Tampa is a great destination for those who love the outdoors and nature. For those who want to see wildlife, Tampa has multiple options, including Lowry Park Zoo, the Big Cat Rescue, and the Florida Aquarium. The Big Cat Rescue lets fans of these large felines see them up close. Plant lovers will want to visit the Bok Tower Gardens, a nature preserve centered on the Singing Tower carillon, a 205-foot example of neo-Gothic and art deco architecture.
The Tampa Bay area offers fun and excitement for people of all ages. Use these suggestions as a starting ground for your exciting vacation to Tampa. Start searching for flight deals to Tampa, and start your journey towards adventure.
Busch Gardens Africa is a 19th-century African-themed theme park located on 335-acres in Tampa, Florida. Busch Gardens offers guests the ultimate family adventure with a selection of attractions based on exotic encounters with the African continent.
This theme park features a unique blend of thrill rides, live shows, and attractions along with one of the country’s premier zoos featuring more than 2,700 animals. Attractions at Busch Gardens Africa include a selection of world-class roller coasters, thrilling rides for all ages, animal exhibits, entertaining shows, plus a variety of shopping and dining choices.
Busch Gardens Africa is located in Tampa, Florida thirty minutes east of area beaches and Tampa International Airport. The park is a short one-hour drive from the Orlando parks and attractions.
Museum of Science and Industry
MOSI is a major attraction in the area. It is considered the largest science center in the southeast. The museum is an IMAX Dome Theatre and a children’s science center. This museum in my opinion is not like the other major attractions in the area. Some of the exhibits are older and there just does not seem to be a lot of excitement when you walk through the museum.
However, there are some good exhibits in the museum especially the traveling exhibits that are located in the center. These do have a separate admission fee, however. I would check it out if you have extra time. However, if you are short on time then there are many other more exciting attractions in the area.
The Florida Aquarium
The Florida Aquarium is one of the most visited Tampa Bay attractions in the area. It is located in downtown in the Channelside District next door to Royal Caribbean and Carnival cruise terminals. The Florida Aquarium lets you explore the mysteries of the deep without a submarine.
It is highly recommended that you visit this must-see attraction while in the Tampa area. The children will enjoy the new Explore-a-Shore water park area. Alone, this is probably worth the cost of admission since they can play all day on the Pirate ship and in the streams of water that shoot up from the ground.
Lowry Park Zoo
Lowry Park Zoo has achieved some major awards including the “Best family-friendly zoo” in the country and the “Best mid-sized zoo” in the U.S. This is a must-see Tampa attraction.
What helps to make this zoo great is that the animals are located in close proximity and the exhibits are not miles from each other. The Lowry Park Zoo voted the number one zoo by Parents and Child magazines, features 1,700 different animals. The zoo is about a 15-minute drive from the airport, so it is a great starting point for people getting off of one of the many Tampa flights.
The Tampa Museum of Art
The Tampa Museum of Art is one of the more popular museums in the Tampa area for art people. It is located downtown along the Hillsborough River. The changing exhibits keep the museum new and fresh.
Henry B. Plant Museum
The Henry B. Plant Museum is housed in the 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel and is now a National Historic Landmark. Henry Bradley Plant, the transportation magnate instrumental in the development of Florida and the City of Tampa, built the hotel.
This quintessential Victorian palace features unique Moorish revival architecture and dramatic minarets. Visitors will enjoy the opulent European furniture and art treasures of the original railroad resort and the Gilded Age. You’ll want to visit the permanent exhibit on the Spanish American War. The past will delight you at the Henry B. Plant Museum.
Ybor City State Museum
In 1886 Vincente Ybor, acting upon the advice of his friend, Gavino Gutierrez, came to Tampa and established Ybor City as a center for cigar factories and as a company town for the managers and workers who made the cigars. Accompanied by another factory owner, Ignacio Haya, he moved his operations to Tampa from Key West to escape labor conflicts and by doing so added tremendously to the prosperity of Tampa.
For many years the cigar industry was the only major manufacturing concern in Tampa. Today, Ybor City is preserved as Ybor City State Museum and has become major dining, shopping, and nightlife venue in downtown Tampa.
Tampa Bay History Center
The Tampa Bay History Center is a non-profit educational institution currently operating a history and heritage museum and research library in downtown Tampa, Florida.
Through quality exhibits, programs, and research, the History Center seeks to preserve and teach the remarkable history of the Tampa Bay area. Gallery exhibits show the geographical, historical, and multicultural influences that have shaped the region through the centuries, from 12,000 years ago to the present.
Traveling exhibits highlight Florida and regional histories.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Football Raymond James Stadium
Home of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Raymond James Stadium is one of the premier stadiums in the NFL. Unique fan enhancements, such as the three million dollar pirate ship at one end of the stadium, make for a full day experience.
The stadium also features individual seats, 650 wheelchair accessible seats, numerous concessions and gift stores, and plenty of parking. Tickets are available by phone at (800) 282-0683 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets for individual games are not available at the gate.
MLB Tampa Bay Devil Rays Tropicana Field
Florida’s only domed field-sport stadium, Tropicana Field officially opened as a baseball stadium in 1998. The home plate end is higher than the center field end, allowing more rows of upper deck seats in the preferred viewing locations.
The roof is a high-tech translucent membrane supported by a structural system that somewhat resembles a bicycle wheel. The stadium offers numerous concession stands, air conditioning, plentiful restrooms, and ample parking.
Tickets can be purchased by phone at (407) 839-3900 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets may also be purchased at the gate, which is open from 9:00 a.m. to the end of the game on home game days.
NHL Tampa Bay Lightning Ice Palace
The Ice Palace, located in downtown Tampa, is a state-of-the-art, $160 million entertainment venue. It is the home of the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League and hosts more than 170 events annually.
George M. Steinbrenner Field / Legends Field
The Legends Field Complex is considered the premier state-of-the-art training facility in Major League Baseball. The thirty-one-acre facility seats 10,000 and is home to the New York Yankees Spring Training, and the minor league Tampa Yankees.
Fantasy Flights Balloon Rides
Feel the thrill and excitement of soaring to new heights as Big Red takes you from treetop to an altitude of 1000 feet. Cruise over the Tampa area and enjoy the panoramic view of its lakes, diverse wildlife, and unique landscape. Big Red Balloon Sightseeing Adventures is the ultimate sky cruise experience!
When you come to Celebration Station, you’ll discover they have more ways to play than you can imagine. Batting cages to sharpen your swing, Miniature golf, Go-Carts, Bumper Boats, and Laser tag are only a few of the many activities sure to please young and old alike.
Malibu Grand Prix
The high-powered Indy-style Formula racecars are the major draw at Malibu Grand Prix. These miniature versions travel at speeds up to 60 miles per hour, and visitors race around a ¾-mile track. Guests must be 18 or older with a valid driver’s license, or 16 or older with a valid driver’s license and a parent or guardian present. For the younger kids, a Mini-Grand prix is available for children 8 years or older.
The attraction also offers batting cages, a miniature golf course, and a game room.
- Busch Gardens
- Museum of Science and Industry
- The Florida Aquarium
- Lowry Park Zoo
- The Tampa Museum of Art
- Henry B. Plant Museum
- Ybor City State Museum
- Tampa Bay History Center
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers Football Raymond James Stadium
- MLB Tampa Bay Devil Rays Tropicana Field
- NHL Tampa Bay Lightning Ice Palace
- George M. Steinbrenner Field / Legends Field
- Fantasy Flights Balloon Rides
- Celebration Station
- Malibu Grand Prix