Things to Do

17 Things to do when visiting Tampa Bay

17 Things to do when visiting Tampa Bay

Tampa is an extraordinary city that has a lot to offer its visitors in terms of activities and places to visit. From kid friendly activities to hopping nightclubs. There is a little something for everyone to enjoy in the beautiful beach city. If you find yourself visiting Tampa, be sure to check out the awesome activities and venues listed below to have a once in a lifetime visit.

Top 17 Best Things to Do in Tampa

Florida Aquarium

Giant Sea Turtle Florida Aquarium

The Florida Aquarium is a two hundred fifty thousand foot aquarium that houses an enormous collection of marine life. Currently, there are over fourteen thousand animals in the facility for your viewing pleasure. Try the Swim and Dive experience.  This is offered where visitors have the ability to swim beside live sea creatures such as sharks, sea turtles, and moray eels. The Wild Dolphin Cruise is a seventy five minute tour on a seventy two foot powered catamaran. The catamaran takes visitors far into Tampa Bay to see the area’s bottle-nose dolphins and other local wildlife. There is a 4D theater available on the premise in addition to an indoor splash park that is included in the price of admission.

Busch Gardens Tampa

Iron Gwazi Coming Soon

Busch Gardens is one of the most well known and popular theme parks in the United States. This venue is home to food festivals, live concerts, and even holiday themed events throughout the year. With thrill rides and animal attractions, it is easy to see why so many people flock here each year. In 2020, Busch Gardens is expected to welcome the opening of Iron Gwazi. It is going to be North America’s tallest hybrid coaster. Iron Gwazi will also be named the fastest and steepest hybrid roller-coaster in the entire world. Family friendly live shows are available throughout the theme park.

ZooTampa at Lowry Park

Indian Rhino Encounter at ZooTampa

ZooTampa at Lowry Park is an award winning sixty three acre zoo. It houses animals from all over the world, in addition to animals that are native to Florida. Visitors can see animals ranging from African penguins to pygmy hippos in an up close and personal way by signing up for interactive animal encounters. Special events are held throughout the year, especially during the holiday season. In addition to a handful of amusement rides, a water play area is offered that is included in the price of admission.

Big Cat Rescue

Tiger at Big Cat Rescue of Tampa

Tampa is known for being an ideal for animal lovers to visit and vacation because of venues such as Big Cat Rescue. Big Cat Rescue is a sixty seven acre sanctuary for one hundred animals from fourteen different species. Visitors who want to see more up close action are urged to book a feed or night tour because that is when the cats are most active. The facility is dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating exotic leopards, tigers, bobcats, and more. Abandoned, abused, or retired performance cats usually find their way to this exceptional nonprofit organization.

Adventure Island

Ariel view of Adventure Island Water Park

Tampa’s largest water park, Adventure Island is a must for any family with children. With ten water slides, a lazy river, and a seventeen thousand square foot wave pool, Adventure Island is an ideal location for some aquatic fun that will appeal to both children and adults. This water park has over thirty acres of rides, pools, and other fun filled activities that will keep you busy for hours. Adventure Island is located directly across the street from Busch Gardens.

Tampa Riverwalk

The Tampa Riverwalk

Visitors who are looking for a cost friendly activity will love the Tampa Riverwalk, which runs along the Hillsborough River. For no cost, tourists can bike, walk, or skate this two and a half mile trail that accesses top local shops, restaurants, and parks. The Tampa Riverwalk is a great way to explore Tampa’s hidden treasures at a leisurely pace, no matter what time of year it is.

Ybor City

Centro Ybor City

For some of Tampa’s liveliest bars, pubs, and restaurants, Ybor City is the place to visit. Not only is Ybor City the ideal place to snag authentic Cuban food and cigars, but you can also enjoy some of the most interesting nighttime entertainment. Visit this area of Tampa to feel and taste the culture and tradition of the local area.

East Bay Raceway

East Bay Raceway

East Bay Raceway offers motocross in addition to dirt track car racing. Visitors of all ages will love watching the nonstop racing action this one of a kind venue has to offer. Any motorhead will fall head over heels in love with the down home racing at East Bay Raceway.

