Downtown Tampa Walking Tour
Showing a prospective employee, investor, or client around Tampa? Here’s your guide.
You’ve found our step-by-step guide to seeing the most out of downtown Tampa — showcasing the many aspects of our city from the startups, to the food and culture.
If you have time to head to St. Pete, check out the St. Pete is for Tech walking tour on how to attract a tech company to the area.
1 — Start the tour by parking at Embarc Collective (set to open March 2019), located at 802 E Whiting St
Embarc Collective will soon be the home of startups, partner organizations, and educational content involved in making Tampa Bay a prime destination for diverse startup talent.
2 — Walk onto N Jefferson Street and turn right toward E Washington Street
Point out the Pep Rally mural, inspired by the progression of industry, events and recreation throughout Tampa Bay. Pep Rally is a widely recognized muralist locally featuring projects at Water Street Tampa’s new Sparkman Wharf, 22Squared Ad Agency, Front Burner Brands (the Melting Pot), and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
3 — Turn left on E Washington St
You’ll walk by Rampello Elementary School, a K-8 magnet school located in the heart of downtown.
4 — Turn right on N Morgan St
5 — Turn left on Kennedy Blvd
Stop for a tour at the Tampa Bay Wave; an equity-free accelerator program that has graduated many successful companies in our region, including startups like Peerfit, Phonism, and Knack. To register for a tour, reach out here.
6 — Walk back onto Kennedy Blvd, turn right on N Florida Avenue
Point out Le Meridien hotel, revitalized from a historic federal courthouse dating back to 1905 — the oldest building of significance in Tampa. The courthouse had been vacant for 13 years and given new life by Le Meridien in 2014. They offer free guided tours on Fourth Friday Tampa, the fourth Friday of every month at 5:30pm.
7 — Turn left on E Zack Street toward Curtis Hixon Park
Point out Tampa Theatre, built in 1926 as one of America’s most elaborate movie palaces. The theatre shows throwback films, new features, and even hosts weekly ghost tours.
Point out the variety of cultural attractions; the Straz Center, Tampa Museum of Art, and Glazer Children’s Museum, and Tampa Museum of Photographic Art.
8 — Walk through Curtis Hixon Park and enter the Tampa Riverwalk.
Curtis Hixon Park is home to a wide range of concerts and festivals, a free yoga in the park class on Sunday evenings, and family picnics.
Point out the University of Tampa campus across the river; a private institution home to students from 50 states and 140 countries, UT’s Lowth Entrepreneurship Center, including a local accelerator program (Spartan Accelerator) and the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization headquarters.
On campus you’ll see the Henry B Plant Museum; formerly known as the Tampa Bay Hotel, which was a 511-room resort hotel opened on February 5, 1891 by Henry B. Plant near the terminus of his rail line. The luxury hotel housed many socialists and celebrities. In 1919, Ruth hit his longest home run (famed as the longest ever hit in official competition) during a spring training game at Plant Field, adjacent to the hotel.
Talk about the Hillsborough River, home to many recreational boaters and dolphin encounters — which turns green every St. Patricks Day for the Mayor’s River O’Green Fest.
Point out Oxford Exchange across the river, a unique gathering place for brunch, shopping (featuring a bookstore, Warby Parker and Aesop pop-up), and the commerce club co-working space. Every Friday morning OE hosts “Cafe Con”, a community forum highlighting leaders in arts, government affairs, and the community.
9— Exit the Riverwalk on to W Whiting St
Point out the Gasparilla Pirate Ship dock; the Gasparilla Pirate Fest parade has been held every year since 1904. It is the third largest parade in the United States with an economic impact of over $20 million and an average attendance of about 300,000.
10 — Head East on E Whiting until S Jefferson Street
Point out the Tampa Convention Center, home to a variety of professional conferences, boat shows, Comic Con, and more. The Convention Center is currently undergoing construction to add Ray’s Fish Camp, a casual waterfront eatery.
Notice the construction taking place at the Marriott Waterside on Water Street, the official Super Bowl LV hotel site for the 2021 game.
Point out Amalie Arena, home to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the $3B Water Street Tampa Project, turning 50-acres of waterfront property into a WELL-certified neighborhood, led by Strategic Property Partners through Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investments.
11 — Continue straight on E Whiting street until arrived back at Embarc Collective; Tour concludes