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Tampa's Warm Weather and Great Shopping Make Easy Work of Christmas Lists



Christmas shopping in Tampa is so much fun! Not only is there a ton of great options to choose from, but there's no snow or freezing temperatures to get in your way. To help you find the gifts and décor that you are looking for this Christmas, 10 Best has put together an eclectic list of the 10 best places to shop in Tampa.

There are several festive and seasonal options to choose from if you’re looking for Christmas themed décor or gifts. One very special spot is the Museum Store at the Henry Plant Museum during the holidays. To  go with their annual Victorian Christmas Stroll, they stock their shop with a wonderful selection of nostalgic items.

If you’re looking for locally-made gifts and souvenirs, then Ybor City is the best place to look. The streets of this historic neighborhood are lined with small, unique stores and boutiques, and every week there is the popular Ybor City Saturday Market to explore as well.

Of course there are plenty of both indoor and outdoor shopping malls around Tampa and listed here are just a few of the more memorable choices. International Plaza is the city’s flagship shopping experience and features all the high-end stores you could want. If you’re looking for something a little less intimidating, then try the Shops at Wiregrass, a family-friendly outdoor shopping village located in northeast Tampa.


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Westfield Brandon


Washed in light, this glass-filled mall invites shoppers to browse among palm trees, sculpture and water features. Open since 1995, the TownCenter is one of the area's most popular venues. It's anchored by four department stores; Macy's, Dillards, JCPenney, and Sears. Included in 120 additional specialty stores are a mix of retailers that includes premium options such as bebe, Swarovski, Lush, and Coach. There is also a great mix of popular dining options waiting for the shopping-weary including the Cheesecake Factory and Bahama Breeze. Families are welcome here and the mall sponsors a variety of fun events and activities throughout the year.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: In addition to great shopping, Brandon Town Center offers pics with Santa, a festival of trees, and other holiday events.

Skye's expert tip: This is a popular mall and gets really busy on weekends.

Read more about Westfield Brandon →


Ybor City Saturday Market
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers


Located in heart of Tampa's historic district, the Ybor City Saturday Market is a popular spot for finding locally produced gifts and specialty items unique to the area. The Market has been operating since 2000 and is the largest continually-running outdoor market in Tampa. Local vendors and artists offer fresh local produce, gourmet foods & sauces, fresh baked breads, prepared foods, herbs & plants, pet treats, honey, fine cigars, unique gifts, photography, artwork, jewelry, woodworking, bath & body products, candles and much more! There is free parking and admission is free. Hours are 9am - 1pm, April to September and 9am - 3pm from October through March.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: If you're looking for unique, artisan gifts this holiday season, Ybor's Saturday Market has some of Tampa's best options.

Skye's expert tip: After you explore the market, allow time to wander around the neighborhood which is always hopping on a Saturday.

Read more about Ybor City Saturday Market →


8
Outside the city
Tampa Premium Outlets
Photo courtesy of Tampa Premium Outlets


Located just 20 minutes from downtown, Tampa Premium Outlets offers shoppers 25% - 65% savings every day at more than over 100 designer and brand name retailers. Anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, the mall features other big names including Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, and Tommy Hilfiger. In addition to fashion and sportswear, there is a good selection of shoe, jewelry, accessory, and leather goods stores. Shoppers will enjoy the Key West ambiance at this open air mall that also features ample lounge and seating spaces when you need to take a break. Very family friendly, there is a play area for the kids, nursing lounges, and stroller rentals. Food options include several counter options as well as the 50s-inspired Johnny Rockets if you're looking for table service.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Tampa Premium Outlets is conveniently located and offers Christmas shoppers 25% - 65% savings at over 100 upscale retailers.

Skye's expert tip: Join their online VIP Club to get extra savings - it's free!

Read more about Tampa Premium Outlets →


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The Shops at Wiregrass
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers


This 800,000-square-foot open-air lifestyle village is one of the most picturesque malls in the Tampa area. Wiregrass strikes the perfect balance between a hub of local activity and a shopping destination. As shoppers stroll the wide, immaculate streets, outdoor music and waterfalls create a joyful ambiance while rocking chairs and pocket parks offer restful respites. Over 100 eclectic stores and restaurants line the sidewalks, so visitors can indulge in tasty treats while happily collecting armfuls of shopping bags. Wiregrass is located near the junction of I-75 with I-275 and is definitely worth the stop if you're in north Tampa.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: The Shops at Wiregrass offer a relaxed, village-style shopping experience with fun and festive activities and events daily through the holidays.

Skye's expert tip: The mall also hosts special events, including a bimonthly fresh market.

