The city's lively business district is a must-visit for those looking for fine art or a good party. Spend a day perusing the Tampa Museum of Art's collection of modern and contemporary works, or take in a Broadway touring production at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park provides the backdrop for many fairs and gatherings, from the Tampa Bay Margarita Festival to the Gasparilla Pirate Festival. When the summer rains begin to fall in June, Tampanians take in art and cult films at the historic Tampa Theatre.
In this historic neighborhood located a few miles north of downtown, beer enthusiasts and foodies alike frequent blocks of locally minded bars and restaurants. The Independent Bar & Café on North Florida Avenue is a pioneer in the city's popular craft beer movement, serving draughts from around the world along with boutique wines and café fare. Rooster & the Till, named the city's top restaurant by the Tampa Bay Times in 2018 and 2019, offers unique takes on time-honored classics, such as seared foie gras with guava syrup and roasted strawberries.
Recent commercial development has transformed Tampa's oldest suburb, located one mile north of downtown, into an up-and-coming urban center, replete with unique dining and entertainment options. Tampanians from every corner of the city brave the traffic to spend an evening at Armature Works, a food hall, bar, lounge and event space that boasts a bevy of local vendors offering craft cocktails and a mix of cuisines, from wood-fired pizza to barbecue to modern Cuban. Families flock to the Heights to beat the heat at Water Works Park, complete with a splash pad, festival lawn and breathtaking views of the Hillsborough River.
Founded in 1885, this National Historic Landmark District blends rich culture and history with vibrant nightlife. More than a century ago, immigrants from Cuba, Spain and Italy helped to build Ybor City into the cigar-making capital of the world. That history remains intact at the Ybor City Cigar Museum, as well as in the many restaurants serving their version of the Cuban sandwich, a delicacy rumored to have been invented here and devoured by employees of the cigar factories. Those in search of thrills after dark come to Ybor to visit the Castle — a multi-level, gothic-themed dance club — and the Ritz Ybor, where musicians from across the world perform to sold-out crowds.