Places to Relax in Tampa

Philippe Park

Philippe Park is a short drive from campus and provides some of the best Photoshop-like surroundings in the area. The trees are gorgeous with long hanging Spanish moss which transport you to another world. There are paths to walk, run, or bike along the water or underneath the shade of oak trees. It is right by the Bay so you can sit by the water and enjoy a breathtaking sunset with a view of Oldsmar across the water. There are also pavilions and picnic tables situated throughout the park.

P.S.: Park entrance and parking are free!


Hyde Park Village

If you like shopping and good food this is your ideal locale in the Tampa Bay area. They do not have your standard, run of the mill, shops that are in every mall. There is a mixture of some incredibly popular stores as well as local stores: they feature Anthropologie, Lululemon, and Francesca’s. If you are searching for a more unique shopping experience they have a Blue Mercury (which is a more skincare focused Sephora), Paper Source, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Park Apothecary, Vineyard Vines, Kendra Scott, and many other stores are coming to this location. This is the ideal outdoor mall if you do not like dealing with the crowds and hustle and bustle.

There are wonderful restaurants, so plan on having something to eat! There is a French Bakery and Restaurant, Bartaco which serves upscale South American street food, and Timpano Italian Chophouse which is reminiscent of 50’s and 60’s big city dining. If you are over 21 there is also CinéBistro, a movie theater and bistro.


Oxford Exchange Oxford Exchange is the ideal place to relax whether you want to find a new book, purchase a gift, enjoy a beverage, or enjoy a wonderfully executed meal. One of my favorite bloggers, the college prepster, has raved about the Oxford Exchange and for good reason. It is an institution in Tampa-- when the library is just too mundane head to the Oxford Exchange.


Salvador Dali Museum

If you ever want to escape your mind and be transported to another world, then Salvador Dali is the ideal companion for you. The museum has the most complete collection of work outside of his home in Spain. The building itself is a masterpiece: a mixture of surrealism and classism  with a touch of the classic Dali madness. There is a café, so you can enjoy your coffee in a one of a kind space. The third floor has incredible views of the Bay, as if the art itself is not incredible enough. There are free guides as well as labels if you do not really ‘get’ art. The museum also frequently has exhibits that add another dimension of interest to the artist.