Channel District / Islands
Hop a trolley to downtown's bustling perimeter for entertainment geared to out-of-towners, night-on-the-towners and daytime-pleasure seekers. Davis Islands and Harbour Island have an explorer-minded appeal emphasized by friendly stretches of cafés, shops and bars.
Ranked among the nation's best by the Travel Channel, The Florida Aquarium houses 20,000 marine plants and animals, from sharks to penguins. Tampa Bay History Center chronicles the area's heritage, and its Columbia Café is a satellite of Florida's oldest Spanish restaurant.
Channelside Bay Plaza offers a range of eats while its shops carry wine, chocolates, cigars, clothing and other odds and ends.
Cry Baby Café is the breakfast, lunch and snacks venture of Café Dufrain. After you fuel up, tour the WWII The SS American Victory Mariners' Memorial and Museum. Those seeking other watery diversions can take an electric boat ride with eBoats Tampa, a luxury cruise with Olde World Sailing Line or a trip on a Catamaran with Tampa Bay Sailing Tours--all launch from the nearby Tampa Convention Center. Rather see the district by land but prefer not to hoof it? Roll with Magic Carpet Glide Segway Tours on its guided Segway circuit.
International tours featuring the likes of The Black Keys, National Hockey League games and Disney on Ice shows land at the Amalie Arena. Spirited sports fans stop by Ferg's Live before and after the big event for a drink and a bite with friends. Another one of the district's hot spots, Splitsville is a bowling alley that maintains a retro-chic vibe and features upscale bar food and live music on select nights. Yacht StarShip launches dinner cruises from the Channelside dock while Café Dufrain offers waterfront views from its perch on Harbour Island.