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Things To Do In Downtown Tampa, Florida - Updated 2020

things to do in downtown tampa
Rienz Althron
Rienz Althron
Updated

Heading to Tampa? Then you should read this article because we will talk about the things that you can do in one of the most famous cities in Hillsborough. So, if you are a natural explorer, then you’ll be happy to visit this city because it has many scenic places to be seen, tons of recreational establishments to be experienced, restaurants and food stalls to taste, and several bars that serve beer, wine, and cocktails, and everything else in between! So, without further ado, let’s talk about what will make you busy in this city, the things to do in Downtown Tampa, Florida!

1. Experience some of Tampa's best with CityPASS (from USD 119)

Tampa has many things to offer tourists, such as zoos, theme parks, and museums. If you want to experience some of the best places in Tampa without the hassle of creating your own itinerary, you should book a tour through CityPASS and they will tour you to several places in Tampa that will surely make you happy! Some of the places included in the tour are Florida Aquarium, ZooTampa, and Morean Arts Center. The tour lasts for nine days, and you can bring up to 14 friends with you, for a total of 15 persons. The tour is also offered in different languages, such as Arabic, Russian, Japanese, Korean and more.

Tampa Bay CityPASS with Discount Attraction Admission Tickets

Duration: 9 days

24 reviews

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2. Step aboard the Starship Cruise as the sun sets on Downtown Tampa


If you want to see the magnificent view of a sunset while riding a yacht, then step aboard one of Starship Cruise’s ships! It is an ideal setting for a romantic date with your partner, and can also be a luxurious experience if you prefer going solo! Their menu caters to both vegan and meat lovers, and they are also serving beer, wine, and everything else in between, making your stay as memorable and pleasurable as possible.

Starship Cruise

Address: 603 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Website: Starship Cruise

Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)

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3. Spot alligators at Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park


If you want to spot alligators that are not as dangerous as the ones you see on TV and movies, then head on to Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park! There are several alligator statues in the park that you can take a groupie with. You can also work your dog in the park, jog, stroll, and walk your dog for an exercise. It is also where the Heroes Plaza is located, so if you would like to learn about the Valiants who fought for peace, this is the place to go. The park is also kid-friendly and is equipped with playgrounds where kids can have fun and mingle with other kids their age.

Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park

Address: 601 Water St, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Website: Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park

Opening hours: 7am - 10pm (daily)

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4. Ride through Downtown Tampa on TECO Streetcar


TECO cars were first used back in the 1800s to transport people from one point to another in Tampa. Today, not only are TECO cars a way to transport people, but it has also become a tourist attraction. It is a budget-friendly way to explore the many parts of Tampa because riding one is free of charge! There are some rules and regulations to follow when riding one: eating and drinking alcoholic beverages is not allowed, as well as smoking, bringing illegal substances, and weapons.

TECO Streetcar

Website: TECO Streetcar

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 7am - 11pm; Fri: 7am - 2am; Sat: 8.30am - 2am; Sun: 8.30am - 11pm

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5. Check out the interesting exhibits at Tampa Art Museum


Tampa Art Museum is the place to learn about and appreciate the world of art through its collection of many works of art, such as sculptures, figurines, paintings and more. They accept walk-in visitors and group tours. They also offer free admission to children under 6 years of age, K-12 and even college students, Furthermore, the museum showcases the work of many talented artists through art exhibitions. If you go hungry while exploring their collection, you can refill your empty tummy at their in-house cafe, and if you want to purchase a souvenir, they also have an in-house store selling various merchandise.

Tampa Art Museum

Address: 120 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL 33602, United State

Website: Tampa Art Museum

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 15 USD

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6. Find out all about the city at Tampa Bay History Center


After appreciating contemporary art and you feel like learning more about history, the best place to be in Tampa is the Tampa Bay History Center. Founded back in the late 1920s, it is now one of the most frequently visited museums in Tampa, with over a hundred thousand visitors annually. In their collection, you will see a wide variety of antiques and other historical items that hold the decades-old worth of stories about Tampa. If you go hungry while exploring the museum’s multiple levels, they have an in-house cafe serving Spanish and Cuban dishes as a solution!

