ride. The surf ride was tricky, but for a first-timer, I thought I held my own. You be the judge below!
After the ride, we cooled down in the second pool on the resort reserved only for adults, which is tucked away in a private cove on the side of the hotel. It was the perfect end to the day and a great way to rinse off before our drive home.
For those of you who love the Rays and Lightning, the resort has watch parties for both of our favorite local teams that play on a huge screen pulled onto the beach. Drink specials and giveaways are offered to guests with discounted room rates for those who want to really “enjoy” the game and spend the evening. The next watch party is scheduled for July 20th, so pack a bag, throw on your swim suit and head on out to Guy Harvey Outpost at the TradeWinds Islands Resort and Just Let Go!