Tampa is a city on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Tampa is both cosmopolitan and well-known for its world-class museums, theme parks, markets, live music, restaurants, tourist attractions, and enjoyable activities.
The climate in Tampa is pleasant, with bright sunshine and calm winds. The average temperature is about 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Downtown Tampa is the city’s central core, home to skyscrapers, cultural attractions, restaurants, museums, and the fantastic Florida Aquarium.
Tampa is one of Florida’s most colorful holiday destinations, with a variety of unique activities for everyone.
Things To Do In Tampa
1. The Florida Aquarium
A visit to Tampa Bay isn’t complete without exploring The Florida Aquarium.
The Florida Aquarium is located in downtown Tampa right on the waterfront.
This exciting attraction offers a dramatic and unique look at all that swim, float and crawl, in and around Florida waters and beyond.
The Florida Aquarium is home to more than 20,000 aquatic plants and marine life.
With amazing exhibits that tell the story of water’s journey to the sea.
Visitors can also experience the 500,000-gallon floor-to-ceiling Coral Reef tank and see river otters, alligators, stingrays, and sharks.
The entire family will enjoy this aquarium, which offers specialty tours, a wild dolphin cruise, an outside water adventure zone, and an on-site bar and grill.
Address: Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
2. Tampa Riverwalk
The Tampa Riverwalk is a 2.4-mile (3.9 km) pedestrian pathway along the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa.
It is used for recreation and transportation, and connects several parks, museums, restaurants and other attractions.
The Riverwalk was constructed in phases over a period of 30 years, from 1974 to 2004.
The first section to be completed was the stretch between Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and Harbour Island. The most recent addition to the Riverwalk was the extension to Water Works Park, which opened in October 2013.
The Tampa Riverwalk is popular with tourists and locals alike. It is used for walking, jogging, biking and rollerblading. In 2022, an estimated 2 million people used the Riverwalk.
There are several notable attractions along the Riverwalk, including the Florida Aquarium, the Tampa Museum of Art, the Glazer Children’s Museum, the Tampa Bay History Center and the University of Tampa. The Riverwalk also passes by Amalie Arena, home of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning.
Address: Tampa Riverwalk, Tampa, FL 33602
3. Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens Tampa is a world-renowned amusement park.
This African-centered theme park is sprawled over 197 acres and contains thrilling rides, roller coasters, restaurants, shops, and lots of live entertainment and shows.
It’s also one of North America’s largest zoos having more than 200 species, with some of the world’s most interesting animals to some of its most endangered.
There are several themed lands in this amusement park where you can have family fun with tours, animal encounters, themed rides and special kids attractions.
Enjoy the award winning Serengeti Safari, Guided Adventure Tours and the behind the scenes animal encounters.
If you want to go on the rides, make sure you buy a Quick Queue Unlimited pass which will allow you to skip the lines.
Busch Gardens is located about 10 miles northeast of downtown Tampa and offers a wide variety of fun things and adventures for the whole family.
Address: Busch Gardens, 10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612
4. Big Cat Rescue
Big Cat Rescue is a Tampa-based animal sanctuary that specializes in rescuing and caring for large cats.
The sanctuary was founded in 1992 by Carole Baskin, a former big cat trainer who turned her attention to rescue after she saw the suffering of captive tigers at a roadside zoo.
Since its inception, Big Cat Rescue has rescued over 1,200 cats, including lions, tigers, cougars, leopards, bobcats, lynxes, ocelots, and servals.
The sanctuary currently houses over 100 cats on its 75-acre property.
Big Cat Rescue is dedicated to the welfare of all big cats, both in captivity and in the wild.
The sanctuary provides a lifetime home for rescued cats, with the goal of giving them the best possible care.
The sanctuary also works to end the abuse of big cats through education and advocacy.
Address: Big Cat Rescue, 12802 Easy St, Tampa, FL 33625
5. Tampa Museum of Art
The Tampa Museum of Art is a state-of-the-art museum and one of the top Tampa attractions.
Founded in 1979, the Museum aims to present visitors with a creative environment in which to explore and enjoy outstanding visual art.
