Nightlife in Tampa: 23 Best Activities After Dark

Balmy nights with Tampa Bay views, scream-inducing Iron Gwazi rides, and some of the best happy hour prices you’ve ever seen. After dark, the Big Guava is always a good time! From dimly lit clubs where you can dance the night away to a diva-powered drag show, Tampa nightlife does it all.

Follow along to discover the best things Tampa nightlife has to offer.

Near-perfect beaches, golfing, and theme parks may have brought you to the cigar capital of the United States, but post sunbathing and snorkeling, you’ll have plenty of things to do in Tampa at night.

Get spooky with a spine-tingling ghost tour, enjoy a concert at the Hard Rock Cafe, or get your fill of craft beers and food truck offerings at Cigar City Brewing.

Stop wondering what to do in Tampa at night! Whether you are looking for places to visit in Tampa at night or on the hunt for after-hour activities, we’ve got you covered.

Ready to tear up that dance floor? Read on to discover the best things to do at night in Tampa!

Tampa Hotels

Nightlife in Tampa is impressively diverse. Make sure you are ready for an onslaught of activities in downtown Tampa at night when you reserve some stellar accommodations.

No matter if you are hoping to stay just minutes from Busch Gardens to get a jump on your safari experience, or want to relax by the banks of the Hillsborough River, Tampa Hotels provide the perfect place to prime and primp prior to your big night out. From beachfront resorts with Gulf views to historic hotels downtown with a full buffet for breakfast, we offer lodgings for every vacation and style.

Downtown Tampa Florida
Florida, Tampa, city, City vibe, City and water, downtown Tampa, bridges, Clean city, buildings, Skyscraper, shore, Tampa bay,

Fun Things to Do in Tampa at Night

Still, scratching your head trying to come up with things to do in Tampa at night? Leave the evening itinerary planning to the experts and get back to enjoying your Cigar City vacation. From toasting to a resplendent sunset on a double-decker catamaran to cheering on everyone’s favorite ice hockey team, you’ll never run out of awesome activities.

Sunset Celebration Cruise

Really wow your travel companion when you partake in a spectacular Sunset Celebration Cruise. Revel in two hours of seaworthy adventure as you cruise through the aqua waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Have your phone or camera at the ready as there’s nothing quite like a Clearwater Beach sunset.

Your double-decker catamaran vessel will sail from Clearwater Bay through the pass as your crew points out local spots of interest while spouting interesting facts. Keep your eyes peeled, as you won’t want to miss the opportunity to spot a pod of frolicking dolphins, or perhaps even the legendary green flash.

Enjoy beverages for purchase from the premium onboard bar, and be sure to raise a glass of complimentary champagne upon the sun’s final departure.

sunset on horizon on shoreline of Picnic Island Park in Tampa Bay, Florida, USA
photo credit: Joel Finnigan via Facebook

Visit the Historic District

Overflowing with charm, cobblestone streets, and Cuban culture, the vibrant historic neighborhood of Ybor City is a must-visit for any Tampa trip. For an extra special injection of excitement, hightail it here for an evening of music, food, and unparalleled nightlife.

Get a lesson in hand rolling a cigar, or devour a delicious Cuban dinner at the oldest restaurant in Florida, The Columbia. Full of fuel, hit up the famed 7th Avenue nightclubs, or settle in for some live music at the RITZ Ybor. Hankering for some more refined fun? Savor some specialty cocktails and premier playing at the dynamic dueling piano bar, Showbar. Nightlife is endless when you visit Tampa Ybor!

Grab Drinks at an Outdoor Patio

Take advantage of the clear blue skies of both St. Petersburg and Tampa when you dine al fresco. From fruity frozen cocktails to wallet-friendly happy hour specials, there are plenty of places to wet your whistle in the open air. For a taste of something tropical, swing by Tiki Docks Bar + Grill.

With two locations, you’re never too far from a perfect pina colada or rum runner. Best of all, they have happy hour every day from 3-6 P.M. and some ‘shuck it’ oyster specials on Wednesday. Al fresco dining at the St. Pete pier? Yes, please! Head to the marina to enjoy Fresco’s plethora of seafood offerings, including their grouper bites, fish spread, lobster rolls, and more. Suck down that cigar in peace when you stop by the Grand Cathedral Cigar’s open-air patio. This church-turned-cigar bar serves up both smokes and craft cocktails.

