So, you’ve found yourself looking for things to do in Tampa on a rainy day and you’re wondering, “Where do I start?” Well, don’t let the rain clouds get you down. I’m here to tell you that there are plenty of ways to enjoy your time even when it’s pouring cats and dogs outside.
Tampa usually is known for its sunny weather. But like any other tropical destination, it has its fair share of rainy days too. It’s during these times that the city reveals a different side worth exploring.
Indoor attractions, local museums, cozy cafes – they all become havens where locals and tourists alike escape from the rain. And believe me when I say this – they’re just as fun and exciting as the outdoor activities Tampa is renowned for.
Stay tuned as we delve deeper into what makes this city tick even under gray skies. Let’s get right into my curated list below!
1. Armature Works
Don’t let a little rain dampen your day in Tampa! I’ve got the perfect suggestion for you. If you’re all about food, culture, and history, then Armature Works is just the spot to spend your rainy day.
Situated on the banks of the Hillsborough River, Armature Works isn’t just any old building. It’s a piece of Tampa’s history that has been beautifully restored and transformed into a food lover’s paradise. What once was an active streetcar facility in the early 1900s is now home to some of Tampa’s finest dining options.
Here are some things you can expect when visiting Armature Works:
- A bunch of independent restaurants serving up dishes from around the world.
- A bustling food hall where you can wander and sample to your heart’s content.
- Several bars offering craft cocktails, local beers, and fine wines.
And if you’re like me who enjoys learning new things even when on vacation, be sure to check out their regularly scheduled cooking classes. Imagine going back home with a few new recipes up your sleeve!
Plus, I love how they’ve retained much of its original architecture although refurbished thoroughly for modern use. It’s just a cool vibe.
2. Local Coffee Shops
Don’t let a little rain dampen your day in Tampa. It’s the perfect excuse to explore some of the city’s top-rated coffee spots. You’ll be surprised at how these local gems can transform a gloomy day into a cozy, aromatic experience.
Buddy Brew Coffee is one place I’d highly recommend. It’s not just about their meticulously roasted beans or the variety of brew methods available – it’s also about their warm, inviting atmosphere that makes you feel right at home as soon as you step through the door.
Another must-visit spot is Foundation Coffee Co. This rustic-chic café offers both indoor and outdoor seating (if you don’t mind getting a bit wet) and serves delicious artisanal blends from around the world.
For those with a taste for something more exotic, The Blind Tiger Cafe should definitely be on your list. They offer unique flavors like Cubano Espresso and Guji Mane Ethiopian blend that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
Here are the links to them so you can find the closest one:
3. Visit Tampa’s Best Bakeries
It’s time to explore some of the city’s best bakeries and indulge in their mouthwatering delights. These local bakeries offer a cozy shelter from the stormy weather while serving up sweet treats that’ll brighten any dull day.
Alessi Bakery is one of my top recommendations. This family-run institution has been providing Tampa with decadent pastries since 1912! You can’t go wrong with their signature Guava Turnovers or classic Cannoli.
If you’re after something a little less traditional, make sure to check out Dough Nation. Here, they’re all about edible cookie dough – yes, you read that right! From classics like chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin to adventurous flavors such as s’mores and salted caramel pretzels – it’s an experience not to be missed!
Next on my list is La Segunda Central Bakery, notable for its Cuban bread – considered by many locals as unbeatable (this is my personal favorite!). They’ve been perfecting this craft for over four generations now.
Finally, we have Sweet Soul catering to all our vegan friends out there. Their plant-based sweets are nothing short of delicious; think cinnamon rolls draped in vanilla bean frosting or luscious brownies topped with peanut butter cups.
4. Yuengling Beer Tour
I recently visited this place and it’s perfect for a rainy day – The Yuengling Beer Tour! It’s a unique experience that allows you to explore America’s oldest operating brewery.
Let me tell you about the tour itself. You’ll get an insider’s view of the brewing process – from the mashing of grains to fermentation and packaging. But that isn’t all – you’ll also learn about Yuengling’s rich history, their sustainable practices, and how they survived prohibition by producing “near beers” as well as ice cream!
