Things To Do During Layover At Tampa International Airport

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Nobody strives for a lengthy layover at an airport, as this can be boring and tedious as it could be. But, with meticulous planning, it could be an opportunity for fun and exploration as you could never imagine. Tampa International Airport is located in the heart of the vibrant city of Tampa, which is also the ‘de-facto’ venue of the arts and entertainment. Not just the airport, but the city also offers a range of activities and things to do on a layover At Tampa international airport. Thus turning your boring connection into a memorable one.


In this article, we will explore a variety of things to do in Tampa Airport, highlight some exciting activities, and how passengers can make the most of it.

Part 1 – Exploring Tampa International Airport

When you are stuck with a tedious layover at TPA, you’ll be amazed to find the variety of amenities that let your time fly. From chic art exhibitions to authentic dining options, there’s never a dull moment at TPA that caters to your delights and experiences. Whether you’re in the mood for shopping for some unique souvenirs or simply on a gastronomic adventure, Tampa international airport has everything you desire for.  Let’s explore the fascinating options that are waiting for you inside the terminals –

What are the things to do at TPA for art lovers?

Passengers with long layovers can fancy themselves with a stunning array of installations and artwork here. There are a wide variety of paintings, sculptures and artworks on display, and taking a self-guided tour is a perfect activity to kill some time at TPA. Simply tour the terminals or soak it into the artistic impressions, as the exhibitions change here on a frequent basis. You can also navigate to the airport’s website to learn about the latest installations and other art developments.

Below is the list of current installations that are waiting for your gaze, and is counted among as one of the top things to do by Tampa Airport –

Main Terminal, Baggage Claim & Airside ETapestriesRon Renmark, Virginia & Michael Reck1988
Airport Chapel, Landside Terminal, Level 3Light PassageYvonne Barlog1998
Main Terminal, Ticketing LevelBurgert Brothers Photographic CollectionBrothers Al and Jean Burgert2004
Main Terminal, Blue Baggage ClaimEl Movimiento del MarElle Terry Leonard, Sarasota, FL and Josh Johnson1999
Main Terminal, Red Baggage ClaimTropical Fish Tile CollageE. Joseph McCarty1999
Main Terminal – Atrium of Long Term Parking Walkway and Blue Express CurbsideGreetings from Tampa BaySheryl Oring2021
Airside ACopper BirdsRoy Butler, Plantation, FloridaOriginally installed in 1971, relocated to Airside A in 2018
Airside ABirds Leaving EarthElizabeth Indianos, Tarpon Springs, FL1998, relocated in 2018
Airside AKites in FlightLisa and Joe Vogt, Wesley Chapel, FLArtwork on loan
Airside CSpeculaKristen Jones & Andrew Ginzel, New York, NY2005
Airside CFinal Boarding CallChristopher Still, Tarpon Springs, FL2005
Airside CQChristopher Still, Tarpon Springs, FL2005
Airside COrange Blossom!Stephen Robin, Philadelphia, PA2005
Airside CThe BarnstormerHarrison Covington
Airside EThe Art of FlightGeorge Snow Hill2002

Where to head at TPA to experience the culinary delights?

Things to do on a Layover in Tampa

There are plenty of dining options available at the airport including the restaurants, cafes, and bars to suit every taste. Below is the detailed list of all options that eliminate the boredom on your long Tampa Airport layover.

Restaurants & Bars on main terminal at Tampa Airport (Level 1 and Level 3)

Chick-fil-A5AM – 7PMAmerica’s original chicken sandwichLevel 3
Hard Rock Café8AM – 8PMClassic American fare alongside musical historyLevel 3
P.F. Chang’s10AM – 10PMMade-to-order, Asian inspired cuisine and sushiLevel 3
Qdoba Mexican Grill10AM – 8PMMexican grill kitchenLevel 3
Starbucks Evenings3:30AM – 11:30PMIconic coffee shop serving wine and beer; breakfast all dayLevel 3
Wendy’s6AM – 10PMPopular American burger eateryLevel 3
Starbucks6AM – 8:30PMIconic coffee shopLevel 1, Red Bag Claim

Restaurants & Bars at Tampa Airport Airside A (Gates A1 – A18)

