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Riding The Cross Bay Ferry: Have Fun in Tampa and St. Pete

Let's Hop on The Tampa Bay Cross Bay Ferry ☀️😎

It’s no secret that a lot of us St. Pete and Tampa locals don’t love driving over the bridge. While we enjoy what our neighboring cities have to offer, we’re also very comfortable staying in our own bubble, especially when we think about getting stuck in traffic on the Howard Frankland Bridge.

Thankfully, there’s another way to commute from St. Pete to Tampa and vice versa – cue the Cross Bay Ferry! In less than an hour, you can go from strolling Downtown St. Pete’s beautiful waterfront to discovering all that Channelside has to offer.

Cross Bay Ferry to Tampa 🛥

The commute on the ferry lets you sit back and soak up scenic views of Tampa Bay all while not having to endure a moment of our lovely Tampa Bay traffic. Did we mention it’s air-conditioned? It’s really a win-win all the way around.

The Cross Bay Ferry is a stress-free way to explore more of Tampa Bay. Follow along as we take The Cross Bay Ferry from Downtown St. Pete to Tampa to uncover some of what the Channelside District has to offer.

Pro tips
  • There’s a bar on board – order a drink!
  • Get there early so you don’t miss the time slot
  • Go to the top to have the best views
  • It’s pet-friendly, so you can bring your pups!

10:00 am - Depart from St. Petersburg

📸 Cross Bay Ferry

All aboard! The Ferry leaves promptly at 10 am on Friday and Saturday, so we definitely recommend arriving 15 minutes early to hop in line.

Pro tip: We purchased our passes online ahead of time, which is always what we recommend, as the ferry often sells out. While we opted not to bring bikes today, you are welcome to.


📍 375 Bayshore Dr. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33705

The St. Petersburg Ferry Terminal is located on Bayshore Drive NE, between 2nd Ave North & 5th Ave N across from North Straub Park and just south of the Vinoy Hotel.

10:50am - Downtown Tampa to Channelside

The ferry docks near the Tampa Convention Center are in Downtown Tampa. This location makes it easy to take the TECO Streetcar once you arrive.

There’s a pick-up spot just a few hundred feet from where the ferry docks. It’s as simple as hopping on and hopping off. We rode it right down the street to Sparkman Wharf in Channelside!

Pro-tip: The streetcar stops every 15 minutes during ferry operating hours and it’s free! The streetcar line connects to Amalie Arena, Sparkman Wharf, the Florida Aquarium, and Ybor City.



📍Centennial Park Station (#1)
20th Street & 8th Avenue

📍Centro Ybor Station (#2)
16th Street & 8th Avenue

📍Streetcar Society Station (#3)
15th Street & 8th Avenue

📍Cadrecha Plaza Station (#4)
13th Street & 7th Avenue

📍Publix Station (#5)
McKay Street & Channelside Drive

📍York Street Station (#6)
York Street & Channelside Drive

📍Cumberland Avenue Station (#7)
Cumberland Avenue & Channelside Drive

📍Amalie Arena Station (#8)
Beneficial Drive & Channelside Drive

📍HSBC Station (#9)
Morgan & Old Water Streets

📍Dick Greco Plaza Transportation Center (#10)
Franklin Street & Old Water Street

📍Whiting Station (#11)
Franklin and Whiting Streets

Another Great Way to Explore the City 🤩🎥

Before you head back, here are more things to do around Channelside 💃🏼🛍

6:00 pm - Board Ferry Back to St. Pete

That’s a wrap! The Cross Bay Ferry heads back at 6:15 pm, so we dropped off the scooters one last time and boarded the ferry to head back. It felt amazing to be in the A/C after a long day of exploring…and to think we had all this fun in Channelside without having to drive over the bridge.

The Tampa Bay Ferry Terminal is located on the waterside of the Tampa Convention Center, just west of the Sail Restaurant and Franklin Street.

📍333 S Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602

Cross Bay Ferry to Downtown St. Pete ☀️🐬

11:50am - Downtown St. Pete Arrival

Enjoy a full bar on board, Tampa Bay’s calm waters, and Tampa’s beautiful skyline as you head out! If you have a bicycle, we recommend bringing it on board – we love exploring Downtown St. Pete this way!

12:15am - Black Crow Coffee

We recommend starting with coffee, of course! What better way to start the day than visiting one of our favorite coffee shops in Tampa Bay? They have a complete menu with baked goods, empanadas, and sandwiches – don’t miss out on these treats. You can grab and go, or sit at the very Instagrammable coffee shop.

Black Crow Coffee is also one of the most Instagrammable coffee shops. Find more Instagrammable coffee shops in Tampa Bay!