I can’t stress enough how much there is to absorb here, but let’s not forget the best part – tasting! Yes, your tour will end in their historic tasting room where you can sample some of their finest beverages (if you’re above the legal drinking age).
Here are some highlights:
- A guided walking tour through America’s Oldest Brewery
- Learning about Yuengling’s fascinating history
- An opportunity to taste their signature beers
So when those rain clouds gather over Tampa next time, remember that there’s always a silver lining… or should I say golden? The Yuengling Beer Tour awaits!
5. Cigar City Brewing
Cigar City Brewing is another ideal spot to take shelter and savor some local flavor.
You might be wondering why I’m suggesting another brewery for a rainy day activity. Well, it’s simple – we’re in Tampa! This city has a rich history of cigar manufacturing and beer brewing, making it no surprise that one of its biggest attractions is a craft brewery named after this legacy.
At Cigar City Brewing, you’ll find an impressive selection of beers. From traditional styles like lager and stout to more adventurous concoctions like guava sour and passion fruit wheat ale.
- Jai Alai IPA
- Florida Cracker Belgian-style White Ale
- Maduro Brown Ale
These are just a few examples from their extensive list. Plus, you can take guided tours and learn about the brewing process firsthand while enjoying these delectable drafts!
Not only do they offer unique beers but they also offer a great food menu. Comfort food classics such as burgers, pizza, and wings perfectly complement their brews creating an unbeatable combo on a gloomy day.
6. Tampa Bay Wineries
You may not think of Tampa when you think of wineries, but Tampa Bay’s wine scene is thriving and I’m here to guide you through it.
One of my personal favorites is Keel & Curley Winery. It’s not just about the wines here; their fusion of traditional wine-making techniques with innovative flavors creates an unforgettable experience. They offer tours where you get a firsthand look at how they produce their signature blueberry wines from Florida-grown berries.
Next on the list is Aspirations Winery, known for its award-winning fruit-infused wines. Don’t miss out on their free wine tasting which includes seven samples! And if you’re interested in the behind-the-scenes action, book a tour to learn about their unique cold stabilization process.
Want something more offbeat? Then head over to Two Lions Winery & Palm Harbor Brewery. Here, they perfectly blend passion for wine making and craft brewing under one roof. Their winery specializes in handcrafted small batch fine wines while the brewery side offers up locally crafted beers.
I can’t forget about Florida Orange Groves Winery, a third-generation family owned and operated tropical fruit winery that began operation in 1991. They boast of having 43 different varieties including citrus, berry, tropical and exotic fruit wines that are 100% pure fruit juice.
Here’s a quick overview:
|Keel & Curley
|Two Lions & Palm Harbor Brewery
|Handcrafted Fine Wines & Craft Beers
|Florida Orange Groves Winery
|Tropical Fruit Wines
When the rain starts pouring in Tampa, there’s no need to feel trapped. Instead, I find that it’s the perfect opportunity to indulge in a luxury movie experience at Cinebistro. This isn’t your average theater; it’s an upscale destination where cinema and fine dining come together.
Each auditorium is outfitted with spacious leather reclining chairs – so roomy you’d think you’re lounging in your own living room! But let me assure you, the gourmet menu sets this experience far apart from any home-viewing session.
Their menu isn’t just popcorn and soda (though they’ve got those too). I’m talking about truffle fries, lobster roll sliders, filet mignon – all prepared by talented chefs and brought straight to your seat.
But what about the movies? Well, they’ve got that covered too. From the latest blockbusters to classic favorites – their choice of films is as diverse as their food options.
8. Local Theater Shows
Another great idea for a rainy day is to check out the city’s lively theater scene. There are plenty of local theaters in Tampa that provide great performances, from Broadway shows to indie productions.
Let’s start with the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. It’s one of Florida’s largest performing arts centers and often features touring Broadway shows.
If contemporary theater is more your style, then Jobsite Theatre should be on your radar. They’re known for their innovative productions and intimate setting, making it perfect for those who love being up close to the action.
Believe it or not, even among these giants there are still hidden gems worth discovering like Stageworks Theatre and Tampa Repertory Theatre. These smaller venues offer diverse programming from classical plays to avant-garde pieces.
