15 Best Things To Do In Tampa

Tampa, Florida is a city full of life and culture. From the beautiful beaches to the delicious restaurants, there is plenty to do in Tampa. Whether you are a local or visitor, there are many great attractions that Tampa has to offer. Those looking for some fun attractions in Tampa will not be disappointed; here are some of the best things to do in Tampa. From the Tampa Museum of Art to the Tampa Bay food tours, you’ll find plenty of exciting things to enjoy and explore in Tampa.

1. Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

The Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is an exciting destination for a family-friendly adventure, and definitely one of the best places to visit in Florida. This world-renowned theme park features thrilling rides, one of the country's premier zoos and amazing live entertainment.

The Timbuktu area has thrilling rides and spectacular roller coasters such as Cheetah Hunt and Scorpion. The Congo section of the Busch Gardens park offers an elevated view over the Serengeti Plain where you can observe some of nature's most majestic animals in their natural habitats.

Meanwhile, Jungala provides access to hands-on experiences with exotic creatures like Bengal tigers, orangutans and sloths all within arm's reach. Kids also enjoy the Land of Dragons with its colorful play structures and water slides that are sure to bring smiles on everyone’s faces.

Contact:

Address: 10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612, United States

Phone: +1 813-884-4386

2. Florida Aquarium

Florida Aquarium

The Florida Aquarium located in Tampa is a great place for families to visit and explore the many diverse habitats from the Florida Wetlands to the Coral Reefs of the Caribbean. With over 20,000 different species of animals, plants, and fish housed in almost 500,000 square feet of exhibit space, there is a lot to see at this popular tourist attraction.

The facility includes an interactive waterpark with slides and play structures perfect for cooling off on hot days. There are also multiple educational touch tanks that allow visitors to get up close and personal with some of their favorite sea creatures such as sharks, stingrays, sea turtles and wild dolphins.

Contact:

Address: 701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Phone: +1 813-273-4000

3. Museum of Science and Industry

Museum of Science and Industry in the city of Tampa

The Museum of Science and Industry in the city of Tampa is an exciting and educational experience for all ages. With more than 450 interactive exhibits, the museum is full of hands-on activities that explore science, technology, industry, and space exploration. From a replica of a 1903 Wright Flyer to oceanographic research vessels, this science museum has something to delight everyone.

Guests can step back in time while exploring the Florida Cracker homestead where they can learn about Florida’s early settlers or engage in cool experiments at one of the many labs located throughout the museum.

Visitors can also take a journey through our planet's solar system in their very own Cosmic Cruiser or get up close and personal with life underwater in the SeaMonster exhibit. With so much to do at this must-visit attraction, it's easy to see why over 500 thousand people visit each year.

Contact:

Address: 4801 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33617, United States

Phone: +1 813-987-6000

4. Tampa Bay Brewing Company

Tampa Bay Brewing Company

Visiting the Tampa Bay Brewing Company is an absolute must-do when in the area. The brewery offers a wide variety of craft beer, including stouts, lagers, and more. With their selection of rotating taps, there's always something new to try. Plus, the Tampa Bay Brewing Company's beers are as unique as their namesake city - eclectic and vibrant blends with innovative takes on classic styles.

Aside from the amazing beer selection and inviting atmosphere inside, visitors can also take advantage of the outdoor patio with views that overlook the brewery itself. Here, you can mingle with other guests and enjoy some scrumptious food from local restaurants who deliver straight to your table. So if you're looking for a fun night out or just want to try some quality brews in a lively setting - Tampa Bay Brewing Company is definitely worth a visit.

Contact:

Address: 1600 E 8th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605, United States

Phone: +1 813-247-1422

5. Tampa Bay History Center

Tampa Bay History Center

Situated in the heart of Tampa's vibrant downtown, the Tampa Bay History Center is a museum dedicated to preserving and displaying the history of Florida's West Coast. Founded in 1980, this impressive facility houses over 60,000 artifacts that span 12,000 years of area history.

Visitors are invited to explore galleries focused on Spanish exploration of the region, Native American history and culture, Civil War-era battles and fortifications, early cities and industries, railroad expansion across Florida and much more. The collection also includes images from local archives and newspapers as well as an extensive library for researching local histories.