Tampa Bay History Center

Address: 801 Water St, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Website: Tampa Bay History Center

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 15 USD

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7. Catch a live performance at David A Straz Jr Center for Performing Arts


If you want to watch a live performance, there’s a place in Tampa that will serve your desire: David A Straz Jr Center for Performing Arts. They host different kinds of events such as musicals, concerts, and other theatrical performances. The center is home to three restaurants, so if you want to eat something before or after the show, that’s not going to be a problem! It is also home to the Patel Conservatory where you can learn a thing or two about performing arts. Check out their website through the link below and see if there’s an event that will interest you.

David A Straz Jr Center for Performing Arts

Address: 1010 N Macinnes Pl, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Website: David A Straz Jr Center for Performing Arts

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8. Chill out in the rooftop bar at W XYZ Lounge

Oye! Come over for $1 Desperados Beer!!! Or a bucket of 6 beers for $5. Not to mention great music indoors and amazing Caribbean music by Impulse on our pool deck! #alofttampa

Posted by Aloft Tampa Downtown Hotel on Thursday, 5 May 2016

If you want to drink booze with your friends, one of the best places to party is at W XYZ Lounge where you can get all the good food and good alcoholic beverages that your body can and your pocket can take! Furthermore, the bar is centrally located so you can easily travel to the nearby tourist spots, such as the Busch Garden and Tampa Riverwalk. So, if you and your gang need to loosen up your stiff life, remember to chill out and relax at W XYZ Lounge!

W XYZ Lounge

Address: Aloft, 100 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606, United States

Website: W XYZ Lounge

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 4pm - 12am; Fri: 4pm - 2am; Sat: 12pm - 2am; Sun: 12pm - 8pm

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9. Try some signature dishes at Columbia Café


Columbia Cafe is where you can get some of the best Spanish dishes in Tampa. Serving its customers since 1905, they certainly know how to cook great-tasting food, thanks to their years of experience. They serve gluten-free food as well as vegetarian dishes, so everyone from any gustatory background will enjoy being here. The restaurant is located in front of the Tampa River, staffed with live music performers every Friday and Saturday, so a not-so-good mood will surely be lightened up by the relaxing setting.

Columbia Café

Address: 801 Water St #1905, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Website: Columbia Café

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 11pm

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10. Take a leisurely ride through Tampa Riverwalk

Happy First Day of Summer! Our summer plans? Bike as much as we can! ‍ What are your plans? ‍ #tampariverwalk #downtowntampa

Posted by The Tampa Riverwalk on Friday, 21 June 2019

Don’t know where to spend your idle time in Tampa? Then why not take a ride through the Tampa Riverwalk? It is a 2.6 mile (4.2 kilometers) pedestrian stretch beside the Tampa River where locals and tourists alike can jog, ride a bicycle, or simply walk around when they have not got many things to do. So, when boredom strikes and you just need to do something, catch some negative ions for your body from Tampa River and just relax all day long!

Tampa Riverwalk

Address: 600 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, Florida

Website: Tampa Riverwalk

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11. Explore the waterways with eBOATS TAMPA


Tour the Tampa River in a nature-friendly way! Rent an electric boat at eBOATS TAMPA and roam the waters with your friends or maybe your love interest in a romantic river cruise Customers have the freedom to choose their own expedition, and there are eight different places that you can stop by such as the Columbia Cafe, Ulele Restaurant, and Café Dufrain. In addition, you can bring alcoholic beverages with you so long as you drink in moderation and remember that the BAC of .08 under the driving under the influence law in Florida applies here.

eBOATS TAMPA

Address: 333 S Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Website: eBOATS TAMPA

Opening hours: 8am - 8pm (daily)

Price: 90 USD per hour

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12. Learn water sports at Tampa Bay SUP


Here are other activities that you can enjoy in the waters of Tampa River: paddleboarding and kayaking! With the help of Tampa Bay SUP Stand Up Paddleboarding & Kayaking, you’ll learn the basics of these two popular water sports. It isn’t just a fun way to spend your time in Tampa, it is also a great way for you to exercise your body! So, gather your friends up and head on to Tampa Bay SUP’s address, rent a kayak or a paddleboard and just have a great time in Tampa River!

