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Dance, Play and Party the Night Away at Tampa's Top Nightspots



As the sun goes down and the lights come on, Tampa gets ready to have a good time. While the Ybor City and SoHo neighborhoods may host many of the top spots, there are plenty of options located throughout the city. To help you plan the perfect night out, 10 Best has put together a list of the top options. Get ready to move to the groove, laugh out loud, get lucky, or enjoy a great show.

From high-brow to low-brow, Tampa has a dynamic live music scene. One of the city's most original live music venues is Skipper's Smokehouse, a legendary local hangout where you will hear both local and national acts playing everything from reggae to ska.

If you're looking for something a little more glamorous, check out Tampa's Seminole Hard Rock Casino. Here you'll find everything you need for a complete night out - award-winning restaurants, live music, and of course a massive casino with a full selection of both slots and table games.


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Hyde Park Cafe has been setting the tone in the SoHo bar scene for over a decade now. With three distinct areas, all types of clientele come to dance, drink, or just hang out. The Velociti Room is your DJ-led dance party, spinning everything from salsa to hip-hop. Whatever music Velociti is spinning, chances are WB's Room is doing something completely different. On the other hand, if you just want to relax, there's a biergarten with over 60 varieties of brew along with bar food such as burgers, wings, and hot dogs. The VIP fills up quick, so reservations are recommended.




Among the most entertaining gay bars in Tampa, Florida, this high-energy club is a sweet spot to shimmy like you mean it on an expansive dance floor bathed in flashing lights. After busting every move you've got, retreat to the balcony where danced-out clubbers sip cheap, tasty drinks and chat with the sociable staff. The Honey Pot also features Steam Fridays with phenomenal drag shows for men and Tease Saturdays with sensational specials for women including $1 drinks from 10 pm - 11 pm. There are also plenty of special events and guest DJs.


Ferg's Live
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers


Ferg's Live is a live music venue and sports bar located in downtown Tampa next to Amalie Arena. With a chic, urban vibe, interior seating is bright and airy, however the real star is their huge courtyard. Featuring two bars, tons of seating and their "stage in the sky" this is the perfect spot to enjoy some live music. Live entertainment is offered 6 days a week and sports fans can't complain about the TVs with over 60 huge, flat screens to choose from. The menu consists of sophisticated pub grub with wings, flatbreads, burgers and more to choose from.


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Gaspar's Grotto is a popular bar and restaurant located in Tampa's Ybor City historic neighborhood. Perfect for visitor's who have not had the opportunity to experience the annual Gasparilla Celebration, Gaspar's celebrates the famous pirate invasion all year long and everyone gets to party like a pirate. Three large bar areas offer patrons options for seating and entertainment and there is always something going on. If you get hungry, Gaspar's offers some very decent bar grub from Tampa favorites like the Cuban sandwich and Devil Crab to the hottest hot wings in the city.




Tampa's Seminole Hard Rock Casino features over 170,000 square feet of sumptuously decorated gaming space offering 24/7 access to a huge selection of your favorite games. Whether you are partial to slot machines or want to try your hand in the poker room, there is a game for everyone. The over 4,000 Vegas-style slot machines include classic favorites as well the newest games available with options for all budgets from high limit to penny slots. There are over 150 table games, offering Blackjack, 3-Card Poker, Texas Hold 'Em and more. More exotic games can be found in the Jubao Palace with a variety of Asian-inspired table games including Pai Gow Tiles, Asian Poker and Baccarat.




Get your yuks on at Tampa's Improv Comedy Club located in the Ybor City historic district. This is the same Club that for 40 years has launched the careers of countless famous comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld, David Spade and Bette Midler, just to name a few. Tampa's version showcases up-and-coming talent as well as nationally-known comedians on their stage, complete with the iconic brick backdrop everyone knows so well. The Club features a full menu and a well-stocked bar to keep you fortified for any laugh attacks that may occur. Reservations are recommended and shows run Wednesday through Sunday.


Topgolf Tampa
Photo courtesy of Topgolf Tampa


Located in Brandon, a 15 minute drive from downtown is Topgolf Tampa. This unique entertainment complex offers a 3-level golf range for players of all ages and abilities to hone their skills playing target-oriented games. A state-of-the-art gaming system logs players in and keeps track of both the game and the score using microchipped golf balls. There are 109 golf bays that can accommodate up to 6 people and are rented by the hour. Each bay has a host that provides full food and beverage service. In addition, there is a large restaurant and bar, games lounge and outdoor patio. If you're on a budget, try and visit on Tuesday which is half price for the hourly bay rental.




The indisputable leader among the craft breweries in Tampa, Cigar City Brewing prides itself on creating nationally prized craft brews on an intimate scale. There is a large, unpretentious tasting room, perfect for checking out what's on tap and a great place to gather with friends. This brewery focuses on the art of craft brewing and offers a highly rated Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale, hoppy Jai Alai IPA and a diverse selection of seasonal ales and stouts. Five to six behind-the-scene tours are offered daily Wednesday through Sunday if you want to see the brewing in action. They have expanded beyond their original location and now have pubs located in north Tampa and at the airport, and a cider and mead spot in Ybor City.




A legendary local hangout, Skipper's Smokehouse is wonderfully Old Florida and attracts a faithful crowd of regulars. The decor is perfectly done in Florida-shack style, looking like it's made of corrugated tin and brightly painted plywood held together with a few nails. Although it started out as a smokehouse, Skipper's is now renowned for its seafood and booking some of the top bands in the area. Known as the "Skipperdome," the outside music venue welcomes performers of all musical genres who play to appreciative crowds beneath moss-draped oaks. On any given night you can enjoy rock, soul, jazz, zydeco, blues, ska and reggae under the stars.


David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers


The Straz Center is Tampa's world-class center for the performing arts and hosts most of the area's major cultural performances. Here you can enjoy performances from the Florida Orchestra and Opera Tampa, as well as popular music greats such as Lena Horn and the Isley Brothers. The Straz also hosts a full calendar of Broadway musicals and local theater productions. The facility features five individual theaters and several on-site dining options including Maestro's Restaurant, Café, and On the River that are open before most events. The largest and most impressive theater is the 2,610 seat Carol Morsani Hall with state-of-the-art acoustics and a 120 foot stage.


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Meet Skye Rodgers

Skye is a freelance writer that adopted Tampa as her hometown over a decade ago and never looked back. As a native of Canada, Skye has happily embraced the no snow climate, and in her spare time...  More About Skye

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