Tampa Bay is the heart of Florida’s Gulf Coast. With miles of dazzling waterfront, authentic culture, cuisine, and nightlife, Tampa Bay has a million ways to play. All with an easy, laidback vibe. Don’t just take a vacation – have an adventure! When you visit Tampa Bay, you’re in for an exciting time. Whether you’re racing through the air on a heart-pounding roller coaster at Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay, taking a stroll down the stunning Tampa Riverwalk, biking along Bayshore Drive or the Hillsborough River, enjoying the rich culture of Ybor City, Tampa nightlife, taking in one of our sports teams, or enjoying our nearby beaches, you’re in for treasures beyond your wildest dreams. Tampa Bay has options for everyone.
Tampa Riverwalk – When you find yourself strolling through downtown Tampa you’re never far from the Tampa Riverwalk, 2.6 miles of pathway overlooking the shimmering Hillsborough River. Bike, run, and discover the Tampa Riverwalk, linking downtown’s favorite attractions like gems on a string along the stunning Hillsborough River. If you’re an early riser, get ready for Tampa’s sunrise views on the Tampa Riverwalk, where you can expect sun-drenched buildings and pink skies to start your day. The 2.6-mile path leaves you at the footsteps of great eateries like Ulele, Amateur Works, and Heights Public Market or at signature attractions like the Tampa Bay History Center and The Florida Aquarium. Stop by the central downtown spot, Curtis Hixon Riverfront Park, to embrace the river’s breeze and gorgeous sunset views over the University of Tampa’s minarets.
Pirate Water Taxi – A fleet of pirate-themed water taxis in downtown Tampa with over 15 stops located along the Riverwalk, including stops at Armature Works, Sparkman Wharf, and Curtis Hixon Riverfront Park paired with narration. The river taxi pass lets you hop on and off throughout the day. This is a great way for tourists to explore since there is also a tour guide who will talk about each stop and the things you see along the way.
Bikes, Paddleboads, and Kayak Rentals – Already downtown and don’t want to put on real shoes? Located adjacent the Convention Center and the Pirate Water Taxi hub, Tampa Riverwalk Rentals offers bikes of all sizes, standup paddleboards, and one and two-person kayaks to explore the Hillsborough River around downtown Tampa.
Attractions – Whether you have a few hours or an entire day to explore, there are plenty of wild-to-mild Tampa attractions awaiting you. Explore Busch Gardens Tampa Bay®, The Florida Aquarium, ZooTampa, and even Botanical Gardens. Peruse our spacious museums, such as the Tampa Museum of Art, the Tampa Bay History Center, or the Glazer Children’s Museum. Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay is the ultimate family adventure providing unrivaled excitement and a unique blend of world-class thrill rides, more than 200 animal species, and seasonal special events all year.
Ybor City – When in Tampa Bay, you must make a trip to Ybor City. Founded in 1885, Tampa Bay’s Latin Quarter has turned into the city’s main entertainment district, filled with restaurants and bars. Take a walking tour with a local expert or stroll Ybor City’s brick streets on your own to explore Tampa Bay’s deep ties to Cuba.
By 1900, Ybor City was known as the “Cigar Capital of the World.” Today, visitors can find expert Cuban rollers crafting hand-rolled cigars in the shops along Ybor City’s Seventh Avenue – just like they have for 130 years. A few blocks off Seventh Avenue, you can discover America’s oldest family-owned cigar company and the last operating cigar factory in Cigar City, J.C. Newman Cigar Company. Take a tour while you’re there, or stop by the gift shop for a fine selection of cigars.
A trip to Ybor City is not complete without dining at Columbia Restaurant, Florida’s oldest restaurant, founded in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez Sr. Flamenco and Spanish classical dance performances run nightly from Monday to Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $8 cover charge per person. And a live jazz band is available from Tuesday-Saturday nights.
Tampa Bay Murals – Tampa Bay is a melting pot of diverse cultures and backgrounds. Nowhere is this diversity more prominently displayed than in its murals and public art scene. With beautiful murals spread throughout downtown and several other neighborhoods, you’re sure to find the perfect backdrop for your next photo op. Find fun depictions of Tampa’s wildlife at the All for Love mural, send love home with a photo in front of the Tampa Postcard, and visit two Tampa Bay icons, Tom Brady and Ray Charles, to celebrate the sports, music, and art that make Tampa great. Visit them all!