The collection contains a wide variety of modern, classical, and contemporary art as well as temporary exhibits.
The Tampa Museum of Art is located on the banks of the Hillsborough River in Downtown Tampa, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.
The gift shop at this Florida Museum is stocked with a curated collection of unique merchandise and features a selection of jewelry, books, home accessories, stationary, and contemporary art gifts.
The Tampa Museum of Art is open seven days a week but is closed on Gasparilla, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.
Address: Tampa Museum of Art, 120 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL 33602
6. Ybor City
Ybor City is a historic neighborhood just northeast of downtown Tampa, Florida.
It was founded in the 1880s and at the turn of the 20th century was famous for its coffee manufacturing and hand-rolled cigars.
And cigars can still be purchased from small cigar shops along Ybor City 7th Avenue.
Ybor City is the only neighborhood on Florida’s west coast to be designated a National Historic Landmark.
Today Ybor City is an easily walkable neighborhood that is quiet by day and very lively by night.
Ybor City is a hub of vibrant local culture, shopping, and eating.
Many people come to enjoy Ybor City nightlife, from laid-back lounges and live music venues to high-energy dance clubs.
It’s great to spend an entire day in Ybor City, just soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the vibe.
Explore the shops, stop at food trucks for a snack, and find a restaurant that looks and smells delicious.
7. Clearwater Beach
Clearwater Beach, is located about 20 to 30 min west of Tampa, Florida.
The area has consistently been ranked best beach by various organizations and is known as an ideal vacation destination for people of all ages from around the world.
Clearwater Beach is known for its stretch of soft, white sand and calm, emerald waters, which draws visitors year-round for jet-skiing, parasailing, swimming and paddle-boarding.
There are also volleyball, water-sport rentals, restrooms, showers, and concessions.
The winding beachfront promenade is lined with casual seafood restaurants and cafes.
The pier at Clearwater Beach, which is 1,080 feet long and called Pier 60, is a hive of activity at sunset when it hosts a nightly festival with street performers and handcrafted goods.
Whether you want to ride the waves with the dolphins, take in some water-sports or relax on the beach and catch some rays, Clearwater Beach has just the activities for you.
The Beach is open to the public daily with Life Guards on duty.
Address: 419 E Shore Dr. Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
8. Museum Of Science & Industry
One of the most interesting things to do in Tampa is a visit to the Museum Of Science & Industry.
With more than 450 hands on activities, the museum is dedicated to advancing public interest, knowledge and understanding of science, industry, and technology
There are exhibits on hurricanes, the human body and the Ideas Zone, plus an IMAX theatre and butterfly garden, plus much more.
If you would like to try zip lining, the Museum Of Science & Industry Sky Trail Ropes Course is a great place to check out.
The 36-foot-high multilevel structure features over 30 elements to explore, including ropes, bridges, zip lines and more.
The course is designed with challenging high-energy feats ideal for all ages.
The Sky Trail Ropes Course is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with hours subject to weather conditions.
Address: Museum Of Science & Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33617
9. Lettuce Lake Regional Park
Lettuce Lake Regional Park is located along the Hillsborough River about half an hour north of downtown Tampa.
The park, in Hillsborough County, features 240 acres of wooded picnic areas, a playground, hiking trails and a paved path for bikes and joggers.
A must-see for nature lovers, the park features an amazing observation tower where visitors can view a variety of wildlife.
It’s also one of the hotspots in Tampa, Florida for outdoor activities including running, fishing, and kayaking.
There are boardwalks throughout the park so you can explore the different habitats, including wetlands and hardwood forests.
Address: Lettuce Lake Regional Park, 6920 E Fletcher Ave, Tampa, FL 33637
10. Manatee Viewing Center
The Manatee Viewing Center (MVC) is a nature park and conservation area located in Apollo Beach.
The center is part of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, which is a cooperative effort between local, state, and federal agencies to protect and restore the Tampa Bay estuary.
The MVC is open to the public year-round and offers a variety of educational programs, events, and activities for visitors of all ages.
The centerpiece of the Manatee Viewing Center is a three-story observation tower that provides panoramic views of the surrounding area and manatees swimming in the waters of Tampa Bay.
