As a college student in Tampa, I love to explore new places and find the most affordable ways to get around and experience what life is like in Florida. Recently, my friends and I discovered the beauty and diversity that downtown St. Pete encompasses.
Start by waking up early to take The Cross Bay Ferry from Tampa’s Convention Center to Downtown St. Pete. The ferry runs from 10 am to 11 pm traveling back and forth from both ports. Rates vary depending on age but only cost $8.00 for one way and $16.00 round trip for college students. It is a great spot for taking pictures and relaxing while soaking up the morning bay view. Taking the ferry allows you to experience the city of Tampa and St. Pete from a different perspective.
When you arrive in St. Pete you will port next to St. Pete Pier. The Pier is always hosting unique events and has various restaurants and pop-up shops along with it. If you go on a Saturday, I recommend first heading to the St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market. This market is full of 125 remarkable vendors selling various artisan crafts, delicious food from 15 countries, and other goods from family-owned farms. There also is live music performed by local musicians and bands. This market runs every Saturday from 9 am-2 pm at 100 1st St. SE (at 1st Ave S) on the Downtown Waterfront.
After visiting the market, walk over to Central Ave N where there are various must-try lunch spots. When we were there, we went to a new American tavern called Oak and Stone. They feature artisanal pizzas and the region’s largest self-serve beer wall that allows guests to craft their own experience.
If you are an art lover Downtown St. Pete is perfect for you. Lining Central Ave are beautiful art galleries filled with extraordinary fine crafts and artworks. Additionally, there are various museums around the city to spend your afternoon exploring like The Dali Museum, The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art, Museum of Fine Arts, etc.
Once it’s time for sunset make your way to St. Pete Pier. As you make your way up the pier make sure to check out the little vendors along either side of the walkway. About halfway down the pier, there is the ideal lookout spot for watching the sunset. Pick one of the Adirondack chairs and sit back and relax while watching the different colors paint the sky.
When the sun goes down, the fun doesn’t stop. St. Pete’s Central Ave is a street covered with some of St. Pete’s best restaurants and bars. Many of them include outdoor beer gardens and live entertainment. Feel free to bring your furry pet to go to Dog Bar St. Pete. After dining, head over to the Jannus Live downtown concert venue that hosts local acts, DJ’s and other events.
When you get the chance, take the time to explore Downtown St. Pete and all the beauty, unique places, and activities that it has to offer.