Riding Cross-Bay Ferry from Tampa to St Pete

By Published On: March 12th, 2024

What To Do in Tampa After Riding Cross-Bay Ferry

Published on 03/11/24: Suggestions when riding the Cross Bay Ferry from Tampa to St Pete! Reminder, kids 12 and under ride free all March and April in 2024. Simply use promo code KIDSRIDEFREE24 to receive a free kid’s ticket with a paid adult ticket. Colt and his buddy brought their push scooters aboard this time. A suggestion from our friends and worked out great! We brought card games to play on the ride.

St Petersburg Ferry Port New Location

As shown in second to last photo, the ferry’s port in St Pete moved from Bayshore Dr NE to the Port St. Pete this season. A block south of Albert Whitted Airport. This raised a few questions from the LovingStPete family, thus this post.

Large Parking Lot at the New Port

First, for those riding from St Pete, there’s a good size parking lot at the port as shown in photos. 250 8th Ave SE. Free if riding the ferry, plus easy to park and board. More convenient for our family than finding street parking at prior location.

After Exiting the Ferry in St Petersburg

So, you just cruised from Tampa to St Pete and exited the ferry. While you could call a Lyft/Uber, here are some additional options. Feel free to chime in with more ideas! I was hesitant to single out just a few local business owners, so kept this fairly general. Add any shout-outs and favorite places to the comments!

Walking Options

🚶‍♀️Walking Central Ave: You could walk into the more ‘happening’ areas of St Pete. ie Follow your phone’s navigation to “Fortu” (Asian Cuisine*) and you’ll arrive near the start of Central Ave, an 18 min walk. Then, continue west on Central for an artsy vibe, restaurants, bars, shops, dessert places, and breweries. If feeling adventurous, you’ll find The Chihuly Collection and Morean Arts Center on Central Ave, a 31 walk from the port. *I’ve never dined at Fortu, simply using as a GPS landmark for intersection of Beach & Central.

🚶Walking Beach Drive: From Fortu’s intersection above, stroll Beach Drive towards the Vinoy (12 minutes) with their picturesque porch and rocking chairs. Along the way, you’ll pass many restaurants, shops, parks, dessert places, the pier, etc. You could stay along the water for half the walk, looking for dolphin and other marine life by the seawall.

Beach Drive and Central Ave each have different vibes. If you start down one and say “hmm”, then go back to the Fortu intersection and try the other.

Options With Less Walking

🚎 The free Downtown Looper: It circles the port when the ferry arrives (within 10+- minutes). Imo, this is a no brainer if the walking options below don’t resonate. The trolley continually loops around downtown with 20 stops as shown in last photo. Equipped with a wheelchair lift. 👩‍🦽

🛴 🚲 Scooter and E-Bikes: From the port, you could live on the wild side (I’m old) and rent a Lime E-bike or Veo E-scooter, if you don’t bring your own bike. Download the Lime E-bike app and Veo E-scooter app, pictured in photos to find the closest available.

🚌 SunRunner to the Beach: For $2.25 each way, ride the SunRunner to St Pete Beach. 35-40 min each way. The 3rd St S/6th Ave S station is within a 10 min walk from the dock. Download the PSTA app for transit options and real time info. Bike and wheelchair friendly, except for tandem bikes.

Places to Consider After Arrival at the St Pete Ferry Port

Here are a few places to consider within a 22-minute walk from port of St Pete. There are so many fantastic locally owned restaurants, shops, and bars along the routes above.

St. Pete Pier (22 min): Huge playground, drinks, food, views, green space, small interactive marine exploration area called Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center (tickets $3-$5).

Albert Whitted Park and Playground (15 min): Airplane themed play sets, waterfront, and right near airport runway. Fenced with gate. I’ve previously written it up on LovingStPete.

The Hangar Restaurant & Flight Lounge (7 min): My son enjoys watching aircraft come and go while sitting on their patio/balcony overlooking the runway.

A Few Museums to Visit in Walking Distance to Ferry Port

The Dalí Museum (11 min): Collection of art by Salvador Dalí “from iconic melting clocks to imaginative visual illusions and avant-garde symbols.”

Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida (22 min)

The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art (17 min)

Children’s Museum and Sunken Gardens

Parents with young children may consider visiting Great Explorations Children’s Museum. Nature and flamingo lovers of any age would enjoy Sunken Gardens, next door to the children’s museum. Only thing…Lyft/Uber is might be best bet, as it appears the closest Looper stop is still a 20+- minute walk. Mentioning these two activities because super popular and right next door to each other.

I’m a local St Petersburg Realtor, with over 48K people following my LovingStPete Guide on Social Media! My past includes developing a vacation rental advertising business that I ran for more than a decade, then sold to HomeAway/VRBO. I’d love to help you buy or sell a property, simply contact me.

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Written by : St Petersburg Realtor, Mike Braswell

Mike Braswell is a Tampa Bay Realtor, serving St Petersburg, Clearwater, all nearby beaches and more. Mike started LovingStPete in October of 2020 after a difficult year took its toll on local businesses. After being cooped up for portions of 2020 (lockdown) Mike and his son decided to get out and explore, helping spread the good word about the local area he loves so much. Often even doing gift card giveaways to support local. LovingStPete is now followed by over 48 thousand people on social media! The majority of posts are informative on fun parks, activities, day trips, great restaurants, and in general provide a comprehensive tour of the area!

Soon after receiving his bachelors in Management Information Systems, Mike developed and then operated a vacation rental advertising business for 10+ years as CEO/Owner. The business was eventually acquired by VRBO. Mike has earned the trust of many large clients over the years. Such as NFL, Wynn Resorts, Blue Cross Blue Shield, VISA, Genuine Parts Company (NAPA Auto Parts), AT&T, and other Fortune 500 companies.

When not spending time with his beautiful wife and energetic son, Mike enjoys boating and is also an avid tennis player. An interesting fact about Mike is that he grew up on an avocado farm with over 15 varieties, some of which you can find in our local Publix/Winn Dixie as his dad still farms the same farm at 87 years old!

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