And let’s not forget about our young performers at The Patel Conservatory, where future stars develop their craft through dedicated education programs.
9. Florida Aquarium
Next on my list of rainy-day activities in Tampa is a visit to the Florida Aquarium. Now, you might be wondering, “Why would I want to go to an aquarium when it’s raining?” Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s the perfect indoor adventure.
The Florida Aquarium offers an immersive experience that’ll make you feel like you’re diving into the depths of the ocean. You’ll get up close and personal with over 7,000 aquatic animals from all around the world without ever getting wet!
One standout feature at this place is their massive Coral Reef exhibit. It gives me a glimpse into one of nature’s most stunning underwater ecosystems without having to don scuba gear. Another must-see is their Wetlands Trail where native Florida wildlife resides.
|Over 2,000 species
|Native Florida Wildlife
You can also:
- Participate in interactive exhibits
- Watch educational shows
- Experience animal encounters
Imagine touching a stingray or watching playful otters frolic – it’s not something you’d typically do on a rainy day!
If there are kids tagging along with you, they won’t feel left out either. The Splash Pad outdoor water play area makes sure of that (don’t worry – they offer rain checks if weather conditions are unfavorable). There’s also the Explore A Shore pirate-themed outdoor play zone for those brief moments when skies clear up.
10. Tampa Museum of Art
For all the art lovers, how about a trip to the Tampa Museum of Art on a rainy day.
There is everything from photography to sculpture, all showcasing the creativity and innovation found in today’s art scene. One thing that stood out to me about this modern collection is its focus on global artists. It’s not every day you get to see such a diverse representation in one place!
But it wasn’t just the contemporary art that caught my eye – the museum also has a significant collection of ancient artworks. These pieces range from Greek and Roman antiquities to more regional historical artifacts.
To round off your visit:
- Grab a bite at SONO Cafe
- Shop unique gifts at Museum Store
- Participate in any ongoing workshops or lectures
11. Henry B Plant Museum
Let’s be clear – this isn’t your typical museum. Housed in a stunning 1891 Victorian resort, it takes you back to an era of opulence and grandeur. I’ve wandered through its rooms more times than I can count, each visit unfolding another chapter of Tampa’s past.
One thing that always strikes me is the array of exhibits on display. From original furnishings to captivating artifacts, there’s a wealth of treasures waiting to be discovered here:
- The Grand Hall: This is where guests were received when the building functioned as a hotel.
- Reading and Writing Room: It transports you straight into the 19th century with its antique typewriters and vintage books.
- Moorish Pavilion: An architectural gem that’s truly mesmerizing.
Now let’s talk about their special exhibitions. They change throughout the year, providing fresh perspectives on various facets of local heritage. I’m particularly fond of their holiday events; trust me when I say they transform this historic site into a magical winter wonderland!
However, what sets Henry B Plant Museum apart from others are its audio tours. Available in multiple languages (including Spanish, French, German), these self-guided tours enable visitors like me to explore at our own pace while learning about Tampa’s fascinating history.
12. The Dali Museum
When you’re stuck indoors on a rainy day in Tampa, there’s no place quite like The Dali Museum. Even though it’s technically in St. Pete, it’s a quick 30-40 min drive!
This museum is not your typical art showcase. It’s home to an extensive collection of the iconic surrealist artist, Salvador Dali. In fact, it houses the largest collection of Dali’s works outside Europe. Now that’s something worth mentioning!
Let me give you a quick rundown of what you can expect:
- An impressive collection of over 2,400 works from oil paintings to sculptures
- A unique building design inspired by Dali’s own artistic style
- Interactive exhibits that bring his artwork to life
|Number of Works
|Watercolors and Drawings
|Graphics, Photographs, Sculptures
What consistently amazes me about The Dali Museum is how it challenges my perception with each piece on display. Whether it’s “The Persistence of Memory” or “Swans Reflecting Elephants,” these mind-bending masterpieces never fail to provoke thought.
One aspect I particularly appreciate is their effort to make art accessible for all visitors – even on those unavoidable rainy days! They offer rain ponchos and umbrella rentals so nothing can dampen your spirits or your experience.
