Upon opening in 1996, the Amalie Arena was known as the Ice Palace where it was host to the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. Throughout the decades the arena donned new names such as Tampa Bay Times Forum, but in 2013, after receiving a $62 million renovation, the Amalie Arena took on its current name and face. The largest arena in Western Florida, the Amalie Arena covers 670,000 total square feet across three decks and seven separate levels.

A port city rich with southern culture, Tampa is host to a ton of activities for you and your team from tours of local the history and geography. The dining choices in Tampa also reflect the diversity of the state’s residents. Quality food and entertainment are never far from each other in Tampa, so during your visit to the Amalie Arena you and your team won’t be without something to do or a tasty place to eat.


Things to Do

Pirate Water Taxi

If you and your team are unfamiliar with Tampa, a good way to get a taster of what the city has would be taking a water taxi tour with Pirate Water Taxi. The tours travel north up the Hillsborough River reaching Ocean Avenue with a total of 17 stops before circling around. Along the way, stops will be made at cafes as well as parks and other public attractions while your team takes in the riverside views.

While the river tour is enjoyable in its own right, you and your team can take full advantage of their water taxi tickets and make rides throughout the day. Given that the main boarding station is only two blocks from the Amalie Arena, having your team use the Pirate Water Taxi makes for easy group coordinating. 603 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602


Tampa Bay History Center

While visiting the Amalie Arena, you and your team may want to learn more about the Tampa Bay Area itself. If your team has an interest in the local history, the region’s vibrant and storied past is on display at the Tampa Bay History Center. Exhibits at the center detail over 10,000 years of history of the Tampa Bay Area, from indigenous cultures and settlements to the Civil War period and early 20th century Tampa.

Within the history center’s 60,000 square feet of space your team will find galleries with artifacts from the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes, such as tools, weaponry, pottery, and clothing. The center also houses historic replicas including a 1920s cigar store with original furniture, a pioneer cabin, and a chickee, a structure made from palmetto thatch over a log frame. One of the facility’s major gems is the Touchton Map Library, home to thousands of maps from Florida’s past centuries.

Whether it’s civil rights, war history, or history of the city’s once-bustling cigar industry, the Tampa Bay History Center is sure to paint of a vivid picture of days passed for you and your team. 801 Old Water St, Tampa, FL 33602


Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park

At some point during your team’s visit to the Amalie Arena, everyone is going to want some downtime during a busy day. Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park is a wonderful spot for you and your team to take a breather and enjoy the outdoors. In the park’s 4.5 acres there are plenty of sights to see while enjoying the coastal weather. Enjoy a stroll along the park’s spacious walkways, or your younger team can have fun at the playground.

You can stay out of the Florida sunshine just as well because the park’s walkways are lined with trees and the benches are canopied. The benches each have their own unique artwork so be sure to peek at the whole collection while you walk. The park also features a pier which is great for river views and selfie opportunities. Best of all, you can take a break at the Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park at any time during your visit to the Amalie Arena because the park is practically in the arena’s back yard. 601 Old Water St, Tampa, FL 33602


The Great Escape Room

A burgeoning and trendy group activity, escape rooms are becoming more and more popular all over the world. The Great Escape Room of Tampa is a company that seeks to offer a more theme-driven, puzzle experience to their escape rooms. Rooms are divided into traditional style and scavenger hunts, so you and your team will be able to play to their strengths do escape as quickly as possible.

The rooms are known to be a worthy challenge but moderators are on hand to dole out advice if need be. You and your team can choose to escape from the confines of Sherlock Holmes’ Library, The President’s Bunker, and more. If your team is looking for an activity that doesn’t involve a lot of walking around but is still stimulating for all ages, the Great Escape Room is a perfect choice. 300 E Madison St, Tampa, FL 33602


Florida Aquarium

Amalie ArenaOne of the largest aquariums in the state, the Florida Aquarium is home to over 8,000 individual plants and animals. The aquarium holds a diverse collection of species from fish that swim the waters of the Caribbean to animals that are native to Florida’s own wetlands. Their special Journey to Madagascar exhibit includes both marine and terrestrial animals like the Madagascar tortoise, the ring-tailed lemur, and reefs native to the island’s waters. The crown jewel of the aquarium is its vibrant coral reef ecosystem that’s contained within 500,000 gallons of natural seawater.

For younger teams, there are plenty of educational exhibits and group tours that can be arranged in advance, even sleepovers! Young attendees will also be delighted with the facility’s touch tanks that keep stingrays and invertebrates like starfish and anemones. 701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602


American Victory Ship Mariners Museum

Part of the National Register of Historic Places, the SS American Victory is an ex-cargo ship currently operating as a floating military museum that has been docked in Tampa since 1999. The American Victory Ship Mariners Museum houses two and a half decades of history from its tenure as a U.S. cargo vessel with collections of uniforms, medals, and photographs from WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. One notable artifact from WWII is an original propeller from a German U-boat sunk in 1942.

