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Skip the Beach in Tampa

3. What to Do

The bookshop at Oxford Exchange, which was inspired by London's shops and social clubs.  

Shop for well-curated books and home décor pieces at Oxford Exchange, a 24,000-square-foot, multiuse space that opened last September in the former stables of the now-defunct Tampa Bay Hotel. Inspired by London’s shops and clubs, this reimagined arcade draws heavily on British design, with checkerboard marble floors, coffered ceilings, tufted leather sofas, and a glass conservatory roof. In addition to shops, there’s also a restaurant where you can have breakfast or lunch, as well as outposts from local favorites TeBella Tea Company and Buddy Brew Coffee.

Stroll the pedestrian-only Tampa Riverwalk, an ongoing urban renewal project that will eventually link 2.4 miles of cultural institutions along the Hillsborough River, including the Tampa Bay History Center, the Glazer Children’s Museum, the Tampa Museum of Art, the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, and the soon-to-be-renovated Waterworks Park in Tampa Heights. A series of bronze busts honoring famous historic Tampa citizens and a new stretch along Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park are recent additions to the waterfront, which also features Sunday afternoon yoga classes, two interactive fountains, and the southeastern U.S.’s first NEOS 360 Ring, a state-of-the-art playground attraction that combines video games and aerobic exercise.

Sample unique microbrews ($5 for sixteen ounces in the tasting room) inspired by local history at five-year-old Cigar City Brewery. Different varieties are named after the pre-Columbian Tocobaga tribe, the Cuban sport of bolita, and José Martí, the father of Cuban independence; the ingredients, too, reflect the city’s culture, with flavor additions including Cuban-style espresso beans, the Spanish cedar used to make cigar boxes, and, because Tampa is sometimes lovingly dubbed “the Big Guava,” pink guava purée.