So if you find yourself caught in one of Tampa’s infamous downpours, don’t let it put a damper on your day. Head over to The Dali Museum, immerse yourself in surrealism and let Salvador’s eccentric world whisk you away from gloomy weather outside.
13. Interactive Science Museum
Rainy days in Tampa don’t mean you have to stay cooped up at home. Let’s take a look at the Interactive Science Museum – a place where fun meets knowledge! This spot is a haven for curious minds, no matter their age. It’s the perfect blend of education and entertainment.
One thing I love about this museum is that it makes learning engaging and hands-on. Forget dusty old exhibits behind glass; here, you’re encouraged to get involved. To touch, experiment, and explore!
And there’s such variety! From physics demonstrations that’d make Einstein proud to biology exhibits showcasing nature’s wonders – there’s something for everyone. You’ll find yourself lost in the world of science before you know it!
Here are some standout attractions:
- Planetarium: Travel through space without leaving Tampa.
- Weather Station: Understand how meteorologists predict weather patterns.
- Science Live!: A live demonstration that brings scientific concepts to life.
14. International Plaza
When the rain starts to pour in Tampa, I’ve got the perfect hideaway for you. International Plaza, it’s not just a mall, but a shopping haven nestled in the heart of this vibrant city!
Let me tell you why. This upscale shopping center boasts over 200 specialty stores and boutiques that are sure to keep any shopaholic entertained. It’s also home to some pretty big names like Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Tiffany & Co.
But don’t worry if high-end brands aren’t your thing! The International Plaza also has shops that cater to all budgets. You’ll find everything from affordable fashion staples at H&M, Zara, or Forever 21 to mid-range favorites like Apple, Sephora, and Michael Kors.
Shopping isn’t the only activity on offer either. If you’re feeling peckish after hours of retail therapy, there’s tons of restaurants that are sure to satisfy any food cravings.
Here’s a quick look at what’s on offer:
|Bazille – Nordstrom
15. Glazer Children’s Museum
A rainy day in Tampa is a perfect excuse to visit the Glazer Children’s Museum if you want a fun family outing. This place is filled with interactive exhibits and hands-on learning experiences that keep both kids and adults entertained.
Let me tell you about some of the most popular exhibits at this museum. The ‘Water’s Journey’ exhibit is an all-time favorite for children, as they can navigate through a water cycle adventure, learning about conservation along the way. Then there’s ‘KidsPort’, where your little ones can steer a ship on Tampa Bay or load cargo onto a boat – all while gaining insights into maritime trade.
You’ll also find:
- The Engineer’s Workshop: Here, kids get hands-on with building structures and testing their stability.
- Central Bank: A miniature bank where children learn about money management.
- My House Your House: An exhibit highlighting diversity and community.
It’s also worth noting that Glazer Children’s Museum provides several educational programs throughout the year like ‘Little Learners’ for toddlers, ‘Science Sundays’ for elementary school students, and ‘Parent Play Dates’ for families.
If you’re worried about prices, here’s what you need to know (always check thier webiste for current pricing):
|Military/Teachers with ID
16. Two Shepherds Taproom
Want to take your fur baby along on a rain day? There’s an awesome place nestled in the heart of the city that’s perfect for you and your four-legged companion – Two Shepherds Taproom.
Now, you might be thinking, “A taproom? For my dog?” Yep! As one of Tampa’s most unique indoor attractions, Two Shepherds Taproom combines two of life’s greatest pleasures: good drinks and our furry friends.
Here’s what sets this place apart:
- Indoor Dog Park: With 14,000 square feet of play area indoors, it doesn’t matter if it’s pouring outside. Your pet can run around and socialize with other dogs while you sit back and relax.
- Craft Beer Selection: While your pup plays, why not enjoy some local craft brews? They’ve got a rotating selection from Tampa Bay breweries that I’m pretty sure you’ll love.
- Dog-Friendly Menu: It wouldn’t be fair if only humans got to enjoy treats at this taproom. So yes, there’s a menu designed just for dogs!
|Top Picks from Their Dog Menu
|Freshly cooked beef patty
|Chicken Jerky Strips
|All-natural chicken strips
|Sweet Pawtato Chips
|Home-made sweet potato chips
Lastly but importantly, Two Shepherds Taproom takes safety seriously. They require all dogs to have up-to-date vaccinations and behave appropriately in social settings.
