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by Alextenglish

Tampa has always struggled to be relevant, be cutting edge, but there is plenty to love: its approachable size, compact urban area and convenient international airport; its family-friendly atmosphere, and of course the unbeatable year-round weather. Lately there has been a push to redevelop and urbanize the half-Atlanta/half-Miami sprawl that prevailed in the 1990s and 2000s.

You’ll fall in love with the older neighborhoods, and appreciate the laid back attitude, though the city has been ranked as one of the vainest in the country.

The metro area includes St. Petersburg and Sarasota, both destinations in themselves. Both are formerly overrun by retirees, and now are seeing a renaissance of coolness and appeal to millennials and foreigners. The best beaches are in both of these spots (Fort Desoto & Siesta Key, respectively). Anna Maria Island is also a fun, 1-tank trip getaway from Tampa.

Use the Tampa City Guide to find local spots for eating, shopping, exercise, and anything worth seeing while you’re here.

“A lot to love in my hometown”

Local / Independent

Womens Fashion: Jux-ta-pose Apparel & Studio
Posts: [review] (2014)

Lingerie, Loungewear: The Pink Petticoat
Posts: The Pink Petticoat opens a new location in Palma Ceia (2014), A collaboration between London Philips, The Pink Petticoat, Remarqed, and Make-A-Wish Foundation (2014)

Mens Fashion: London Philips
Posts: London Philips: necessary for Tampa (2014), Bourbon & Bow Ties [recap] (2014), A collaboration between London Philips, The Pink Petticoat, Remarqed, and Make-A-Wish Foundation (2014)

Bow Ties: Ella Bing
Posts: Ella Bing bow ties [review] (2014), Ella Bing Spring photoshoot (2014), “1901” the pop-up shop weekend (2014), Bourbon & Bow Ties [recap] (2014)

Eyeglasses & Sunglasses: The Optic Shop
Posts: Getting personal at the Optic Shop (2013), How to choose sunglasses (2014)

Gifts: Oxford Exchange
Posts: Oxford Exchange: the new new (2012), Oxford Exchange: year two (2013), Rizzoli Studio [launch] & bookstore reorganization (2014)

Stationery, Gifts, Classes: The Paper Seahorse

Flowers, Orchids: Bloom

Confections: Dough, Piquant

Posts: CASS & others bring cloud to Palma Ceia (2014)

Pets: Downtown Dogs

Aveda Salon: level Salon & Spa

Department Stores

Neiman Marcus Tampa Bay / International Plaza: Chanel (hard shop), Balenciaga, Prada, Bottega Veneta, Fendi, Saint Laurent, Nancy Gonzalez, Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Tod’s, Judith Leiber, Gucci (men’s shoes), Theory, Vince, Etro, Emilio Pucci, Giorgio Armani, Jo Malone (partial list)
Posts: Chanel at Neiman Marcus Tampa Bay (2015), Tom Ford Fragrance Event [recap] (2014), At-Your-Service update: still fun (2013), Another bottle of euphoria (2013)

Nordstrom Tampa / International Plaza: Valentino, Proenza Schouler, Longchamp, Burberry, Jimmy Choo, Chloé, Jo Malone, Diptyque, James Perse, Billy Reid, AG Jeans, Nudie Jeans, Hudson, Prada (women’s shoes), Salvatore Ferragamo (men’s shoes), St. John, Escada, Shinola, Topshop, Topman (partial list)
Posts: Nordstrom Tampa gets a reno (2014)

Saks Fifth Avenue Sarasota / University Town Center: Saint Laurent, Valentino, Jimmy Choo, Alexander McQueen, Hermès timepieces, Cartier, Pomellato, H.Stern, and Tom Ford Beauty (hard shops), Rupert Sanderson, Lanvin, Brunello Cucinelli, Isaia, Ermenegildo Zegna, Etro, Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan (partial list)
Posts: [preview] (2014)

Dillard’s, Macy’s (multiple locations of each)


International Plaza: Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Tiffany & Co., Hugo Boss, Burberry, Anne Fontaine, Montblanc, Cole Haan, Stuart Weitzman, Crate & Barrel, Tory Burch, Coach, Rolex, Restoration Hardware (coming soon)

Hyde Park Village: Brooks Brothers, Anthropologie, lululemon athletica, West Elm, Restoration Hardware, J.McLaughlin, Sur La Table (coming soon), Paper Source (coming soon)


Nordstrom Rack (locations in Tampa & Brandon), Ellenton Prime Outlets, Orlando (multiple)
Skip the outlets (2013)

Orlando (day trip)

Mall at Millenia: Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Chanel, Saint Laurent, Versace, Prada, David Yurman, Jimmy Choo, Allsaints, Cartier, Emporio Armani, Hublot, Omega, Lacoste, Rolex, Salvatore Ferragamo, TAG Heuer


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