Exterior view of Tiki Docks building with colorful lights, palm trees, and tiki decorations
Photo Credit: Tiki Docks Bar & Grill via Facebook

See a Lighting Game

Let’s go, Lightning, let’s go! Warm up those vocal cords for some cheering because it’s time to lower the temperature of your Tampa plans. Cool things off when you secure tickets to see the former Stanley Cup champs play at the Amalie Arena. Taking in a home Lightning game is the perfect way to spend a hot Tampa night.

Busch Gardens

True theme park fans know riding a roller coaster at night is a far superior experience. The moonlit sky and neon coaster lights only add to the adrenaline. When searching for things to do in Tampa at night, grabbing Busch Gardens Tampa tickets tops the list.

And, if you’re not a high-speed fiend, don’t worry. There’s still plenty to enjoy at the park, like animal exhibits, craft beer, and endless entertainment. Plus, the theme park also hosts various festivals throughout the year, adding to the list of nighttime entertainment at the park.

Exterior view of Busch Gardens entrance at night in Tampa, Florida, USA

Tampa Ghost Tour

For those searching for spooky things to do at night in Tampa, look no further than a Ghost Tour! As you roam the historic streets of Tampa late at night, you’ll learn more about the city’s haunted houses, spooky stories, and notable ghosts (who you just might have the pleasure… or displeasure… of meeting.)

The Tampa Ghost Tour is the perfect mix of history and ghost stories for those interested in the past and the supernatural. Due to the scary nature of the tour, all guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

ZooTampa at Lowry Park Festivals

Although ZooTampa at Lowry Park typically closes at 5:00 pm each day, certain events and festivals extend the hours late into the night! These late-night zoo events are popular among locals and tourists alike, making them one of the top things to do in Tampa at night.

Each fall, the zoo transforms for a family-friendly Halloween festival, Creatures of the Night, and Christmas in the Wild each winter. The zoo also hosts events such as races, galas, craft beer festivals, and more on select dates.

Couple having drinks with a llama nearby at ZooTampa at Lowry Park in Tampa, Florida, USAThings to Do in Tampa for Adults at Night

After dinner, it’s time to party! Pull on that sparkly cocktail dress and dial up the drama for an evening of nightclub, cocktail bar, or beer hall adventures. From romantic River Walks with your honey to hours of high-energy hip-hop, visitors from all over will discover tons of late night things to do in Tampa.

Tampa Riverwalk

Named one of the country’s top river walks, Tampa’s collection of parks, plazas, public art, dining, and retail is equally impressive post-sunset. Switch out your heels for walking shoes and enjoy a leisurely 2.6-mile stroll through the Tampa Riverwalk. In addition to searing city views and river scenery, this waterfront oasis is home to tons of restaurants, bars, and food halls:

  • Ulele Restaurant – vibrant flavors that pull influence and ingredients from Florida’s native waters are what’s on deck at Ulele. Prepare for a flavor party in your mouth as you savor bite after bite of native-inspired dishes such as okra fries, gator tail, and blackened mahi mahi all prepared on a 10′ diameter barbacoa grill.
  • Stones Throw – ready for a cocktail after your Riverwalk? Treat yourself to some laid-back libations at this open-air bar and restaurant. Sip on a refreshing (and spiked) Blackberry Lemonade and debate which taco Tuesday taco to devour. At $3 a pop, plus a happy hour drink special, and live music, you can’t beat a low-key Tuesday at Stones Throw.
  • Hotel Bar  – while not directly on the Riverwalk, the chic ambiance and unparalleled quality of this elegant cocktail bar cannot be overlooked. Savor drinks originating in and made famous by various hotels throughout the world, including Corpse Reviver #2 and the Sidecar.

Related Post: Pet-Friendly Tampa: Hotels, Restaurants, and Beaches

  • American Social – a luxury sports bar may sound like an oxymoron, but this study in contrast is executed perfectly at the American Social. Sprawl out a margarita in hand, as you enjoy 15,000 sq ft. of this waterfront destination featuring four full-service bars, a raw bar, and an intimate dining room with both indoor and outdoor VIP bars and patio space.
  • Armature Works – searching high and low for a little slice of foodie heaven? If you are traveling with a pack of voracious eaters, you’ll do well to drink and dine at Armature Works. This massive food hall features a vast range of eateries ranging from wood-fired pizza to Asian BBQ. Be sure to head up to the rooftop and snag a seat at M.Bird for tropical cocktails and sweeping views.
  • Sparkman Wharf – ice cream, ice cold brews, and tacos oh my! Chow down against the stunning backdrop of the channel when you wander through Sparkman Wharf. Delight in plates of Southern BBQ goodness, or opt for an evening nightcap of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.
walk way over river with sculptural arch with trees and building in the distance at Tampa Riverwalk in Tampa Bay, Florida, USA
photo credit: Tampa Riverwalk via Facebook

