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Blog The Tampa Times

Make the most of your time in Tampa with our insider's guide to navigating the neighborhood. Catch a live concert at the stadium, cheer on the Tampa Bay Rays during spring training, or find the best cigar shop in town. We’ll let you in on our favorite places to drink, dine, shop, and explore.

Tampa Blog

Step Into the Spooky Season at the Tampa Theater

This month is full of thrilling haunts and spooky outings sure to get you in the Halloween spirit. Starting October 19th through the 31st, you’ll want to be sure to take a trip to Tampa’s most historic (and most haunted) movie palace—the Tampa Theater. 

Step Into the Spooky Season at the Tampa Theater

This month is full of thrilling haunts and spooky outings sure to get you in the Halloween spirit. Starting October 19th through the 31st, you’ll want to be sure to take a trip to Tampa’s most historic (and most haunted) movie palace—the Tampa Theater. This old-school cinema will be presenting 13 nights of Halloween haunts for everyone to enjoy. A Nightmare on Franklin Street, now in its seventh year, will be presenting classic horror films, family-friendly flicks, and even a special presentation of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Whether you can attend one or 13 nights, you won’t want to miss out on this Tampa tradition. Want to take your scares up a notch? Add on a ghost tour to your experience and learn about the theater’s most spooky secrets. Discover who the man was in seat 308 and why Fink Finley continues to roam the balcony—all of this and so much more awaits during this fun fall season!

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couple in orange glasses at movie theater

Ride Coasters and Taste Local Beers at Busch Gardens

A day spent at Busch Gardens is always full of exhilarating fun and adventure--but it’s especially true during the park’s Bier Fest! This weekend September 7 and 8, join in on the fun at this popular festival that puts a spotlight on Tampa’s craft beer and food scene. 

Ride Coasters and Taste Local Beers at Busch Gardens

A day spent at Busch Gardens is always full of exhilarating fun and adventure--but it’s especially true during the park’s Bier Fest! This weekend September 7 and 8, join in on the fun at this popular festival that puts a spotlight on Tampa’s craft beer and food scene. In between checking out the animals and going for a wild ride on one of the coasters, sip your way through over 40 new brews of local, domestic, and international breweries. Alongside your cold beer, you can taste tons of amazing eats from local restaurants—everything from tacos and sandwich melts to sliders and chicken wings! No matter what you’re craving, you can find it here, all while supporting local businesses. To complete the ambiance, enjoy live music and entertainment that pays homage to a traditional Oktoberfest celebration, all with a Tampa twist.

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couple drinking beer together

Cheers to Tampa Cuisine on the Food and Wine Tour

This month we’re heading back to the Riverwalk to share a fun, foodie-focused event everyone in your group will love! Discover downtown Tampa in a whole new light on the Riverwalk Food and Wine Tour! This evening tour takes you and 11 others on an exclusive excursion that highlights 4-5 amazing local restaurants and exquisite wines to pair.

Cheers to Tampa Cuisine on the Food and Wine Tour

This month we’re heading back to the Riverwalk to share a fun, foodie-focused event everyone in your group will love! Discover downtown Tampa in a whole new light on the Riverwalk Food and Wine Tour! This evening tour takes you and 11 others on an exclusive excursion that highlights 4-5 amazing local restaurants and exquisite wines to pair. There is so much to see—and more importantly, to taste—along the Riverwalk, especially at night when the area comes to life with lively energy and delicious eats. With the river as your stunning backdrop, this three-hour walking tour will bring you the very best of Tampa flavor along with a unique insight into the history that makes Tampa Bay what it is today—a buzzing blend of art, history, and insanely good food. Your tour begins with a champagne toast at Oxford Exchange and from there, cheers to an eventful evening out on the town!

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cheers with white wine

Check Out These Amazing July Events in Tampa

From food truck festivals to Fourth of July celebrations, Tampa serves up exciting adventures around every corner throughout the summer. This month, check out Mayor’s Food Truck Fiesta on July 3rd, where you can sample the delicious offerings from local vendors including Flip’n Tasty, King’s Bistro, Anju Korean Gastrotruck, Just Smokin’ BBQ, and many more!