So next time when rain clouds hover over Tampa skies, grab your fur baby and head on over to Two Shepherds Taproom! After all, who said rainy days couldn’t be fun?
17. Seminole Hard Rock Casino
When it’s raining cats and dogs in Tampa, I’ve got just the place for you – the Seminole Hard Rock Casino.
It’s a world-class entertainment destination that offers something for everyone. Sure, if you’re feeling lucky, you can try your hand at Poker, Blackjack, or any one of their 800+ slot machines. Yet there’s so much more to explore beyond the gaming floor.
I’d like to highlight some non-gambling activities that make this place a must-visit:
- Fine Dining: With fifteen food and beverage offerings on-site, ranging from casual eats to fancy fare. Council Oak Steaks & Seafood and The Rez Grill are among my personal favorites.
- Live Entertainment: Music lovers will appreciate the regular live performances at the Hard Rock Cafe or ‘The Event Center’, hosting big names across diverse genres.
- Shopping Spree: They’ve got an array of shopping outlets where you’ll find everything from fashion accessories to collectible memorabilia.
18. Spa Day in Tampa
A rainy day is the perfect time to take the opportunity for some well-deserved pampering.
Tampa is home to top-notch spas that offer everything from heavenly massages and rejuvenating facials to detoxifying body treatments.
Pia Esthetics Day Spa & Body Shop is one place I absolutely adore. With its tranquil ambiance and extensive menu of services, it’s my go-to spot when I need some serious unwinding. Another favorite of mine is The Grand Beauty Spa, which boasts luxurious treatments like caviar facials and champagne pedicures.
If you’re after something special, how about trying out a unique service? The Spa Evangeline offers a signature treatment called the Bourbon Bubbler – imagine your body being exfoliated with brown sugar infused with Kentucky whiskey!
Now, if budget isn’t an issue and ultimate indulgence is what you seek, then Spa Oceana at The Don CeSar should be on your radar. Known as ‘the spa where heaven meets earth’, this spot truly lives up to its reputation!
Here’s a quick comparison of these four fabulous spas:
|Pia Esthetics Day Spa & Body Shop
|The Grand Beauty Spa
|Spa Oceana at The Don CeSar
|Massages, facials, waxing
|Caviar facial, champagne pedicure
|Wide range including seaweed wraps
Note: Always remember to book ahead as these popular spots fill up quickly.
19. Top Golf
With places like Top Golf, it’s possible to have a great time, regardless of the weather. I’ve always found this spot to be a fantastic escape on those gloomier Florida afternoons.
The beauty of Top Golf lies in its simplicity and accessibility. It’s essentially a driving range taken to the next level with fun games suitable for all skill levels and ages. You hit micro-chipped balls towards targets that measure accuracy and distance – the closer to the target and further away from the tee box, the more points you score.
Here are some other features to look forward too:
- A food menu that ranges from burgers to sushi
- A full bar with specialty cocktails
- Heated bays so even if it’s chilly outside, you’re comfortable
- Private event spaces available for parties or corporate events
While we’re talking numbers, let’s delve into some specifics about Top Golf:
|Number of Bays
|Average Cost Per Hour
|Up until midnight most nights
|$25-$45 depending on day/time
What really sets Top Golf apart though is its atmosphere – there’s music playing, people laughing, high-fives being exchanged – it’s truly an experience rather than just an activity.
20. Indoor Climbing
Indoor climbing is an excellent way to challenge yourself mentally and physically. It demands concentration, flexibility, strength, and strategy. Plus, it’s incredibly fun! You’re not just lifting weights or running on a treadmill; you’re scaling walls!
Tampa boasts several top-notch indoor climbing facilities. Vertical Ventures and The Edge Rock Gym are two of the most popular ones. Each offers unique routes that cater to beginners as well as advanced climbers.
- Vertical Ventures has over 6,000 sq ft of rock wall terrain complete with bouldering areas.
- The Edge Rock Gym features over 14,000 sq ft of climbable surface using both auto-belay systems and traditional rope systems.
