Baseball may be the national pastime, but here in St. Petersburg from late March to September, baseball is our way of life. The MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays call Tropicana Field in downtown St. Pete their home and the giant orange-shaped dome lights up at night for home games.
Directly across the street from the dome on Central Avenue, Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill is baseball HQ: the sprawling former gas station turned sports bar features a huge party deck and an outdoor seating area with a stage for live bands, multiple bars, televisions and outdoor grills.
There’s even an underground tunnel from the ballpark lot to the bar, known for its wings, burgers and of course…buckets and pitchers of beer. With over 40 televisions, including satellite feeds for hard-to-find sporting events, and a live D.J. on the covered patio, big games draw throngs of locals and visitors.
Don’t be surprised to see professional Bay area sports stars and even Florida’s governor hanging out at this locally owned institution. This is party central on game nights! And if you still need tickets for the games, you’ll find the scalpers right outside the front door.
The national craft beer explosion has also taken root in downtown St. Pete with multiple microbreweries popping up throughout the city. Cycle Brewing—the first in town—has a hip urban vibe in its downtown storefront brewhouse, serving up 12 rotating taps. Try the coffee porter here made with beans from the local Mazzaro’s Italian Market.
Just around the corner from Cycle, St. Pete Brewing Company is known for its daily specials and beer cupcakes. Try the Pinellas Pale Ale or St. Pete Orange Wheat. Green Bench Brewing—an homage to St. Pete’s former “City of Green Benches” moniker—is housed in an old red brick garage and is known for its hand-crafted small batch beers like their signature Maximo.
Cage Brewing in the Grand Central District has a laid-back, arty vibe—they showcase local artists— and a large outdoor grassy area if you want to bring your pooch. Check out the Grand Central Red or Galaxy Cat IPA.
Urban Comfort, also on Central Avenue, is the place for barbecue and beer. While most of the other breweries feature food truck service, UC cooks up southern comfort food. Try Urban’s Royal Bohemian Pilsner or Hefeweizen.
On the edge of the Grand Central and Warehouse Arts Districts, 3 Daughters Brewing has a mod tasting room in a large warehouse and tons of party games. Live music and food trucks on the weekends make it a local favorite. Try the Beach Blonde ale or Summer Storm oatmeal stout.