At the southeastern edge of the South Tampa peninsula, Picnic Island is a secluded hideaway within the city limits. The park features white-sand beaches for both humans and dogs, a boat ramp and pier, canoe and kayak launch, sand volleyball court, disc golf course, and shelters for… well, a picnic.
7409 Picnic Island Blvd.
Inspired by their hometown of Jbeil, Lebanon, Fresh Bites founders Samir and Anissa Khalife use organic and GMO-free ingredients in their falafel, wraps, salads, kabobs and hummus to create what one of our followers called the city’s “healthiest and best-tasting family-run restaurant.”
11665 Countryway Blvd. | (813) 336-4936 | freshbites.org
One of our Instagram followers called this North Hyde Park spot an “amazing little art gallery, shop and event space.” Artist and proprietor Lucy White uses the renovated industrial building as a working studio, to host art classes, and to showcase works by creators from around the country.
906 N. Rome Ave. | (813) 541-6221 | lulustudiotampa.com
The Revolution Ice Cream Co.
This Seminole Heights ice cream spot is not necessarily a secret, but what doesn’t get enough love is its six-scoop sampler. Choose half a dozen flavors from the shop’s lineup of classics (like goat cheese habañero or cinnamon roll) and limited-time varieties to share with a friend or two — or don’t. We certainly won’t judge.
6701 N. Florida Ave. | (813) 513-5053 | revicecream.com
One Facebook commenter clued us in to Lowry Parcade’s weekly First United Church of Nintendo event. The Tampa arcade and beer bar brings in old-school Nintendo games on the original NES, SNES and Nintendo 64 systems that are free to play. The fun begins every Thursday at 8 p.m.
1213 W. Waters Ave. | (813) 915-9180 | lowryparcade.com
Playgrounds of Tampa
Tampa’s incessant heat and summer rains mean outdoor play time is typically pretty limited. Enter Playgrounds of Tampa, a 7,500-square-foot indoor play space with bounce houses and slides, interactive games and a designated toddler area. Best of all, Playgrounds also features a fully stocked coffee bar with Kahwa Coffee, espresso, kombucha and wifi for parents.
4535 S. Dale Mabry Highway | (813) 835-7529 | playgroundsoftampa.com
Sapphire Lounge at the Floridan Palace
Off the beaten path of downtown’s growing bar scene, the Sapphire Lounge is tucked inside the Floridan Palace hotel, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. Grab the signature Between the Sheets martini and take it easy in the spot that GIs stationed in Tampa during World War II dubbed the “surefire room.” Just note that the bar is only open Fridays and Saturdays.
905 N. Florida Ave. | (813) 225-1700 | floridanpalace.com