I know when I was considering moving here in 2012 there was only limited information from locals online and I didn’t really know what to expect or how to integrate once I moved here. Now that I’ve lived in St. Pete for almost 7 years I can accurately describe what to expect and the best ways to get started living your best life in St. Pete once you arrive.
A lot of people move to this city without knowing anyone. I rarely meet anyone that was required to relocate here for a job, most people want to live here by choice. Seems like everyone who visits here at least explores the ideas of making the move eventually.
Moving to a new city is exciting. It forces you to meet new people, explore new areas and try new things. Once you make the move you’ll want to take action to make sure you’re making the most out of your time here. With that said, here are my suggestions for The Top 10 Things To Do After Moving To St. Pete, Florida.
10. Join A Sports League
We have an organization called Tampa Bay Club Sports that is a great way to have fun and meet friends. They have volleyball, kickball, softball, soccer and a few other sports leagues which you can check out on their website. Joining a team and seeing your teammates over and over every week is probably one of the best ways to make friends when you move to a new city. Most leagues come with bar specials after so you can go get to know your teammates a little bit more over food and drinks.
9. Ride The CrossBay Ferry
Yes we all know Tampa is the inferior city but hey let’s throw them a bone. The Crossbay Ferry travels between Downtown St. Pete and Downtown Tampa and is a really fun way to spend a day. It’s only seasonal and the ferry fills up quick so you’ll have to check on their website for availability and probably book at least a week ahead of time. You can also bring your bike on the ferry which is the best way to explore Downtown Tampa since it’s a bit spread out. I’d recommend riding your bike down the river walk and check out Armature Works!
On the way to Armature Works you can stop and check out a few different scenic spots including The University of Tampa and Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can continue on to Ybor and get yourself some craft beer and food at Tampa Bay Brewing Company. Ybor is known for it’s cigars and is a great place to people watch.
8. Find The Best Happy Hours!
St. Pete is a hard place to stay sober. So much so that I routinely extended sobriety breaks to make sure I don’t fall into the habit too hard. There are so many bars and restaurants here and they all have to compete with each other so you can find some great drink specials. This is most definitely not meant to be an all encompassing list of happy hours but here are some of my favorites.
$5 old fashioneds at Intermezzo Cafe every Wednesday after 5PM.
$3 small plates, select drafts and $4 house wine at Hawkers everyday from 3-7pm, they also have a late night happy hour with the same specials.
Half off wine and appetizers at Acropolis every Wednesday.
Happy Hour 3-7pm at Red Mesa Cantina Mon-Fri. Monday is all day happy hour.
Half off select wine and food at Sea Salt from 4-6pm. Drink specials extend until 7pm.
Various specials 3-7pm at The Canopy Rooftop Bar including half off house wine and select drafts. It’s a perfect place to enjoy a drink on a nice day!
You can also check out the app/website called eatcheap to find a huge list of local happy hour deals.
7. Go On A Date And Do Some People Watching
Dating can be fun but you need a nice ambiance to keep the conversation flowing or at least have something to distract you to make that awkward silence less awkward. Whether it’s relaxing on sidewalk seating along Central Avenue or sitting on a comfy couch at The Canopy Rooftop Bar, there are plenty of places in St. Pete that have a great ambiance for a date.
I’ve come to appreciate a well crafted ambiance the older I get. What I’ve never been a fan of is club like environments where it’s too loud and crowded to have a conversation. Here’s my list of the top 5 places you should go on a date in St. Pete.
5. Room 901
This place is an off the beaten path hidden gem. It’s an amazing cocktail bar known for it’s old fashioneds and pleasant ambiance. They dub themselves a “conversation” bar which means there’s plenty of comfy seating and a quiet ambiance. I’d try to describe the interior decoration scheme but it’s so absurd it’s something you have to experience yourself to understand. It is super classy though, everyone I know that’s been there loves the ambiance.
This is my go to place to hangout. Located right on Central Avenue, it’s the perfect place for people watching but never too crowded. They have amazing Greek food and they also serve hookah if you choose to sit outside. Don’t forget that they do half off wine and appetizers every Wednesday. They used to have really uncomfortable chairs until I said something to a waitress and they changed them about two years later, you’re welcome!!!!!
3. The Canopy
Rooftop Bar with a Miami vibe. What else do I need to say? As I mentioned before, they have an amazing happy hour from 3-7pm Monday through Friday.
Hawkers is my go to happy hour food place. They have a great menu of small plates for $3 a piece and also house wines, select draft beers and craft cocktails on happy hour.
