New in town? Ready to mingle? Moving to a new area can be overwhelming, and it’s hard to know where to go on the weekends when you have some spare time. We have picked out a few hotspots in the Tampa Bay area that are a must for any Tampa resident.
Tampa Nightlife for Students and Young Professionals
The majority of student nightlife in the Tampa Bay area is clustered around either USF or UT. Some popular USF college bars include Bulls Club, CopperTop and CDB’s. You will also find that USF students travel to nearby attractions, like Ybor, SoHo, and Channelside.
The students that attend UT are very close to a variety of nightlife. The students of UT tend to hang out in SoHo, which is also where many young professionals in Tampa choose to hang out promptly starting at Happy Hour on Friday’s. Hot South Howard hangouts are MacDinton’s, Yard of Ale, and the Dubliner for the beer connoisseurs, while places like the Drynk and the Lodge provide more of a club or party atmosphere. However, you will find a mixture at every place. In nearby Channelside, you will find a number of bars and restaurants like Wet Willies, Tina Tapas, Hooters, Stump’s Supper Club, and Howl at the Moon. Ybor provides more of an underground scene, with smaller bars and pubs providing everything from karaoke to live bands to dance parties.
Orpheum is popular for its Sink or Swim Saturdays. Czar Bar attracts tons of partygoers with its three themed rooms, and the Pub and Gaspar’s Grotto have a chill feel. Tons of bars line 7th avenue, so you are sure to find something to fit your needs.
Tampa Nightlife for Professionals
For more mature Tampa nightlife, seek out sophisticated hangouts like Bay Street in International Plaza. This holds several hot bars and restaurants for happy hour and beyond. Blue Martini and Bar Louie are two major hangouts here, and provide great drink specials and friendly staff for all your nightlife needs.
For a more relaxed environment, try restaurants that are open late with great bar specials, like Chili’s or Applebee’s. Channelside provides themed entertainment with Howl at the Moon’s dueling pianos, and a great live band at Stump’s Supper Club. In North Tampa, the Shoppes at Wiregrass provide places like Prime Bar and Brass Tap, catering to residents in the area.
Family Friendly Tampa “Nightlife”
Ok, so it might not be considered “nightlife”, but weekend fun with the family is easy in Tampa. With two theme parks right in the heart of Tampa Bay and tons of parks and beaches, your weekends will be filled with fun before you know it! Busch Gardens is a great attraction for all ages, and with their great prices, you’ll be coming back all year! Check out Busch Gardens promotions to get a good deal. Generally, getting a pass in January is your best option because they often offer a “Pay for a Day” promotion. (At the cost of a single day ticket, you get to come back all year!)
Tampa’s own water park, Adventure Island, is also a great summer attraction. You can also check out combination tickets for both parks and save! There is also Lowry Park Zoo, full of animals and fun for small children. The Shoppes at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel are a popular weekend attraction in North Tampa, and have fun events for kids and a train to ride! Also, take advantage of the parks in the area. Lettuce Lake Park and Ft. De Soto Park are two great examples.
As always, be aware of your surroundings when you are out in Tampa (or any other town) at night, and try to take precautions to ensure safety. Travel in groups where possible and try to park closer to the clubs or bars you are visiting. Drive safely – there are cabs everywhere in Tampa, so don’t drink and drive. Safe rides home are everywhere and they are well worth it!« Return to Resources.