In addition to its fascinating exhibits, the Tampa Bay History Center also hosts educational programs for all ages throughout special events such as lectures, tours of historic sites in downtown Tampa or nearby historical sites. Special family-friendly events such as scavenger hunts can be found here too.

Contact:

Address: 801 Water St, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Phone: +1 813-228-0097

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6. Tampa Theatre

Tampa Theatre

Tampa Theatre is much more than just a movie theater. It has been around since 1926 and continues to be an iconic landmark in the city. Originally established as a site for both stage plays and silent films, today it serves primarily as a movie theater with state of the art projection and sound systems.

Visitors to the Tampa Theatre will be enthralled by its majestic beauty - the building was designed with ‘Atmospheric’ architecture which gives visitors areal sensation of being outdoors while inside. With its stunning facade of Spanish-Mediterranean style, intricate plaster work on the walls of its ornate lobby, and grand auditorium complete with twinkling stars on the ceiling – it is not hard to imagine why many consider this place a piece of living history.

Contact:

Address: 711 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Phone: +1 813-274-8981

Booking.com

7. Adventure Island Water Park

Adventure Island water park

Adventure Island, Tampa's iconic water park, is the perfect destination for a fun-filled day with friends and family. Located just minutes from downtown Tampa on the banks of beautiful Tampa Bay, Adventure Island offers thrills for all ages. Whether you’re seeking relaxation in one of the calm lagoons or an adrenaline rush on a wild raft ride, this 30 acre park is sure to deliver.

For young children, Adventure Island has something special in store. With four distinct kid-friendly play areas complete with miniature slides and waterfalls there's plenty of fun to be found even for the littlest visitors. And since all four splash grounds are completely surrounded by shallow waters they're perfect for toddlers who aren't ready to take on some of the bigger attractions yet.

Contact:

Address: 10001 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612, United States

Phone: +1 813-884-4386

8. Lowry Park Zoo

Lowry Park Zoo

Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FL is a great place to visit. It is one of the few zoos in the state that offers such close up views of both exotic and local animals. The zoo covers approximately 56 acres, giving visitors plenty of room to explore as they make their way through different habitats like African Safari or Asian Gardens. One of the highlights of any trip to Lowry Park Zoo is an up close encounter with some of its most popular animal residents: monkeys, elephants, giraffes and rhinos.

The Zootampa at Lowry park also features a variety of educational programs for those interested in learning more about wildlife conservation efforts from around the world. Guests can participate in interactive activities like feeding giraffes and get hands-on experience with other lovable creatures like lemurs, sloths and reptiles.

Contact:

Address: 1101 W Sligh Ave, Tampa, FL 33604, United States

Phone: +1 813-935-8552

9. Tampa Riverwalk Stroll

Tampa Riverwalk

Tampa Riverwalk is a is a 2.4 mile pathway along the Hillsborough River and Garrison Channel, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to explore the city's waterfront attractions with ease. Along the way, visitors can take in sights such as open green spaces, new residential developments, art installations, five parks and numerous shops and restaurants.

With its modern infrastructure and beautiful scenery, the Tampa Riverwalk has become one of the most popular things to see for locals and tourists.

The Riverwalk is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts to culture seekers. You can also enjoy kayaking on the river or embark on an outdoor adventure with Segway tours or bike rentals available at several nearby locations.

10. Hillsborough River State Park

Hillsborough River State Park

Hillsborough River State Park in Tampa, Florida is a wonderful place to explore and enjoy nature. Located just north of the city, this park offers visitors plenty of activities such as camping, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and more.

The river winds its way through the park creating a stunning landscape that is perfect for anyone looking to spend some time outdoors. In addition to the river and its various activities, visitors can explore hiking trails with lush vegetation and abundant wildlife during their stay in Tampa.

One of the most popular Tampa attractions here is Fort Foster Historic Site which actually served as a military post during two wars. It's a great place to learn about Florida's rich history while taking in beautiful views of the Hillsborough River. With so much to do at Hillsborough River State Park no one will ever be bored.

