Home of the Tampa Bay Rays
Road Trip An Itinerary for Tropicana Field
Now that the Rays have a squad there’s a reason to go to the Trop beyond wanting to get out of the heat or being in the Tampa-St. Pete area with time on your hands. When you do make the trip, try to come from the south across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge that spans Tampa Bay. It’s the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world at 5.5 miles. … If you have time, head down to the St. Pete waterfront to check out The Pier, with its various shops and restaurants, and nearby Al Lang Stadium. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and the rest of the 1920s Yankees worked themselves into shape at the historic ballpark, which may be torn down soon and turned into the new home of the Rays. … Heading back to the Trop, there should be plenty of places to park along Central, and that gets you in position for your next stop … Ferg’s. The huge sports bar is a local institution, so grab some beer and crispy wings and head to the huge outdoor area to hang with some Rays fans. This is a good spot to pick-up a ticket if you still need one. … Looking for something a little less raucous? Try the Cider House a couple blocks away, which is popular with locals. … Get to the park early and check out the starting line-ups posted in the 8-story rotunda at the entrance, which is supposed to remind you of old Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. Head directly to the Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall-of Fame in centerfield and browse the collection of memorabilia. The Splendid Splinter never played for the Rays, of course, but made his home in the area. … The Ray Tank, a 10,000-gallon pool in centerfield that contains about 30 cownose rays, is also worth a look. You can even feed the rays for a couple bucks. … Many of the food options at the Trop are of the chain variety, so stick with the Italian sausage with peppers and onions, or seek out the Columbia Restaurant stand for some Cuban food. … Once you’ve settled into your seat, contemplate the tilted roof and the four rings of lights and catwalks that hang from it, and try to figure out the park’s confusing ground rules – click here for our take on the 'Rings'… If you need a break from the action, the Trop has a restaurant and three bars, including a cigar bar, although you can’t see the field from there. … Better to wait until after the game for that, when you can stroll over to Central Cigars for a post-game puff and a drink in a nice comfortable setting.
Ferg’s, 1320 Central Ave. N, (727) 822-4562
Cider House, 1752 Central Ave., (727) 822-7400
Central Cigars, 273 Central Ave., (727) 898-2442