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“An Oasis from the Madness”
Review of Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs
Ranked #27 of 196 things to do in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Brecon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“An Oasis from the Madness”
Reviewed April 15, 2012

Spent the day here with some West Virginian friends, (their first time at the races), and what a joy, perfect weather, great racing, albeit no winners were picked, and such a relief to be away from the crowds and queues at the attractions in Orlando. Everything was on site, food and drink, free to enter on weekdays. Friendly and accommodating staff. You are able to get up close to all of the action. Well worth a visit, a great day out.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank Newbie2btrue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thunder Bay Canada
Level Contributor
102 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“"A very fun day"”
Reviewed March 20, 2012

You don't even have to bet, but it does make it fun, you can spend $20.00 betting for the whole afternoon if you want, or much more, but the best part was going down to the area where the horses are checked before they race, we saw the jockeys close up and the horses, it was really a great afternoon!!

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank lowfatmomma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“If you're a racetrack connoisseur then you should check out Tampa Bay Downs”
Reviewed February 24, 2012

I generally try to visit any horseracing track that I come across whether it's for horse related business or just for fun. Tampa Bay Downs ranks with my favorites because I'm not a big gambler and just like to enjoy the spectacle in a fun environment, which this tracks delivers. Admission is free on weekdays and draft beer is $2 until 3pm! Best to come early by noon because the parking lots fill up fast.

Lots of huge picnic tables right on the track rail get you close to the action and encourages strangers to sit together, so it's easy to meet and talk to people. There's even a big tent with picnic tables and concessions outside of the grandstand right on the turn for home, where you can bring your own picnic food! You won't see any of this at big corporate tracks like Churchill Downs or Gulfstream Park (as of Feb 2012 anyway).

Interesting that Tampa Bay Downs has a Poker Room but no slot machines or other table games, and it has big windows looking over the racetrack. I loved sitting in there at the bar watching the races while my husband tried his skills at Texas Hold'em. The food in the Poker Room is an excellent value, with waitress table service, and something for every taste on the menu. This spot called "The Silks Room" gets a huge favorable review from me.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank amy4hsales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Port Richey, Florida
Level Contributor
231 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 204 helpful votes
“Great Fun, Rain or Shine”
Reviewed February 17, 2012

If you like thoroughbred racing in a comfortable setting, this is the place to come. Ten races every afternoon, Wednesday through Sunday. The larger purses seem to be scheduled for Saturdays, and many of the restaurants are only open Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Parking is free, there is a $3 fee to enter the Clubhouse, and there’s an additional $3 fee if you wish to eat in the Sports Gallery or the Skye Terrace. We were not appropriately dressed for the Terrace, which was disappointing, since the website doesn’t tell you what the dress code is, but the food at the Sports Gallery was similar, excellent, and a bit cheaper, although neither restaurant is exorbitant. They offer a wide range of snacks and appetizers, salads, sandwiches and limited entrees. Service in the Sports Gallery was adequate. I would hope the Terrace would be more professional.

You can also order box items in the clubhouse and eat there while you watch the races. The Sports Gallery offers television access to the Tampa Bay races, as well as racing from many other tracks, including the Meadowlands in New Jersey. Skye Terrace, up two levels, overlooks the track and also provides TV support.

There is also a facility for poker, and a golf center. The track opens at 11am, racing begins at 12:25pm. And, because of the nature of the business, this is an adult-friendly environment.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank Tom B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southington, Connecticut
Level Contributor
52 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Good Change of Pace”
Reviewed February 16, 2012

If you're looking for a break away from shopping or beaches, try your luck at Tampa Bay Downs. During a recent visit to the Tarpon Springs area my wife and I found this horse track to be just the place to spend the afternoon. With the paddock right next to the track, it's a convenient place to view these thoroughbreds up close and personal. Indoor and outdoor seating (or standing) is generous. On weekdays admission is free. Draft beer is $2.00 before 3 PM. All in all, a fun visit and you might win a few $$$.

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank dodger16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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