Tampa Bay Area Things To Do
Tampa's claim to fame is its location on the Gulf of Mexico, offering a host of water sports and beach activities, but Tampa visitors are delighted to find many things to do, in addition to visiting the beach. Tampa abounds with opportunities to enjoy the unique Florida habitat and scenery, learn about culture, history and art at the Bay's more educational attractions and attend one of its many adventure parks.
To get a great view of Tampa's water resources and natural habitats, as well as to learn some of the history of the area, take a lunch or dinner cruise on either the Starlite Majesty or the Starlite Princess. The Starlite Majesty, a dining yacht, departs from Clearwater Beach and guests exploring the boat's decks often sight playful dolphins frolicking in the water. The Starlite Princess, departing from St. Petersburg Beach, takes you through inland waterways on a genuine paddle-wheel riverboat. Another way to observe the natural side of the Tampa Bay area is to visit one of the nearby State Parks, including Alafia River State Park, Little Manatee River State Park or Hillsborough River State Park. These parks offer picnicking, hiking, camping, swimming and boating as well as chances to see Florida wildlife and plants.
After enjoying a cruise or visiting a State Park, choose from a variety of other attractions to learn more about the particular subjects that interest you most. At the Florida Aquarium, you'll be treated to highlights of Florida's unique natural habitats and get to see 550 different Florida species. There is a 500,000 gallon Coral Reef tank, a Moray eel tank and the Explore A Shore playground for children. Visitors have the option to go on a 90-minute Dolphin Quest EcoTour or participate in a Dive With The Sharks Program with experts from the Aquarium. Other fun and educational things to do and see in Tampa include: Lowry Park Zoo, the Museum of Science & Industry, Ybor City Museum State Park and the Salvador Dali Museum.
The finale to any Tampa Bay visit should be an adventure at one of the many amusement parks. Busch Gardens is an all-day extravaganza featuring 2,700 African animals, thrill rides, shows, restaurants, shops and games. Embark on a Cheetah Chase ride, a 5-story rollercoaster, and then cool off with a trip on the Tanganyika Tidal Wave that will send you rushing down a 55-foot drop, ensuring that you get soaked! If you visit Tampa during the warmer months, perhaps you'd enjoy an all-day water escapade at Adventure Island Tampa Water Park. Adventure Island Tampa has something for everyone — slides, corkscrews, waterfalls, a wave pool and a kids' playground. Splash Attack thrills the brave with open flumes and closed tubes, while visitors who want to relax enjoy drifting peacefully down the Rambling Bayou tube river.
For a weekend visit or a week-long vacation, consider Tampa to be the destination of your dreams. You'll be leaving with the memories of all of the adventures enjoyed in this city on the Gulf of Mexico, and chances are, you'll already be looking forward to your next visit!