Tampa Museum of Art

Tampa Museum of Art

Nestled by the riverfront in the heart of downtown Tampa, this facility offers a huge collection of contemporary, ancient, and modern art exhibits. The Tampa Museum of Art has the largest Roman and Greek antiquities in the United States. While the facility is small in size, it is full of artistic wonders that are too good to miss. The museum is celebrating its one hundred birthday with a special exhibit. This exhibit will feature stunning works that represent the collection history of the institution.

Tampa Theater

Tamp Theatre Onstage

Built in 1926, the Tampa Theater has been rated as one of the top most beautiful theaters in the entire world because of its stunning architecture. In short, the Tampa Theater is the ideal location for a date night or you can bring the whole family along for a night out. The theater showcases classic movies in addition to modern new releases. It is an affordable venue to enjoy the historical beauty Tampa has to offer.

Sunken Gardens

Beautiful Sunken Gardens St Pete

The Sunken Gardens have been in existence for nearly a century, which makes it one of the oldest roadside botanical garden attractions in America. The four acre garden is home to some of the region’s oldest tropical plants. Book one of the garden tours to view cascading waterfalls. There are also more than fifty thousand tropical flowers and plants. The Sunken Garden provides panoramic views that will take your breath away.

Speedboat Adventure

Multiple locations in Tampa offer guided speedboat tours that allow you to zoom past the Tampa coastline on your own aquatic adventure. Most tours last anywhere from two to three hours.  Furthermore this is a great way to see the natural beauty Tampa has to offer. On one of these tours, visitors have the potential to see manatees, dolphins, and other exotic wildlife.

Manatee Viewing Center

If you desire to see the cows of the ocean, the Manatee Viewing Center is the ideal place to visit in Tampa. The wildlife observation tower is the perfect location to view local animals in their natural habitats. The habitat trail is great for hiking. On the other hand, the ninety foot tidal walk can provide an up close view of coast plant and animal life. The Manatee Viewing Center is accessible to the public for free. It is the ideal location to take in the natural beauty Tampa has to offer.

Glazer Children’s Museum

Located in downtown Tampa, the Glazer Children’s Museum is an interactive laboratory of learning for kids of all ages. With exhibits such as Central Bank, where children can learn about the industry of banking, this facility is one that is educational and fun. Both seasonal events and special programs are offered throughout the year. Glazer Children’s Museum uses innovation to jump start the new generation’s imagination. Additionally, even parents will find themselves joining in on the learning fun.

Tampa Bay Brewing Company

As one of the most successful and popular micro-brews in Tampa, the Tampa Bay Brewing Company has eight labels for visitors to enjoy. The Tampa Bay Brewing Company is the ideal place to kick back, have a few drinks, and enjoy a burger and fries. Not only is the food and beer highly rated, the atmosphere of this venue is also what sets it apart from other facilities. Plus, the prices are reasonable.

Croc Encounters

For those who are looking to take a walk on the wildlife side of Tampa, check out Croc Encounters. It can provide guided tours that can get guests within spitting distance of real live crocodiles, lizards, and snakes. Also, this reptile park and wildlife center is home to exotic birds, tortoises, and other natural wildlife. Alligator feeding and wrestling shows are scheduled daily. Further more, this allows visitors to get right up front with real wildlife. In fact, the crocodiles, gators, and other animals in this nature sanctuary have been rescued by this extraordinary wildlife sanctuary.

Fort de Soto Park

Of course, don’t go to Tampa and miss out on visiting the beautiful Fort de Soto Park. Camping, boating, and kayaking can all be enjoyed at this breathtaking location. More than three hundred twenty eight species of birds call this area of Tampa home. The annual attendance of two million visitors, Fort de Soto Park is the perfect place to spend a day. Whether it’s with the family or to enjoy a romantic picnic for two. Overall, eleven boating docks, three miles of white beaches, and over two hundred family campsites are all what you can find at this stunning beach.

Bobbie Cochrane is a professional freelance writer from Salem, Indiana. She is currently attending Ashford University to obtain her Bachelor’s in English. She loves writing, drag shows, and spending time with her wife and kids.