Auntie Anne’s10AM – 4PMFamous freshly baked soft pretzelsNear Gate A5
Bay Coffee & Tea Company4AM – Last FlightArtisan coffee and fresh pastriesNear Gate A3
Burger 214:30AM – Last FlightChef-inspired burgers and craft beerNear Gate A12
Chick-fil-A5AM – 9PMAmerica’s original chicken sandwichNear Gate A12
Ducky’s Sports Lounge6AM – 8PMLocal favorite for dressed-up bar fareNear Gate A10
Duomo GelatoTEMPORARILY CLOSEDArtisanal gelato and sorbetNear Gate A5
New York, New York Pizza9AM – 9PMPizza, pasta and saladsNear Gate A12
Pei Wei7AM – Last FlightFast casual Asian cuisineNear Gate A14
Starbucks Reserve4AM – Last FlightIconic coffee shop and breakfast all dayNear Gate A12

Restaurants & Bars at Tampa Airport Airside C (Gates C30 -C45)

Bavaro’s12PM – 8PMNeapolitan wood-fired pizza, pasta, salad and sandwichesNear Gate C34
Burger 214AM – Last FlightLocal favorite for chef-inspired burgers and shakesNear Gate C39
Cafe Con Leche4:30AM – 8PMLocally-roasted coffee drinks, fresh churros, pastries and sandwichesNear Gate C34
Cigar City Brewing6AM – Last FlightBeer handcrafted on-site and local pub fareNear Gate C43
Goody Goody5AM – 9PMTampa’s legendary burgers, pies and milkshakesNear Gate C34
Louis Pappas12PM – 7PMGreek cuisine featuring the Famous Greek SaladNear Gate C34
PDQ8AM – 8PMChicken tenders, salads and sandwichesNear Gate C39
Rumfish Grill7AM – 7PMFresh, locally-caught seafoodNear Gate C37
Starbucks4AM – Last FlightIconic coffee shop and breakfast all dayNear Gate C39
Ulele7AM – Last FlightNative charbroiled and raw oysters, craft beers and cocktailsNear Gate C34

Restaurants & Bars at Tampa Airport Airside E (Gates E62 – E75)

Beers of the World9:30 AM – Last FlightBeers from 4 continents and 8 countriesNear Gate E70
Columbia Café4AM – Last FlightAuthentic local Spanish/Cuban flavors from century-old recipesNear Gate E68
Four Green Fields7AM – 7PMIrish pub that serve Guinness beer and traditional fareNear Gate E64
illy Caffe4AM – Last FlightItalian coffee, fresh daily pastries and paninisNear Gate E64
Panda Express9AM – 9PMChinese-inspired quick serve including breakfastNear Gate E69
Starbucks4AM – Last FlightIconic coffee shop and breakfast all dayNear Gate E71

Restaurants & Bars at Tampa Airport Airside F (Gates F77 – F90)

Bella’s Café11AM – 8PMBrick-oven pizzas and Italian foodNear Gate F85
Buddy Brew5AM – 12PMLocal hand-roasted coffee drinksNear Gate F85
Cigar City Taproom9AM – 7PMLocal brewed beer and tapas menuNear Gate F88
illy Caffe4AM – Last FlightItalian coffee, fresh daily pastries and paninisNear Gate F77
Square 16AM – 8PMAngus burgers, cocktails and bottled beerNear Gate F85
Starbucks Reserve4AM – 8PMIconic coffee shop and breakfast all dayNear Gate F87
The Cafe by Mise en Place6AM – Last FlightLocal, modern-American dining with chef-driven menu, impressive wines and cocktailsNear Gate F85
The Gasparilla Bar7AM – Last FlightFun pirate ship bar serving grog and grubNear Gate F83
Yogurtology6AM – 8PMFrozen yogurt & toppingsNear Gate F84

What are the things to do at Tampa Airport for shopaholics?

