8 cool things to do in Tampa Bay this spring
Whether you want to embrace the warmer temps with outdoor adventure or escape the humidity indoors, here's your guide to springtime in Tampa Bay.
1. Spring for brunch
Now's the time to don your best spring attire for a picture-perfect brunch. Here are a few of our favorite spots:
The Library, St. Petersburg
- Get the burrata salad.
Wild Child, St Petersburg (Sunday brunch only)
- Check out this review from Dining Around Tampa.
Timpano, Hyde Park (recently reopened for brunch)
- After a two-year hiatus, Timpano started its brunch service again last month. Try the parm to table macaroni experience. Skip the molten tiramisu French toast.
Florida Cracker Kitchen, Brooksville
- That Okeechobee gumbo ... holy heavens.
Ella's American Folk Art Café, Seminole Heights
- You can't go wrong with the bone-in Bloody Mary — if you can get a seat at this wildly popular restaurant on a Sunday.
First Watch, several locations
- This local chain recently went public. First Watch is always crowded for good reason: interesting and healthy takes on breakfast, using fresh ingredients.
Trip's Diner, several locations
- Just look at those chicken biscuits.
2. Get your festival on
Whatever music you're into, from rock to reggae, there's a festival for you this spring.
- Innings Festival, March 19 & 20
- Reggae Rise Up, March 18-20
- Tampa Bay Blues Festival, April 8-10
- Tampa Bay Caribbean Carnival, April 30
- Sunset Music Festival (EDM), May 27-29
- Tampa Bay Margarita and Music Festival, May 28
3. Grab a seat at a local game
It was a close call, but the MLB lockout ended with enough time for a shortened spring training schedule.
Save the date: Opening day is April 7.
Here's a look at the local schedules:
Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota
Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland
New York Yankees
George M. Steinbrenner Field, Tampa
Spectrum Field, Clearwater
LECOM Park, Bradenton
Tampa Bay Rays
Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte
Toronto Blue Jays
TD Ballpark, Dunedin
Not into baseball? The Lightning have lots of home games in Tampa this spring.
4. Go on a staycation
Check out these three unique Airbnb escapes — all under four hours driving distance from Tampa Bay.
5. Hike these nearby swamps ... seriously
To our good fortune, a 560,000-acre world of wonder is right in our backyard.
- The Green Swamp is the beating hydrological heart of the Tampa Bay area, the serene birthplace of four of our rivers, and it's free to anyone willing to wander. Here's Ben's advice on hiking the Florida Trail through the Green Swamp's Western Tract.
For an even wetter experience, strap on your gaiters and head south to the Big Cypress National Preserve visitor center on U.S. 41 between Naples and Miami, the southern terminus of the Florida National Scenic Trail.
- Follow the orange blazes north through Big Cypress. A common destination for a three-day hike is the rest stop on I-75, roughly 30 swamp miles from the visitor center.
- Or plan an overnight out-and-back to one of the primitive campsites along the trail. Permit required.
If those sound too ambitious, check out our list of the best hikes around Tampa Bay.
6. Pick out a new plant baby
Ready to test your green thumb? Check out these local plant shops:
- Into the Pot
- Tampanian Vintage Jungle
- Knotted Roots
- Wild Roots
- Oh 4 Succ's Sake
- Lida's Jungle Plants
- Manny's on the Bay
- Fancy Free Plant Nursery
7. Flamin-go to the Sunken Gardens
Spend the day surrounded by 50,000 (!!) tropical plants, a flock of flamingos and relaxing water features at this 100-year-old botanical garden.
- Tickets are $15 for adults.
- Details: The garden is open 10am-4:30pm Monday-Saturday and noon to 4pm Sunday. The address is 1825 Fourth St. N. in St. Petersburg.
8. Get peddlin'
Grab your bike for these rides around Tampa Bay.
Saturday, March 19
Hey Ybor City! Vision Zero Tampa will close 14th Street to car traffic from Columbus Drive to 21st Avenue for "Unlock the Block."
- The event features bike and pedestrian-friendly activities and opportunities to meet local business owners. Noon to 4pm. Free.
Sunday, March 20
Tampa's Joe Haskins Bike Shop hosts a ride to remember the death a year ago of Haskins, a champion of the city's working-class bicycle riders.
- Meet at Joe Haskins Bike Shop, 2310 N. Florida Ave., at 11am; ride starts at noon.
Join Dade City Mayor Camille Hernandez for a casual 2.5-mile ride on the Hardy Trail.
- Meet at the Spoke Visitor Center, 37800 Church Ave., at 8:30am; ride starts at 9.
More Tampa Bay stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Tampa Bay.