In recent years, Tampa has emerged as one of Florida’s trendier cities thanks in part to its surprising arts and culture scene, lively nightlife and impressive lineup of restaurants and bars. Plus, there are still plenty of beaches for the sun worshippers among us. Here are just a few of our favourite things to see and do in the city.

Dine at the Heights Public Market

Tampa has seen an influx of trendy food halls in recent years offering an array of culinary options. Check out the Heights Public Market at Armature Works, a mixed-use space housed in a restored industrial building in the Tampa Heights neighbourhood. This 22,000-square-foot market features some of the area’s top chefs and restaurants—sip cocktails at BAR at Amature and then dine on ramen at Ichicoro Imoto or empanadas at Empamamas.

Visit the Tampa Theatre

Built in 1926 by famed Chicago architect John Eberson, the breathtaking Tampa Theatre is regarded as one of the world’s most elaborate. The theatre was built to resemble a Mediterranean courtyard and is outfitted with statues, gargoyles, a 1,400-pipe Wurlitzer organ and has lightbulbs embedded into the ceiling to mimic a night sky. Throughout the year, it hosts a variety of live performances and film screenings.

Eat a Cuban sandwich at La Segunda Central Bakery

While there’s a long-standing (friendly) feud between Tampa and Miami about the rightful home of the Cuban sandwich, there’s no denying La Segunda’s version is a must-try. The Cuban is served on the bakery’s famed bread and comes loaded with three meats: marinated pork, Genoa salami and smoked ham, and is topped with pickles, Swiss cheese and special sauce.

Explore the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts

Located in the city’s River Arts District, this museum displays a fascinating collection of historic and contemporary works by national and international photographers. Previous exhibits at this intimate museum—it’s housed inside of Tampa’s iconic Cube building—have included works from Andy Warhol and Roger Ballen.

Explore Ybor City

There’s lots to see, eat and do in this historic Latin neighbourhood, which was a former cigar-making district in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Learn about the area’s history at Ybor City Museum State Park, sip beers at the Tampa Bay Brewing Company and dine at Florida’s oldest eatery, Columbia Restaurant. This area is also known for its eclectic nightlife with live music venues, casual taverns, lively dance clubs and plenty of LGBTQ+ friendly bars.