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St. Pete’s Saturday Morning Market is an event you can’t miss as it’s one of the best experiences one can have in the area in my opinion. The market is a display of local culture at its finest and has a mission of being the heart of The Burg. It’s exactly that and more. You won’t find another weekly event where locals and visitors meet and create such a great sense of community.
Saturday Morning Market – Authentically St. Pete
The Saturday Morning Market first opened in November 2002 and has since become a staple of the community. Nearly 200 vendors set up in the Al Lang Parking Lot in downtown St. Pete near the waterfront. The market attracts a whopping 10,000 visitors every Saturday, open from 9am until 2pm and running October through May. The Saturday Morning Market moves to shady William Park and hosts a smaller market between June and August.
Market-goers can find high-quality produce and purchase them directly from local growers. A number of artisans sell breads, pastries, cakes, and other baked goods, all made from scratch. Food vendors offer a variety of cuisines including Ethiopian, Indian, Cuban, French, Belgian, Italian, Mexican, and several more. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options can be found too. The market also boasts of an array of unique crafts handmade by local artists and designers including clothing, fabrics, handbags, paintings, handmade soaps and candles, and more.
How to Get There
As aforementioned, the Saturday Morning Market is in the heart of Downtown St. Pete, located in the parking lot of the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ Al Lang Stadium.
If you’re in the downtown area, then getting there should be a breeze as it’s most likely walking distance or a quick drive. Keep in mind though that the market has a lot and you may be left hauling back several bags if you lose self-control as I do sometimes. Just something to consider.
Where to Park
My favorite place to park is in the South Core Garage on 1st Ave S between 1st Street and 2nd Steet. While there are street parking options, remember that 10,000 people flock the market every Saturday. Downtown is a popular spot especially on weekends, so parking will be hard to find as is. Plus, it’s best to leave parking on streets like Beach Drive and Central Avenue for the patrons going to the establishments in those areas.
I’ve had no problem parking in the garage and going straight to the top level, the 8th floor. It’s out of the way, which I like, and there’s always parking next to the elevator or stairs for easy access. The South Core Garage is $3 for all-day parking on Saturdays, though it may change if there’s another large event ongoing. Both cash and credit cards are accepted.
Other options include:
Sundial Parking Garage – A large parking structure located by the Sundial. It’s located on 2nd Street N between 1st and 2nd Avenue, which is just two blocks north of the market. Parking is $1 for the first four hours on weekends.
Al Lang Parking – 50 spaces are available in the eastern side of the Al Lang Parking Lot. Parking is $5 here.
Tips on What to Bring and Wear
Check the weather before you leave and dress accordingly.
The Saturday Morning Market runs through three seasons with distinct climates of their own, although it’s always wise to factor in unpredictability. In early fall and late spring, you can count on it being on the warm side, so lighter clothes, a good SPF 30 sunscreen, sunglasses, and even a sunhat are recommended. During the cooler months, wear pants or bring a light jacket to stay warm. This is Florida, so always have an umbrella on standby.
Wear comfortable shoes.
The market covers a large area and you’re bound to do some walking from where you parked or originated, so wearing comfortable shoes is pretty much mandatory if you love yourself. I normally pair my running shoes with whatever I’m wearing and call it a day.
Bring or get a reusable bag.
St. Pete is all about sustainability and being eco-friendly. While vendors will give you plastic bags if you don’t have one, it’s not the preferred method. I recently forgot my bag in my car and of
Exploring at the Saturday Morning Market
The Saturday Morning Market has so much to see, do, and, most importantly, eat. Upon arriving, you’re immediately greeted with the friendly bustle and banter of visitors as well as the entertainment. There’s a different act performing every weekend on the Main Stage, ranging from jump and swing bands to Motown and soul groups. And then there’s the homie, insert name here, belting all kinds of hits by the organic vendors.
Food Vendors & Produce
The market’s an excellent place to get fresh produce. We have access to local farms selling ripe fruits, vegetables, herbs, and more with two of them being organic. Not only do they have an abundance of fruits and veggies, but you’ll even find some rare produce that’s not commonly found in stores.
Little Pond Farm of Bushnell (just outside of Tallahassee) grows holy basil, which I love. I love making Thai recipes and always had to settle for more common basil variants. This is delicious. Less of an herb flavor and more of a peppery one, quite unlike sweet Thai basil we commonly see in Asian markets and restaurants. Definitely give this (and them) a try.
This stand is a favorite and one of my first stops at the market. I bought organic chicken breast here and whoa! It had a different texture and fresher taste, and it was beyond juicy. He also sells steaks, as well as turkeys and lamb during the holidays.
Locally Made Goods & Crafts
St. Pete has a unique and colorful vibe, so you can only imagine that that’s conveyed through its local artists and designers as well.
St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market
102 1st St. S
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
October – May
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