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Things to do in Tampa

Things to do in  Tampa

Welcome to Tampa

Sunshine is a near constant in Florida’s coastal city of Tampa, which offers a range of fun-in-the-sun activities, from big amusement parks to boat tours. As a bonus for families, many of Tampa’s offerings are kid-friendly, including Busch Gardens Tampa Bay amusement park, the Lowry Park Zoo, and Big Cat Rescue animal sanctuary. Of course, the water is a key attraction, and a kayaking tour, a stand-up paddleboard excursion, or cruising out on the Tampa Bay—or through the network of inland waterways—should be on your agenda. As you take to the water, be on the lookout for manatees, fish, dolphins, and birds. For a more beachy experience, take a guided day trip from Tampa to nearby Clearwater Beach, or head to St. Petersburg beach for a chance to sink your toes into white, sugar-like sand. Beat the heat in the Florida Aquarium, filled with 20,000 plants and animals, and know that you can pre-book tickets to scuba dive in its coral reef gallery. Dive deeper into biology, geology, and astrology at the Museum of Science and Industry, which includes 450 hands-on activities for kids that are both educational and entertaining, in addition to an IMAX theater, ropes course, and planetarium. Plan ahead and get a pass that allows entry into multiple attractions for one low price. To learn more about downtown Tampa’s beginnings, take a Ybor City food tour of the historic neighborhood, which pays homage to the city’s Spanish and Cuban roots.

Top 10 attractions in Tampa

#1
Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach

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With expansive white sand beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, Clearwater Beach is a waterfront Florida community known for its aquatic activities and warm, turquoise waters. Clearwater Beach is an ideal launching pad for kayaking, parasailing, boating, and biking. It’s known as being more low-key than its southern neighbor, the bustling St. Pete Beach, and many consider Clearwater Beach to be among the best beaches in America.More
#2
The Florida Aquarium

The Florida Aquarium

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Just a short drive from downtown Tampa, The Florida Aquarium houses more than 20,000 aquatic plants and animals within a 200,000-square-foot (18,500-square-meter) facility in Tampa Bay. The entire family will enjoy this aquarium, which offers specialty tours, dolphin cruises, an outside water adventure zone, and on-site bar and grill.More
#3
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

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Tampa’s Busch Gardens combines the thrills of a theme park—replete with myriad roller coasters, ziplines, a white rapids ride, and other rides—with the wonder of a zoo, including more than 12,000 animals from 300 different species. Across its 335 acres (136 hectares), the Africa-themed park also hosts live performances for the whole family.More
#4
Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

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More than just an aquarium, Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a marine life rescue and rehabilitation center. Set on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the center gained fame when it rescued Winter, a baby dolphin that later starred in theDolphin Tale movies. You can visit Winter and other dolphins, sharks, stingrays, and such at the aquarium.More
#5
Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Sunshine Skyway Bridge

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This iconic Florida bridge is a testament to humankind’s architectural prowess and mother nature’s sheer beauty. Officially known as the Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge (named after the former Florida governor), it was built in 1954 and spans Tampa Bay with a 1,500-foot cable-stayed main span. The bridge’s height, expansive views of the surrounding bay and modern design landed it the No. 3 spot on the Travel Channel’s list of top bridges in the world. Those traveling to Tampa shouldn’t miss the chance to be impressed by this architectural wonder and the amazing views of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico it provides.More
#6
ZooTampa at Lowry Park

ZooTampa at Lowry Park

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Home to a vast array of animals ranging from native Florida species to African wildlife, ZooTampa at Lowry Park is a must see for all animal and nature lovers. Rated the No. 1 zoo in the United States by Parents Magazine and the No. 1 child-friendly zoo in the US by Child Magazine, the Lowry Park Zoo is an ideal place for families with kids.The zoo features numerous exhibits including several hands on attractions. Kids and adults alike can share in the experience of petting sting rays, feeding giraffes, or riding a camel. The zoo also recently expanded to include several kids' rides including a merry-go-round.More
#7
Sunken Gardens

Sunken Gardens

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Sunken Gardens is a four-acre botanical garden located in the heart of St. Petersburg, Florida. At more than 100 years old, it’s recognized as St. Petersburg’s oldest living museum and is home to over 50,000 tropical plants, representing more than 500 species, along with flamingos and other exotic birds.Look for various areas like a Japanese garden, cactus garden, butterfly garden, and the Chilean flamingo garden. Stop at scenic points like the Wishing Well, Photo Ring, waterfall, and the Wedding Lawn. Don’t miss the Growing Stone, a fossilized limestone rock has a sign that says: “Legend has it that ‘he who sits upon the ancient stone shall be granted tranquility, inner harmony and the talent to make things grow.’”Sadly, the flamingo population at Sunken Gardens has dwindled. There is a non-profit fundraising campaign currently underway to raise money in order to bring 20 more flamingos to Sunken Gardens. Flamingos thrive (and breed) in flocks; therefore breeders typically only sell them in lots of 20 or more. The city has already agreed to design and finance new housing for the flamingos as well.More
#8
Honeymoon Island