21. Bowling Alleys
Bowling, it’s an activity that brings together elements of friendly competition, skill, and just plain fun. It’s not dependent on good weather, making it an ideal go-to for those unexpected rainy days.
Let’s start with Pin Chasers, a local favorite across three Tampa locations. Here, I’ve enjoyed countless games during stormy afternoons. Their state-of-the-art facilities offer automatic scoring systems and even bumpers for the kids or the less experienced among us (it’s okay, we all started somewhere).
Next on my list is The Alley at Southshore. This place isn’t your grandpa’s bowling alley – it has a modern vibe with neon lights and music videos projected onto large screens above the lanes.
If you’re looking for something more upscale, then Splitsville Southern + Social should pique your interest. Aptly tagged as ‘Roll in and Rock Out’, this venue offers gourmet food selections alongside their ten-pin action – think sushi rolls instead of hotdogs!
So why choose bowling? Here are some points:
- It doesn’t require any special equipment – The alley provides everything.
- Variety of experiences – From traditional alleys to modern spaces with extra entertainment.
- All age groups can participate – Yes! Even grandma can show off her skills.
- Food and drinks are usually available on site – You won’t starve while you play.
Now let’s put these bowling alleys into perspective:
|The Alley at Southshore
|Splitsville Southern + Social
22. Indoor Pickleball
No need to let a few raindrops dampen your Tampa day! I’ve found the perfect solution for you – indoor pickleball. This game, which is a mix between tennis, badminton, and table tennis, has been gaining popularity across the nation. Why? Because it’s both fun and easy to learn.
Indoor pickleball venues like Pickleball Tampa and The Pickle Spot provide excellent courts available even during wet weather. They’ve got all the gear you’ll need too. So don’t worry if you’re new to this sport or forgot your paddle at home.
Here’s what makes pickleball particularly exciting:
- It’s fast-paced: Matches are quick, usually lasting around 20 minutes.
- It’s good exercise: You’ll be moving non-stop as you volley back and forth.
- It encourages social interaction: The size of the court allows for doubles play, making it an excellent activity for meeting new people or spending time with friends.
To give you an idea of just how popular this sport has become, here’s a little data:
|Number of US Players
|3.3 million est.
That’s right – from only 106k players in 2013 to over 3 million now! Clearly there’s something about pickleball that keeps people coming back for more.
So when those Florida showers hit, don’t resign yourself to being cooped up inside all day long. Give indoor pickleball a shot.
23. Indoor Trampoline Park
Indoor trampoline parks are a great way to add some bounce and fun to your day.
One of my favorite places is Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline park that’s just bursting with activities. It’s not just about jumping up and down on a trampoline (though there’s plenty of that). You’ll also find foam zones where you can dive into soft foam cubes, ultimate dodgeball games where you can show off your dodging skills, and even warrior courses for when you’re feeling particularly adventurous!
|Foam Zone Diving
There’s something incredibly freeing about bouncing around without a care in the world. It’s like being a kid again! Plus, it’s fantastic exercise – did you know that ten minutes of jumping on a trampoline burns as many calories as running for half an hour? Talk about efficient!
I love how these parks cater to all ages too. Whether you’re five or fifty-five, there are activities tailored to suit everyone. And if you’re seeking some thrill or challenge during your visit – try out their rock climbing walls or parkour-like obstacle courses.
24. Indoor Mini Golf
As we wind down the list, you’ve seen that the city offers a host of indoor activities that’ll keep you entertained, and one such amusement is indoor mini golf. This sport isn’t only for kids. It’s a fantastic way to spend an afternoon with friends or family, regardless of age.
Tampa boasts several top-rated indoor mini-golf courses. Monster Mini Golf, an intriguing blacklight course complete with animated monsters, leads the pack. Then there’s Glowgolf, where fluorescing balls and holes add a fun twist to your usual putt-putt game.
Things to Do in tampa on a rainy day Wrap-up
By now, you’re probably brimming with ideas on how to spend a rainy day in Tampa. I’ve shared some of the city’s best indoor attractions, from fascinating museums and art galleries to thrilling escape rooms and bustling shopping centers.
In short: while rain may change our plans slightly on any given day in Tampa — there’s still plenty worth exploring indoors!