Contact:

Address: 15402 US-301, Thonotosassa, FL 33592, United States

Phone: +1 813-688-9500

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11. Historic Ybor City

Ybor City

Ybor City, a historic neighborhood in Tampa has been around since the late 1800s. It was founded by Vicente Martinez-Ybor, a Cuban tobacco entrepreneur who purchased 40 acres of land and worked to create an "Cigar Capital of the World". For years it was a vibrant community with many cigar factories, social clubs, saloons and some of the best restaurants in the Tampa area.

The Ybor city area has gone through numerous changes over the years. In the 1950s and 60s Ybor City experienced an exodus of people from its thriving Hispanic community due to urban renewal projects.

During this time many of its homes were destroyed in order to build an interstate highway system that would eventually pass through the city's center. However in recent decades Ybor City has seen revitalization efforts that have helped to preserve its rich history and cultural heritage.

12. Henry B. Plant Museum

Henry B. Plant Museum

The Henry B. Plant Museum is a stunning national historic landmark dedicated to the life and times of railroad magnate Henry B. Plant. Located on the University of Tampa campus, this museum allows visitors to explore aspects of 19th century life that spanned from 1853-1893. The museum offers visitors an interactive experience as they navigate through several different exhibits and collections that feature artifacts such as musical instruments, clothing, furniture and documents from the era.

The grandeur of this Victorian-style structure at the University of South Florida is breathtaking; its intricate décor speaks directly to its past with stained glass windows and detailed mosaic tiles adorning its floors and walls throughout the building.

Contact:

Address: 401 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606, United States

Phone: +1 813-254-1891

Booking.com

13. Armature Works

Armature Works center

Armature Works, located in the historic Tampa Heights, is a multi-use center that offers a range of activities and fun things to suit every taste, from vibrant outdoor markets to unique restaurants and shops.

The heart of Armature Works is the newly renovated Heights Public Market; where visitors can find local vendors selling fresh produce and handmade goods. There are also several unique eateries with menus featuring everything from modern fine dining to traditional street food.

The building also hosts special events throughout the year, such as concerts, art shows and festivals that offer plenty of entertainment for everyone. For those looking for relaxation or adventure, the center also offers kayak rentals on the Hillsborough River or group yoga classes overlooking downtown Tampa Bay.

Contact:

Address: 1910 N Ola Ave, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Phone: +1 813-250-3725

14. J.C. Newman Cigar Co. Museum & Factory

J.C. Newman Cigar Co. Museum & Factory

The J.C. Newman Cigar Co. Museum & Factory in Tampa is a must-see for anyone looking to learn about the cigar industry and its history while visiting Tampa. The experience begins with a guided tour through the factory and museum, led by one of their knowledgeable staff members, who will share stories and insights into the history of cigars in Tampa.

You'll get to see firsthand how cigars were made over 100 years ago as well as learn how they are made today with modern technology. After touring the factory, visitors can explore the museum which houses artifacts from famous cigar-makers throughout history, along with photographs and other memorabilia related to cigar culture around Tampa Bay.

The cigar museum also has an interactive theater room where guests can watch films about the company’s rich heritage while relaxing in comfortable chairs.

Contact:

Address: 2701 N 16th St, Tampa, FL 33605, United States

Phone: +1 813-248-2124

15. Glazer Children's Museum

Glazer Children's Museum

The Glazer Children's Museum is a Tampa-based museum that offers a variety of hands-on activities and interactive programs for children. This museum has over 170 exhibits, ranging from science to history to art. It also hosts educational events, such as story times and classes on topics like engineering or early childhood literacy. With its wide range of offerings, the Glazer Children's Museum provides an engaging environment and one of the best attractions for kids to explore and learn in meaningful ways.

At the Glazer Children's Museum, there are attractions and activities suited for children of all ages, from infants to preteens. From the Outdoor Adventure Courtyard to the Super Science Gallery, they offer something fun and enriching for everyone. The museum also provides special programming during holidays and school breaks where kids can participate in crafts and other fun activities.

Contact:

Address: 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL 33602, United States

Phone: +1 813-443-3861

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FAQ

Q: What is Tampa popular for?

A: Tampa is popular for its beautiful beaches and warm weather. With over 35 miles of sandy shores, Tampa attracts beach enthusiasts from all over the world. Whether it's lounging under the sun or taking part in water sports like jet skiing and parasailing, Tampa offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities. Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach are two famous spots that offer pristine white sands, crystal-clear waters, and stunning sunsets that have long been mesmerizing visitors.

