Welcome to Tampa! This one-day itinerary will provide you with an overview of what this dynamic city has to offer. It’s going to be a busy day, so make sure you start with a great breakfast. A convenient spot is the Ashley Street Grille located in the Sheraton Riverwalk Hotel. Enjoy a well-prepared breakfast while taking in the wonderful river views.
The Glazer Children's Museum is fronted by Curtis Hixon Park and fountains made for running through — Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers
After you've had your fill, spend the rest of the morning exploring Tampa’s Riverwalk. You can join the well-marked walkway at the front of the hotel. Check out their website for a map and full listing of attractions. If you go north, you can enjoy the fountains and recreational space of Curtis Hixon Park before visiting the ultra-modern Tampa Museum of Art, or if you have the kids in tow, take them to the popular Glazer Children’s Museum right next door.
If you prefer to head south, you can enjoy the views along Tampa’s waterfront, passing through new park spaces highlighting Tampa’s history and development. Keep going until you reach the Tampa Bay History Center, a state-of-the art interactive museum that celebrates the area’s rich culture and heritage.
The Tampa Bay History Center celebrates the area's rich culture and history — Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers
By now your breakfast must have worn off. It’s a good time to call a taxi to take you to lunch. But this is no ordinary taxi; it’s the Tampa Bay Water Taxi. Just give them a call and they’ll pick you up at any spot along the downtown riverfront. Tell them you’re heading to Rick’s on the River for lunch, and you’re off.
The leisurely ride allows you to take in the river scenery while you listen to the knowledgeable captain tell you about landmarks along the way. Rick’s is a local’s hangout with a huge outdoor patio featuring more great views. If you’re up for it, try their fresh oysters all 'jacked-up' - with seasoning, pepper jack cheese and a jalapeno ring. They also feature daily lunch specials.
After lunch, have the Water Taxi drop you back downtown at the Convention Center. A short walk across the street will take you to Dick Greco Plaza where you can catch an old-fashioned electric streetcar (see www.tecolinestreetcar.org for maps and schedules) to your next destination – historic Ybor City.
Depart the streetcar at stop 2, Centro Ybor, and cross the street to find the Visitor Information Center. The Center features interpretive displays, a selection of local gifts and knowledgeable staff who will help you plan a walking itinerary of the quaint and charming neighborhood. Enjoy historic points of interest, eclectic shopping opportunities and friendly sidewalk cafes.Ybor City streets are lined with historic buildings, eclectic shopping and sidewalk cafes — Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers
Wrap up your day of touring Tampa’s sights with dinner at the famous Columbia Restaurant. Opened in 1905, the Columbia is a local landmark featuring award-winning Spanish/Cuban cuisine and nightly Flamenco dance performances (except Sunday). If you still have some energy left after dinner, and are without the kids, party into the wee hours by checking out a few of Ybor’s wide selection of bars, lounges and clubs that line the streets. A good time is never far away in Tampa!