You might think that racing through Tampa is essential if you’re heading from Orlando to the Gulf Coast, but don’t be so hasty. Tampa is an attraction in itself, and you can spend plenty of time there without running out of activities, adventures, and sights. Modern developments have transformed the city, and those improvements only add to the reasons that you should make Tampa a destination to seek out.
Whether it’s a family trip, a solo adventure, or a romantic getaway, there are so many fun things to do in Tampa that you’re going to be spoiled for choice. No matter what time of year you visit, here are just a few of the many delights that Tampa has to offer. You might find that even a month spent on this lush destination isn’t going to be long enough.
Florida has more than a few theme parks, but Busch Gardens is an amusement park that is world renowned. It’s owned by Seaworld Entertainment, and that means that there is a massive variety of activities and spectacles in Busch Gardens to enjoy. Not only can you spend many hours enjoying the Serengeti Safari or the Guided Adventure Tours, but there are a huge number of live entertainment options as well. With plenty of themed rides and attractions that are targeted straight at the younger members of your group, you can easily spend an entire weekend in Busch Gardens.
The Tampa Museum of Art
Don’t be fooled by the brutalist architecture of the building; the Tampa Museum of Art is one of the most popular destinations for tourists visiting Tampa. It houses some truly stunning artworks, ranging from mind-boggling antiquities to more contemporary offerings that will surely delight. This is a truly creative space, so if you’re looking for a little artistic or creative inspiration, then you’re definitely heading to the right place. It’s always a good idea to check the museum’s calendar as they frequently offer a number of educational programs, workshops, and even lectures that vary from academic right down to children-focused. The fact that the building is located right next to the Hillsborough River is just the perfect finishing touch.
The Tampa Riverwalk
Speaking of the Hillsborough River, the Tampa Riverwalk is certainly something to visit while you’re there. For couples, it couldn’t be more romantic, and holding hands as you take a slow stroll down the pedestrian pathways is hard to beat. Keep following the walk and you’ll eventually reach downtown Tampa, where the waterfront and public parks are the perfect place just to sit back and relax. This is also where you’ll find some of the best restaurants in Tampa, so it pays to take your time. If you feel like spending the day on the Tampa Riverwalk, you can take some detours to the Florida Aquarium, Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park, and the American Victory Ship — all of which are close enough to justify an excursion.
Big Cat Rescue
Everyone loves big cats, which is why the animal sanctuary in Citrus Park is so popular. Big Cat Rescue was established primarily to tackle the devastating private trade in exotic felines, but their ongoing efforts have resulted in a fantastic place to explore and learn more about big cats. They also offer guided tours that are both fun and informative – especially those that take place around feeding time. Big Cat Rescue is home to over 100 felines, but the highlights are undoubtedly the tigers and mountain lions.
Not a Clue Adventures
Not a Clue Adventures really does have something for everyone. Owned and run by Jeanene Arrington, visitors get to experience some amazing outdoor activities. Camping, kayaking, hiking, and fishing are all on the agenda, and all are guided and run by Jeanene herself. You don’t even need to pack any of your own equipment, as everything is provided for you. You could choose from a fully catered camping trip with your entire family, or simply enjoy the miles and miles of peaceful kayaking. If you’re looking for something a little more unique, they also offer birdwatching trips, survival courses, and horse riding lessons. An exhausting trip for some, but certainly one of the most fun things to do in Tampa.
Don’t make the mistake of just driving through Tampa. There’s plenty of activities, adventures, attractions, and excursions to take advantage of on your trip. You might find so much to do in Tampa that you start planning your next visit before your first is even over.