With such a wide variety of attractions and activities, Tampa is a destination that can appeal to just about everyone. From theme parks to museums, here are some of the very best things to do in Tampa.
Florida is famous for its theme parks, and Tampa definitely does not fall short in this category. Busch Gardens is the main theme park here, and prides itself on being the ultimate adventure park for the entire family. From thrill rides to roller coasters, including the tallest dive coaster in the world, to gentle, child-friendly rides and animal attractions, the options here seem almost endless. Busch Gardens is also home to Adventure Island, which is a 30 acre tropical water park that features a variety of water adventures.
Safari Wilderness Ranch
For those who want to experience the magic of the Serengeti without ever having to set foot outside of the country, the Safari Wilderness Ranch is the perfect place to visit. This 260 acre reserve will appeal to any animal or nature lover, with either safari or camelback tours to choose from.
The Tampa Riverwalk is definitely a must-do for those visiting the city, as this 2.5 mile pedestrian walkway will take you through some of the very best of Tampa’s attractions. From the Florida Aquarium to Kiley Gardens, there is a wide range of attractions and cultural landmarks to be found here. For those who want to stop for a bite to eat, the Sail Pavilion is a 360 degree bar that offers fantastic views of the waterfront, while Ulele is considered to be one of the top restaurants in the country, serving up dishes that have been inspired by Florida’s original natives.
When visiting a new destination, it is always a good idea to spend some time learning more about its history and culture, and Tampa has some great museums available at which you can do exactly that. The Tampa Bay History Center features over 12,000 years of Florida’s history, and is a great starting point, before moving on to the Tampa Museum of Art, where you will find pieces ranging from ancient times to the modern day. The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts will appeal to anyone interested in photography, while the Glazer Children’s Museum is guaranteed to keep any young visitors entertained. The Henry B. Plant Museum is another must-visit, not only for the incredible building that it is housed in, but also for the way in which its exhibits beautifully document early tourism in Florida.
With plenty of sunshine throughout the year, it comes as no surprise that Tampa boasts some gorgeous public parks that are a joy to explore. Highlights include the Bok Tower Gardens, which are also a National Historic Landmark, Lettuce Lake Park, Ballast Point Park and Cypress Point Park, the latter of which has a large number of hiking trails.
There is so much to do in Tampa, and if you are only visiting for a short period of time, you need to plan your days extremely carefully so that you do not miss out on anything. From the adrenaline-pumping fun to be had at Busch Gardens, to the history, culture and art at the many Tampa museums, this is a city that offers up an endless array of things to do.