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Favorite cheap or free things to do in Tampa?

Heading to Tampa for a work weekend and want to explore the city for free or on a low budget. What should be on my list when I visit? Any great parks, museums, etc. to see on the cheap? I'm open to all ideas!

4 Answers

top answer by
Randy from Tampa

Go to downtown Tampa and explore the Tampa Riverwalk  This is a 2.2 mile continuous walkway along the water.  You can rent a bike from the bike share kiosks or take a segway tour.  There are several parks along the riverwalk and about 8 bars/restaurants spread out along the way.

Curtis Hixon Park Water Works Park Ulele Sail Pavilion

There's also a very nice aquarium at the western end of the Riverwalk. 

Ybor City is always a nice place to visit.  Near downtown, this historic urban village has a lot of shops, bars and restaurants.  It's Cuban-Italian heritage can be seen everywhere.  Stop at the Columbia Restaurant for some real authentic spanish/cuban food.  (you can also get great spanish/cuban food at the Spain Restaurant and Toma Bar in downtown Tampa off the Riverwalk).  A little quieter, but still fun at night is South Howard Ave.  This is a stretch of road in a trendy part of town.  Nice restaurants and some bars.  A great place for breakfast along Howard Avenue is Daily Eats  Its a little expensive compared to other places, but really great food and the atmosphere is fun.  You might even see me there on a Sunday morning.Whatever you do, make sure you try a cup of Cuban coffee (that is if you're a coffee drinker).  Its strong and rich, a little like an expresso, but larger.  But make sure you're at one the Columbia, Spain or other authentic Cuban restaurants to get the best sample.  And check out the Cuban Bread and if you like sandwiches, the Tampa Cuban Sandwich is something to try.

Hope this helps.  Have fun!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tampa Riverwalk (attraction)
  2. Curtis Hixon Park (attraction)
  3. Water Works Park (attraction)
  4. Ulele (restaurant)
  5. Sail Pavilion (attraction)
  6. Ybor City (neighborhood)
  7. Columbia Restaurant (hotel)
  8. Spain Restaurant and Toma Bar (restaurant)
  9. South Howard Ave (attraction)
  10. Daily Eats (restaurant)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Rocio from Costa Rica

Hi Stephanie! I am not a fan person of a theme park; however, once I went to Tampa with my daughter and visited Busch Gardens Tampa . Let me tell you, we had a blast! Amazing roller coasters and the safari is pretty cool.

It is an option when you have plenty of time and it is very cheap compared to other famous theme parks.

Hope this helps!!!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Busch Gardens Tampa (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
George from Tampa

For an eclectic vibe, there are two pretty cool options. First, If you're staying in the downtown Tampa area, you can head over to Ybor City, an historic district a few minutes off downtown. Lots of free or cheap parking options if you have a rental car, as well as trolly car stops. You could walk up and down 7th and 8th avenue -- plus cross streets --- and easily spend a few hours in the shops, bars and restaurants. If downtown and into walking, you could head over to Bayshore Blvd -- or The Riverwalk. Curtis Hixon Park is off the Riverwalk and there are usually things going on there. Also, there are a lot of great local markets on weekends --- one in Hyde Park -- close to downtown that I would recommend. Second, if you're closer to downtown Saint Petersburg (Florida), you can basically just hang out there all day. Lots of cool bars, restaurants, books stores, coffee shops, etc. Usually something free going on every day as well. They also have a great local market on Saturday. Not to sound too self serving, because it's my company, but when you're here --- if you have an iPhone --- download the UNATION App --- it's filled with thousands of events in the Tampa Bay area, with a lot of them being free. If you have an Android, we will have an App in that store in a few months. Hope this helps, enjoy your trip! 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ybor City (neighborhood)
  2. Bayshore Blvd (attraction)
  3. Curtis Hixon Park (attraction)
  4. Hyde Park (attraction)
  5. Saint Petersburg (Florida) (city)
2 thanks

answered first by
Jeff from Tampa

If you want to head over to Saint Petersburg (Florida)The Dali Museum and others all in downtown St. Petersburg are excellent beautiful and fun. Check out Fort DeSoto Park if you want a great beach. Great restaurants in downtown.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Saint Petersburg (Florida) (city)
  2. The Dali Museum (attraction)
  3. Fort DeSoto Park (attraction)
2 thanks

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