Read more about The Shops at Wiregrass →


Oxford Exchange
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers


The Oxford Exchange is 25,000 square feet of mixed-use space that combines a bookstore and gift store with specialty coffee and tea vendors to create a unique shopping experience. Originally built in 1891 as stables for the nearby Plant Hotel (now the University of Tampa), the building has been painstakingly restored and new contemporary elements added to create a classic, but welcoming space. The gift store merchandise is carefully curated to provide high-quality unique items culled from New York, London and Paris. The bookstore features a hand-selected collection of books organized by eclectic themes such as "mind over matter" or "complicated women" as opposed to by author. After shopping, you can relax on an overstuffed leather sofa in one of the many seating areas and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: With its unique and eclectic gift and book stores, Tampa's Oxford Exchange is the perfect spot to shop for the hard-to-buy-for on your holiday gift list.

Skye's expert tip: They host an annual holiday gift bazaar on December 1 and 2 that showcases local vendors and artisans.

Read more about Oxford Exchange →


Ybor City
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers


This historic district, named after a 19th-century cigar maker, lies northeast of downtown and is pronounced "Ee-bore" City. Latin culture and historic architecture endow it with grace; the nightclubs and restaurants that line its streets give it energy and character. Perhaps the most lively part of the city, Ybor is pedestrian-friendly, especially along Seventh Avenue, and club-goers often hit the streets until the wee hours on weekends. The district is also a great place to buy cigars, listen to jazz, and get a feel for the heartbeat of Tampa. Centro Ybor, a one-stop entertainment venue at the junction of Seventh Avenue and Nineteenth Street, attracts crowds with upscale restaurants, clubs and shopping.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: With its streets lined with unique and eclectic shops and boutiques, Tampa's historic district, Ybor City, is filled with holiday gift ideas.

Skye's expert tip: If you're looking for souvenirs or gifts with a Tampa flair, this is the place to shop.

Read more about Ybor City →


Henry B. Plant Museum
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers


Built in 1891 by railroad magnate Henry B. Plant, this history museum is located in what was originally the Tampa Bay Hotel, an extravagant resort that drew such guests as Teddy Roosevelt and Babe Ruth. Now home to the University of Tampa, Plant's accomplishment is made all the more amazing when you realize that when it was built, the hotel was surrounded only by swampland. Now exquisitely restored, the hotel's striking minarets architecture, lavish furnishings and vibrant gardens provide a rare glimpse into the early years of Florida tourism. Sure, it makes returning to a modern-day hotel room a bit sad, but this Moorish beauty is a definite must-see.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: During their Victorian Christmas Stroll, the Plant Museum Store in Tampa is a treasure trove of old-fashioned Christmas decor and gifts.

Skye's expert tip: From December 1 - 23, the Museum hosts a charming and festive Victorian Christmas Stroll.

Read more about Henry B. Plant Museum →




A visit to Robert's Christmas Wonderland is a shopping tradition for families throughout the Tampa Bay area. Located just across the Courtney Campbell Causeway in Clearwater, it will take less than half an hour to get to Robert's from downtown Tampa. Best of all, you can visit at any time of year to get a dose of holiday spirit. Devoted entirely to Christmas, you can find anything you could possibly think of related to the season. Their huge selection of ornaments, collectibles, gifts, and of course, trees, has earned them the reputation as one of the largest and most beautiful Christmas stores in the southeast.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Robert's Christmas Wonderland is a Tampa Bay tradition and offers a huge selection of holiday gifts and decor year-round.

Skye's expert tip: During the holiday season it gets packed! Visit early to avoid the crowds.

Read more about Robert's Christmas Wonderland →




South of downtown, in one of Tampa's most affluent neighborhoods, is one of the city's most upscale shopping destinations. The 265,000 square foot shopping district covers seven blocks of street retail, offices and dining. The open-air environment offers a park-like atmosphere with outdoor pathways and seating and is a fantastic place to people-watch and window shop. Don't worry though; most of the walkways are covered, so you don't have to pay too much attention to the changeable Tampa weather. Many of the shops are local and independent, but there are some prominent chains such as Restoration Hardware, Anthropologie, Williams-Sonoma, Brooks Brothers, Tommy Bahama, and Pottery Barn.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: With its festive, small town atmosphere, Christmas Shopping in Tampa's Hyde Park Village is fun for the whole family.

Skye's expert tip: This area has recently been revitalized with addition of a few new and wildly popular dining options.

Read more about Hyde Park Village →


International Plaza & Bay Street


When International Plaza was built, it changed the shopping landscape in Tampa. Located right next to the airport, it's our "fancy" mall, with shops that had not previously been in the Tampa market like Nordstrom's and Gucci. The mall features three upscale department department stores and over 200 high-end specialty shops. In addition to great shopping, International Plaza is an entertainment center featuring over 30 eateries and bars either within the mall or on Bay Street, the adjacent open-air village of fine restaurants and small boutiques. If you need a quick Burberry, Tiffany, or Louis Vuitton fix while in town, head to International Plaza.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: In addition to hosting Tampa's best upscale shopping and dining options, International Plaza features spectacular holiday events and attractions.

Skye's expert tip: IP is a trip in itself with extensive shopping, dining, and nightlife, and even its own hotel!

Read more about International Plaza & Bay Street →


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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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