TAMPA BAY’S COLLECTION OF UP-AND-COMERS, CULTURAL HOTSPOTS AND FAMILY DENS CREATE A LIFESTYLE-CENTRIC CITY.
Tampa is more than just its downtown. A plethora of small businesses, restaurateurs, and new residents have expanded the scope of the top spots to live, work and play in Tampa Bay. From gold-standard foodie hubs to a live music enthusiast’s dream come true, there’s an ideal destination for everyone.
Tampa Bay residents enjoy a laid-back beach lifestyle and the amenities of a large metropolitan area, including professional sports teams, museums, and an array of entertainment and dining options. We’re home to the second-best beach in America, Caladesi Island, according to Dr. Beach, and remain one of the best places to live according to US News and World Report.
With Tampa in mind, here are the surrounding neighborhoods that comprise the persona and growing identity of Tampa.
Catch Broadway plays at the Straz Center, enjoy immersive exhibitions at the Tampa Museum of Art, indulge in one of the best brunches in America at Oxford Exchange, or taste your way through the Mayor’s Food Truck Fiesta at Lykes Gaslight Park. There’s no shortage of things to do in downtown Tampa, and you can explore it all aboard the free TECO Line Streetcar.
Travel the Riverwalk on foot or on wheels, rent a paddleboard to take down the Hillsborough River or hop on the Pirate Water Taxi and explore our city in style. Vegan diners can visit Bamboozle Cafe or Farmacy Vegan Kitchen, and coffee lovers can sip on locally roasted coffee at Buddy Brew.
The consistent activation of the sprawling Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park means downtown Tampa will never feel quite the same each time you visit. That’s our dynamic downtown.
CHANNEL DISTRICT/HARBOUR ISLAND
The Channel District is one of Tampa’s fastest-growing urban neighborhoods. Visitors can start or stop their jaunt along the Riverwalk in this walkable district and will find no shortage of things to do or places to eat.
The award-winning Florida Aquarium filled with sharks, sea turtles, alligators, and beautiful birds is calling your name. History buffs will want to stop at the Tampa Bay History Center to learn more about the founding of Tampa. They can end their visit with a refreshing glass of sangria or delicious Cuban sandwich from the Columbia, Florida’s oldest restaurant.
Catch a concert at Amalie Arena, which is also home to our back-to-back championship Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team.
The first phase of the Water Street neighborhood within the District is bringing dozens of new restaurant and shopping options, plus Tampa’s first five-star hotel The Edition. Sparkman Wharf at Water Street is an ideal place to hang out for live music on the lawn, grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants or dining garden, or imbibe from the vast tequila library at Jotoro..
Head on over to Davis Island for the best authentic Italian cuisine around at Oggi or sample the flavors of New Orleans at Bayou Bodega. The Instagram-famous Bake’n Babes is always serving its soft baked cookies and out of this world milkshakes on Davis Island.
There’s a reason Southern Living named Davis Island one of the 10 best places to live in the South. Ample protected and well-marked bike paths make the areas a pedestrian and cyclists’ paradise.
How many other cities in the South have beautiful chickens roaming their brick streets? The eclectic sprawl of Ybor City is known primarily for its famed Cuban sandwiches, roaming live chickens, and hand rolled cigars. The neighborhood that is rich with history has also undergone a bit of an evolution. Transport yourself back to the 1950s Cuba when you dine at the decadently decorated Flor Fina inside Hotel Haya. Treat yourself to an authentic New York slice at New York New York Pizza, catch live music from major national and local acts at intimate venues such as The Ritz or Crowbar, and discover hauntingly good teas and coffees within the SpookEasy Lounge.
Historic Ybor is home to Blind Tiger Coffee and the extravagantly laid out Dysfunctional Grace Boutique. While the Columbia Restaurant is the most famous and oldest continuously operating restaurant in Florida, the ownership team has since debuted another meticulously constructed restaurant, Casa Santo Stefano, that is well worth a visit.
If you’re craving a classic taste, head to Carmines for Deviled Crab. If you want something out of the ordinary, visit the Friends-inspired AirBNB in town.
Great school districts, major historic value, and stunning neighborhood architecture are the key pieces to life in West Tampa. The legendary West Tampa Sandwich shop offers an affordable snapshot of the flavor of the neighborhood. Pay a visit to the locally-owned organic Rollin’ Oats Market for all the necessary provisions. Dine with a view at Rick’s on the River or explore the expanse of Julian B Lane Riverfront Park. Living in West Tampa means you’re also just a mile from downtown, so you can enjoy the quiet benefits of suburban living, while still accessing the electric sprawl of Tampa’s nightlife.