Tampa Bay’s Cuisine – Tampa Bay’s cuisine is just as unique and rich as our culture. With a diverse history and cultural influences from Cuban, Spanish, German, and Italian immigrants, it’s not surprising that Tampa Bay’s food scene has been getting noticed. For 2018, Tampa Bay was listed in the 15 American Cities That Secretly Have Great Food Scenes by Thrillist and The 30 Best Foodie Cities in America by Travel Pulse. Sip on lavish libations at our waterfront bistros and bars. Take a bite into culinary diversity. Discover our fine dining or farm-to-table restaurants and enjoy fresh seafood and authentic Spanish dishes.
Armature Works – is a 22,000 sq. ft. food hall that brings over a dozen restaurants featuring the top chefs and restaurateurs in Tampa Bay. Armature Works is in the historic Tampa Heights neighborhood located next to Ulele restaurant, another of Tampa’s favorite eateries. Armature Works is one of the best places to eat in Tampa if you can’t decide where to eat or want a variety of food. This restored 1910 TECO (Tampa Electric) streetcar warehouse has been transformed into a mixed-commercial building with eateries, event spaces, an exclusive co-working space, and the Heights Public Market, where foodies will be hanging out. Its multitude of choices makes it one of the best places to eat in Tampa. You can visit Armature Works by taking the Pirate Water Taxi to Stop 16 (Water Works Park), or by walking to the northernmost end of the Tampa Riverwalk.
Sparkman Wharf – is Tampa’s new outdoor waterfront attraction with an event lawn with outdoor stage and screens, dining garden and biergarten with views of the Garrison Channel. The most unique feature of Sparkman Wharf is the shipping containers that house ten of Tampa Bay’s best chefs and restaurants bringing a mix of culinary creations to locals and visitors. As a bonus, the repurposed shipping containers are arranged to form a large-scale mural that is colorful and Instagrammable! If you can’t decide where to eat in Tampa, Sparkman Wharf is one of the best places to eat because of its variety.
Craft Breweries – The Tampa Bay region has the greatest concentration of craft breweries in Florida. Brewing a great-tasting beer requires more than hops and barley. It takes innovation and an artist’s vision to create a brew that stands out from the rest. That’s why the art of beer making has played an integral part in establishing Tampa Bay as one of the top craft beer scenes in the country. Cigar City Brewing needs no introduction as the #5 brewery in the nation. Ybor City and Seminole Heights are the two major districts for Tampa breweries.
Coffee Scene – Tampa Bay has gained a national reputation for its booming craft beer business. But there’s another drink that Tampa Bay takes pride in – coffee. Tampa’s coffee scene has evolved into a coffee lover’s paradise. In this bustling region of Florida, where the sun-kissed beaches meet vibrant city life, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafts through the air, luring both locals and visitors into a world of caffeinated delights. But what sets Tampa Bay’s coffee culture apart is the vibrant tapestry of unique establishments that cater to diverse tastes and preferences. Tampa Bay has something to offer to every coffee lover.
Nature Adventures – Explore nature along the paths and boardwalks of major parks just minutes from the excitement of the city. Canoe Florida’s only Class 2 rapids at Hillsborough River State Park (a big deal in a place that’s pretty flat). Flatwoods Conservation Park is a wild oasis surround by suburbia, with extensive bike and running trails. Lettuce Lake Park offers canoeing along the Hillsborough River as well as a boardwalk and tower for spotting wildlife. Hillsborough River State Park – Just minutes from downtown Tampa, this diverse park offers a refuge from city life with 7.3 miles of nature trails and magnificent wildlife viewing. Discover a breathtaking oasis of natural and historical significance. Kayak and canoe adventures await in the rare Florida Class II River rapids throughout hiking trails.
Shopping – From national names and elite designers to local boutiques and bargain outlets, Tampa Bay’s diverse shopping scene is the perfect fit for any style or price range. With both large malls and eclectic shopping districts, the shopping deals in Tampa Bay are endless.
Sports – You’ll have the best seats in the house with year-round pro sports action in Tampa Bay. Follow the MLB Tampa Bay Rays, NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers, NHL Tampa Bay Lightning, as well as the New York Yankees spring training, and several semi-pro and collegiate teams at Tampa Bay’s premier pro sports facilities.