Apart from its beaches, Tampa is known for its thriving arts and culture scene. The city is home to several museums and galleries that showcase a diverse range of art forms. The Tampa Museum of Art features an impressive collection of modern and contemporary artwork while the Salvador Dali Museum houses works by the renowned Spanish surrealist painter. For those interested in history, the Henry B. Plant Museum offers a glimpse into Tampa's past as it was once a grand hotel built by railroad magnate Henry B. Plant in 1891.

Q: What are things to do in Tampa for free?

A: One must-visit free destination for nature enthusiasts is the stunning Lettuce Lake Park. This sprawling park spans over 240 acres and boasts a boardwalk trail that winds through a lush cypress swamp. Visitors can observe an array of wildlife, including alligators, turtles, and various bird species. Additionally, Tampa offers an abundance of beautiful beaches where you can relax and soak up the sunshine without spending a dime.

For those interested in art and culture, the Tampa Museum of Art offers free admission on Fridays from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. This museum showcases an impressive collection of contemporary art as well as ancient Greek and Roman artifacts. Another cultural gem not to be missed is Ybor City, known for its rich history as Tampa's Latin Quarter. Strolling down its streets will transport you back in time with its preserved historic buildings and vibrant street art scene. You can explore the neighborhood's architectural wonders for free or even join one of their guided walking tours for a small fee if you prefer more context on Ybor City's unique history.

Q: What are the most popular things to do in Tampa with children?

A: One of the most popular things to do with children is visiting the renowned Busch Gardens. This theme park boasts thrilling rides for older kids and adults, as well as a wide range of attractions suitable for younger ones. From interactive animal encounters to live shows and even a dedicated Sesame Street area, Busch Gardens offers endless entertainment for the whole family.

Another must-visit destination in Tampa is The Florida Aquarium. With its diverse marine life exhibits and interactive displays, this educational facility captivates young minds while providing an entertaining experience. Kids can get up close with sharks, stingrays, and turtles at the touch tank or explore the outdoor splash pad area for some water play fun.

Q: How far is Tampa Downtown from airport?

A: Tampa Downtown is located approximately 9 miles from Tampa International Airport. The distance between the two destinations can be covered in about 15-20 minutes by car, depending on traffic conditions. As you leave the airport, you will take the George J Bean Outbound Parkway/Tampa International Airport exit and merge onto FL-60 W towards Clearwater. Follow this road for about 7 miles until you reach the city center of Tampa.

If you prefer public transportation, there are several options available to reach downtown from the airport. One of them is utilizing the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) bus service, specifically Route 30 or Route 60. These buses operate regularly and conveniently stop at designated areas within downtown Tampa

Q: Is Tampa a fun town?

A: Tampa is often regarded as a vibrant and exciting city that offers a wide range of entertainment options. The city is known for its numerous theme parks, such as Busch Gardens and Adventure Island, which provide thrilling rides and water slides for visitors of all ages.

Furthermore, Tampa's nightlife scene ensures that there is never a dull moment in town. Ybor City stands out as one of the most popular destinations for party-goers with its lively clubs and bars offering live music performances ranging from jazz to rock. Additionally, downtown Tampa features numerous trendy restaurants and rooftop bars where locals and visitors can indulge in delicious food while enjoying breathtaking views of the city skyline.

Q: Is Tampa a friendly city?

A: Tampa is often referred to as a friendly city. This designation stems from the warmth and welcoming nature of its residents. When walking through the streets of downtown Tampa, one can't help but notice how people smile and greet each other with kindness. Whether you're a tourist or a long-time resident, locals are always willing to offer directions or strike up a conversation about their favorite spots in the city.

PLAN YOUR TRIP TO TAMPA

Book Your Hotel In Tampa

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Book Your Flight To Tampa

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Need a Rental Car In Tampa?

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Looking for an Airport Transfer Service In Tampa?

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Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illnesses, an injury, luggage theft, and even trip cancellations. It’s a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong during your trip. I never travel to Tampa without it as I’ve had to use it several times in the past. My favorite travel insurance companies that offer the best service and value are:

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