When it comes to shopping in the Tampa Bay area, there's little shortage of places to put your credit cards through a good workout. Here's a look at some of the shopping destinations to tempt your wallet, from malls to boutiques and outdoor markets too.
For a luxurious fashion outing, head to one of the several shopping centers filled with anchor stores and boutiques including WestShore Plaza and International Plaza, located between downtown Tampa and the airport off of Westshore Boulevard. Macy’s, Sears and Dick’s Sporting Goods are found at WestShore Plaza, as are Old Navy, H&M and Foot Locker and many more. International Plaza is where serious shoppers go to find their treasures at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, and while you’re there, be sure to check out Burberry, Tory Burch and Gucci, too.
If all of that shopping makes you hungry, there are new restaurants at both malls: YO! Sushi, TAPS, Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen at International Plaza and Besito Mexican in WestShore Plaza. Or simply visit Bay Street with plenty of dining spots, including The Cheesecake Factory, The Capital Grille, Blue Martini and many more. Whichever mall you choose—or both—plan to stay awhile—there’s a lot of shopping to do.
In Clearwater, when it’s time to get out of the sun or you're looking to buy luggage for your next trip, locals go to the Tyrone Square Mall or Westfield Countryside Mall. Both are the main shopping areas within close proximity to the beaches and the downtown district. Macy’s, Dillard’s, JCPenney and H&M are among the national brands you'll find here. If that isn't enough, at Countryside there's even an ice rink to help cool you off.
One of the most picturesque neighborhoods in all of Tampa is Hyde Park, with its tree-lined streets, bungalow homes, and sense of quiet and community. At its center is Hyde Park Village, a popular outdoor European village-inspired shopping destination, just a stone’s throw from downtown Tampa off of Bayshore Boulevard. It’s easy to spend the day—shop for a bit in the morning at name brand stores such as West Elm, Brooks Brothers, Anthropologie, Sur La Table and more. Afterwards, grab a bite to eat or a glass of wine at any of the village’s myriad dining spots or combine the two, plus a movie at the CinéBistro. If the shopping spree gets too stressful, you can also book a treatment at the Aveda Salon & Spa.
Looking for bargains? Then, head to the newly-opened Tampa Premium Outlets just off I-75. Opened in late 2015, about 25 minutes north of downtown Tampa in the Lutz/Wesley Chapel area, the Tampa Premium Outlets offers a friendly, casual attitude to go along with the Key West-style motif, palm trees and over 110 retailers. It's dog-friendly and shoppers can enjoy several amenities including the lounge with TVs, kids playground, phone-charging stations and WIFI. The mall is loaded with savings from designer brands to fill your closet. Think Banana Republic, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th, Coach, Fossil, Puma and Adidas for you, and the Disney Store, Hartstrings and Gap for the kids.
An area once known by locals as BayWalk in St. Pete has received a huge make over. Sundial, named for the large sculpture that now anchors the cobblestone plaza, has replaced outdated retail concepts with a new energy and excitement that keeps modern shoppers and diners in mind. Shops such as Tommy Bahama and lululemon provide retail therapy and foodies gravitate to Locale Market and the Farmtable Kitchen, two gourmet emporiums created by James Beard-winning chef Michael Mina and chef Don Pintabona.
If crafts and handmade items are more your cup of tea, check out the Ybor City Saturday Market, the largest continuously operating outdoor market in the Tampa Bay Area (since 2000). Part of the market’s mission is to “… create a venue for local artists, craftsmen and specialty product producers,” and it does just that. In addition to gourmet foods and fresh produce, wares such as fine cigars, unique gifts, photography, artwork, jewelry, woodworking, candles and more can be found any given Saturday.
Another of Tampa Bay’s best outdoor markets is Saturday Morning Market—at the Al Lang Field parking lot in downtown St. Petersburg. It's a terriﬁc way to get a taste of Pinellas County—literally. Fresh fruits and veggies, artisanal cheese and meats, freshly prepared foods and refreshing drinks are available in a fun, community-driven setting, oftentimes with live music. The market has returned to its regular spot from its summer home and will remain there every Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm through late-May. About 200 vendors fill more than 130 spaces and nearly 10,000 people attend the market on a typical Saturday—don’t miss it.
In addition to the harbors and estuaries, Tampa Bay is also filled with shopping districts off-the-beaten path. Take inventory of what you’re looking for and spend an afternoon in the charming Grand Central District located just west of downtown St. Petersburg. Antique shops line the streets, and finds include furniture, art, glassworks and china, as well as mid-century modern goods. Wander a bit farther and find Haslam’s Book Store with shelves lined with new and used titles—it was also a favorite of writer and Beat Generation poet Jack Kerouac.
If an outing after a day at the beach is better suited, stop in at one of the most unique places in Tampa Bay—John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk. Located between Madeira Beach and Treasure Island, John’s Pass features more than 100 merchants, restaurants and attractions. This is not your run-of-the-mill mall. It mixes shopping with recreational sports, dining and sightseeing. Stop in to shop for Florida souvenirs, dine on fresh seafood and soak up the view from the boardwalk. On your mark! Get set! Charge!