Grab the exciting shopping opportunities on your TPA layover where you can browse for duty-free stores, gift shops, boutiques and speciality stores. The airport is a home to various global luxury brands, allowing you to indulge into a retail therapy like never before.

things to do at tampa airport

Below is the guide of all the shops and stores available at each terminal – 

Shops at Tampa Airport’s main terminal (Level 1 and Level 3)

Mindworks6AM – 8PMChildren’s toys, gadgets, games, clothing and activitiesLevel 3
PGA Tour Shops/The Runway7AM – 8PMGolf fashions and activewear including Nike, Puma and Under ArmourLevel 3
The Shoppes at Bayshore12AM – 11:59PM (24 hours)Food market, local favorites, designer apparel and newsstandLevel 3
Tampa Life7AM – 8PMDali Museum gifts and other collections rich in Tampa Bay historyLevel 3
Tampa Bay Sports6AM – 8PMAuthentic professional and college sports merchandiseLevel 3
Tech on the Go7AM – 7PMElectronics including Bose, Sony, Beats and MonsterLevel 3
Ybor City News7AM – 8PMNewsstandLevel 1, Blue Bag Claim

Shops at Tampa Airport Airside A (Gates A1 – A18)

CNBC4AM – 9PMNewsstand and fresh grab-and-go foodNear Gate A4
Dylan’s Candy Bar7AM – 8PMEndless variety of candy, fun gifts and gadgetsNear Gate A11
InMotion6AM – 8PMPremium electronics and accessoriesNear Gate A12
Ron Jon Surf Shop4AM – Last FlightBeach inspired apparel and giftsNear Gate A12
Stellar Bay News + Market4AM – Last FlightNewsstand, local gifts and marketNear Gate A12
The Apartment7AM – 8PMFashion and accessoriesNear Gate A11

Shops at Tampa Airport Airside C (Gates C30 -C45)

News Channel 8 WFLA4AM – Last FlightNewsstand and fresh grab-and-go foodNear Gate C35
Stellar Bay News4AM – Last FlightNewsstand, local gifts, grab-and-go foodNear Gate C31
Tech on the Go6AM – 7PMElectronics including Bose, Sony, Beats and MonsterNear Gate C36
The Body Shop8AM – 8PMBeauty products inspired by natureNear Gate C36
Time Zone / Shades of Time8AM – 8PMEyewear by Ray Ban, Maui Jim, Costa, watches and local jewelryNear Gate C36

Shops at Tampa Airport Airside E (Gates E62 – E75)

Air Essentials4AM – Last FlightNewsstand, local gifts and fresh grab-and-go foodNear Gate E69
BookLink4AM – Last FlightBookstore, stylish gifts and local teaNear Gate E69
Corsa Collections7AM – 8PMDesigner jewelry and handbags including Pandora and BrightonNear Gate E68
World Duty Free of Tampa9AM – 8PMEveryone welcome to shop fragrances and confections; alcohol/tobacco products limited to international passengersNear Gate E74

Shops at Tampa Airport Airside F (Gates F77 – F90)

Bay to Bay News4AM – Last FlightNewsstand, local gifts and fresh grab-and-go foodNear Gate F84
MIXX4AM – Last FlightWomen’s designer fashion apparel and accessoriesNear Gate F84
Stellar Bay News4AM – 9PMNewsstand, local gifts and grab-and-go foodNear Gate F87
Swarovski9AM – 5PMAffordable, luxurious fashion jewelryNear Gate F85
Tumi9AM – 5PMLeading travel brand of luggage, backpacks and handbagsNear Gate F85
Tech on the Go6AM – 7PMElectronics including Bose, Sony, Beats and MonsterNear Gate F84
World Duty Free Tampa9AM – 7PMEveryone welcome to shop fragrances and confections; alcohol and tobacco products limited to international travelersNear Gate F85

What to do for relaxation and wellness at the TPA Airport?

There are several lounges at TPA airport where you can relax, and get away from the bustle and crowds of the Tampa International Airport. If you have a layover of 4 hours or more, simply head to one of the many lounges here. Take a nice shower, relish on the complimentary beer and food, or simply relax with the comfortable seating and ambience. If you’re a frequent flyer with one of the airlines operating here, it’s a plus sign, as you can have complimentary access. If you don’t there are other prepaid lounges too which offer you entry without any memberships.

things to do at tampa airport

For instance, passengers with Delta SkyClub membership, can simply head to the Delta Terminal Tampa International Airport to get complimentary access to its lounge. This way they can kill boredom and rejuvenate for the next flight.