Hours & Location

Monday | 7:00am-5:00pm
Tuesday | 7:00am-5:00pm
Wednesday | 7:00am-5:00pm
Thursday | 7:00am-5:00pm
Friday | 7:00am-5:00pm
Saturday | 7:00am-5:00pm
Sunday | 7:00am-5:00pm

📍2157 1st Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712

Monday | 7:00am-4:00pm
Tuesday | 7:00am-4:00pm
Wednesday | 7:00am-4:00pm
Thursday | 7:00am-4:00pm
Friday | 7:00am-4:00pm
Saturday | 7:00am-4:00pm
Sunday | 7:00am-4:00pm

📍722 2nd St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

1:30pm - The Dalí

This is one of our favorite things to do in Downtown St. Pete and a must-see for anyone visiting for the first time. We love exploring the grounds and having a treat or snack at the Cafe after experiencing the art.

Check out the gift shop – stocked with the coolest gifts, books, shirts, and more! We highly recommend checking out the new 3D art show, there’s nothing like it.

Hours & Location

Monday | 10:00am-6:00pm
Tuesday | 10:00am-6:00pm
Wednesday | 10:00am-6:00pm
Thursday | 10:00am-8:00pm
Friday | 10:00am-6:00pm
Saturday | 10:00am-6:00pm
Sunday | 10:00am-6:00pm

📍1 Dali Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

3:00pm - Straub Parks

Another plan we LOVE is hanging out at Downtown St. Pete’s Straub Parks. If you love picnics as much as we do, this is the perfect place to lay a blanket, enjoy some snacks and sammies, and relax at one of the most beautiful places in Tampa Bay!

Check out more parks in Tampa Bay!

Hours & Location

North Straub Park

Monday-Sunday | Open 24 hours

📍400 Bayshore Dr. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

South Straub Park

Monday-Sunday | Open 24 hours

📍198 Bayshore Dr NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

4:30pm - Tomobolo Books

This has to be one of our top bookstores in Tampa Bay! It’s located right next to Black Crow Coffee, so you can grab a coffee and head to Tomobolo, or check it out later in the day.

If you have no idea which book to take home, we recommend giving the blind book date a try! Different books are wrapped in brown paper with little details about the book without giving away the book title.

You can also explore Grand Central!

Check out more bookstores in Tampa Bay.

Hours & Location

Monday | 10:00am- 7:00pm
Tuesday | 10:00am- 7:00pm
Wednesday | 10:00am- 7:00pm
Thursday | 10:00am- 7:00pm
Friday | 10:00am- 7:00pm
Saturday |10:00am- 5:30pm
Sunday | 10:00am- 5:30pm

📍2153 1st Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712

6:30pm - BellaBrava

After exploring Downtown St. Pete, the best way to finish a fun day is with the stunningly good, BellaBrava! Enjoy warm complimentary bread and butter (so delicious) and incredible Italian eats.

We recommend grabbing a seat outdoors to enjoy the breeze and experience the sunset! Try the mushroom pizza and the tiramisu for the dessert – our favorite combo!

Hours & Location

Monday | 11:30am- 10:00pm
Tuesday | 11:30am- 10:00pm
Wednesday | 11:30am- 10:00pm
Thursday | 11:30am- 10:00pm
Friday | 11:30am- 11:00pm
Saturday | 11:30am- 11:00pm
Sunday | 11:30am- 10:00pm

📍204 Beach Dr NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

8:00pm - Birchwood Canopy

Take in the fantastic views of Tampa Bay, the St. Pete Pier, and North Straub Park before you head back. Canopy is a great bar and lounge atmosphere – with plenty of seating for groups, cozy fireplaces, and neon lighting.

Uncover more rooftop bars in Tampa Bay!

Hours & Location

Monday | 4:00pm- 12:00am
Tuesday | 4:00pm- 12:00am
Wednesday | 4:00pm- 12:00am
Thursday | 4:00pm- 12:00am
Friday | 1:00pm- 2:00am
Saturday | 11:00am- 2:00am
Sunday | 11:00am- 12:00am

📍340 Beach Dr NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Before you head back, here are more things to do around Downtown St. Pete ☀️🌊

9:25pm - Board Ferry Back to Tampa

That’s a wrap! The Cross Bay Ferry heads back at 9:45pm during the weekend, so we recommend getting there around 9:25pm to ensure you’re on! Located at Vinoy Basin in St. Petersburg!

📍375 Bayshore Dr. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33705

Top Activities in Tampa Bay 🚤☀️

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Spend a Day Taking The Cross Bay 😎

Whether you're looking to explore Tampa or St. Pete, we created the perfect day plan for you!

Excited about exploring different areas around Tampa Bay? Let us know your favorite by tagging @StuffToDoInTampaBay on Instagram and Facebook! Check out our weekend guide for the best stuff to do in Tampa Bay!