Authentic treasures such as the University of Tampa rub shoulders with modern marvels such as the Rivergate Tower and Tampa Museum of Art. This intriguing blend of then and now defines Tampa’s cultural core.
Modern and contemporary artwork is the main focus of Tampa Museum of Art while University of Tampa’s Henry B. Plant Museum remains rooted in the past via period-themed rooms filled with antiques from its gilded 1890s-era Tampa Bay Hotel days. David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts brings buzzed-about Broadway tours to town, plus top-notch music and dance performances.
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is the setting of popular fests, from food-and-spirits-driven Tampa Bay Margarita Festival, to cultural celebrations like the Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival, to tuneful occasions like Rock the Park and Gasparilla Music Festival. The park is flanked by the kid friendly fun-house Glazer Children’s Museum and the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. The park runs up against Tampa Riverwalk, which stretches past two dining hot spots: ritzy steakhouse Malio’s Prime, and a fresh Native American cuisine-inspired eatery, Ulele.
Downtown’s Sail Plaza plays host to a monthly Brews & Bites Food Truck Rally that spotlights local mobile eateries. Downtown watering holes cater to any taste. Paddywagon Irish Pub boasts high-class whiskey and cigar offerings, Hattricks Tavern is a favored hang-out for sports nuts, Haiku delivers an upscale nightclub feel with specialty house cocktails and Hotel Bar (not in a hotel), an old-school, cosmopolitan spot offering craft cocktails and artful bar bites. Historic movie palace Tampa Theatre provides a date-ready atmosphere, paired with a meal at fine-dining favorites Mise en Place and Bizou Brasserie.