College can be quite a transitional and overwhelming phase in life. From moving to a new town to adapting to a new schedule and an unprecedented level of independence, it can seem like your whole world has changed.

To make this transition a bit easier for all of you college students in St. Petersburg, we've put together a guide of everything you need to know as you adjust to life in the Sunshine City. 

Staying Active

Incorporating activities into your routine that get your body moving is important not only for your physical but also your mental health. Luckily, there are so many fun ways to stay active in St. Petersburg!

On a sunny day, you can hop on a bike or rent one through Coast Bike Share and ride on the Pinellas Trail, which stretches all the way from St. Pete to Tarpon Springs. If you skateboard to stay active, check out the St. Pete Skatepark or Fossil Park Skatepark.

The Movement Sanctuary and Vertical Ventures St Pete both offer unique (and air-conditioned!) ways to get your body moving through aerial arts and rock climbing. You can take a yoga class at The Body Electric Yoga Company or sign up for one of their paddleboard yoga classes.

Paddling through the shady mangroves of Weedon Island Preserve on a kayak is another great way to get outside, get moving, and experience the lesser-seen side of St. Petersburg. 

Bars and Breweries

If you're over 21, St. Petersburg has some great bars and breweries to grab a drink at. One of the first places to introduce the craft beer scene to St. Pete is The Ale and the Witch, a craft beer bar with an outdoor courtyard that has live music almost every night of the week.

Checking out all of the twelve local craft breweries is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys a good brew- some of our favorites are If I Brewed The World, Cycle Brewing, Avid Brew Company, and Overflow Brewing Company.

You can unleash your inner child at Park & Rec or Right Around the Corner, which both have a variety of arcade games to get lost in. Five Bucks Drinkery on the 200 Block of Central has some great drink deals for anyone who doesn't feel like paying $10 for one cocktail. 

Related content: College Bars in St. Petersburg and Clearwater


St. Petersburg's food scene has exploded over the past few years and doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. There are tons of great restaurants in the area with plenty of quick-serve and sit down options.

If you're looking for comfort food that reminds you of home, Central Melt is a perfect option to grab a quick lunch. Poppo's Taqueria recently opened their doors in The EDGE District of St. Petersburg, and their made-to-order tortillas are fast, delicious, and inexpensive.

Of course, Bodega on Central is a staple quick-serve spot of St. Pete, and everyone in the city should try it at least once to know what all the buzz is about. Located right across the street from Bodega, Baum Avenue Market is home to a variety of quick, quality restaurants, ranging from Indian cuisine to sushi to vegan baked goods.

For anyone who wants full table service, some recommendations include Fresco's Waterfront Bistro (sit outside for killer views of the city's marina), Bangkok Thai Restaurant, Engine No9, and Red Mesa Cantina


From local boutiques to treasure-ridden thrift shops, St. Petersburg has no shortage of shopping destinations. St. Pete's most unique shopping experiences are found at the city's local markets.

During season, the parking lot at Al Lang Stadium is converted into the Saturday Morning Market each week where you can find food vendors, veggie stands, and a wide variety of clothing and home goods.

St. Pete Indie Market highlights all of the city's local makers, and the Royal Palm Market does the same every Thursday night in the lot adjacent to Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails.

The city's local boutiques have awesome finds for all the latest trends. Some staples to check out next time you want to spruce up your closet include Bartique, Ashe Couture Boutique, Misred Outfitters, and for the guys, Gray Space and Matter of Fact

Related content: Tips for Thrift Store Shopping in St. Petersburg and Thrift Stores in St. Petersburg | Vintage, Consignment Shops


The arts and entertainment scene in St. Petersburg is so vibrant, it's hard not to find something going on every night of the week. Some of the city's staple live music venues include  Jannus Live, State Theatre (which is currently under construction), and Ruby's Elixir.

For any vinyl nerds who are new to the city, you can beef up your collection at Daddy Kool Records, Bananas Music, and Planet Retro Records. If you want to admire some artwork, you can stroll through the mural alley in The 600 Block of St. Petersburg or check out one of the many museums in the city like The Dali Museum, The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art, Chihuly Collection, Imagine Museum, and Morean Arts Center

Study Spots 

Finding your perfect study spot in the city is crucial to having the quintessential college experience. We highly recommend grabbing a drink from TeBella Tea on the second floor of Station House St. Pete and hanging out to write your next essay. Some other spots where you can caffeinate and get in the groove are Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails, Bandit Coffee Co., and Black Crow Coffee Co

With so many changes happening as you begin this next semester, this list should provide some insights that can help you acclimate to your new surroundings.

If you want to stay in the loop on the best restaurants, bars, and things to do in St. Petersburg, register on 727area for your free local guide to this side of the bay.


Cover photo courtesy of Unsplash