Before getting into the down and dirty details about specific bars and nightlife to enjoy in the Tampa area one must first know the general sections. There are technically only a few spots in the Tampa area; these are South Howard/Hyde Park, Channelside, Downtown Tampa, Ybor, and Bay Street. Of course some of these places are better than others and some may soon not exist at all. We’ll start by giving a quick overview of these sectors now.
South Howard/Hyde Park, which in our opinion is the most happening location, is home to a multitude of bars, restaurants, and even some club-type places. There really is a little bit of everything in South Howard area, many of which places are Tampa staples. As you move from the beginning through the middle of the strip, you have more restaurants, which range from inexpensive to pricey. While towards the end of the strip, you have your bars and club life (some of which serve food).
Channelside, which currently appears to be going through some rough times use to be once home to a multitude of places to go to. Anywhere from movie theaters, bowling allies, sports bars, and clubs. Sadly, Channelside just experienced a slew of closures, one of which including the movie theater. Have no fear everyone, for one there are still a few amazing places to try out there. Also, there are already plans to add new merchants to revive the once popular spot.
Downtown Tampa is attempting to become the downtown city it once was. Years ago (and when I say years, I mean many years ago), Downtown was home to department stores, shops, and restaurants. These days, with restoration projects underway, Downtown Tampa is looking to be a potential, new hotspot. Currently, there are a few restaurants and bars in this location, but you better get there early as a lot of places close quite early.
Ybor is home to a variety of types of bars and restaurants. Bars in the Ybor district range from “Goth” bars and “Gay” bars to clubs. Ybor is a place that has something for everybody. Start the night off grabbing dinner and a movie before heading out for a night on the town.
Lastly, Bay Street is definitely targeted to a slightly older crowd (I’d say about higher 20’s – late 30’s age range). Bay Street has more restaurants that turn into chill low-key bars and nightlife dancing than any other area. Bay Street is located at the International Mall and is located directly outside of the mall. Bay Street is great place to stop after a day of shopping.
Now that you know the main areas of Tampa, we bet you can’t wait to hear the details. Grab your friends, grab a drink, and start planning your next KiKi.