Potions and Panoramas: Salty’s Poolside Beach Bar, St. Pete Beach, FL

Image credit: Anthony Beal

The sunniest months of the year are bearing down upon us, and those of us who haven’t yet departed from our daily grinds to chase a few carefree days of relaxation will do so soon enough. Because we could all use a little vitamin D, and because warm weather and outdoor festivity go hand-in-hand like a lime and a coconut, many of us will beat paths to coastlines near and far, hopefully not without having turned off our cell phones and tablets and turned on our “Out-of-office” workplace email notifications. For the locale of my most recent instance of such well-deserved frivolity, I chose the Tradewinds Island Grand Resort on Florida’s St. Petersburg Beach, home to a tiki-inspired Salty’s Poolside Beach Bar.

Situated simultaneously at poolside and at beachfront, Salty’s Poolside Beach Bar is an open air establishment fashioned after the kind of thatched-roof hut that Gilligan and the Skipper might have shared. Because its circular bar counter is accessible from virtually every side, a thirsty reveler with an eye for natural beauty can pull up a stool and from every angle admire the foaming surf caressing the shoreline, the vibrant greenness wrought by the Tradewinds landscapers, the radiance of the sun lavishing its affection upon the pool crowd. An eclectic menu offers up some tasty and affordable seafood options alongside standard bar fare like buffalo wings, quesadillas, and nachos. Its list of available libations is populated by cocktails given fun and memorable names that are touched by just enough kitsch to speak to a vacationer’s sense of whimsy without descending into self-parody.

So, because it seems to grow more difficult with each passing year for many of us to find the time to step out of the boardroom, hang up on that conference call, and simply be, here are eight easy steps to getting the most out of a visit to Salty’s:

  1. Begin with a reservation at the Tradewinds Island Grand resort.
  2. Stir in a poolside seat near the Breckenridge Building at Salty’s Poolside Beach Bar that affords the best simultaneous view of the adult pool and the beach.
  3. To these, add your choice of cocktail and sip slowly, allowing sun-warmed trade winds wafting in from the Gulf of Mexico to caress away all cares beyond which locally-caught menu item to have for lunch.
  4. Return the smile of the friendly stranger seated beside you.
  5. Replenish your cocktail, reserving a portion to enjoy with lunch.
  6. Savor the grilled, life-affirming taste of fresh, exquisitely-seasoned sea catch.
  7. When the live musicians begin poolside, sing along to every song you know.
  8. As evening begins to fall, carry any remaining cocktail into the adult pool and surrender to buoyancy of body as well as spirit.

Salty’s Poolside Beach Bar is located at the Tradewinds Island Grand Resort in St. Pete Beach, Florida, at 5500 Gulf Boulevard. It can be reached by telephone at 727-363-2258.

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