Florida Guide > Shopping
The International Mall, Tampa
In June we visited our villa, and when we had to move out for the arrival of our next guests we decided to spend a couple of days in Tampa, just down the I-4.
We were fortunate to find a wonderful mall nearby, the large, upscale International Mall, adjacent to Tampa International Airport. With its four fashionable department stores, 200 speciality shops and Bay St at the Plaza – an open air village of fine restaurants and small boutiques - it is a great place for some retail therapy.
Like so many Floridian malls, this one offers a relaxing and airy shopping venue, with comfortable seating areas, exciting shops and eateries, fountains, glass and marble, and a children’s play area. This two storey centre has an adjacent outdoor lifestyle centre. There are also 16 restaurants, catering for all tastes – from fast food to full service restaurants –something for everyone.
Open from 10 00 am to 9. 00 pm Monday to Friday, and from 11. 00 pm to 6. 00 pm on Sundays, this is one mall not to miss if you happen to be down Tampa way. The mall is located in the Westshore business district of Tampa, Florida, and is well signposted. It opened in 2001, and now even has a hotel onsite – the Renaissance Hotel, Tampa International Plaza.
Its anchor stores are the department stores Dillards, Nordstrom, Robb and Stucky Interiors, Ballard Designs and Neiman Marcus. Among the 200 stores are Bose, The Apple Store, Coach, Diesl, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Oakely, Tiffany and Co. , Abercrombie and Fitch, Hollister, Sony Style, and LUSH Cosmetics – which, incidentally, started business in a tiny shop in Poole, Dorset, and is now worldwide. You can’t help but be drawn into it by the wonderful aromas of their soaps and bath accessories. A new two storey Crate and Barrel was built on site in a separate building, adjacent to Ocean Prime, a steak and seafood restaurant.
Beside it is the Bay Street area, which is an outdoor plaza with upscale restaurants, bars and cafes in a sidewalk cafe setting, together with several boutiques. Amongst the restaurants here are The Cheesecake Restaurant, The Earl of Sandwich, Champps, The Capital Grille, Gelateria Del Duomo and The Grape.
This open air plaza becomes a popular nightspot after the shops close, and most of the restaurants stay open late. There are also two nightclubs, Bar Louie and Blue Martini, which are popular with the young professional crowd. New clubs will be opening shortly, which will make this even more popular as a night spot.
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