There are lots of great reasons to visit downtown St. Pete, Florida. If you’re looking for a good excuse to visit on a Saturday morning, there’s the Saturday Morning Market. Packed with more than140 vendors, you’ll have no shortage of food, artisans, and fun.
There are many other farmers/open-air markets in the Tampa Bay area, but we’re pretty sure the Saturday Morning Market is the biggest among them. It draws about 10,000 visitors each week, according to Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. The market website reports that it has more types of ready-to-eat food than any other U.S. market. That includes Belgian, German, Greek, Ethiopian, vegetarian, and many more.
The Saturday Morning Market in St. Pete is open 9 am to 2 pm October through May and 9 am to 1 pm June through September.
The Saturday Morning Market in downtown St. Pete combines ready-made foods from around the world along with Florida-based farm vendors and local artisans selling jewelry and other art. Here’s just a sampling of what to expect:
—Mr. Fun Guy, featuring mushrooms ready to eat and in powder and extract form
—Gulf Coast Sourdough, selling delectable baked goods like bread
—Worden Farms, a Punta Gorda-based organic farm famous for its wide selection and colorful sunflowers
—Big Crush Slush, with hand-crafted citrus and ginger seltzer drinks
—Mitch Armstrong Nursery, which sells a variety of plants including butterfly vines and succulents
We could go on, but you get the idea. Find the full vendor list here, which also serves as a map for the market.
One other cool thing at the Saturday Morning Market–or really, any farmers/open-air market–is the people watching. The St. Pete crowd has a nutty-crunchy, younger feel to it compared with some of the other nearby markets. A visitor buys coffee and an empanada for their breakfast while weaving through the market with their dog (more on the dogs a little further down). Parents with their young kid in a stroller amble while checking out Florida-grown produce. Another visitor enjoys a vegan smoothie as an antidote for the Florida sun while sitting and listening to the market’s live music. (Check the market website for details on weekly entertainment, available most times of the year except the summer.)
Saturday Morning Market’s Location in Downtown St. Pete
One thing to keep in mind with the Saturday Morning Market is that it changes location seasonally. In the summer, it moves to Williams Park (350 2nd Ave. North), which has more shade. There are usually fewer vendors in the summer, although the market remains big year-round. The rest of the year, the market takes place in the parking lot of the Al Lang Stadium (230 First St. S.). There’s on-street parking and some parking garages near both locations. For on-street parking, you may have to use and pay via the Park Mobile app.
5 Tips for a Great Visit to St. Pete’s Saturday Morning Market
For an enjoyable visit to the Saturday Morning Market, here are a few tips:
- Arrive early. This piece of advice serves you well in many situations so you can easily find parking, keep crowds to a minimum, and avoid Florida’s midday sun.
- Know where you’re going. If you plan to come to the market and just wander, kudos! We support you. If you’re more of a planner or you have a limited amount of time, use the market map online to scope out vendors you know you want to visit.
- Bring sun protection, reusable bags and a cooler. A reusable bag is an easy, sustainable way to carry your market goods. The sun protection is, well, obviously needed in the Sunshine State. A small cooler will help if you’re buying perishable items and plan to stay at the market for a while or have a long drive back home. You don’t necessarily need to carry the cooler with you, just have it in the car.
- Think in advance about bringing Fido. The Saturday Market is dog-friendly, which is great. Our beef is that we see many dogs that look hot in the Florida sun, with their tongues wagging way too far. Thankfully, many vendors have water bowls for your canine friends. Yet think in advance if you really want to bring Fido or Fluffy. The sun can make the asphalt temperature reach 100 degrees or above, dangerous for your dog’s paws. If your dog is a heat-sensitive breed, older, has joint issues, or is iffy about crowds or other dogs, they’ll probably be happier at home.
- Consider making a day of your St. Pete visit. In addition to its nearby famous beaches, there’s a lot to do in downtown St. Pete. We share a few suggestions below.
More Things to Do in or Near Downtown St. Pete
While you’re in town, consider playing tourist with a few other attractions:
––St. Pete Pier: The beautiful redone pier features a splash ground for the kids, a restaurant, a gorgeous view of Tampa Bay, special events, nature spotting and lots more. On the weekend, the pier even has its own small craft market. The St. Pete Pier is about a 10-minute walk from the market’s Al Lang Stadium location, although you’ll walk at least another 10 minutes from the start of the pier to the end of it. Consider using the pier’s free tram if you want to save steps.
—Salvador Dali Museum. This world-famous museum features art work from the famous Spanish artist as well as like-minded artists.
—James Museum. Consider this museum if you enjoy Western art, featuring the West’s open spaces, cowboys, and Native Americans.
—Chihuly Collection at Morean Arts Center, feature Dale Chihuly’s glass art.
—Downtown murals. The Central Arts District has a cool collection of murals to check out, but also keep your eyes open for street art all around the city.
If your visit to the Saturday Morning Market merely whets your appetite for more open-air/farmers markets, then you’re in luck. St. Pete Beach has a Sunday market, the weekend Pinellas Flea and Farmers Market in Clearwater features a large number of Asian food vendors, and there’s an active network of Tampa Bay markets. Plus, we’ve got the scoop right here on markets in the nearby Bradenton/Sarasota area, including the popular Sarasota Farmers Market on Saturdays and Farmers’ Market at Lakewood Ranch on Sundays.