Tampa Bay SUP Stand Up Paddleboarding & Kayaking

Address: 700 S Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Website: Tampa Bay SUP

Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 25 USD per hour

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13. Trace the history of Tampa's police force at Tampa Police Museum


Here’s another interesting place to visit in Tampa: the Tampa Police Museum! You’ll learn the history of the establishment of Tampa’s police force, as well as the greatest policemen in the city’s history. The good thing is that the museum can be explored without paying a dime! So, if you have kids with you who dream of becoming a great policeman when they grow up, you might want to bring them here and support their dreams!

Tampa Police Museum

Address: 411 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Website: Tampa Police Museum

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 3pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

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14. Catch a game of NHL ice hockey at Amalie Arena


If you are a sports fanatic and you are specifically fond of ice hockey, you’ll be happy to visit Amalie Arena and watch a live ice hockey game! Not only do they hold sports events, but they are also hosting concerts and other types of live performances for the entertainment of locals and tourists! We know that watching a game or a performance can make you hungry, and that is not a problem, because there are nearby restaurants in the area that will keep you full. In addition, they also have a sports store where you can buy different sports merchandise as a souvenir or maybe as a gift.

Amalie Arena

Address: 401 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Website: Amalie Arena

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15. Plan a relaxing day out with family at Joe Chillura Courthouse Square


Joe Chillura Courthouse Square is a part where you can relax and unwind with your family or even by yourself. You can jog or ride a bike in the park’s premises, and there are events held here regularly, such as Zumba, yoga, concerts and other types of events. You can also go on a picnic here, walk your pet dog, and many more! If you have nothing to do, then that’s your chance to use your leisure time to bond with your family outdoors instead of just staying in your hotel room.

Joe Chillura Courthouse Square

Address: 600 E Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Website: Joe Chillura Courthouse Square

Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)

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16. Watch a movie at the iconic Tampa Theatre


There are many recreational establishments in Tampa and if you’re having a hard time thinking which entertainment spot is worth visiting, why not watch a theatrical performance or a movie at Tampa Theatre with your family or friends? Tampa Theatre is also accepting field trips and summer film camp for aspiring filmmakers And here’s another interesting event to watch out for: the outdoor cinema! You might want to invite your significant other to watch a movie under the starry night sky, then!

Tampa Theatre

Address: 711 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Website: Tampa Theatre

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17. Engage your children at Glazer Children’s Museum


Here’s another place where you can take your children and learn while having fun: Glazer Children’s Museum. They’re equipped with different recreational themes that will teach your kids concepts that will be useful when they grow up, such as banking, engineering, arts, farming, and a whole lot more! They also host different programs for children with the goal of nurturing their natural talents, and a program to guide parents on proper parenting. Plus, the museum is also a great venue for birthday parties and other kid-centric events.

Glazer Children’s Museum

Address: 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Website: Glazer Children’s Museum

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 5pm; Sat: 10am - 6pm; Sun: 1pm - 6pm

Price: 10 USD onwards

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18. Order a glass of refreshment at The Sail Plaza


Since you are on a vacation at Tampa, do not think about the worries of your daily routine; leave them behind and just relax on the waterfront at The Sail Plaza! The Sail Plaza is an open bar and restaurant surrounded by the waters of Tampa River. As if the bar isn’t cool enough, after being renovated recently, weary travelers can get just refreshing drinks, but they can also order fresh seafood dishes thanks to Ray’s Fish Camp. At The Sail Plaza, tourists who are hungry and thirsty because of jogging, bicycling, doing watersports or any physically tiring activities can stop by for an energy refill!

