The Tampa Convention center is centrally located in the heart of Tampa’s Downtown, with many walkable attractions nearby and several transportations options for visitors wishing to explore neighboring areas. To start planning your trip, find area information below.
Downtown Tampa is the city’s central business district and features many arts & culture venues, family-friendly activities, hotels, restaurants, and more. Many of the area’s top attractions are located within walking distance from the Tampa Convention Center. Some of the top attractions to explore include:
Tampa Riverwalk: Just steps from the Tampa Convention Center’s Channel entrance, is the Tampa Riverwalk—a 2.4 mile waterfront walking/biking path that follows the Hillsborough River. The Riverwalk connects the Tampa Convention Center to many other walkable attractions in Tampa’s downtown, including the Tampa Bay History Center, Amalie Arena, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, the Straz Center, and more.
The Sail: After a visit to the Tampa Convention Center, convention-goers can stop by The Sail. This family-friendly and dog-friendly bar serves a selection of local favorites, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage options, freshly prepared meals, and a kid’s menu. The Sail also hosts a monthly food truck rally called Brews and Bites, featuring local food trucks and live music. For information on upcoming events and special offers, follow The Sail on social media.
Visit Tampa Bay Gift Shop: Unique gifts by local artists and authors – the perfect souvenirs from your visit to Tampa Bay. Stop by to check out all of the things to do in Tampa Bay. Find current information on Tampa Bay from knowledgeable visitor information counselors. Make your meeting memorable!
Tampa Theatre: Built in the 1920’s the Tampa Theatre is a nationally registered historic landmark. Located just blocks from the Tampa Convention Center, this lavish and “atmospheric” theatre is distinguished by its bright marquee. While the theatre’s style remains frozen in time, it continues to be a popular city landmark and an award-winning movie theater.
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is a center of activity in the heart of Tampa’s Downtown. This 8-acre park overlooks the Hillsborough River and sits along the Tampa Riverwalk. Many festivals, group fitness classes, family-friendly events, and other activities are held at Curtis Hixon, offering fun outdoor entertainment for visitors and locals alike.
Cotanchobee/Fort Brooke Park: Cotanchobee/Fort Brooke Park sit along the Tampa Riverwalk near the Amalie Arena and the Tampa History Museum. The elongated park features a large green space, a kids playground, a water play area, and restrooms. Events like the Dragon Boat Races are held here through the the year.
Glazer Children’s Museum: The Glazer Children’s Museum is a fun place for kids to learn and play. If you’re visiting with your little ones, stop by the Glazer Children’s Museum near Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park to explore interactive exhibits, educational programs, and more.
Tampa Museum of Art: Located near Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, the Tampa Museum of Art highlights both local and international artists who channel modern and contemporary styles.
Florida Museum of Photographic Arts: The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts is located on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the Cube building near Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. This museum highlights locally and internationally recognized photographers through their permanent collection and featured exhibits.
Straz Center: The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts is the second largest performing arts facilities in the Southeast. The Straz center hosts a variety of musicals, plays, orchestras, symphonies, and other performances.
Amalie Arena: Home to the Tampa Bay Lightning, Amalie Arena is a popular venue for hockey games, concerts, and special events.
Tampa Bay History Center: The Tampa Bay History Center dives deep into Tampa’s rich history with exhibits that cover everything from the city’s native inhabitants to Spanish conquests, Tampa’s cigar industry, and modern historic events.
Perry Harvey Sr. Park: Perry Harvey Sr. Park features one of a kind sculptures, interactive fountains, and a winding sidewalk that serves as the timeline for Central Avenue and the Park, and a leader's row that features members of the African American community who helped shape the neighborhood
Water Works Park: Located on the edge of downtown, Water Works Park is a waterfront public park featuring splash pads for kids.
Ybor City is a historic neighborhood located northeast of Tampa’s Downtown. This area was first developed by cigar manufacturers and is known for its strong Cuban, Spanish, and Italian immigrant culture. Today, Ybor City is characterized by its unique businesses and vibrant nightlife.
Centro Ybor: Located in the heart of Ybor City, this plaza features unique shops, dining options, and a multi-screen movie theater.
Nightlife: After hours, Ybor City is a great place to visit if you’re looking to explore Tampa’s nightlife scene. Choose from a variety of characteristic bars, clubs, and restaurants and other fun venues to explore by night.
