The Stars Shine Bright at Night - Guide to Greater Tampa Bay
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The Stars Shine Bright at Night

The Stars Shine Bright at Night

Greater Tampa Bay’s endless adventures do not end at sundown. Whether you are in the mood for an evening of dancing, drinking or a bit of both, the region caters to anyone searching for a nightlife soiree. GTB’s rich history has established iconic institutions, and its promising growth inspires the arrivals of new bars and clubs to the bustling nightlife scene. 

Sipping Under the Stars 

GTB offers a variety of show-stopping rooftop lounges to establish the perfect scene for an exciting evening.  

Searching for a spectacular sunset? Look up to M. Bird, perched atop Armature Works. M. Bird is the perfect place to snap photos of the waterfront and downtown Tampa skyline. 

Birchwood Canopy was designed to impress all, boasting a posh atmosphere with gorgeous bay views of Straub Park in St. Petersburg. After exploring the St. Pete Pier, stop at Pier Teaki to take in the sights and enjoy a mai tai or laidback bites. Dive into vacation mode at Level 11 of the Bellwether Beach Resort and take in a birds-eye view of the Gulf of Mexico. 

Dunedin’s speakeasy in the sky is Hi Fi, located atop the Fenway Hotel. Sometimes bigger is better and Jimmy’s On The Edge lives up to the motto by hosting the largest rooftop bar in Clearwater. Soak in 360 degrees of Tampa Bay scenery at Rox Rooftop Bar, located on Rocky Point Island.  

Located in Tampa’s blossoming Midtown area, Sal Y Mar may be new to the scene but is quickly becoming a favorite among locals thanks to its sleek décor and Latin-inspired dishes and drinks. Named after the floor it graces, SiX is the JW Marriott Tampa’s answer to those looking for dining and drinks with a quintessentially cool metropolitan vibe. 

For sports lovers, the Skybox Rooftop Bar in Wesley Chapel is directly adjacent to the Wiregrass Ranch Sports Complex. Walk over after a game to celebrate the wins with good drinks and great views. At The Social NPR, guests can enjoy a myriad of theme nights from karaoke and trivia to Valentine’s Day and Scare-oke, all while overlooking Main Street, New Port Richey.  

Dance the Night Away 

GTB does not fall short on places to cut loose and practice some dance moves.  

Ybor’s famous Club Prana was designed for dancing with five floors, each with its own musical and cultural oasis. Downtown Tampa’s enticing Eden is a newer addition but brings unique flavor with distinct spaces covered in colorful florals and neon. For those in search of a more alternative experience, join nightlife royalty at The Castle, which has been catering to Ybor’s eclectic crowd since 1992.  

Downtown Tampa is far from the only place for dancing. Whiskey North in Carrollwood packs the house and their calendar with live DJs. Get down with a boot-scootin’ boogey at The Stockyard’s nightly line dancing classes. Paracas Tampa is the ultimate Latin hotspot and perfect for salsa and bachata. 

St. Pete’s Enigma proudly offers fun for all and hosts an inclusive dance floor, loved by locals and tourists alike. In the mood for country? Downtown St. Pete has that too, and a mechanical bull, at rock and country bar The One Night Stand. 

Cocktail Cravings 

As GTB continues to expand, so do the options for artisanal drinks.  

St. Pete’s Mandarin Hide has 12 years of practice serving the best cocktails in town. If searching for something a bit more indulgent, try a seven deadly sin-themed cocktail at elegantly elusive bar, The Saint, in the Grand Central District. 

 Sonder Social Club in Dunedin goes the extra mile to ensure guests are drinking only the finest and most creative craft cocktails. CW’s Gin Joint invites guests to sip Espresso Tinis and top-shelf, barrel-aged concoctions while listening to live jazz in a luxurious lounge setting.  

Better come prepared and know the password if you want to experience old-fashioned speakeasies. Behinds the secret bookcase in the International Beer Garden, BABs Secret Lounge, offers craft cocktails with homemade ingredients. Step back in time, at South Tampa’s Ciro’s Speakeasy, where bartenders use historical techniques to make drinks the right way.  

Live Listening & Event Spaces 

Drinking is not always necessary for a fun-filled night in GTB. Some may prefer to see a live show, enjoy the local art scene or have an evening of laughs.  

The Orpheum and Crowbar are beloved Tampa favorites to catch shows of touring musicians and local talent alike. Lose track of time and get lost in the music and beachy vibes at Jimmy B.’s Beach Bar in St. Pete. Sing a few bars at a karaoke or open mic night at North Tampa’s Pegasus Lounge. For more than just fine craft beers, Dunedin Brewery also hosts cover-free live music throughout the week.   

Embrace that inner art critic and attend a gallery at The Factory, St. Pete’s ultimate destination for creatives. Ybor is a hub for many local artists and makers, many of which can be found at an art show at The Bricks.  

Whenever in need of a good laugh, The Improv Comedy Theater is an Ybor institution that is bound to satisfy. Side Splitters Comedy has locations in Carrollwood, Wesley Chapel and St. Pete and hosts comedians from throughout the nation.   

Cigar Bars 

While GTB is chock full of nighttime hotspots and adventures, sometimes the typical night out is close, but no cigar.  

See Also

The Grand Cathedral Cigar Bar is a local favorite for the fine cigars, historic ambience and tranquil backyard just minutes away from downtown Tampa. Speak to the knowledgeable tobacconists at Casa De Montecristo Cigar Lounge & Bar to find the perfect cigar to enjoy at their fully stocked bar.  

Head a little farther north to Patriot Stogies in New Port Richey is combat veteran-owned and offers billiards and poker games. The Cigar Cave Lounge has an online store that ships cigars right to customers’ doors or visit in person any day of the week.  

Enjoy the sweet sights, tastes and smells at Fusion Cigar Lounge. Located in Pelican Walk Plaza in Clearwater, their patio seating is the best place to try their cigars and delicious mocktails. Attend live music at Central Cigars & Ruby’s Elixir amid the largest cigar collection in St Pete.  

Honorable Mentions 

Looking for an out-of-the-box nighttime experience? These spots will give night owls something to talk about. 

In Between Days – St. Pete 

  • Sip sake, listen to vinyl records and impress friends at this Tokyo-style listening bar.  

Whiskey Joe’s Bar & Grille — Port Richey 

  • Right on the water, this tropical-inspired tiki bar has beach seatings, firepits and boat parking for visitors coming in from a day on the water.   

Spookeasy Lounge — Ybor City 

  • This Ybor haunt may not serve alcohol, but they offer tea and kava around the clock in a spooktacular speakeasy setting.  

The Shipwreck — Clearwater 

  • Clearwater Beach’s oldest bar brings a fun nautical theme with drinks that will have patrons talking like a pirate. 

By Jensen Taylor.

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