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AirJay78

Downtown vibrance

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Hey all, I'm new to orlando, only been here for 2 1/2 years. And I only been to tampa in passing once. My question if anyone can answer is.... does downtown tampa have a nightlife equal or greater that the small night life in downtown orlando? Or is it like Miami or in between. Thanks all...

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At this time, Downtown Orlando has more nightlife than Downtown Tampa (If your definition of nightlife is bars and restaurants). If you consider Channelside part of Downtown Tampa Proper which many people do than I think it helps Tampa's Downtown vibrancy as a whole. Tampa's projects are just underway and I think you will see infill development between Downtown, Channelside, Ybor, Tampa Heights and it this will help give the area a better flow. Many projects underway in Downtown like Trump Tower and SkyPoint will make downtown a better place to live. I believe the success of downtown's vibrancy hinges on Franklin Street, riverwalk and the art museum. Franklin Street was the essence of Tampa in it's glory days and should be made the focus of the new downtown. Some new restaurants like Spain are starting to make Downtown Tampa a bit more sophisticated. In my opinion South Tampa has become Tampa's living and working downtown (including Harbour Island). Hyde Park, Soho, Westshore are urban areas with suburban/urban housing and really are the heartbeat of Tampa. Downtown St. Pete is a far more interesting downtown at this time, but Tampa will get there and has the right ingredients for success (waterfront, riverfront, entertainment, Forum sports arena, hotels, business). I think it starts with people living there!!

Downtown Orlando may have downtown Miami beat...I haven't been to Miami in 2 years, but thought all the action was in Miami Beach ala 'South Beach'. There did not seem to be much in Downtown Miami other than a Waterside Marketplace, but I will be there next month and will be excited to see how much it changed. :whistling:

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While downtown Tampa, outside of Channelside, lacks the nightlife scene of downtown Orlando, Ybor City (about a mile to the east of downtown Tampa) is one of the largest nightlife and entertainment districts in the Country. Imo, as far as the South goes, only South Beach and the French Quarter are larger.

As far as vibrancy goes, I was pretty impressed with downtown Miami's retail scene, when I visited a couple of years ago. While nightlife still reigns king in South Beach and Coconut Grove, I consider downtown Miami to be more vibrant than both downtown Tampa and Orlando, since its pretty strong in the office and retail sectors.

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Ybor certainly has the potential to gain the vibrancy, and even density, of South Beach or the French Quarter given its grid layout, though its not even close right now. I spent a considerable amount of time this summer both in downtown Orlando and Ybor, and bias aside downtown Orlando has a more diverse clubbing experience. The clubs are better, the bars are better, the street scenes are more eclectic and the people are WAY more interesting. I know this is all subjective, and maybe I'm just not into the drunken frat scene, but thats how I experienced it. Further, I'm not convinced that Ybor or Tampa has a larger nightscene than downtown Orlando. While Ybor is centered on 5th, Orlando's extends from Orange, Church, Central and down into Thornton Park. It would be interesting to actually see some numbers on this. South Beach is of course in a world of its own.

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Ybor certainly has the potential to gain the vibrancy, and even density, of South Beach or the French Quarter given its grid layout, though its not even close right now. I spent a considerable amount of time this summer both in downtown Orlando and Ybor, and bias aside downtown Orlando has a more diverse clubbing experience. The clubs are better, the bars are better, the street scenes are more eclectic and the people are WAY more interesting. I know this is all subjective, and maybe I'm just not into the drunken frat scene, but thats how I experienced it. Further, I'm not convinced that Ybor or Tampa has a larger nightscene than downtown Orlando. While Ybor is centered on 5th, Orlando's extends from Orange, Church, Central and down into Thornton Park. It would be interesting to actually see some numbers on this. South Beach is of course in a world of its own.

I guess its in the eyes of the beholder. As an urban entertaiment district, I've always considered Ybor to be pretty diverse, while I was living in Lakeland. I agree that downtown Orlando is more yuppified, while Ybor can get a little rowdy at times, but to me the main difference between Ybor and downtown Orlando, other than the number of bars, is it has the historical and cultural factor aspect going for it, and the architecture and the business offerings seem to be a little more diverse.

By this, I mean its also got places like Improv Comedy Club, Muvico Theathers, Gameworks and the growing number of retail shops that stay open late into the night. Most of the bars having 2nd floor balconies, which makes the street (7th Avenue) more lively, also adds to its vibrancy, imo. In the end, given its unique setting, its just something other cities can't create, no matter how hard they try.

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I guess its in the eyes of the beholder. As an urban entertaiment district, I've always considered Ybor to be pretty diverse, while I was living in Lakeland. I agree that downtown Orlando is more yuppified, while Ybor can get a little rowdy at times, but to me the main difference between Ybor and downtown Orlando, other than the number of bars, is it has the historical and cultural factor aspect going for it, and the architecture and the business offerings seem to be a little more diverse.

By this, I mean its also got places like Improv Comedy Club, Muvico Theathers, Gameworks and the growing number of retail shops that stay open late into the night. Most of the bars having 2nd floor balconies, which makes the street (7th Avenue) more lively, also adds to its vibrancy, imo. In the end, given its unique setting, its just something other cities can't create, no matter how hard they try.

Well I wouldn't say that Orlando is trying to emulate Ybor City; I find it to be unique on its own. As for as I see it, both Ybor and downtown Orlando are off each other's radar. I agree that Ybor is an architecturally rich district and that adds to its ambiance. As for comparing businesses, like I said before, other than the movie theater (which of course Orlando will have in less than a year now) Orlando also has its own comedy club, rowdy bars, yuppie bars, clubs, etc., not to mention a growing number of retail outlets and street vendors. To be fair, I will say that I think these two places are moving in different directions (Orlando catering to an edgier, hip crowd, Ybor more of a Bourbon St type atmosphere).