You and your team can choose to sign up for a guided tour or explore the ship’s nooks and crannies on your own. Certain sections of the ship, including the captain’s quarters and galley, have been restored to their vintage appearance, but the entire vessel is still seaworthy. Almost the entirety of the ship is open to the public to see, including the steering stations, weaponry, and the crew’s personal cabins. 705 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602


Places to Eat


Florida chain and local choice pick Toojay’s serves up Jewish deli fare and their own freshly baked breads. You and your team can try deli classics like corned beef and pastrami on rye or brisket as well as more adventurous dishes like liverwurst or beef tongue. Traditional Jewish favorites like matzo ball soup and hot latkes topped with smoked salmon, sour cream, and arugula are also on their menu.

Toojay’s lives up to all the roles of a deli, restaurant, and bakery. This is reflected in offerings like their creamy seafood chowder or decadent Banana Dream French Toast topped with chocolate chips and powdered sugar. Be sure to save room so that you and your team can indulge in one of Toojay’s delectable desserts, such as New York-style cheesecake or golden coconut macaroons. 401 E Jackson St, Tampa, FL 33602


Victory Coffee

While you’re in Tampa, you and your team are going to have a whole day of things to do on top of your visit to the Amalie Arena. Starting off the day with a solid meal so that everyone has energy is important and Victory Coffee has you covered for breakfast. Their egg white breakfast wrap is a good choice if you’re in the mood for something savory. It has feta, garlic roasted tomatoes, spinach, and lemon vinaigrette tied together in an herb wrap. An absolute must-try is the freshly baked Cuban toast where thick slices of bread are buttered and pressed until golden.

If anybody wants to skip breakfast and just grab a coffee instead, they have an extensive brew list to pick from, such as pour-over, cold brew, and lattes. Less caffeinated hot drinks are offered too, including loose leaf tea and their signature dark hot chocolate. Victory Coffee also stocks bagels and other baked goods that come in gluten-free varieties as well. 101 N 12th St, Tampa, FL 33602


Eddie & Sam’s N.Y. Pizza

Amalie ArenaNatives of New York City are known to be a bit particular about their style of pizza, but this kind of pride is well earned. Eddie & Sam’s N.Y. Pizza was founded by two New York City natives who knew that the local water gives the dough its particular qualities and helps foster maximum authenticity with their thin-crust pizza. The results deliver, Eddie & Sam’s is the highest rated pizza place in Tampa by a big margin.

As beloved as it is, pizza isn’t always a food that appeals to everybody. The good thing is that Eddie & Sam’s has lots of other Italian favorites to choose from, such as cold and hot sandwiches, and their eggplant parmigiana. For dessert they have two dozen different flavors of gelato to choose from, so whether you’re a fan of lemon, chocolate, or something more exotic, you’ll be able to enjoy a cold treat. Even though you’ll be over 1,000 miles from New York while visiting the Amalie Arena, Eddie & Sam’s brings that culinary authenticity to Tampa. 203 E Twiggs St, Tampa, FL 33602


Bamboozle Channelside

If you and your team have a hankering for Vietnamese cuisine, Bamboozle Channelside is a place that doesn’t sacrifice healthiness for flavor or vice versa. Childhood favorites of the restaurant’s founder and among customers, Bamboozle’s fresh made rolls are their specialty. Light and crispy, these rolls may be small but they’re packed with flavor that’s brought out by red peppers, cucumber, mango, and other fillings. Other Vietnamese classics are their chicken pate sandwich with jalapeno and cilantro and bahn xeo, a pork and shrimp crepe with red onion. You don’t have to worry if anybody on your team doesn’t eat meat; Bamboozle has a wide selection of vegetarian options too.

Settling for just water to drink at Bamboozle is a mistake when they have such a large drink menu. You and your team can opt for bubble tea with bobas, bean-sized balls of tapioca, or one of their specialty smoothies like avocado or coconut pineapple. Bamboozle Channelside is also conveniently located on the same street as the Amalie Arena, so you and your team will only be a short trek from good food at any time during the day. 109 N 12th St, Tampa, FL 33602


As one of the culture hubs of central Florida, Tampa has a wealth of activities, sights, and eats to enjoy while you’re visiting. Just because you’ve got an event to attend doesn’t mean that you should ignore the rest of Tampa. As you can see, this city has something to enjoy for everyone, no matter the age.