Visitors can also see manatees from an underwater viewing area that has windows that allow for views from below the surface. The MVC also has a nature trail that winds through a salt marsh, and a butterfly garden.
The Manatee Viewing Center is home to several species of wildlife, including manatees, dolphins, birds, fish, turtles, alligators, and snakes.
The center is committed to conservation and education, and offers programs that teach visitors about the importance of protecting Tampa Bay’s wildlife and habitat.
Address: Manatee Viewing Center, 6990 Dickman Rd, Apollo Beach, FL 33572
11. Glazer Children’s Museum
The Glazer Children’s Museum is a museum dedicated to inspiring children and families by creating fun things and learning opportunities around play and discovery.
Located in downtown Tampa, Florida, it’s packed with permanent and temporary exhibits.
This 53,000-square-foot space is filled with interactive displays that aim to teach kids about the human body, maths, science and the real world.
There are areas designed to nurture imagination and strengthen confidence allowing children and adults to experience everything from flying an airplane to shopping for groceries.
Kids can also create art, control the weather and navigate a mini–shipping channel.
Special events throughout the year keep the Museum experiences fresh and ever-changing.
Great for an afternoon of fun things to do in Tampa.
Address: Glazer Children’s Museum, 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL 33602
12. Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
The Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is an 8-acre public park next to the Tampa Riverwalk and the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts.
It’s a place to meet and enjoy Tampa’s waterfront.
The park has a huge open grassy space that is great for picnics.
There are 2 fountains and children can splash through the water features.
The Curtis Hixon Park has a brilliant playground feature with an interactive NEOS 360 Ring, which combines video games with aerobic exercise.
The playground is good for all ages and offers events throughout the year such as an ice skating rink and tree lighting.
Address: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
13. Tampa Bay History Center
A day at the Tampa Bay History Center includes hands-on, interactive exhibits on three floors.
The displays cover 12,000 years of Florida and Tampa’s history, as well as the area’s history.
Exhibits include a display about the region’s first native people and prominent figures who molded its development, as well as a recreation of a 1920s cigar store.
This museum in Tampa, Florida, is found along the Riverwalk and features waterfront dining at the Columbia Cafe as well as a museum shop selling local crafts and artwork.
Visitors of all ages will enjoy seeing the Tampa Bay History Center, which is both entertaining and educational.
Address: Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Water St, Tampa, FL 33602
14. Florida Botanical Gardens
The Florida Botanical Gardens is open to the public with free admission, 7 am-5 pm daily.
There are 120 acres filled with a huge variety of tropical flowers, a desert-like landscape of cactus, a butterfly garden and a wild 60-acres filled with Florida native plants.
It is a very nice nature area to walk around and spend a relaxing afternoon.
Special events are planned throughout the year, including yoga in the gardens, concerts and an annual pumpkin festival.
There are different entrances to the park and also several places to sit and have lunch.
Address: Florida Botanical Gardens, 12520 Ulmerton Rd, Largo, FL 33774
What is a good place for shopping in Tampa Bay?
Hyde Park Village is a charming and historic neighborhood of Tampa Florida with over 50 retail shops and many dining options.
Hyde Park Village has six city blocks of shops, many are local and independent as well as the top names in fashion and fitness.
There are also restaurants and food outlets.
Are there Tampa Bay food tours?
Tampa’s food scene is one of the top up-and-coming culinary destinations in the United States.
There are a great selection of Tampa Bay food tours allowing you to enjoy food and culture with a local guide.
Many Tampa Bay food tours are 3 hour walking tours where you can taste delicious food and adult beverages from the best local restaurants.
What is Tampa Bay Downs?
Tampa Bay Downs is an American horse racing facility located in Hillsborough County just outside of Tampa, Florida.
This is a family-friendly track with a selection of restaurants, concessions, bars and an on-track gift shop.
Tampa Bay Downs also runs post time special events.
What are the seasons like in Tampa Florida?
Tampa, Florida has a humid subtropical climate with two distinct seasons. From May through October, the region is hot and humid; from November through April, it is milder and dry.
Because more than two-thirds of annual precipitation falls between June and September, this season is expected to be wet.