Mar 18, 2023 - Things to Do

6 cool things to do in Tampa Bay this spring

Ed Sheeran performing in Tampa. Photo: Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

Whether your vibe is jamming out at a festival, sipping on a mimosa at brunch or spending an afternoon at the ballpark, here's your guide to springtime in Tampa Bay.

1. 🎭 Experience the arts

Here are a few live shows and festivals to sing and dance along with and be inspired by this spring:

Music festivals

Innings Festival — headliners: Imagine Dragons, Weezer, Pitbull, Dave Matthews Band

  • March 18-19

Reggae Rise Up — headliners: Wiz Khalifa, Damian Marley, 311, Koffee

  • March 16-19

Tampa Bay Blues Festival — headliners: Robert Cray, Tower of Power, Vanessa Collier

  • April 14-16

Tampa Bay Caribbean Carnival — headliners: Adam O, Lyrikal, Jadel

  • April 22

Tampa Throwback Jam — headliners: Ice Cube, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Lisa Lisa

  • April 28

Gasparilla Music Festival — lineup to be announced (check back here for updates)

  • April 29-30

Sunset Music Festival (EDM) — headliners: AC Slater, Champagne Drip, Odd Mob

  • May 27-28

Michael Bolton: March 23 in Tampa and March 26 in Sarasota

Chase Rice: April 28 in St. Petersburg

New Edition with Keith Sweat and Guy: April 30 in Tampa

Soulja Boy: May 10 in Tampa

Melissa Etheridge: May 10 in Sarasota

Ed Sheeran: May 20 in Tampa


Red Bull Dance Your Style Tampa: Cheer on dancers as they show off their skills in a crowd-judged 1-on-1 competition. The winner will represent Tampa Bay in the national finals in Chicago.

  • April 8

Gasparilla International Film Festival: It's the 16th anniversary of the largest independent film festival in Tampa Bay.

  • March 23-26

"Ain't Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations": The Broadway hit musical about the legendary music group the Temptations and their journey from the streets of Detroit to stardom.

  • May 2-7
2. 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 in St. Pete, where Selene recommends the burrata salad.

🍸 Wild Child in St. Pete on Sundays. Here's our review.

🍳 Timpano in Tampa. Selene says skip the molten tiramisu French toast.

🧇 Ella's American Folk Art Café in Tampa. 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.

🍗 Trip's Diner in Tampa and St. Pete. Try the chicken biscuits.

Photo: Mike Carlson/MLB Photos via Getty Images
3. Catch a game

⚾️ The Rays open their season vs. the Detroit Tigers on March 30.

  • Check here for tickets and here for this season's promotions.

🏒 The Lightning regular season runs through April 13. We'll keep you posted about the playoffs.

  • Check here for tickets.

⚽️ Plus: Cheer on the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

4. 🦩 Hang out with flamingos

Spend the day at Sunken Gardens surrounded by 50,000 (!!!) tropical plants, a flock of flamingos and relaxing water features.

  • 1825 Fourth St. N. in St. Petersburg.
  • Cost: $15 for adults.
  • Hours: 10am-4:30pm Monday-Saturday and noon to 4:30pm Sunday. The last admission is sold at 4 p.m. daily.
5. Hike these nearby swamps…seriously

To our good fortune, a 560,000-acre world of wonder is 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 some 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. Become a plant parent

Ready to test your green thumb? Check out these local plant shops:


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