What To Do In Tampa This Summer So You Can Make The Most Of The Florida Sunshine
Florida: It's more than just Disney World and visiting your grandparents. I know, shocking. While of course Florida has its fair share of tourists and retirement communities, it also has a handful of cities that are growing rapidly and attracting a young, creative demographic. One great example? Tampa. With amazing outdoor venues, beautiful beaches, and a lot of good food, Tampa has more to offer than ever before. Given that it's located on the coast and borders the Gulf of Mexico, it turns out that the weather is pretty nice, too.
Bustle has partnered with Crocs to guide you toward the best spots to visit in Tampa this summer, whether you're into outdoor dining or music festivals. There are infinite options for having fun, and they don't have to involve heading to theme parks with your out-of-state younger cousins. (Yep, we've all been there.) And before you choose your activity, here's a big pro tip for all summer fun: Please wear sunscreen! After all, it's still Florida. Other than that, just enjoy all the fun this gem of a city has to offer.
Best Outdoor Dining
If you're in the mood for something a little more formal, or looking to celebrate a special occasion, Ocean Prime is a perfect option. It's on the more expensive end of dining in Tampa, but you certainly get what you pay for in terms of both quality of food and impeccable service. The restaurant features an outside patio that looks beautiful at night. If fancy drinks are your thing, be sure to try the "Berries & Bubbles" martini, which is made with dry ice.
The Refinery is a nice little gem hidden in the Seminole Heights area of Tampa. This restaurant features an adorable rooftop deck that is basically perfect when the weather is nice. The Refinery's menu changes each week, so there's always something new (and delicious) to try. It's been featured in Southern Living, The Washington Post, and New York Magazine.
Best Outdoor Performance Venues
MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater
The MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater (try to get past the name) can seat up to 20,000 people, making it the largest concert-only outdoor venue in the state. The amphitheater hosts big-name concerts all summer long, and you can grab a spot on the lawn in the back of the venue super cheaply.
Dunedin Movies In The Park And Concert Series
If you're in the mood for something a little more quaint, head out to Dunedin, a tiny town in Tampa that has great food, friendly shops, and weekly events in the town square. On every second Friday during the summer months, there's an art and wine walk with tastings and over 40 participating merchants. After that, take a one-minute walk to Casa Tina's and eat some great Mexican food.
Best Place To Have Fun By Foot
Bayshore Boulevard is a basically a Tampa landmark at this point. It's the best way to get in some exercise while also appreciating stunning architecture and views of the gorgeous bay. People love to rollerblade or jog along this path, but feel free to do whatever suits your pace. Enjoying the view is the most important part, after all.
Best Outdoor Nightlife
Fly Bar & Restaurant
Tampa's Fly Bar & Restaurant boasts an outdoor bar on the roof, making it an ideal location to grab a drink and enjoy a nice summer breeze. The food is as highly praised as the atmosphere, and it attracts some of the best local musicians from the Tampa Bay area.
Best Outdoor Festivals
Tampa Downtown Market
Whether you are shopping for ingredients for dinner or a gift for your mom, the Tampa Downtown Market offers everything from handmade crafts to organic, farm-fresh produce. It's held on the third Sunday of every month, so you'll want to mark your calendar to enjoy great shopping, a pet-friendly environment, and even valet services for your bike.
Best Places To Cool Off
This one's a no-brainer. If you're looking for a quiet spot to relax, head to Honeymoon Island, a Florida state park. You'll find that it's a little less crowded than the usual touristy beaches, making it worth the small fee to get on the island -- from $4 to $6 per car. There's a cute dog beach on the island as well, so you can bring your furry friend. Try to head to the beach on a weekday if you want to get a prime spot, or try to get there early in the morning on a weekend.
An open-air pedestrian trail, Tampa's Riverwalk is the city's best location to view the downtown skyline. Trailing along the Hillsborough River, the attraction leads visitors through the best downtown Tampa has to offer, including the Tampa Art Museum and Glazer Children's Museum. The trail ends at Tampa Water Works, a great place for children and adults alike to cool off in the open lawn and splash pad.
This post is sponsored by Crocs.
Images: Fly Bar/Facebook