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To be fair, I will say that I think these two places are moving in different directions (Orlando catering to an edgier, hip crowd, Ybor more of a Bourbon St type atmosphere).

I agree. I think South Howard and the Channel District, will continue to evolve into Tampa's upscale nightlife areas, while Ybor will maintain a more festival-type atmosphere.

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I agree with Para, downtown Orlando has different crowd than Ybor. Just same as downtown Orlando vs CityWalk. And the "feelings" is a bit diffefrent when your club is directly under highrise compared to club in a 2 stories building. Dont you agree?

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Yes the settings are very different. Which one attracts you the most depends on the person. Ybor is a cultural rich, gritty type French Quarter, Cleveland Warehouse District, Pittsburgh's Strip District-type feel, with a Latin theme (makes you want to light up a cuban cigar) while downtown Orlando's is a much more modern, preppy young professional-type atmosphere (Sushi, anyone?). Orlando.....you network/have a nice dinner, Ybor.....you get drunk and pull out the beads.

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Yes the settings are very different. Which one attracts you the most depends on the person. Ybor is a cultural rich, gritty type French Quarter, Cleveland Warehouse District, Pittsburgh's Strip District-type feel, with a Latin theme (makes you want to light up a cigar) while downtown Orlando's is a much more modern, preppy young professional-type atmosphere (Sushi, anyone?). Orlando.....you network/have a nice dinner, Ybor.....you get drunk and pull out the beads.

Yea!

Never been to either place, but Ybor sounds good.

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I fall in line with most of the opinions here. Ybor gives a nod to the French Quarter and Orlando is a little more urban. Tampa is more historical and Orlando has more variety. They're both great and a little different from each other. When both cities have their residential projects in the development stages finished they'll be even better. Orlando is growing the core downtown and creating a vibrant area. When Tampa fills in the areas between Channelside, Ybor, and downtown with more residential it will be impressive. It's all coming together.

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I fall in line with most of the opinions here. Ybor gives a nod to the French Quarter and Orlando is a little more urban. Tampa is more historical and Orlando has more variety. They're both great and a little different from each other. When both cities have their residential projects in the development stages finished they'll be even better. Orlando is growing the core downtown and creating a vibrant area. When Tampa fills in the areas between Channelside, Ybor, and downtown with more residential it will be impressive. It's all coming together.

I used to live in the East Coast for many years, so had my fair share of ORlando and Miami scenes. Although, mostly in Orlando at Church Street and other pocket areas. Tampa's nice clubs are spread out though, from Hyde Park, International Plaza, to the beach side across the bay, and Harbour Island to Channelside and Ybor.

But I think the downtown Tampa will be really great once we fill in the residents. I, for one, am now a new downtown resident moving from the burbs. There are a lot of activities that might be different from downtown Orlando, like waterfront scenery overlooking cruise ships and personal yachts.

Check out http://www.visittampabay.com/meetings/whats_new.php for some info.

Plus after a nice night at the club, you can do some basking in the sun at the beach the next morning. Or perhaps enjoy a professional game watching the Devil Rays, Buccaneers, or Lightning.

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Yes the settings are very different. Which one attracts you the most depends on the person. Ybor is a cultural rich, gritty type French Quarter, Cleveland Warehouse District, Pittsburgh's Strip District-type feel, with a Latin theme (makes you want to light up a cuban cigar) while downtown Orlando's is a much more modern, preppy young professional-type atmosphere (Sushi, anyone?). Orlando.....you network/have a nice dinner, Ybor.....you get drunk and pull out the beads.

That about sums it up to me. Ofcourse, there are some exceptions in both cases.

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The entertainment shift from Ybor to Downtown is in the works.

Stay tuned Ladies and Gents! :D

I agree. You'll see a shift of focus to downtown and Channelside. Ybor might actually suffer a little till the market settles and more residential projects are built. Orlando saw these types of shifts 10 years ago when Disney and Universal built their entertainment districts. The downtown area suffered for a few years then came back even stronger when the population growth caught up to the expanding entertainment market. If and when residential fills the areas between Ybor, Channelside and downtown, all areas will take off.

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At this time, Downtown Orlando has more nightlife than Downtown Tampa (If your definition of nightlife is bars and restaurants). If you consider Channelside part of Downtown Tampa Proper which many people do than I think it helps Tampa's Downtown vibrancy as a whole. Tampa's projects are just underway and I think you will see infill development between Downtown, Channelside, Ybor, Tampa Heights and it this will help give the area a better flow. Many projects underway in Downtown like Trump Tower and SkyPoint will make downtown a better place to live. I believe the success of downtown's vibrancy hinges on Franklin Street, riverwalk and the art museum. Franklin Street was the essence of Tampa in it's glory days and should be made the focus of the new downtown. Some new restaurants like Spain are starting to make Downtown Tampa a bit more sophisticated. In my opinion South Tampa has become Tampa's living and working downtown (including Harbour Island). Hyde Park, Soho, Westshore are urban areas with suburban/urban housing and really are the heartbeat of Tampa. Downtown St. Pete is a far more interesting downtown at this time, but Tampa will get there and has the right ingredients for success (waterfront, riverfront, entertainment, Forum sports arena, hotels, business). I think it starts with people living there!!

Downtown Orlando may have downtown Miami beat...I haven't been to Miami in 2 years, but thought all the action was in Miami Beach ala 'South Beach'. There did not seem to be much in Downtown Miami other than a Waterside Marketplace, but I will be there next month and will be excited to see how much it changed. :whistling:

2 years ago I would have agreed but now some of Miami's best clubs are downtown, Be sure to check out Space,Pawn Shop, And Metropolis. All new clubs and great hip young scene ENJOY!

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