One of the great things about Sarasota is how we are in close proximity to so many other great places in Florida. One of those places we enjoy going to is Tampa! The drive from Sarasota to Tampa is a little over an hour, and it’s a beautiful drive over the Sunshine Skyway. Here are some of our favorite things to do in Tampa.
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20 Things to do in Tampa
- Oxford Exchange: OE is part restaurant, coffee bar, tea bar, bookshop, champagne bar, and store. You’ll definitely need to make a reservation if you want to have brunch here.
- Tampa Riverwalk: Take a stroll along the Hillsborough River where you will find bars, restaurants, shops, museums, art, and so much more. It’s a beautiful way to explore downtown Tampa.
- Sparkman Wharf: We were so excited when it was announced that something new would be going in the underutilized Channelside area. Enjoy food stands, a biergarten, Splitsville, and views of the cruise ships leaving Tampa. This area is still being developed so we are so excited to see what they do next.
- Ybor City: This unique neighborhood retains its influences from Cuba, Spain, and Italy. You’ll notice the wrought iron balconies, historic buildings, brick-paved streets and charming shops and cafes. Ybor is also a hot-spot for nightlife with many bars and nightclubs. Visit Cuba by going to Jose Marti Park, which is owned by the Cuban government and technically Cuban land.
- Hyde Park Village: This cute shopping area has different bars, restaurants, and stores. There is a good mix of local and chain places. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon.
- Shopping: There’s plenty more great places to shop in Tampa. We like going to the International Plaza and Bay Street. There is also Westshore Plaza and Tampa Premium Outlets.
- South Howard: Known as “SoHo,” this is the place to go if you want to spend an evening bar hopping, watch a sports game, or have a boozy brunch. There are also some great restaurants in this area.
- Armature Works: This is a newer spot in Tampa that has been a great addition to the Riverwalk. Armature Works is a converted warehouse that is now an indoor/outdoor mixed-use space with restaurants, bars, and vendors. It is a great spot to meet for a drink and hang out. They also do events like live music and flea markets.
- Busch Gardens: Although Orlando is the theme park capital of the world, Busch Gardens is a great way to get your theme park fix in just a day. Busch Gardens has plenty of thrill rides and entertainment as well as over 12,000 animals that call this park home.
- Florida Aquarium: Located on Channelside next to the cruise terminals, the Florida Aquarium has incredible exhibits and educational experiences. There are approximately 9,000 animals that live here.
- Henry B. Plant Museum: Originally opened as the Tampa Bay Hotel in 1891, the Henry B. Plant Museum features artifacts and furnishings from the hotel as well as pays homage to the beginning of Florida’s tourism industry and the City of Tampa. The museum is located in Plant Hall, which is now a part of The University of Tampa.
- Local Breweries: If you love trying local beer, there are some great breweries to check out in Tampa.
- Local Coffee Shops: Also, if you love trying local coffee there are some great coffee shops to visit in Tampa. Our personal favorite is Buddy Brew (which is served at Oxford Exchange)!
- Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino: Looking to get some gambling in during your trip to Tampa? The Seminole Hard Rock is part hotel, part casino. There is plenty of dining, shopping, and entertainment options here.
- Concerts: Tampa has a great live music scene. Whether you want to see some local talent or the big names, there are plenty of venues to choose from.
- TECO Streetcar: One unique thing you can do in Tampa is take the TECO Streetcar. It’s free to ride and it’s a fun way to learn more about Tampa’s urban area. They also do fun things like Streetcar Live, where a band hops onboard to do a concert for passengers.
- Bayshore Boulevard: If you’d like to get a nice walk or bike ride in, Bayshore Boulevard is 8.8 mile paved path along the water.
- ZooTampa: ZooTampa is 56 acres of animal habitats and exhibits in a tropical garden setting.
- Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park: Located along the Riverwalk, this park is a great spot to relax and enjoy the views. Many events are held here throughout the year, so be sure to check the event calendar.
- Hindu Temple of Florida: Did you know there is a Hindu Temple in Tampa? You do now! There are services, special events, and tours you can take.
These are just a few great things you can do in Tampa. We love coming up here for a day trip from Sarasota, but you could easily spend a weekend or longer here.