Below is the list of few of the lounges at TPA, that help you alleviate stress and commemorate your trip into a lavish experience – 

The Club at TPAAirside F, near Gate F85
Delta Sky ClubAirside E, near Gate E68
United ClubAirside E, near Gate E62
American Airlines Admirals ClubAirside F, near Gate F85
Escape LoungeLandside, Main Terminal

Part 2 – Exploring all the nearby attractions in Tampa

What if you’re stuck with a layover of 12 hours or more at TPA? There are times when passengers have to spend an entire day at the airport before they prepare for their next flight connection.

things to do at tampa airport

In those cases, make sure you have proper immigration and paperwork that let you step out of the airport, and explore things at your own pace.

This is a very common occurrence with passengers on a long layover at Tampa International Airport.

We understand that at times, you are traveling on a budget. And, exploring the whims and fancies of a city like Tampa may stress your pocket. Keeping that in mind, we have covered certain activities in the city which are free things to do near Tampa airport or require just a handful of benjamins!

So what to do near Tampa airport for fun and adventure? Browse this list!

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

For adventure seekers and nature-lovers, this indulgence is a must where they can please themselves with adrenaline rush rides, exotic animal encounters, and rare species of botany. And is definitely among the best things to do in Tampa near Airport.

Tampa Bay History Center

Another fun things to do near Tampa airport is this cutting edge interactive exhibit that features the 12000 years of Bay Area. Here you can learn about the Seminole artifacts, Spanish conquerors, and more than 1000 relics that reflect the past of the city which was once a bustling cigar capital of the world.

The Florida Aquarium

things to do at tampa airport

Families with children who are stuck on layover at TPA can indulge into the fascinating world of marine life. With over 10,000 aquatic creatures and interactive exhibits, this attraction is none less than an educational and entertaining experience. This must be on your list, as this is one of the top things to do around Tampa airport.

Tampa Riverwalk

This is where you can partake into the picturesque tour of the downtown waterfront. Steps onto the concrete path that follows the banks of the Hillsborough River and Garrison Channel which is used by the walkers, joggers and cyclists on a daily basis.

Bayshore Boulevard

things to do at tampa airport

This sidewalk is the most visited attraction in Tampa. One of the longest walkways in the US, that stretches 4.5 miles from Gandy Boulevard to downtown Tampa. It offers a picturesque view of the lake and city skyline on one side and some of Tampa’s priciest real estate on the other. This is also the venue that hosts some of the existing festivals, parades and events that flocks tourists all across the globe.

Final Words

A long layover at TPA doesn’t have to be dull. With plenty of activities within the airport, combined with ranges of attractions near Tampa Airport, you can color your boring and long layovers into memorable and exciting ones. Whether you choose to savor local delicacies or simply want to walk the talk at the art exhibitions, Tampa International Airport offers a share something exciting for everyone.

So next time when you need to adapt yourself with a long layover, embrace the whims and wonders of Tampa, and with ContactForSupport, make the most of your time at Tampa International Airport.

Read our latest blog here: Fun Things To Do on a Boring Layover At Frankfurt Airport

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do near Tampa Airport?

Some of the options include Florida Botanical gardens, Clearwater Beach, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Tampa Riverwalk sunset cruise and more.

What to do on a long layover at Tampa Airport?

Explore the Riverwalk, visit the Florida Aquarium, or simply unwind at one of the beaches in Tampa.

How do I spend time at Tampa Airport?

Enjoy dining at various QSRs and cafes, shop for duty-free items, relax at the lounges or simply peruse the art exhibitions at the airport.

How far is downtown Tampa from the Airport?

It is approximately 7 miles away from TPA International Airport which is typically a 15 minutes drive.

How far is the Tampa Riverwalk from the airport?

The distance is approximately 9 miles and a 10 minutes car ride from the airport.

How far is the beach from Tampa Airport?

The Clearwater beach on the Gulf Coast is 21 miles away from the airport and is the closest one.

How to get to downtown Tampa from the airport?

Take a taxi or a rideshare service or you can even rent a car at the TPA.

How close is Tampa Airport to the ocean?

The airport is nearly 8 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.

Does Tampa Airport have sleeping pods?

There are no dedicated sleeping zones, areas and pods at the airport.

Does Tampa Airport have a lounge?

Yes, Tampa Airport offers several lounges that are available for passengers.

How can I spend 4 hours at the Tampa Airport?

In 4 hours, you can explore the airport, visit the art exhibits, grab a meal, shop for souvenirs, relax in a lounge, connect, and read a book.

Published May 19, 2023
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