The Ultimate Guide to the Tampa Bay Area

Tampa Bay is growing more quickly than almost any region in the country. With this growth comes new restaurants, bars, and attractions in the area. There are so many exciting things to do in Tampa Bay from St. Pete to Clearwater.

This guide will serve as your ultimate weekend handbook to the Tampa Bay Area. 

1. Ride Rollercoasters

If you’re not a native Floridian, you may not have known that there are amazing rollercoasters outside of Orlando.

Tampa is home to Busch Gardens, a theme park that is packed with roller coasters and animals.

You can spend a full day here getting lost in the African themed animal exhibits, enjoying funnel cake and beer, and riding the rides.

During the holiday season, they also put on a Christmas town where the entire park is illuminated in lights. 

2. Enjoy Art and History

Tampa Bay is home to some amazing museums.

In St. Petersburg, you can enter the world of surrealism at the Dali museum or stroll through the wild west at the James Museum. 

Modern art lovers will find their place at St. Pete’s Museum of Modern Art. 

Uncover secrets about Tampa’s past at the Tampa History Center. 

Bringing kids along? Check out the Glazier Children’s Museum in Downtown Tampa.

3. Bet on Brunch

Brunch is a big deal in Tampa on the weekends. 

You can see hoards of people heading to trendy spots to enjoy mimosas and take pictures for their Instagrams.

Oxford Exchange is one of the most popular spots for a picturesque brunch. The dining room is full of light and the decor makes you feel like you stepped out of Tampa and into New York City. 

Over in St Pete, Oxford Exchange’s sister restaurant is called The Library. Here you can dine will being surrounded by beautiful, leather-bound books.

Datz in South Tampa is another favorite for foodies in Tampa Bay. Datz has interesting items like chicken n’ waffles and doughnut burgers. 

4. Drink and Be Merry 

Tampa Bay has a thriving bar scene. 

First Friday in Downtown St Pete is one of the best places to go on a night out. The bars all open their doors and offer drink specials. It feels like the entire city comes out for this event. There is outdoor entertainment and live music. 

If you enjoy breweries, check out the Coppertail Brewing company in Tampa. 

The Tampa Bay area has a number of unique, themed bars. In Ybor city, you can find a spooky-themed speak-easy, accessible by a hidden door. In St. Petersburg you can find a dog bar with pups running around while you drink. 

5. Walk on the Beach

Tampa Bay is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Passagrille beach in St Petersburg is beautiful and quiet compared to the more rowdy Clearwater beach. 

The water is very warm in the spring, summer, and fall. It’s a little more chilly n the winter but still swimmable for most people. 

You can also enjoy water sports like skiing, parasailing, and boating. Easily find a charter boat at

5. Check out our Parks

Are you interested in walking trails and nature? Tampa Bay has some amazing parks to explore.

Hillsborough River State Park offers camping, trails, and canoeing. Lettuce Lake Park is another beautiful place that you can jog in. Lettuce Lake has a long boardwalk that you can walk on and spot the animals. 

Keep your eye out for alligators, as they’re prevalent at these parks. 

6. See a Sporting Event

Tampa Bay fans are serious about their sports teams. 

If you like hockey, check out a Tampa Bay Lightning game at Amelie Arena.

For football, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can be found playing at Raymond James stadium. Baseball junkies can see the Tampa Bay Rays playing at Tropicana Field. Finally, soccer fans can catch the Rowdies in Downtown St Pete.

7. Try a Food Hall

Dining halls aren’t just for high schools. They are becoming trendy and popping up all over the nation, including in Tampa Bay. 

Armature Works is a dining hall that is very popular with locals. There is both indoor and outdoor seating and it is located right on the water.

Here you can get pizza, vegan bbq, ramen, ice cream, sandwiches and more. An added bonus if their water station, where you can help yourself to complimentary still or sparkling water while waiting for your food.

Outside by the water, there are giant chess and checkerboards for you to enjoy a game. 

Just down the road, there is Sparkman Wharf. It is a dining hall similar to Armature works except the restaurants are placed in old shipping containers. All of the seating is outdoors here, but that is ok because the weather is almost always beautiful. 

8. Laugh out Loud

Tampa Bay is home to a small but strong comedy scene.

Improv comedy shows can be caught at the Box theatre or American Stage theatre almost every weekend. 

For standup lovers, the Tampa Improv comedy club brings in comics from around the nation. Side Splitters comedy club is a good spot to catch successful local comics. 

Enjoy the Tampa Bay Area

Thousands of people are moving to the Tampa Bay Area every year for a reason.

It is packed full of amazing food, culture, sports, and art. Take advantage of your weekend in Tampa Bay by visiting the places listed above.

Don’t forget to dress for your destination. In Winter, you will likely need a light jacket and jeans at night but can get away with shorts during the day. In Summer, wear sweat-resistant clothing and always carry a raincoat.

It can go from sunny to a thunderstorm in less than 10 minutes. 

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