Check Out These Amazing July Events in Tampa

From food truck festivals to Fourth of July celebrations, Tampa serves up exciting adventures around every corner throughout the summer. This month, check out Mayor’s Food Truck Fiesta on July 3rd, where you can sample the delicious offerings from local vendors including Flip’n Tasty, King’s Bistro, Anju Korean Gastrotruck, Just Smokin’ BBQ, and many more! The event will be held at Lykes Gaslight Square Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The next day, suit up in your best red, white, and blue and get ready to celebrate Independence Day in Tampa! The big event, Boom by the Bay, will be an impressive, mesmerizing show of four firework displays taking off simultaneously down the Hillsborough River. Stake out a spot along Waterworks Park, Riverfront Park, and Sparkman Wharf for premium views of an Independence Day celebration you and your family won’t ever forget.

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party with fireworks

See Your Favorite Animals at the Florida Aquarium

Ever wanted to get up close to some of the world’s most iconic aquatic animals? You won’t want to miss out on a visit to the Florida Aquarium, right here in Tampa! Ranked in the Top 10 Aquariums in the Country, this breathtaking aquarium is home to 14,000 animals and tons of exciting opportunities for you and your family. 

See Your Favorite Animals at the Florida Aquarium

Ever wanted to get up close to some of the world’s most iconic aquatic animals? You won’t want to miss out on a visit to the Florida Aquarium, right here in Tampa! Ranked in the Top 10 Aquariums in the Country, this breathtaking aquarium is home to 14,000 animals and tons of exciting opportunities for you and your family. Not only can you explore the main building, with exhibits that represent ecosystems from all over the world, but you can also check out the many tours that leave directly from the aquarium. A couple of our favorites include the Wild Dolphin Cruise, where you can possibly see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat, and the Behind-the-Scenes tour for a view of what goes into caring for the animals and keeping the aquarium in perfect shape. Beyond its amazing residents, the Florida Aquarium is a pioneer in marine conservation and education.

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aquarium kids

Explore Tampa on Foot Along the Riverwalk

One of the best ways to uncover the local landmarks and hidden gems of Tampa is on foot! Get outside and explore all of the exciting sights and stops that this amazing city has to offer. With the weather better than ever, now is truly the perfect time to head outdoors and play tourist. 

Explore Tampa on Foot Along the Riverwalk

One of the best ways to uncover the local landmarks and hidden gems of Tampa is on foot! Get outside and explore all of the exciting sights and stops that this amazing city has to offer. With the weather better than ever, now is truly the perfect time to head outdoors and play tourist. One of our favorite ways to do just that? Taking a stroll along the Tampa Riverwalk! Scenic, summery, and diverse—the river walk has a little bit of everything that makes Tampa so unique. Here you’ll find restaurants and bars for the foodies of the group, boat rentals and aquariums for the family-friendly activities, and so much more. Whether you’re able to spend the afternoon leisurely walking along or just squeeze in a morning walk, the river walk is there for a refreshing experience that is authentically Tampa.

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tampa riverwalk and the water

A Glimpse Back in Time to Tampa's Cigar Boom

What’s in a name? While Hotel Alba stands as a unique and arts-centered meeting ground for travelers to explore the vibrant Tampa community, our name goes further into the cultural roots that make Tampa, Florida what it is today.

A Glimpse Back in Time to Tampa's Cigar Boom

What’s in a name? While Hotel Alba stands as a unique and arts-centered meeting ground for travelers to explore the vibrant Tampa community, our name goes further into the cultural roots that make Tampa, Florida what it is today. ‘Alba’ is a historic nod to the boom of the cigar industry here in Tampa during the late 1800s, started by Cuban immigrants. To avoid the high tariff on products from Havana, cigar manufactures had the idea of making authentic Cuban cigars in the US instead. By the early 20th century, there were 150 factories around Tampa, with more than 10,000 workers from Cuba, Spain, and Italy. To boost morale and keep spirits high, workers would nominate a fellow worker to be the ‘lector,’ who would read aloud during the work day to help pass the time. With reading options including fiction, nonfiction, news, and pro-union material, the cigar workers felt connected and strengthened in their voice against corporations. That transformative union welcomed in the economic wealth and rich culture that has made Tampa an inviting and exciting place for all who live, and visit, here.

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cigar and whiskey in a suana