SOHO / HYDE PARK
Lights. Camera. Bayshore Boulevard. The longest continuous stretch of sidewalk in America is right here in Tampa, and nothing compares to a walk, run, or bike ride along Bayshore Boulevard.
If you’re less inclined toward the long walk, treat yourself at Hyde Park Village. Sip on a perfect cup of coffee at Buddy Brew, or make a withdrawal from the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM. Many aspiring entrepreneurs, startups, and videographers call Hyde Park Village home courtesy of Hyde House co-working space and Hyde House Public Studio.
P.S. This is where you can get dinner and a movie all in one place. CineBistro elevates the movie watching experience with lush seating, and a refined full dinner menu.
Need more from SoHo? Pay a visit to the Harry Waugh Dessert Room at the world-famous Bern’s Steakhouse for the flaming baked Alaska or spend a night at the culinary-inspired Epicurean Hotel. This is the neighborhood where you’re encouraged to treat yourself.
WESTSHORE / TPA
Tampa International Airport is the best large airport in the United States, according to JD Power and essentially every single person who has ever had the pleasure of traveling through the hub.
Shop and dine inside the International Plaza. Enjoy authentic Italian Gelato in the food court, sample a variety of spirits at Whiskey Cake, and sample Indian cuisine at the top-rated Spice restaurant. This is your gateway to the best that Tampa has to offer.
Tampa is for brunch lovers. Oystercatchers is a longstanding staple for brunch enthusiasts in the area. Bottomless mimosas and the celebrated eggs benedict are the signature items that diners come back for again and again.
This neighborhood is always on the rise. Seminole Heights was spotlighted by the MICHELIN Guide when both Rooster & The Till and Ichicoro Ramen were given Bib Gourmand Awards.
Experience local art, music, and fresh Florida cuisine at the whimsical and eccentric Ella’s American Folk Art Cafe. Stroll through the neighborhoods to see craftsman homes and historic bungalows. These side pocket streets also offer up some of the coolest little free libraries you’ve ever seen.
Up for a challenge? Take on Revolution Ice Cream’s 6-pounds of ice cream challenge. Adventurous foodies can try out Xtreme Tacos excelsior tacos, or feast their eyes on the 6 pound, 18-inch burrito by Chef Uzi.
Enjoy a day out at Nebraska Mini Mart or take part in a vegan pop up at Jug & Bottle. Carnivorous visitors will be lured in by the scent of fresh brisket and ribs at Wicked Oak BBQ.
The University of South Florida is remarkable. The Yuengling Center is a premier events venue, and the university itself is at the center of some of the top developments in Tampa. The Museum of Science and Industry, and its immersive IMAX Theater, takes up a prominent space in the area.
Felicitous Coffee Roasters is one of the coolest locally-owned hangouts with one of the most underrated cafe menus in Tampa Bay. They host monthly markets and roast their own coffee in house with pop up cupping courses arriving on their events calendar.
Roasted 813!, a halal candy shop, and MOCHINUT, a mochi donut space, both popped up not far from USF in Temple Terrace. Kalesia Tea is a pure Bulls hangout, and new visitors need to sip on a cup of matcha inside their traditional Japanese tearoom.
Don’t forget to punch your ticket to Busch Gardens, a paradise for thrill-seekers.
The Winter Strawberry Capital of the US is right here in Florida. Enjoy the perks of country living but with easy access to Tampa. Make a stop at the Strawberry Hut for revelatory strawberry shortcake and a world-famous, super-long Cuban sandwich. The Strawberry Festival every spring remains a quintessential part of life in Tampa Bay.
East Hillsborough is where the action is. The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is a top concert venue, a space bursting with wild food options, and of course a nationally celebrated casino in its own right. Escape the bustle of city life by visiting the kitschy Dinosaur World or losing yourself in the Blackwater Creek Nature Preserve.
This beautiful district is more than just golf courses. New Tampa is home to a wild climbing wall and zip line course perfect for those who want to spice up the weekend routine.
Savor the molcajete and birria tacos made by hand at Don Julio’s Authentic Mexican Cuisine or enjoy a pint at The Fat Rabbit. You can spend a day shopping at the Tampa Premium Outlets before connecting with nature in the acres upon acres of green space.
This is more than just a family-friendly hamlet. Riverview is now open to arguably the top Italian Deli in Florida, Frankie’s Italian Deli. Enjoy a Taylor Ham, Egg & Cheese on a fresh NY bagel, a slice of Junior’s Cheesecake, and addictive cannoli to go.
Take the family for a round of mini golf at Ace Golf Riverview or enjoy a picnic at Boyette Springs Park and take in all of that lovely Tampa Bay sunshine.