More Tampa Neighborhoods
A significant amount of visitors to Tampa never leave the airport or its surrounding Westshore neighborhood. Luckily for them, there's plenty to see and do around the airport consistently voted by business travelers as one of the best in the country. Fine dining, shopping, and hospitality options abound just off the runways.
Not so long ago, your dining options in the Airport/Westshore area were limited to those restaurants attached to the airport hotels. With the establishment of International Plaza, the neighborhood now can boasts restaurants both within the mall, like Capital Grille, and just outside, like Roy's and Oystercatchers. Even if you need a car, it is a cheap cab fare from the airport to some great dining options.
Stuffy, outdated hotel bars have given way to a completely reestablished nightlife scene in the airport/Westshore area. When the mall came, and with it such spots as Blue Martini and Bar Louie, the other spots had to raise their game. Of course, since the airport area has some of the sleekest hotels in the area, you might find some stylish clientele in their bars as well.
One thing that the Airport/Westshore area could always boast was some of the best hotel options in town. Downtown is also desirable, but the best collection can still be found around the runways. The Grand Hyatt is about as good as it gets in the entire Bay area, but for those who want to shop until they drop, the Renaissance International Plaza is one of few hotels in the country attached to a mall.
Every major city has a "fancy" mall, and International Plaza is ours. The size is staggering (and tiring), with over 200 stores and four major department stores including Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. You will also find Tampa's only Apple Store, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci. International's outdoor market, Bay Street, is the home of great restaurants and bars like Capital Grille and Blue Martini. This complex is worth a day-trip by itself.