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If you’re traveling to Tampa, Florida for work, then you’re in luck! There are so many amazing things to do in Tampa after 5 p.m., and I’ve created this guide to help you maximize your trip. Whether you’re visiting Tampa work or just for fun, this happening city on Florida’s Gulf Coast has so much to offer for visitors and locals alike.
Tampa is a major city with a small-town vibe. It’s not only home to three professional sports teams but also a lively young professional community, a thriving restaurant scene and one of the prettiest downtown waterfronts you’ll find in the United States.
Okay, so maybe I’m biased – I’ve called Tampa home for almost ten years now, but it’s a truly amazing city. I’m always excited when I have the chance to show visitors around, so read on to find out how to explore Tampa after 5 p.m.
If you only have time to do one thing while you’re in Tampa, then put on your walking shoes and explore the Tampa Riverwalk. The three mile stretch of pedestrian-only sidewalk stretches along the Hillsborough River. up to Tampa Heights. Stroll along the Riverwalk to take in the boats, architecture and scenery of downtown Tampa. If you head from one end to the other, you’ll get to see the best of the city – the cruise ship port of Channelside, Curtis Hixon Park, the University of Tampa, the Straz Performing Arts Center, the Water Works Park and Armature Works in Tampa Heights. There are many restaurants, bars and parks along the way – they’re all good, so stop wherever you’re ready for a break and enjoy the view.
How to Get to Tampa, FL
Tampa is located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, about an hour and a half’s drive West of Orlando.
If you’re flying in to Tampa, catch one of the many direct flights to Tampa International Airport. Thanks to both the heavy business traffic and the influx of seasonal “snowbirds” that arrive for the winter, flights to Tampa are frequent and typically affordable.
Once you’ve arrived in Tampa, the best way to get around Tampa is either by renting a car or taking advantage of rideshares like Uber and Lyft.
While public transportation isn’t the best option in Tampa, remember that you are in Florida – with exception of the hot summer months, it’s a lovely city to walk to your destination. If you prefer a more active form of transportation, Use the e-scooters and Coast Bikes for rent that are scattered around the city.
Where to Eat in Tampa for Dinner
Oak & Ola // This newly-opened restaurant by James Beard award-winning chef Anne Kearney serves up amazing Euro-American fusions like roasted octopus and pork tenderloin in a warm, lively atmosphere at Armature Works.
Ulele // Head here for an amazing sunset view and an upscale take on an Old Florida-inspired menu like chargrilled oysters, alligator hush puppies and pan-seared pompano.
Ciccio Water // If you’re craving a healthier dinner while you’re on the road, head to the flagship restaurant of the Ciccio Restaurant Group in the heart of the SoHo neighborhood. Don’t miss the garlic edamame and the Spicy Brazilian bowl.
Bern’s Steakhouse // A Tampa institution, this iconic steakhouse is the perfect place to splurge on a delicious dinner – particularly if you’re on an expense account. While last minute reservations are next to impossible to come by, skip the formal dining room and snag a seat at the bar. Local tip – order the steak sandwich and the house red wine. Neither one is on the menu, but I promise you won’t be disappointed. Be sure to leave room for macadamia nut ice cream upstairs to the Dessert Room.
Osteria Natalina // This family-run spot serves up arguably the best Italian food you’ll have outside of Italy. Try the pear and cheese sacchettini or the daily lasagna.
Things to Do in Tampa at Night
Break a Sweat // In a city where it’s swimsuit season year-round, an amazing workout scene is a natural side effect. Join the locals in Tampa after 5 p.m. at some of my favorite spots:
• Camp Tampa – The “choose your own adventure” of fitness studios, Camp is home to some of the most fun – and toughest – group fitness classes in town. Unwind in hot yoga, burn off some steam in cycle, or get your you-know-what kicked in circuit.
• Bayshore Boulevard – The world’s largest continuous outdoor sidewalk stretches from downtown along the bay, and it’s the perfect stretch to get in a scenic jog, walk, bike ride or rollerblade… You’ll see it all out there.
Catch Happy Hour with a View // Have a cocktail and some snacks, then watch sunset with a view of the water at any of these hot spots downtown:
• Remedy – Craft cocktails at Curtis Hixon Park with a view of the University of Tampa
• Armature Works – A lively food hall with outdoor seating and lawn games in Tampa Heights
• The Sail Pavilion – A casual waterfront setting at the Tampa Convention Center
• Sparkman Wharf – Eclectic food stalls in beer garden in Channelside
Cheer on the Bolts // Tampa Bay is home to three professional sports teams, but if you ask any local which one is their favorite the answer might surprise you. It’s not football and it isn’t baseball… It’s hockey. If you’re visiting the Bay during hockey season, it’s only fitting that you go to Amalie Arena to watch the Lightning play. Click here for their schedule.
Wander Hyde Park Village // Located in the heart of Tampa’s historic Hyde Park, head to Hyde Park Village for great shopping at favorites like Lululemon and Anthropologie, plus other local boutiques. It’s the perfect destination for shopping and dinner following a walk on Bayshore Boulevard.
Head to the Beach // If you’re up for an adventure and are in Tampa during daylight savings time (March through early November), venture across Tampa Bay to St. Pete Beach or Clearwater Beach. While there technically are not any beaches in Tampa, the Gulf Beaches are only a half hour’s drive away and are simply stunning at sunset. Consistently voted number one in the entire country, they are well worth the drive… Even if you can only make it there after 5 p.m.
Also check out:
- North Shore, Oahu, HI After 5:00 pm
- St. Petersburg, FL After 5:00 pm
- River North, Chicago After 5:00 pm
- San Francisco’s Financial District After 5:00 pm
- Plano, TX After 5:00 pm
- Charleston, SC After 5:00 pm