Tampa Bay may not seem like the ultimate fall destination, with never ending palm trees and sand beaches, not much changes here.
However, the crisp fall mornings and dry season brings the fall and spooky season spirit alive in the Tampa Bay.
Florida doesn’t usually come to mind when you think about fall, but rest assured, there is PLENTY to do in and around the Tampa Bay to keep the fall spirit going. Read along to see my top picks of places to go and see before the winter season hits!
Farmers, Markets, and Patches
Hit up some pumpkin patches and farmers markets. You would be surprised with just how many pumpkin patches have taken root in the Tampa Bay area, below are a few of my favorites!
Sweetfields Farm –
North of Tampa, right on the Hernando County and Pasco County line, lies a farm destined to become a must visit every fall season. Sweetfields has become a staple in the Tampa Bay with their sunflowers in the spring and pumpkins in the fall.
Sweetfields has pumpkins galore, family fun activities, Instagram picture spots, friendly farm animals, hay rides, and their premier activity – their ladybug corn maze.
The three hour time slot may seem like a lot of time to spend on a farm in central Florida, but trust me, you can spend an entire day here.
Be sure to hurry and get tickets for their fall festival and buy your tickets before hand because they DO sell out!
Bearss Groves –
Last year, Bearss Groves was home to Florida’s largest pumpkin. No word on their pumpkin sizes for this year just yet but the farmers market is a great place to get into the fall spirit.
Their market is full of Florida local jams, honey’s, sodas, and of course produce. Stop in and get the freshest ingredients for your favorite fall meal.
Gallagher’s Pumpkins & Christmas Trees –
Gallagher’s was the hottest picture spot in the Tampa Bay last year – and they’re back on 4th Street North for round two. Nestled right into the hustle and bustle of 4th St. North in St. Petersburg, Gallagher’s was tending to their bustling pumpkin business.
Gallagher’s recently reopened their pumpkin market and will be shuffling pumpkins and people through their market until the tree season comes!
Something a little different this year at Gallaghers is that they will be requiring reservations for photoshoots to allow for more time.
Wineries are the perfect excuse to whisk your partner away for a date night, or hang out and have a girls night.
Nothing screams fall more than wine night.
Keel & Curley Winery –
Keel Farms is home to a winery along with their Agrarian Ale and Cider, full of exquisite wines, tasty food, savory beer, and of course some added in ciders!
Get into fall by picking your favorite wine from your very own wine tasting then taking the tour to explore the farm and vineyard.
Keel Farms will be hosting hay rides and pumpkin picking sessions for you and your friends this season.
Strong Tower Vineyard –
Some say wine Wednesday, Strong Tower says wine Friday, but really wine is great any day of the week, especially when you’re having some Strong Tower wine.
Strong Tower is up in Spring Hill, but worth the drive from the city to enjoy their late Friday nights, which always include a food truck to pair with your wine.
Be sure to bring your wallet because you’re going to want to stock up on this wine!
Cuddle up with your significant other, pup, or best friend and enjoy your favorite fall flick at one of the unique movie theaters in the Tampa Bay.
Movie releases are currently on hold but there three spots are showing your classics with a twist!
Sparkman Wharf –
Sparkman Wharf became a favorite gathering spot in the bay area when it opened in 2018 and launched the Water Street and Channelside renovations and builds.
Between the delicious foods served, community events, and concert pregames, Sparkman Wharf also hosts movies on the lawn, a perfect excuse to cuddle up tight to your date in the chilly fall nights!
Looking to sit inside, and by inside I mean the back room of a trendy, speakeasy style restaurant right on Main Street in Safety Harbor, all while sipping on your movie inspired cocktail?
If you answered yes to that completely overloaded question, then Gigglewaters is the place for you!
Gigglewaters is a hip restaurant in downtown Safety Harbor with a 32 seat (currently 16) screening room in the back. Each movie has a paired cocktail and seat service serving up popcorn and a wide variety of delectable burgers – which can come as Impossible burgers for all of my veg friends!
Fall in the north means hiking to see the fall foliage and watching the leaves change from greens to yellows and oranges. In Florida our fall foliage is, well, our all year foliage, but that doesn’t make it any less spectacular.
Fall can be the perfect time to get your Florida hiking in, with cooler days, less people, and that slight breeze; hiking will be your new favorite fall activity. Get outside and explore what Florida has to offer – just, without all of the sweat, or, less of the sweat.
Sawgrass Lake Park –
Sawgrass Lake Park is full of boardwalks and easy trails to explore by yourself, with a date, your furry friend, and even children. This park has something for everyone, even the gators love it!
Go out for an afternoon walk at the park or set up a cute picnic with the gators. Either way, this park gives major cozy vibes right in the center of St. Petersburg.
Hillsborough River State Park –
Looking to explore the miles upon miles of trails Hillsborough River State Park offers? Fall is the perfect time to get your alligator viewing in while exploring the Florida foliage.
Weedon Island Preserve –
Full of mangroves, trails, history, boardwalks, and even an observation tower, Weedon Island is the perfect place to experience all Florida has to offer, minus the summer sun.
Take a stroll around their many boardwalks leading to secluded coves and watch the fish jump out of the water or go for a more strenuous hike through the wooded trails or even make your hike pure Florida and hop in a kayak and explore the endless water trails hidden below the mangrove canopies.
We’re getting to that time of year again when all of the gardens start filling up with Santa hat wearing pink flamingos.
Take a trip to one of the many gardens and enjoy the holiday lights while holding a steaming cup of hot cocoa.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens –
The lights at Selby Gardens aren’t on display until December 11, but there’s no need to wait for a Selby Gardens trip!
Explore the acres of gardens without rushing into the air conditioning every 10 minutes.
Selby Gardens is the perfect escape, hidden below the shadows of the downtown skyscrapers, the gardens give a refuge from the upscale, city life of Sarasota and now they can be explored all day without struggling in the Florida heat!
The Florida Botanical Gardens –
The start date of the holiday lights in the botanical gardens starts on November 26, but you can still explore the gardens before the rush of the holiday lights season.
If you’re all about the lights, keep a close eye out for when the lights will return because they have one of the most spectacular light displays in the area. You’re going to want hours to explore all of their light creations and of course all of their plant life.
Bonus Picks in Tampa Bay –
- Take a fall weekend trip to Savannah
- Spend a day in Safety Harbor
- Check out the Christmas decor at The Biltmore Estate
- Spend a day on the river
- Spend the day in Gulfport
Follow along on social for more tips, tricks, and travel inspo!
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