Tampa Bay Travel Guide [y]

[y] Tampa Bay Visitors Guide

Tampa Bay is a great place to visit whether your objective is rest and relaxation or thrills and excitement. You’ll be sure to find an abundance of activities, attractions, shopping opportunities and restaurants that will create a memorable vacation holiday. Record-breaking sunshine, attractions, museums, and natural experiences are right outside your door.

Tampa Bay has tons of beaches to fit everyone’s desire for fun in the sun. Tampa Bay also has plenty to offer in addition to its beaches and sunshine. Busch Gardens, Anheuser-Busch’s addition to the word of Floridian theme parks just a few minutes northeast of the city is Tampa’s biggest tourist haven. You will also find Adventure Island, Celebration Station, and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in the Tampa area. Below we have highlighted some of the fun things to do while you are here.

Tampa Bay Fun Guide

St. Pete Beach FloridaClearwater Beach, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores, Redington Shores, North Redington Beach, Redington Beach, Madeira Beach, Treasure Island, St. Pete Beach Anna Maria Island, Bradenton Beach, Longboat Key, Lido Key, Nokomis Beach, and Siesta Key makeup Tampa Bay’s Gulf Coast Beaches and offer a wide variety of accommodations, restaurants, bars, shopping experiences, and recreation.

Tampa Bay, Florida Travel & Vacation Guide

Whether you’re on a budget or not, you should be able to find affordable accommodations in Tampa Bay at any time of the year. All About Tampa Bay’s online reservations system offers many hotels & resorts to choose from with discounted rates. You can view individual hotel web pages with pictures and information. Check rates, availability and make secure online reservations. All About Tampa Bay also offers the guaranteed lowest rates on car rentals anywhere in the city from major companies like Enterprise & Thrifty. Our online services are easy to use and very secure. We provide quality service to all of our customers.

While visiting Tampa Bay you’ll never go hungry for quality food or shopping. Tampa Bay offers lots of great restaurants that will please anyone’s appetite ranging from Seafood to Mexican to Oriental. And shopping is unlimited. There are lots of great places to shop, You’ll find malls, outlets, collector’s shops, specialty shops, antique shops, boutiques, high-end shops, low-end shops, and the list keeps going.

tampa bay attractions

What to See & Do in Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay has plenty to offer in addition to its beaches and sunshine. Busch Gardens, Anheuser-Busch’s addition to the word of Floridian theme parks just a few minutes northeast of the city is Tampa’s biggest tourist haven. You will also find Adventure Island, Celebration Station, and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in the Tampa area. Below we have highlighted some of the fun things to do while you are here.

Adventure Island

Adventure Island has 25 acres of water-soaked fun in the sun features the ultimate combination of high-speed thrills and tranquil surroundings for fun-seekers of every age. Adventure Island offers more fun than ever with heated pools and attractions coupled with an extended operating season. (813) 987-5600

Busch Gardens

Anheuser-Busch’s addition to the world of Florida theme parks. Eight mi. northeast of the city, Busch Gardens looms as Tampa’s biggest tourist haven housing attractions such as Gwazi, The Anheuser Busch Hospitality House, and the Edge of Africa safari experience. (813) 987-5082

Celebration Station

Family fun center featuring go-karts, bumper boats, playland rides, miniature golf, batting cages, a pizza restaurant with an interactive video wall, video arcade and soft play structure. Fun for all ages. (813) 661-4557

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

How wet do you want to get? Stay dry visiting the Aquarium, observe the rehabilitation and care of rescued dolphins, whales, otters and sea turtles! Get your hands wet petting stingrays in Stingray Beach. Get soaked with Marine Life Adventures (reservations required,) an interactive marine experience in Clearwater Bay. (727) 441-1790

Florida Aquarium – Invites you to mash your face to the glass for a tete-a-tete with fish from Florida’s various lagoons. Snakes, tarantulas and scorpions star in the wildly creep “Frights of the Forest” exhibit. (813) 273-4000

Gameworks

Under the direction of Steven Spielberg, GameWorks was created as the ultimate entertainment destination for people of all ages. GameWorks offers an unparalleled experience that combines the best games, attractions, music, video, and technology in a dynamic environment. GameWorks features a great bar and restaurant for a complete entertainment experience. (813) 247-4263