Local Shops: If you’re looking for unique souvenirs, browse the many local shops in Ybor City for handmade items, characteristic keepsakes, and gifts you can’t find anywhere else.
The Channel District is a modern commercial and residential area located just east of Tampa’s downtown near the port of Tampa.
Florida Aquarium: The Florida Aquarium is a world-class aquarium that is home to more than 20,000 aquatic animals and plants. Known for its focus on conservation and education, the Florida Aquarium includes many family-friendly exhibits that aim to increase awareness of marine life.
Sparkman Wharf: Located in the heart of the Channel district, Sparkman Wharf offers many shopping, entertainment, and dining options, with views that overlook the Garrison Channel.
Port of Tampa: The Port of Tampa is the largest port in Florida and is also one of the most popular departure ports for cruises heading to the Caribbean. Some of the most popular cruise lines that dock in the Port of Tampa include Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and the Holland America Line.
Yacht StarShip: The Yacht StarShip is a fine-dining yacht cruise perfect for any celebration. Located off of Channelside Drive, the Yacht StarShip allows visitors to admire the Tampa skyline from the water.
Getting from one destination to the next is easy in Tampa’s downtown, thanks to the many free and affordable transportation options.
Downtowner: The Downtowner is a free on-demand ridesharing service operating in Tampa’s Downtown. To request a free ride, visitors need to download the Downtowner App to their smartphone and input the pickup/drop off location.
TECO Streetcar: The Streetcar offers a fun and characteristic way to travel between Tampa’s Downtown, Sparkman Wharf, and Ybor City. Convention Center visitors can hop aboard the streetcar at stop #10 - Dick Grecco Plaza, located across from the Tampa Convention Center front drive and The Sail.
Coast Bikes: Coast Bikes offers a convenient and fun way for visitors to explore Tampa’s Downtown. Visitors can take advantage of hourly pay as you go rates and pickup/drop off a bike at one of the many locations set up across the downtown district. Near the Tampa Convention Center, Coast Bikes can be rented just outside the Franklin Street entrance or near the Tampa Riverwalk.
The Tampa Convention Center is lucky to be located right on the water, giving visitors access to several unique water activities and rentals. In addition to allowing a visitor to reach the Tampa Convention Center by boat, the Convention Center boating docks are also home the following attractions:
eBoats: Docked steps away from the Tampa Convention Center and The Sail, eBoats was the first business to drop anchor in the Convention Center docks. With eBoats, visitors can rent a private boat on an hourly basis to explore the Hillsborough River and the Bay. Captains can also be hired for those who want a guided tour. Food and drinks are allowed on board and no boating license is necessary to operate.
Kraken CycleBoats: Kraken CycleBoats is the only pedal-powered tour boat in Florida. The “Kraken” is a human-powered 32-foot Catamaran with a large paddlewheel in the back that can accommodate up to 15 guests. Perfect for parties, weekend get-togethers, and team building.
Pirate Water Taxi: The Pirate Water Taxi allows visitors to experience Tampa from the water while exploring some of the city’s top attractions by hopping on and off at various stops along the Hillsborough River. Rates are charged on a daily basis, allowing visitors to ride all day. The Pirate Water Taxi’s home dock is stop #7—located right outside the Tampa Convention Center’s Channel entrance at the Convention Center boating docks.
Riverwalk Boating Company: Riverwalk Boating Company offers one of the most thrilling ways to see the City of Tampa and its beautiful waterways. Set out on a unique outdoor adventure as captain of your very own 2 person mini-powerboat. No prior boating experience required as our friendly staff will teach you everything you need before embarking on your thrilling journey.
Tampa Bay Fun Boat: Take a day cruise with Tampa Bay Fun Boat for a scenic view of Harbour Island and Davis Islands with Captain Darryl. See famous homes and hear historical information about the area. Also available are Dolphin Tours, charters and sunset cruises where you can watch the sun go down and enjoy the city skyline with the beautiful lights of downtown Tampa.
Tampa Bay Water Bike Company: For visitors who love outdoor activities, Tampa Bay Water Bike Company offers a fun way to explore the Hillsborough River from the water. Visitors can rent waterbikes, single biyaks, and tandem biyakes on an hourly basis from the Tampa Convention Center docks.