Things to do in Tampa and St. Petersburg
The area around Tampa Bay Florida offers a great vacation for the sports fan, foodie, craft beer enthusiast as well as for the cocktail and wine lover alike. Many restaurants near the beaches feature fresh local seafood while restaurants in downtown St. Petersburg and Tampa have eclectic food menus paired with extensive beer, wine, and cocktail lists. Tampa Bay also has over 35 breweries and countless local beer bars featuring Florida brews.
Tampa has Buccaneers Football in the fall, Lightning Hockey in the winter, Rays Baseball in the summer as well as spring training baseball with six MLB teams within an hour drive of Tampa including the Phillies, Tigers, Pirates, Blue Jays, Orioles and the New York Yankees who play right in Tampa.
Tampa Bay Tickets
There is a variety of venues for attending your favorite concert or theater event including Amalie Arena, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, and USF Sun Dome in Tampa along with the State, Mahaffey, & Palladium theaters in downtown St. Pete.
Tampa Bay Tickets
Tampa Bay Hotels
Depending on what sporting event or concert you plan on attending, there are three areas to consider when choosing a Tampa Bay hotel: downtown Tampa, near Tampa Airport (TPA) or downtown St. Pete.
For a Tampa Bay Lightning or Buccaneers game, get a hotel room near downtown Tampa or Tampa Airport respectively. For Tampa Bay Rays baseball, staying in downtown St. Petersburg is the only way to go and I recommend an extra night or two to check out this culturally flourishing area.
Tampa Bay Transportation
Greater Tampa is served by 2 public transit systems HART in Tampa and PSTA in St. Petersburg. The TECO Line Streetcar System and Taxis are the best transportation options in downtown Tampa. The Central Avenue Trolley (CAT) and Uber are the best options in downtown St. Petersburg. The best ways to get to and from the airports are SuperShuttle and ExecuCar.
Tampa Bay Dining & Drinking
Tampa Bay offers fresh local seafood along the Gulf coast and pre-game sports bars and pubs in downtown Tampa. Take the trolley up to Ybor City for a renaissance of cigar bars, beer bars and breweries along with a wine bar or two.
Finally, downtown St. Petersburg tops my list with an array of craft cocktail bars, craft beer bars and breweries. According to a couple bartenders I spoke with in “the burg,” the 33701 zip code offers the highest concentration of food & drink than any other in Florida.
Tampa Bay Museums
As a student of Art History, I was surprised to discover that the museums of Tampa Bay have as much if not more to offer than many other major U.S. cities.
Downtown St. Petersburg features world renowned collections of works by Salvador Dali and Dale Chihuly as well as a comprehensive survey of Art History at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA). When in downtown Tampa, check out the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (FMOPA), the Florida Aquarium, or the outdoor light installation, “Sky” at Tampa Museum of Art.