Malibu Grand Prix

A family entertainment center featuring Grand Prix style racing, state-of-the-art game room, miniature golf, batting cages, and go-karts. Birthday parties and special group rates available. Open seven days a week. (813) 977-6272

Lowry Park Zoo

Lowry Park Zoo is a 41-acre tropical paradise featuring more than 1,500 animals, many rare and endangered, in natural habitats. Permanent exhibits include the Asian Domain, Primate World, Florida Wildlife Center, Manatee Rehabilitation and Viewing Center, and the new Lorikeet Landing. Lowry Park Zoo features a petting zoo, Discovery Center, and Jungle Carousel ride for the kids, and two full services restaurants for everyone to enjoy. Daily programs include the Birds of Prey show and the Reptile Encounter. Take Exit 31(Sligh Avenue) off I-275 in Tampa and follow the signs and your natural instincts to Lowry Park Zoo. (813) 935-8552

Tampa Outdoor Adventure

The Bay area’s outdoor attraction that includes Big Red Balloon Sightseeing Adventures by Fantasy Flights, Canoe Escape, Light Tackle Fishing Expeditions and Behind the Fence Bed and Breakfast Inn. (813) 223-2752

Ybor City Ghostwalk

Leaves Joffrey’s Coffee Co. (1616 E. 7th Ave. 242-9255 Th-Sa 7pm, Su 4pm. Adults $10 in advance, $12.50 on-site; children $7.) Eclectic shops, eateries and numerous bars and clubs line carefree E. 7th Ave. Buses #5, 12 and 18 runs to Ybor City from downtown.

Wildlife on Easy Street

WildLife on Easy Street is a non-profit Big Cat Sanctuary, home to over 140 endangered felines. Come visit some of our tame exotics and get to know them pur-r-sonally. Take our unique tour and learn about the Great Cats. (813) 920-4130

Tampa Bay Things to do

Where to Eat in Tampa Bay

Time for dinner? The Tampa Bay area has plenty to offer, ranging from seafood to steaks and from Chinese to Cuban. Make no mistake Tampa Bay has more to offer than just dinner. Look for great restaurants serving outstanding breakfasts, great lunches as well as savory dinners.

Where to Stay in Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay offers hotels, resorts, motels, and inns for almost any budget. Whether you need a room downtown or close to the beach, the selection is enormous.

Travelodge of Clearwater Beach

The sparkling blue waters of Clearwater Beach are only a stone’s throw away from Travelodge on Gulfview Boulevard in Clearwater Beach, Fla. Restaurants, shopping, and a marina are within walking distance. St. Petersburg…

Best Western Seastone Resort

Best Western Seastone Resort is a first-class hotel beautifully situated on the bayside of the Gulf of Mexico, overlooking Clearwater Harbor. This hotel boasts a AAA 3-diamond rating and a casual Key West décor. The hotel is 30 minutes from Tampa International…

Beaches of Tampa Bay

tampa bay beaches
Tampa Bay Florida offers some of the most spectacular beaches in the world. From the densely populated for the social butterfly to the very secluded for a romantic getaway. Tampa Bay beaches will surely satisfy anyone’s desire for fun under the sun. Below we have listed some of the most popular beaches in the Tampa Bay area! Feel free to browse around and find the beach that fits your getaway plans while you’re in sunny Tampa Bay!

Anclote River Park

– 1119 Baillies Bluff Road Holiday

Ben T. Davis Beach

One of the few public beaches in Hillsborough County sits at the eastern end of the Courtney Campbell Parkway, this small beach offers the first sight of sand to many new arrivals to Tampa Bay.

Bradenton Beach

Bradenton Beach entices visitors with miles of uninterrupted white sugar sand beaches on the Gulf side and mangrove-lined bays on the east side.

Caladesi Island State Park

3 miles off Dunedin Beach

Clearwater Beach

One of the few remaining undeveloped barrier islands on Florida’s Gulf coast. The island is accessible by passenger ferry or private boat. Clearwater Beach is home to one of the nation’s most beautiful white sand beaches and some of the area’s highest-rated resorts.

Fort DeSoto

– 3500 Pinellas Bayway S Tierra Verde This barrier island and 900-acre park located south of St. Petersburg wins frequent acclaim from national beach experts. It was deemed No. 7 among the top 20 beaches in 2000 by one ranking.