Red Mesa has one of the best ambiances for a date. They have a beautiful courtyard and 3 different floors. This includes a rooftop bar that’s only open at night I believe Thursday through Sunday.
6. Join A Meetup group
There are a ton of meetup groups through meetup.com that regularly host a wide variety of events. Whether you’re into fitness related activities like group workouts/yoga/volleyball etc or if you’d like to imbibe on some cocktails and meet friends at a happy hour. There’s a little bit of something for everyone. The best way to experience Meetup is to download the app on your phone and browse through the different groups in the local area.
5. Ask questions on the local subreddit
The St. Pete Sub-reddit is filled with all sorts of local topics and opinions about the area. Seems like there is always a ton of people that want to positively contribute to our local subreddit so don’t be afraid to go on there and ask questions to help learn about the area. You can also use the search function to see if someone has asked the same question that you need answering.
4. Buy a bicycle
I’m always amazed at how many people don’t have bikes. It’s the ideal way to get around this area. I think that’s going to become more and more true as Downtown becomes more congested with car traffic and parking gets even worse than it is now. Here are my top reasons to consider using a bike to get around.
5. It’s easier than walking, especially in the hot summer. When it’s uncomfortably hot, at least you’ll get a little bit of a breeze
4. You won’t have to drive around the block 6 times to park your car or pay for parking. Just get a sturdy U-lock for your bicycle and lock it to a sign or post. FYI if you get a rope lock you run the risk of getting your bike stolen which is a big thing around here.
3. It’s fun to bike around with friends. Whether you’re just going to get coffee or maybe stop at a brewery or two, it’s a great way to explore the city. If you are in the Warehouse Arts District where all the breweries are located, you’ll find dozens of intricate murals to check out.
2. Downtown is the perfectly sized city to bike around. You can get anywhere Downtown in less than 20 minutes on a bike. We have a bike trail, lots of sidewalks and even some designated bike lanes on certain roads.
1. It’s a great way to stay in shape!
3. Buy Some Beach Gear
Invest in a nice beach towel and/or chair. Get yourself a go to beach bag to make your beach trips simple. Get one of those coolers that disguises itself as a beach bag. Parking at the beach isn’t always the best so you’ll want a cooler that’s nice and easy to carry around. Figure out your go to beach – I prefer Pass-A-Grille since it’s usually easy to park and doesn’t get super crowded. If you end up getting a boat or a boat club membership definitely check out both John’s Pass & Bunces Pass Sandbars.
2. Get a Sunpass!
I don’t know why it took me a few years to figure this out. I used to always carry cash or change to get through the tolls but eventually I just bought a Sunpass which is 10x easier. You can get one at Publix, load it up with toll money and then just simply drive through the Sunpass lanes and it will deduct it from your account. You can also set up your debit card online so it just refills $20 at a time when needed.
You can get a Sunpass in the form of a sticker on your windshield or they also have a device which you can take with you and use with multiple vehicles. This is a lot easier than worrying about always having cash/change and running the risk of paying a fine.
1. Go To The Second Saturday Artwalk
The Second Saturday Artwalk is in my humble opinion the best regular event in St. Pete and it’s also free. Dozens of galleries open up their doors to the public between 5-9pm every Second Saturday of the month. This event is really impressive and I’m always surprised to talk to people who have lived here for years and never been to it or even heard about it.
This event serves a few purposes. Some artists do live demonstrations, some just show off their completed art, you can meet the artists, and of course you can buy some really amazing original art pieces. Many galleries have beer/wine and snacks for sale and some galleries even provide certain refreshments for free. My advice – Start at Woodfield Fine Art Gallery, pick up a map and go from there. There’s even a trolley that will transport you between the different districts and one of the stops is right in front of Woodfield. Find a place where you won’t get tagged for parking too long and enjoy this event.
The Tampa Bay Area is an amazing place to live. Florida recently became the number one state people are moving to in the entire United States and I believe St. Pete is the best city to move to in our state. This article was focused on St. Pete and Tampa got an honorable mention but I didn’t even get a chance to mention other amazing cities in that area including Clearwater, Gulfport, Dunedin, Safety Harbor, St. Pete Beach and more.
The truth is you could move to any of these cities and really enjoy living in this area. Although I’m biased against St. Pete since I live here, I know that all these other cities in the area have their own unique charm and advantages depending on what kind of lifestyle you’re looking to live.
If you’re looking to live your best life in a new city in Florida be sure to consider St. Pete and surrounding areas! Thanks for reading and if you have any general questions about the area or need our help for your real estate needs be sure to leave your information below and we’ll reach out ASAP.