Golf Courses – Tampa Bay has more than 10 beautiful and exciting golf courses. Golf enthusiasts and professionals from around the world come to Tampa Bay 365 days a year to challenge the pristine Tampa golf courses, thanks to the area’s temperate climate. Whatever your skill level, whatever your budget, the “Golf Coast” has the golfing option to fit your needs.
Nearby Beaches – When it comes to Tampa Bay, picturesque scenery and an average of 361 days of sunshine each year create an ideal setting for those ready to explore and discover new treasures. Here you’ll find some of the world’s top-rated beaches, creating a year-round haven for outdoor enthusiasts. After experiencing an afternoon of kayaking in the calm waters of Tampa Bay or discovering the unique wildlife along the Hillsborough River, relax with a picnic on just one of the many pristine, white-sand beaches the area has to offer. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a manatee or dolphin from the shoreline. Clearwater Beach was named “Best Beach Town” in January 2013 by the most widely read newspaper in America, USA Today. Clearwater Beach was also chosen as one of Peter Greenberg’s “Best Beaches in the U.S.” Fort De Soto Park was recently named America’s “Best Family Beach” by USA Today. The state park and beach were also named one of the Top 25 U.S. Beaches by TripAdvisor.
Biking – With year-round sunshine, more than 100 miles of bike lanes, and flat-to-gently sloping terrain, Tampa Bay is a natural place for pedal-ushing. Tampa Bay has won praise from bicycle advocates for its work creating an urban environment that’s friendly and safe for cycling. People for Bikes specifically lauded downtown’s Cass Street bike corridor, which runs through the north side of downtown toward Ybor City. A matching corridor now runs along Jackson Street on the south side of the urban core. Both corridors are sheltered two-lane courses that keep bikes separated from car traffic while giving riders the same access to the Downtown’s best assets. Beware: Bikes are limited to 5 mph on the Riverwalk, which can be crowded with pedestrians at certain times of day. So, take it slow.
Downtown’s original waterfront pedestrian course – At more than five miles long, Bayshore Boulevard ranks as the world’s longest unbroken sidewalk. This 10-foot-wide path is ideal for walking, biking, or blading. The curving path starts at Platt Street (the bridge links Bayshore with the Riverwalk) and runs to Gandy Boulevard, passing some of Tampa Bay’s most dramatic scenery and most impressive real estate along the way. Keep one eye out for dolphins, diving pelicans and maybe the occasional manatee just over the balustrade. The path is very popular with walkers, joggers, and other cyclists, so be courteous. You’ll find an ad hoc single-track path worn into the grass just to the inside of the concrete path. You’ll also find a striped bike lane on the northbound side of the road itself.
Don’t have your own bike? Don’t worry. The Epicurean Hotel and Le Meridien Tampa both offer free bikes to their guests. Or, with a smartphone and a credit card, you can rent one from Coast Bike Share and be riding in a few minutes. Just remember: Helmets are required for kids. You can find those, along with rentals, at City Bike Tampa across from the new bike lane on Cass Street. Coast Bike Share has rental stations spread all along the Riverwalk, with the biggest ones outside the Glazer Children’s Museum and Tampa Convention Center. You’ll find bike repair stations at the waterfront and just north of the Straz Center.
You can also pedal your way around Tampa Bay way off the beaten bike path — and on the water. Located on the waterfront by the Tampa Convention Center, Tampa Bay Water Bikes rents pedal-powered, pontooned vehicles that give you a chance to see downtown from a whole new angle. The crafts function just like a bike but have paddles where the front tire and back tire ought to be. Take one for a spin.
Manatee Viewing – Florida manatees love to hang out at the TECO Energy Plant, taking advantage of the warm waters on the Tidal Walk, which is a featured part of the Great Florida Birding Trail! You can view the large mammals at the TECO Viewing Center from November through April. If you’re looking for a little piece of Florida’s preserves, the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay hosts a 9.5-mile scenic trail and nature preserve. From there, you can see the alligators and turtles sunbathing in the Hillsborough River.
TECO Line Streetcar – Free, convenient, and available 7 days a week. Easily maneuver from downtown to the Channel District to historic Ybor City on the popular TECO Line Streetcar! With stops at 11 covered, wheelchair-accessible stations every 15 minutes, the streetcar system is a unique, free attraction that replicates the early streetcar line that was an essential part of everyday life in Tampa Bay.