Fred H. Howard Beach

1700 Sunset Drive Tarpon Springs

Gulfport Beach

55th St. S Gulfport This Boca Ciega Bay beach is at 55th Street S and Shore Boulevard in Gulfport. Parking by permit or $2 a day. Amenities include restrooms and outdoor showers.

Honeymoon Island

This island was once known as Hog Island. Today you can enjoy sunny beaches, mangrove swamps, and tidal flats. It’s located on the extreme west end of State Road 586 (Dunedin Causeway).

Indian Rocks Beach

The sands are bright white and new. And because of recent beach renourishment, this is a perfect beach for seashell seekers. Public beach access and free parking are along Gulf Boulevard from Whitehurst Avenue to 28th Avenue. Indian Rocks and Indian Shores offer a quieter quaint atmosphere for those looking to getaway.

Indian Shores

Main beach access and parking are at Tiki Park,19601 Gulf Blvd., in Indian Shores. Metered parking is $1 an hour. Other beach accesses are along Gulf Boulevard, but parking is limited.

Longboat Key

Longboat Key is located on Florida’s Gulf Coast just south of the Tampa beckoning beach visitors and vacationers with miles and miles of white sugar sand beach

Lido Key

Lido Key boasts three wonderful beaches each with its own personality.

Madeira Beach

Several public beach accesses are located on Gulf Boulevard from 128th Avenue W to 154th Avenue West. Main accesses is at Disabled American Veterans (Archibald Beach) at 151st Avenue W.; the county park at 144th Avenue W; and South Beach near Johns Pass. Public parking available at main accesses, Stewart Park and between 128th and 135th avenues. Madeira Beach is host to the world-famous John’s Pass Village home to a large variety of shops, restaurants, fishing charters, boat rentals and more.

North Redington Beach

Six public accesses dot Gulf Boulevard from 164th Avenue to 174th Avenue. Free parking along Gulf Boulevard.
Pass-A-Grille Beach – Public accesses are along Gulf Way from First Avenue to 22nd Avenue in St. Pete Beach. Metered parking for $1 an hour. Showers, restrooms and snack bar at Ninth Avenue.

Redington Beach

Public access owned by the town is at 160th and Gulf Boulevard. Parking is limited to residential areas.

Redington Shores

– Several public beach accesses are located along Gulf Boulevard from 174th Avenue to 183rd Avenue. Free parking at the county park, 18220 Gulf Boulevard. Amenities include outdoor showers and restrooms at the county park.

Sand Key

1060 Gulf Blvd. Clearwater

Spa Beach

This small Tampa Bay beach is at Second Avenue NE in downtown St. Petersburg. Restrooms and free parking at nearby North Shore Park.

St. Pete Beach

Catch some rays on the white sand shore or bask in the warm waters of the gulf at this lovely beach. St. Pete Beach is a family vacation paradise with some of the most well-known resorts and restaurants on the Tampa Bay Beaches.

St. Petersburg Municipal Beach

This beach is billed as the “widest beach in Florida” at a one-quarter mile. Public access is at 11260 Gulf Blvd. off Central Avenue, Treasure Island. Parking is 50 cents an hour. Amenities include dressing rooms, snack bars,10 volleyball courts, and a free wheelchair.

Treasure Island

Treasure Island is famous for its wide beach and mixture of classic Florida “Mom and Pop” motels and new hotels.

Upham Beach

This St. Petersburg beach has little sand, but it’s still popular. Public access and parking are located along Beach Plaza from 68th Avenue to 70th Avenue. Restrooms.

Tampa Bay Nightlife

Nightlife in Tampa Bay

When the sun goes down there will plenty happen in Tampa Bay. If you have spent a long day at Busch Gardens or some of Tampa Bay’s other great attractions and beaches, you may be ready to relax at one of many nightspots. You can choose from billiards, jazz clubs, pubs, dance clubs theatre and many other nighttime activities to fill your vacation nights in Tampa Bay.

Golf Courses in Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay area has many golf courses to choose from. These courses designed by some of the greatest minds in golf today are sure to offer everything for every skill level. If you are a beginner or an advanced player you will enjoy your golf vacation in Tampa Bay. After spending time at Tampa Bay’s great attractions a game of golf is just what you will need to relax and enjoy yourself. Below we have outlined some of the area courses for you to browse through. Please feel free to look around and don’t forget to check out our online reservation service for your hotel and car rental needs.

