Five Simple Ways to Enjoy Tampa, Florida Like a Local
Sometimes enjoying a place has more to do with where to spend your time rather than how much money you spend. Here are five simple ways to enjoy Tampa Florida like a local.
Enjoy Tampa Florida like a local at Hyde Park Village.
Visit Hyde Park Village for browsing local shops in the heart of Old Tampa. Have lunch there at Goody Goody on the corner. They’ve been serving the best Hamburgers and onion rings since 1925.
Enjoy Tampa Florida like a local at Ballast Point Park.
Take a walk on the pier, read in the shade, or just enjoy the view of Tampa from Ballast Point Park. The ice cream there is the best and the hamburgers are incredible there too. The cook came out to the table for us to thank him in person.
Visit Harbor Island Bridge in Channel District.
See a spectacular sunset from Harbor Island Bridge and if you’re in the mood to splurge, have dinner at Jackson’s Bistro, Bar & Shushi. Go online to reserve a table, especially if you want to sit outdoors for the sunset.
Stroll Tampa Riverwalk.
The Tampa Riverwalk is active, pedestrian-friendly, and especially beautiful at night. If you’d rather be on the water, rent a water taxi, water bike, or boat. Either way, you’ll enjoy enchanting views of Tampa University Onion Domes and Minarets, and fountains at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.
Enjoy Tampa Florida Like a Local in Ybor City.
Take the streetcar from Downtown Tampa at the Dick Greco Plaza to Centro Ybor. Spend a day there on a walking tour. There’s shopping, dining, museums, parks, and more. Watch Cuban masters roll cigars by hand the way the’ve done it since 1886.
Ybor Historic District is lively with shopping, dining, and entertainment. Eat inside the elegant Columbia Restaurant, dating back to 1905. Or dine at other restaurants along 7th Avenue or in Central Ybor, where streetside dining is entertaining and fun.
See turn of the 20th-century cigar worker’s homes at the Ybor City Museum State Park. Beware of territorial roosters. They’ve given me due warning on a few occasions while I was attempting to get their picture. And Ybor city dwellers are very protective of the roosters and hens too, no feeding or stalking. They are the icons of the neighborhood!
See these stories for more ideas about how to enjoy Tampa, Florida like a local.
There are parking garages in the Downtown and Channel District areas of Tampa Florida. Harbor Island Bridge, Jackson’s Bistro, Tampa Riverwalk, and the streetcar to Ybor are all accessible from the parking garage. See the downtown map for more information on the location of parking garages.
Travel Note April 30, 2021.
My husband, Eddie, and I love Tampa, Florida, and visit there frequently. Our fondness for the city began when he was stationed at MacDill Air Force Base. We had just gotten married in 2007 when he went on tour for four years. First, he was stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for a year. Then, Walter Reed was located at 6900 Georgia Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. After that, he was selected to work at MacDill Air Force Base and was there for three years. I was working too and couldn’t visit often but when I did, the time we shared in the beautiful and energetic city of Tampa was magical.
Now when we visit, we still do many of the things we loved back then when we learned to enjoy it like a local. We get a lot of questions about what to do there and that inspires me to keep writing about Tampa.