Can you believe it is almost August? If you have been living in Tampa for a while, you know August approaching means it is time to whip out those linen dresses and DriFit clothing because we are about to get sweaty. This year, it feels like it may have come early. The familiar feeling of walking out of Publix, looking up, and only seeing fog through your glasses as the pure humidity takes over your lenses. Slowly, you feel moisture atop your lip, and we are leaving behind our Top Gun mustaches for those made of sweat. Buckle up, Tampa, and do not forget your SPF!
With this shift in weather, many often want to hide in the comfort of their air conditioning. Here is a list of our favorite activities to stay active and cool this summer.
Who Let The Dogs Out?
When Tampa heats up, you may feel like your dog misses out due to the heat, but not in Tampa! Throughout downtown Tampa and Channelside, there are shaded turf dog parks. Some include water features for your dogs to run through or, in my dog’s case, lay on and cool off. Tampa has multiple options for dog bars, including Two Shepherds, Hair of the dog, City Dog Cantina, and Pups Pub, which includes an inside turf area with AC. If you cannot convince your friends to join you at a dog bar, try one of the many dog-friendly bars here in Tampa or get new friends. The Patio, The Mermaid Tavern, Tampa Bay Brewing Company, Bar Hwrd, Irish 31, Gaspar’s Grotto, and the Independent are just a few bars in Tampa that allow dogs on their patio and offer dog bowls full of cold water. So get the gang together and bring your furry friend!
My favorite new development in Tampa is hands down, Armature Works. Similar to Ponce City Market in Atlanta, Armature Works is littered with fantastic food and drink options, small shops, and a rooftop bar, M Bird, that overlooks the Hillsborough River and the Tampa skyline. My favorite thing about Armature Works is that you can have a relaxed evening grabbing food and sitting by the water in your favorite athleisure, or get dolled up and enjoy a full meal or fancy cocktail. For parents, Armature Works hosts activities during the day for you and your little ones to enjoy and plenty of space for your kids to run around while you enjoy your meal and beverage of choice. Your furry friends are welcome to sit outside the building and enjoy the views and people-watching.
Shopping in Tampa is… chef’s kiss. If you’d prefer to stay inside and lose track of time, I recommend International Mall. With seemingly endless stores, a large food court, and more dining in the outside area, you can make an entire day of an International Mall trip; however, if you want Vitamin D as you shop, head over to Hyde Park. Not only is Hyde Park adorable, but it is also filled to the brim with some of the best dinings in Tampa and a perfect selection of shops. My ideal Hyde Park day is brunch at On Swann, followed by a Sephora, Nike, or Lululemon trip.
If you feel like you are melting like a popsicle, you cannot go wrong with a dip in the pool. Many hotels offer resort passes for the day. Enjoy pool access and order food at Tampa Marriott Water Street, Hollander Hotel, Epicurean, Hyatt Regency in Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa, and the Godfrey Hotel. The Godfrey Hotel overlooks the WTR pool, a cabana-like club in Tampa where DJs such as Shaquille Oneil have performed. So whether you want to relax at a hotel in peace, or rage waterside with Shaq, the options are there.
Tampa Bay Rays
Lastly, we would be remiss not to mention our Tampa Bay Rays. Our boys play at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg. This field features the “Sun Dome,” so you can enjoy the outside feel of a baseball game while enclosed in an air-conditioned dome. Grab some hotdogs and Dippin’ Dots, and cheer on our hometown team!
The social options in Tampa are endless. So although the heat can be uncomfortable, Tampa will keep you cool no matter what kind of day you choose. We hope some of our recommendations have inspired you to get out of the house and live it up on the bay! Let us know if you try any of our recommendations, and again, do not forget that SPF!