Take in the Tampa Riverwalk
Downtown’s urban icon runs 2.4 miles along our sparkling waterfront. It’s the perfect venue for walking, strolling, paddleboarding, or riding a bike. Discover the best that downtown has to offer as you explore the trove of restaurants, hotels, public art, and cultural experiences strung like gems along this linear park. Buy a special cup at participating restaurants, and you can do your strolling with an adult beverage in hand.
Have Fun at Fourth Friday
Downtown’s newest party brings thousands of people out as the sun goes down to soak up Tampa Bay’s cultural attractions. A special wristband gets visitors free or discounted admission to the Tampa Museum of Art, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, and Tampa Bay History Center. Take a tour of the historic Tampa Theatre and stick around as twilight grows for a show at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Along the way, you’ll find plenty to eat and drink along the Tampa Riverwalk.
Feel the Icy Chill
Here in Tampa Bay, we love a cool drink on a hot day. Start with an iced coffee at one of our home-grown coffee shops. When the sun is high, beat the heat with a true piece of Tampa Bay history: a cold beer. Florida’s first commercial brewery opened here in 1897, and B-E-E-R has been part of our D-N-A ever since. Indulge your taste buds in Florida’s hub for craft brewing. With 26 brewers spread from Apollo Beach to Odessa to Ybor City, you’ll find one nearby. Or hop on Brew Bus for a guided ride among them. After hours, try cider and mead or cocktails made with locally distilled spirits.
Make a Splash
Tampa Bay knows how to keep its cool when the mercury rises. Rent a paddleboard or a water bike and hit the sparkling Hillsborough River. The Tampa Riverwalk and The Florida Aquarium have splash pads and play fountains to keep you cool. Start your day at Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay with a white-knuckle ride down the Congo River Rapids. Adventure Island’s Colossal Curl and lazy river make a splash of another kind. Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo offers Wallaroo Station, an Australian Outback-themed water zone. Or chill out without getting soaked, by pondering the cool blue of The Florida Aquarium’s Coral Reef – those fish lower your temperature and your blood pressure at the same time.
See a summer concert
With several major venues and loads of local bands, Tampa Bay has no shortage of great music during the summer. Let’s consider a sampling:
At Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre: Jimmy Buffett (June 3); Chicago & the Doobie Brothers (June 29); Styx, REO Speedwagon & Don Felder (July 18); Counting Crows & Matchbox 20 (August 15); Green Day (September 5).
At Amalie Arena: Alabama (May 28); Rod Stewart & Cyndi Lauper (July 8); Shawn Mendes (July 25); Ed Sheeran (August 29).
At Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay: Summer Nights includes live music and fireworks each night.
Looking for something on a smaller scale? Downtown’s Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park hosts Rock the Park concerts on the first Thursday of each month. The free shows start at 6:30 p.m.
Dine Around the Town
Tampa Bay is a food-lovers dream, with plenty of chances for dining al fresco. Settle in to watch the sun set over the Hillsborough River at Ulele at the Tampa Riverwalk’s northern end. Catch a breeze off the river at Sono Cafe, part of the Tampa Museum of Art. People-watch from patio of legendary pirate bar Gaspar’s Grotto on Seventh Avenue in Ybor City. Or sample a taste of Tampa Bay’s past with the reborn Goody Goody hamburger joint in Hyde Park Village. A piece of Goody Goody’s butterscotch pie is a perfect way to wrap up a summer day in Tampa Bay.
It turns out air-conditioning was invented here in Florida (naturally). Celebrate by dropping into downtown’s historic Tampa Theatre to catch a classic or indie flick in the coolness of Tampa Bay’s coolest building. Yes, those are clouds moving across the ceiling of the ornate 1926 movie palace — the first building in Tampa to have air-conditioning. You can keep the kids entertained with a trip to the Glazer Children’s Museum or MOSI, the Museum of Science and Industry. They’ll also find plenty to do and learn during their summer break at the Tampa Bay History Center.