Tampa, Florida, offers a lot more to do than people expect, especially for people who love the beach. While the downtown area is perfect for some, the surrounding beach cities and towns are perfect for those who want a more authentic Florida experience.
If you have only ever been to Orlando or Miami, it’s time you took a trip to Tampa.
What to Do
Tampa is all about the water, and if you’re with any fish lovers, you have to check out the Florida Aquarium. It is such an amazing place to experience, especially being next to a body of water like the Gulf of Mexico, and it’s definitely something people of all ages will enjoy!
Just a few miles west of Tampa is the city of Clearwater. Clearwater has a ton of activities to do, as it’s situated right on the beach. A favorite of many is paddle boarding for good reason.
Clearwater and the whole Tampa area is on the Gulf of Mexico, and the waves are definitely calm enough to be standing up on a paddleboard, even for beginners!
If you’re someone who loves the nightlife, Clearwater is definitely the place to go if you want to have a night out that only happens in Florida. One of the best places to go to is called Shephards, and it’s actually a hotel resort with a massive bar and club on the ground floor.
Outside there are plenty of tiki-style bars, and on the weekends they set up a massive stage where live bands perform! If you want more a club atmosphere, you can go inside for that, but if it’s warm enough, everyone stays outside!
What to Eat
The Tampa area actually has a ton of great quality food options, and because it’s on the Gulf of Mexico, it really has a lot to offer. If you’re a seafood lover, Frenchy’s Saltwater Cafe is a local favorite that anyone would recommend. They’re especially famous for their stone crabs in the fall, and they’re incredibly delicious.
If you want a little bit more of an affordable option, Crabby Bills is another wonderful choice! They are a small franchise but if you want to go to one that’s still owned by the family, go to the one in Indian Rocks Beach.
While you’re in Indian Rocks Beach, check out the Kooky Coconut. Though it just looks like a small ice cream shop, this place actually serves up some of the best sandwiches around. One of their most ordered is the Tampa cuban, which is a cuban sandwich but with a few twists. And really, you can’t go to Florida without getting a cuban!
If you want to stay in Tampa to eat, the most famous restaurant you’ll find is Columbia. This restaurant has been served traditional Latin food for the last 100 years, and it’s located in gorgeous historic Ybor City. Around the restaurant, you can also find great cigar shops, so it’s really a good place to hit up!