Shopping in Tampa Bay

Shopping in the Tampa Bay area offers a multitude of opportunities found few places in the world. High fashion shopping centers portray glamour, while the practical gift shopper may prefer a regional mall that has it all. There is no shortage of the unique as you stroll down the sidewalk filled with handsome antiques, explore one of a kind anti-malls, the hottest beach apparel or the latest retro outfit

Cultural Attractions & Museums in Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay visitors usually come for fun and entertainment under the south Florida sun. We want to highlight some additional attractions offered in Tampa Bay. Cultural opportunities are just minutes from the Gulf Beaches. Let the many locations inspire you. Tampa Bay offers world-class museums with fascinating exhibits for young and old to explore and enjoy.

Henry B. Plant Museum

401 W. Kennedy Blvd. Ph. 254-1891 Located in the University of Tampa’s Plant Hall, the exhibits include Victorian furniture and Wedgewood pottery but pale in comparison to the museum, a no-holds-barred orgy of Rococo architecture.

Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center

1010 N. MacInnes Place Tampa, FL 33602 Phone: (813) 222-1000 The largest performing arts complex in the southeast, the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center has four performing halls. The Center features everything from Broadway shows and symphonic concerts and select popular musicians.

Tampa Museum of Art

600 North Ashley Drive Tampa, FL 33602 (813) 274-8130 It is a reflection of this culturally diverse city – full of priceless treasures. The museum features 4,500 pieces ranging from Greek and Roman antiquities.

Salvador Dali Museum

1000 Third Street South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 823-3767 The world’s largest collection of Dali art. Follow the artist through his impressionist and surrealists phases to his maturity.

The Museum of Fine Arts

255 Beach Drive The Museum of Fine Arts features a superlative collection ranging from pre-Columbian art through Asian and African to European Old Masters. It displays exhibitions from renowned museums all over the world.

Museum of Science & Industry

4801 Fowler Avenue 50th Street Tampa, FL 33617Phone: (813) 987-6100 Fax: (813) 987-6310 This museum features numerous exhibits on natural phenomena. It also contains a one of a kind IMAX Dome Theatre. This theatre displays its images on an 82-foot high screen. With over 450 interactive exhibits, visitors should be prepared to experience the unexpected, even hurricane winds at the Museum of Science & Industry.

Ybor City State Museum

1818 9th Ave Ph. 247-6323 Details the rise and decline of the neighborhood’s tobacco empire and the workers behind it. Photographs examine the art and culture of the hand-rolled cigar. Open daily 9 am-5 pm. Neighborhood walking tours Sa 10:30. $4

Tampa Activities for Kids

Tampa Vacation Guide gives you the detailed information of all the Family- and kid-friendly opportunities put roses in the cheeks and promote a good night’s sleep for everyone. Check out our listings for amusement parks, playgrounds, gardens, attractions, education boat and train rides, farms and farmer’s markets, nature centers, zoos, ski slopes, and more.

Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa

1101 W Sligh Ave, Tampa, FL 33604-5958
One of the finest zoological parks in North America and one of the best mid-sized zoos in the country, this zoo features over 2,000 animals, including rare and endangered species, that are housed in surroundings similar to its natural habitat.

Busch Gardens, Tampa

3000 E Busch Blvd, Tampa, FL 33612
At Busch Gardens, animals roam free and you are the outsider. You can see the park by monorail, cable car or train. Roller coasters, wild animals, entertaining shows, rides, food, shopping, sightseeing, bird shows, exotic flowers, train rides, Serengeti adventures, river rapids…the list goes merrily on. Wear comfy walking shoes and spend the day at this 300-acre park. You can even taste the Anheuser Busch brew that started it all. Busch Gardens is open year-round with varying schedules.

Adventure Island, Tampa

1001 Malcolm McKinley Drive, Tampa, FL 33612
Located right across the street from Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Adventure Island’s 30 acres of water-drenched fun in the sun features the ultimate combination of high-speed thrills and tropical, tranquil surroundings for guests of all ages. Within a soothing Key West atmosphere await slides, corkscrews, waterfalls, a wave pool, children’s water playground, and other family attractions.

Florida Aquarium, Tampa

701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602-5600
Discover over 10,000 aquatic plants and animals which represents over 600 different species while at this aquarium that is among the top aquariums in the world. Visitors will see animals such as sharks, otters, gators, birds, and exotic sea dragons plus enjoy daily dive shows and animal encounters while visiting this aquarium.