The Sail Plaza

Address: 333 S Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Website: The Sail Plaza

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11am - 12am; Fri - Sat: 11am - 1am

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19. Plan a picnic with kids at Lykes Gaslight Park


Take your family on an outdoor lunch at Lykes Gaslight Park where you can bond with each other over street food which you can buy from the many food stalls in the park! You can also bond over other activities, such as bicycle riding, selfie, and groupie takings, or maybe join a fitness event together as one family, or maybe just be there and relax under the shades of the trees and not worry about a single thing for a few moments.

Lykes Gaslight Park

Address: 241 E Madison St, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Website: Lykes Gaslight Park

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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20. Relish on American cuisine at 211 Restaurant


211 Restaurant is one of the best places to eat to your heart’s content in Tampa. They specialize in American cuisine, serving their customers from breakfast until dinner. Some of the food they serve for breakfast are poached eggs, Canadian bacon, roasted red pepper and tomato soup, and turkey club. They serve vegetarian food for vegan eaters, too! Also, if you want to arrange private dining, you can let the management know, and they’ll make it happen for you.

211 Restaurant

Address: 211 N Tampa St, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Website: 211 Restaurant

Opening hours: 6.30am - 2pm; 5pm - 10pm (daily)

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21. Gulp down strong drinks at The Hub Bar


Of course, the list wouldn’t be complete without a place where you can drink to your heart’s content, so here we are; The Hub Bar is the place to be if you want to get drunk with your friends; they are known to serve the strongest of drinks. And a bar isn’t exactly a bar if it doesn’t have a live band to play you good music while you are unwinding, so, yes, they do have a band to entertain you and your friends! Their staff is known to be friendly, especially their bartender who is known to be a good conversationalist, so if you happen to drink there by yourself, you wouldn’t feel lonely at all.

The Hub Bar

Address: 719 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Website: The Hub Bar

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 3am; Sun: 12pm - 3am

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22. Pamper yourself at The Massage Loft Channelside


If you need a place where you can pamper yourself, there is one well-known relaxation center in Tampa: The Massage Loft Channelside. Whether you need a good massage, a facial treatment, or an eyelash and eyebrow fix, they can do it all for you. They can even paint an artistic henna tattoo on your skin if you want them to! If you start to feel stressed out, just head to their clinic and they will do their best to make you feel a bit better!

The Massage Loft Channelside

Address: 1107 E Jackson St #205, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Website: The Massage Loft Channelside

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 9pm; Sun: 10am - 7pm

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23. Get a bird's-eye view of the city skyscrapers (from USD 155)

things to do in downtown tampa | get a bird's-eye view of the city skyscrapers

If you’ve been wanting to check off flying in a helicopter and witnessing the stunning view of a city, you can turn that dream into reality at Tampa! Through the Busch Garden and Alafia River Wildlife Helicopter Tour, you will be able to see all the glory and beauty of the towering skyscrapers in Downtown Tampa, plus you’ll also get to see the Alafia River and Busch Garden! That’s three bird’s in one stone! They accept a minimum of two persons per booking and as long as you don’t have a heart or other health problems that will affect your helicopter ride experience, you’re good to go!

Busch Gardens and Alafia River Wildlife Helicopter Tour

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Tampa's got you covered

So that’s a handful of places to visit, to eat and drink, to enjoy and even to relax! In Tampa, you’ve got everything you will ever need! Of course, there is more to be discovered, so you will have to go there and discover more of the things to do in Downtown Tampa, Florida.

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Rienz is a former office-based employee who entered the world of travel writing. His ultimate dream is to be able to travel the world and experience as much of it as he can. By pursuing his dreams,...Read more

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