Tampa is a fusion of Floridian culture, history, and modern attractions. On one side there is Hillsborough River and alligator-filled waterways and on the other side, there are vertical drops and exotic animal exhibits.
All you move towards downtown you will find delicious restaurants and all-new river walks. Ybor City is the center for all the cafes and eateries. There are is a dolphin bay, gulf seafood, museums, and more to see and experience.
BEST THINGS TO DO NEAR TAMPA
Let’s take a look at some of the top things to do in Tampa below.
THE FLORIDA AQUARIUM
Florida Aquarium focuses on the wetland habits of Florida like exotic otters, gators, Burmese pythons, sharks, stingray, penguins, and more. There are also dedicated sections to collect detailed characters of the deep ocean.
With over 20000 aquatic animals & plants to see and experience, the aquarium also offers a dolphin cruise. There is also a water playground for visitors to enjoy.
It is one of the best Tampa Florida attractions if you want to explore the sea. Other attractions at the aquarium include a 60-foot coral garden which includes colorful tropical fish and other underwater plants.
Address: 701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602, United States
Monday to Wednesday, 10:30 am–4 pm
Thursday, 9:30 am–9 pm
Friday to Sunday, 9:30 am–5 pm
One of the best things to do in Tampa Bay is to ride into the wilds at the Busch Gardens. The theme park is full of thrilling rides, live entertainment, kid’s attractions, and African animals.
It is one of the most iconic theme parks in America which was started in 1959. Since then the theme park has expanded to over 136 hectares of adrenaline-pumping rides and other wildlife exhibitions.
It is also one of the first theme parks in the world to offer a mock-up of animals roaming freely as in their original habitat.
Watch wild animals like giraffes, rhinos, elephants, Caribbean flamingos, and also ride on Moroccan-themed Gwazi which drops at a speed of 51 mph, zip through the lines, and more daring rides.
Address: 10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612, United States
Monday to Friday, 10 am–9 pm
Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–10 pm
Thrilling rides, wave pool, lazy river, cliff jumps, and more is what you experience at Adventure Island. It is one of the best things to do around Tampa to beat the heat.
The water park has a tropical theme complete with a lagoon, manmade beaches, slides, Caribbean-flavored attractions like the twists and turns, and more.
For the hungry visitors, there is an on-site eatery – the Surfside Café and also a beach mock-up shack that serves cocktails and beers.
Address: 10001 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612, United States
Timings: 10 am–7 pm
Located in the heart of Tampa downtown, Tampa Riverwalk is a lively stretch of cultural activities in the city.
Visitors can enjoy play pools, waterworks, manicured lawns, picnic spots, food trucks, and more. There are also museums, shops, and eateries to explore.
It is a good spot to take a stroll and unwind during a lazy evening before heading for dinner at a nearby restaurant.
Address: Tampa, FL 33602, USA
TAMPA BAY BREWING COMPANY
Tampa Bay Brewing Company began crafting ale in 1995 which was driven by local demand. There is also a brewpub with seasonal offerings, a classic bar, and outdoor seating.
Today, Tampa Bay Brewing Company is one of the most successful breweries in the city. They offer eight regulars and many other seasonal beers.
The menu has many favorites like the Iron Rat Imperial Stout and the Old Elephant Foot which are prepared under the guidance of brewing master, David Doble.
Address: 1600 E 8th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605, United States
Timings: 11 am–10 pm
MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY
At the Museum of Science and Industry, visitors will learn, imagine, and, explore everything about science and technology. There are interactive exhibits of hurricanes & the human body, IMAX theatre, butterfly garden, and more.
It is one of the best things to do in Tampa for kids where they will play a game of operation to learn how the human body works. They also learn about technology and how they help in making people live longer and better.
The museum also has many other exhibits like interacting with extreme weather, NASA’s model of life off-earth, a life-size model of Mercury spacecraft, and more.
Address: 4801 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33617, United States
Timings: 10 am–5 pm
HILLSBOROUGH RIVER STATE PARK
Hillsborough River State Park is one of the first state parks of Florida with fishing and kayaking since 1938. Once you visit here you will be close to nature far away from the busy life of the city.
The state park is located in the northeastern part of Hillsborough County. Visitors can do many things here camping, canoeing, kayaking, and more.
There are also many picnic areas, a public pool, bikes that are available for rent, and several hiking trails. If you are lucky, you can also spot some alligators and other Florida wildlife.
Address: 15402 US-301 N, Thonotosassa, FL 33592, United States
TAMPA MUSEUM OF ART
There is something for art lovers too at the Tampa Museum of Art. The museum is located overlooking a waterfront with beautiful views which is home to many classic and modern art.
There are six temporary exhibits and several other permanent collections of Greek and Roman antiques. Once you have enjoyed browsing through the art galleries, you can visit the sculpture garden near the waterfront before visiting the Riverwalk Café for a creamy gelato.
The museum also holds many events like art and meditation classes. If you visit the museum at night, you will be treated with the 14000 square foot LED light show which has become something of a tourist attraction in Tampa.
Address: 120 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL 33602, United States
Timings: 10 am–5 pm
TAMPA BAY HISTORY CENTER
Learn about the history of the Tampa Bay area through interactive exhibits, maps, films, and special events that goes back to more than 12,000 years.
Visitors will learn about Seminoles, who were one of the early inhabitants of the place, the railroad and shipping era, the cultures that influenced the area in the last five centuries, and the regional geography.
Address: 801 Water St, Tampa, FL 33602, United States
Timings: 10 am–5 pm
Go back in time at the Tampa Theatre, which was built in 1926 that hosts many films, shows & other events. It is a luxury movie palace whose architecture is a mix of Italian, Greek, and Byzantine.
The theatre plays classic and foreign films regularly along with other social events and concerts. Even though you can see both old and new films here, watching a classic will give you a unique feel.
Address: 711 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602, United States
What do you think about my list of the best things to do in Tampa? If there are any other places to see in Tampa that you think should have been on this list or any comments in general, kindly post them in the comment section below.
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