Honeymoon Island

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Honeymoon Island: the name conjures up images of long, romantic strolls down white sand beaches, the sun setting on the water in a pool of melting orange. The island’s original name, Hog Island, doesn’t have the same ring to it! However, thanks for a developer in the late 1930s, the island received a name overhaul when he built 50 thatch-roofed bungalows for honeymooners. The bungalows fell into disuse after World War II, but the name remains, as does Honeymoon Island’s reputation for romance.Now part of the Florida State Parks system, Honeymoon Island welcomes nature lovers, active adventurers and those simply looking to soak up the sun. Rent a bike or a kayak and traverse the nature trails across the island or paddle through the mangroves. Bird lovers will enjoy watching osprey, terns and plovers while animal enthusiasts can keep an eye out for the gopher tortoise, armadillo and raccoons. Or, simply put down a blanket or beach chair and enjoy the view.More
#9
Ybor City

Ybor City

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Ybor City has been known for over a century as Tampa's Latin Quarter. Founded in the 1880s by Vicente Martinez-Ybor as a cigar-manufacturing center, the neighborhood is now one of Florida's most distinct areas, thanks to its diverse immigrant communities and vibrant culture.More
#10
Caladesi Island

Caladesi Island

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Picture a pristine island beach complete with mangroves, sand dunes, palm trees and—most remarkably—no development. Such a place exists off of Florida’s Gulf Coast, just west of the town of Dunedin and near the city of Clearwater: it’s Caladesi Island. One of the few completely natural islands on the Gulf Coast, Caladesi Island is part of Florida’s park system and is home to a wide variety of activities.Bask in the sun on the white sand beaches, or search for shells along the water’s edge. Fishing is plentiful, either by boat or off of the shore. Explore the three mile nature trail across the interior and keep an eye out for some of the island’s aviary denizens like sandpipers, blue herons and black skimmers. Paddlers will enjoy the three mile kayak trail through the mangroves and the bay. There is a snack bar and gift shop, plus a few picnic tables and shelters, but despite the modern conveniences, Caladesi Island retains its wild and unspoiled allure.More

Recent reviews from experiences in Tampa

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Great way to get to know Tampa!
LINDSEY_T, Mar 2022
Tampa History Cruise
This was a terrific way to see a lot of Tampa and get a good overview of the history.
star-5
Fun day!
Donald_N, Mar 2022
Tampa Bay CityPASS
We were with family visiting from New England and it was great to see them enjoy the zoo.
star-5
Best way to experience Tampa attractions
Sreedhar_M, Feb 2022
Tampa Bay CityPASS
It provides great value to visit multiple attractions.
star-5
Awesome tiki tour
ChristopherJ_B, Dec 2021
90 minute - Tiki Boat Cruise in Tampa - BYOB
Great way to see downtown Tampa.
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Fun experience
Brandon_C, Oct 2021
1.5-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise from Tampa
Really cool to see Tampa from the water and got to see several dolphins.
star-5
Worth every penny!
richard_w, Jan 2022
Tampa Historic VIP Boutique Private City Tour
Our guide was extremely knowledgeable having grown up in Tampa and went above and beyond to make sure we got to take advantage of every opportunity to visit all the attractions.
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Celebrity Homes Tour in Tampa.....or is it it....not really.
Scott_S, Dec 2021
Tampa Celebrity Homes Boat Tour
Oh, we happen to see the nice homes along the river, and he pointed out 5 of them.
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Enjoyable Ride
Lauren_J, Jun 2021
2 Hour Guided Segway Tour
Very friendly guide; liked the open areas we traveled through; fun way to see the river, eateries, and the Tampa skyline
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Great fun
Paula_R, Mar 2021
Tampa History Cruise
Gorgeous way to see the river front and see the city from a new perspective
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Angela trip to Florida
Angela_W, Jul 2021
Tampa Bay CityPASS
We enjoyed bush gardens and all the attractions that came with the pass.
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This was AWESOME this is a tour of...
Don P, Aug 2018
Tampa History Cruise
This is a great way to see Tampa river walk and parks by water .
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Well worth it
CelestinoM_M, Dec 2020
Tampa Bay CityPASS
Several attractions for one low price.
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A trip to Tampa
Theresa_N, Jul 2020
Tampa Bay CityPASS
It was great to get all activities from the city, I recommend to everyone who come to visit Tampa.
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Great Experience with the passes
Lourdes_F, Jul 2021
Tampa Bay CityPASS
With our purchase of Tampa Bay City Passes our experience of visiting the attractions was simple and quick once we arrived at the locations.

All about Tampa

When to visit

January through March is Gasparilla Season in Tampa, which brings a new pirate-themed event every week. Ideal weather comprised of cool breezes and sunshine makes this time of year peak season for good reason. For a less-crowded getaway, time your visit for the early fall, when tourism drops but temperatures remain warm.

Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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