July 2, 2021

City on the Bay Part 1: A Day out on the Town

In this first look at urban living in Downtown Tampa, we spotlight a few of the city’s daytime diversions.

Whether heading into downtown Tampa for brunch with friends, whiling away a few spare hours, or just taking in the city, there’s a host of attractions for people of all inclinations in and around the area. Perhaps the most famous of which is Bayshore Boulevard, with its four and a half miles of scenic sidewalk that traces the curve of the Bay from Ballast Point all the way into downtown proper. Joggers, bikers, and those who just want to spend a few hours soaking up the Sunshine State’s infamous rays will no doubt find this right up their alley. And with the addition of the Tampa Riverwalk, you can now follow the Hillsborough River’s trail into downtown as well. The Riverwalk spans several fun locales, including Curtis Hixon Park, The Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Waterworks Park, and leads out to Armature Works.

Speaking of which, Armature Works, and the nearby Ulele are excellent places to stop for a quick meal during your day out. Armature Works features a variety of fast casual dining options for every kind of palette in a beautifully restored brick storehouse. Ulele meanwhile is built alongside a natural spring, and takes its culinary cues from the rich native history and endemic life of the state. The result are dishes steeped in Florida’s culture and featuring ingredients from local farms and waters.

If you’re more interested in an indoor outing, the Tampa Museum of Art may call your name. Here old and new clash, as the museum sports one of the largest collections of Greek and Roman antiquities in the Southern US, while also featuring rotating displays of recent works from up and coming artists across the globe. Located along the Riverwalk in the heart of Downtown Tampa, this is a must see for any art lover. Those of a more historical persuasion may find themselves instead drawn to the American Victory Ship and Museum docked outside the Tampa Aquarium. This WWII battleship has been converted into a museum of maritime history and it’s a poignant experience to learn the history of the high seas while standing aboard a living piece of nautical history.

For those looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown, a quick ten minute drive to the nearby Hyde Park might be just the ticket. Nestled into a small neighborhood, this vibrant little area is home to a number of shops, and restaurants. Cruising the sidewalk, cup of joe in hand from a local coffee shop, and window shopping at the various boutiques is a delightful way to spend an afternoon. If Hyde Park isn’t enough of a change of pace for you, thanks to the recently opened Water Taxi you can sail across the bay over to the nearby St. Petersburg. The old saying about the journey being its own reward is as true as ever here. You’ll be treated to a delightful view of Downtown Tampa’s Skyline, and feel the cool ocean breeze whipping across the deck as you head out across the bay.

Urban living in Downtown Tampa packed with things to do, see, and experience. As your day of fun begins to wind to an end, we turn to the next part in this short series to see what the city offers as the moon begins to rise high into the sky.

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