See a show at the STRAZ Performing Arts Center

Ready for curtain call? Inject your Tampa getaway with some drama when you reserve tickets to a STRAZ performance. This stately performance art venue is located downtown and showcases everything from Broadway musicals to Vienna Orchestra recitals.

Check out their calendar, and you could catch anything from a rousing rendition of Sweeney Todd to a sultry sexy performance by the nation’s most prominent flamenco and Spanish dance company.

Cigar City Brewing

Calling all brew snobs! Unsure of where to go in Tampa at night if you hate the clubs? Suds heads of all ages should scurry on over to Cigar City Brewing. Since 2009, this craft beer brewery has paid homage to Tampa’s history and people through their various lagers and ales. In fact, each of their ales, lagers, and IPAs were specifically brewed to invoke the Sunshine state of mind.

Their tasting room is open until 11:00 P.M. during the week and 1:00 A.M. on Fridays and Saturdays. Plus, several food trucks are parked outside during the week, so you’ll find the perfect complement to your brew of choice!

Flight of six different beersDowntown Tampa Nightlife

Hey there, high roller! On the hunt for bottle services, or perhaps just want to throw it back to your days of fraternity yore? From world-class partying to LBGTQ bars, Tampa downtown nightlife offers something for every sect of reveler. Seek out special events at the Hard Rock, or dance the night away at Prana.

Whether you are angling for a night of vice or virtue, you’ll never be bored by all of the things to do downtown Tampa at night:

  • The Honey Pot – uh, huh, honey! Round up your team of buzzy bees for a spectacular drag show performance at the Honey Pot. From body glitter and paint to performances that honor the queen of pop, Lady Gaga, there’s something to raise everyone’s disco stick at the Honey Pot.
  • Bradley’s on 7th – soak in the lively 7th street atmosphere and toss back some shots at Tampa’s premier gay bar. From Sunday Funday specials to drag shows and some of the city’s friendliest bartenders, you can’t beat a long pour from Bradleys.

Related Post: 10 Totally Free Things to Do in Tampa

  • Club Prana – Nightlife Tampa would be nothing without that Vegas allure of Club Prana. Come here to truly splash out as you get down to hip-hop beats, reggae, house, and everything in between. Spring for bottle service and feel like a true VIP, or take in exclusive Ybor City views from the upscale Sky Bar.
  • Green Iguana – live local cover music, mountains of wings, and ice-cold drinks are what’s on the menu at this award-winning local watering hole. Order up a bucket of peel-and-eat shrimp or a juicy burger, and get ready to sing along to some Dave Matthews.
  • Hard Rock Cafe – get your gambling on or seek out some laughs or live music when you score tickets to a Hard Rock Cafe performance. With heavy hitters such as George Lopez, Kevin Hart, and Wu-Tang regularly performing you’re guaranteed a night of entertainment.

View of the downtown Tampa lights at night with the lights going over the water in Tampa, Florida, USATampa Nightlife Supplies Endless Entertainment

In the shadow of massive Miami or the theme park capital of the world, Orlando, Tampa may often be overlooked. However, the ever-growing Bay area boasts tons of fun things to do at night in Tampa. From the annual Gasparilla celebration

Once you’ve washed the sweat and saltwater off your skin, it’s time to dive into Tampa’s offerings.

Sit back, relax, and take in Broadway performances of Hamilton and Funny Girl. Taste your very first devil crab or Cuban sandwich in downtown Ybor City.

Watch the queens and divas of Bradley’s strut their stuff. Or trade-in your late night for a wholesome sunset sail of Clearwater.

From bespoke cocktails prepared with flair to finger-licking good brisket and hot chicken at Armature works. This city of champions and coastal charm is never a bad idea!

Tell us, What Are Your Favorite Things to Do in Tampa Fl at Night?

Did we miss any of the best things to do Tampa night?

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Written by Isis Maya Nissman

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central...

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