Tampa, known for its sunny climate and renowned attractions, stands as one of Florida’s premier tourist destinations. With an annual influx of over 100 million visitors, this number is projected to soar in the coming years as the city embarks on the construction of additional hotels, casinos, and beachfront properties. Currently, Tampa has firmly established itself as a significant hub for business in America while simultaneously representing a cultural treasure with its historic neighborhoods and the country’s longest continuous promenade. For an enjoyable and engaging vacation with your loved ones, Tampa proves to be an ideal choice.
Best Things To Do In Tampa-Discover The Heart Of Florida
Are you considering a trip to Tampa and seeking ideas for your itinerary? Look no further! Discover the best attractions, travel tips, and must-visit spots for an unforgettable vacation in Tampa, Florida.
Immerse yourself in history at the Tampa Theater, an iconic cultural gem constructed in 1926. As a well-preserved “movie palace,” it remains a beloved historic attraction in Florida. Step up to the charming glass ticket booth of the brick building and enter a bygone era. The theater showcases a curated selection of documentaries, independent films, and foreign works, offering a refreshing escape from modern life.
For an adventure-packed day, head to Busch Gardens, Tampa’s premier theme park. Embark on exhilarating rollercoaster rides and marvel at a diverse array of wildlife in their natural habitats. The park features over 200 different species and offers various ways to encounter them, including tram rides and skyway gondolas. Zip-lining, live shows, and exciting games are also available, ensuring an adrenaline-filled experience for visitors of all ages.
Tampa Museum Of Art
Indulge your artistic side at the Tampa Museum of Art, located in Downtown’s Gasparilla Plaza. This cultural institution provides inspiration for all ages, with both indoor and outdoor exhibits. The first floor’s floor-to-ceiling windows bathe the galleries in natural light, creating a captivating ambiance. On the second floor, enjoy a breathtaking view of the Hillsborough River from the balcony. The museum also hosts art classes and workshops, allowing families to engage in creative activities together.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Support a noble cause at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, a non-profit facility dedicated to rehabilitating and releasing marine life. While not extensive in size, the aquarium offers educational and interactive programs about sea life, featuring otters, stingrays, sea turtles, pelicans, and sharks. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet the famous Dolphins, Hope and Winter, stars of the beloved Dolphin Tale movies. Experience the thrill of educational films in the immersive 4D theater, where you’ll feel the wind currents as you learn about the wonders of the deep. Additionally, there’s an outdoor water playground for cooling off and a memorable wild dolphin cruise to embark on.
De Soto National Memorial
Preserving the history of the indigenous people who suffered at the hands of Hernando De Soto and his army in 1539, the De Soto National Memorial is a significant park. Guided by knowledgeable park rangers, visitors can explore the nature trail and learn about the De Soto expedition through chilling historical tales shared by volunteers at Camp Uzita. Enjoy the picturesque De Soto Point Beach for swimming and boating activities, and take note that this pet-friendly memorial encourages visitors to bring their furry companions along to enjoy the park’s trails and water areas.
Grady Goat Yoga Tampa Bay
Combine yoga with adorable companions at Grady Goat Yoga Tampa Bay. Hosted by the Grady Goat Foundation, these Saturday morning goat yoga classes offer a unique experience. Surround yourself with playful goats as you participate in your yoga practice—expect them to join in by hopping onto your back or providing assistance with your poses. If yoga isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy the company of these lovable goats. Make sure to secure tickets in advance, as classes tend to sell out. This nonprofit organization supports various charities throughout Tampa Bay, so your participation in goat yoga contributes to the greater good.
St. Pete Pier
While technically not in Tampa, the St. Petersburg Pier is a must-visit location due to its proximity and the exceptional experiences it offers. Spanning 26 acres and located in downtown St. Pete, the pier offers breathtaking views of Tampa Bay. Adults can enjoy the diverse selection of bars and restaurants, take leisurely strolls while admiring the various art installations, or try their hand at fishing from the designated fishing pier. For children, there’s a splash pad, playground, discovery classroom, and more. Don’t miss the opportunity to include this scenic spot on your itinerary and take home a genuine piece of Tampa Bay as a souvenir.
Lovebirds’ Paradise-Tampa Bay’s Top Romantic Getaways
Tampa offers a romantic haven for couples, with its stunning beaches, captivating sunsets, and a mix of natural beauty and urban attractions. Here are some delightful things to do in Tampa for couples to enjoy:
Honeymoon Island State Park
Escape to the serene Honeymoon Island State Park, located a short drive from downtown Tampa. Take a romantic stroll along the pristine 4-mile stretch of white-sand beaches, basking in the beauty of the Gulf Coast. Explore the island’s nature trail, a paradise for birdwatchers, where you can spot eagles, ospreys, and other majestic creatures. Keep an eye out for charming forest dwellers like raccoons and armadillos.
Couple’s Kayaking Adventure
Embark on a thrilling couple’s kayaking adventure and discover the breathtaking landscapes surrounding Tampa. With favorable weather year-round, there are numerous picturesque waterways to explore. For an urban twist, paddle across Tampa Bay, enjoying views of the city skyline in the distance. Nature enthusiasts will be captivated by the shimmering waters, barrier islands, and wildlife found in the Shell Key Preserve.
Take your appreciation of Clearwater’s sparkling waters to new heights with a helicopter tour provided by Tampa Bay Aviation. Perfect for special occasions or a spontaneous surprise date, these flights depart from Clearwater and St. Pete, offering a unique perspective of your favorite local beaches and attractions. Enhance your experience by upgrading to include indulgent extras like chocolate-covered strawberries, champagne, and roses for an additional fee.
Tampa Electric Boat Cruises
Indulge in the tranquility of Tampa’s waterways with a romantic electric boat cruise. Operated by eBOATS Tampa, these electric boats provide a nearly silent and effortless experience, perfect for a romantic ride. Rent a boat for 1 to 4 hours and enjoy the unique perspective of Tampa’s waterfront. The longer you explore downtown Tampa together, the more you’ll save on the hourly rate, creating an enchanting experience for couples.
Exploring The Best Local Restaurants-Best Eating Options
Tampa is renowned for its vibrant food scene, offering a diverse range of culinary delights. To truly experience the local gastronomy, here are some must-visit eateries where you can eat like a local:
For a taste of Irish-inspired cuisine in a laid-back atmosphere, head to Hattricks, a beloved local sports tavern and pub. Indulge in mouthwatering pub grub, including perfectly cooked burgers, sandwiches, and slow-roasted pork. The extensive drink selection features a wide array of local and imported craft beers, making it a fantastic spot to enjoy a game on the multiple TVs adorning the walls.
Goody Goody Burgers
Transport yourself back in time at Goody Goody Burgers, a nostalgic American diner that offers quick yet delectable meals made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. This eatery is a revival of a historic restaurant that first opened in 1925, preserving its traditional charm. Feast on their signature burgers, and delicious pies, or opt for their popular griddle cakes if you’re visiting for breakfast or brunch.
Start your day right at Samaria Café, a popular breakfast and lunch spot celebrated for its delicious food and attentive service. Treat yourself to classic American breakfast options, such as steak and eggs, bacon, sausage, and more. The passionate staff takes pride in providing exceptional service, making this café a go-to destination for locals seeking a reliable and enjoyable dining experience.
Some Accommodation Options In Tampa-Where To Stay
When planning a trip to Tampa, it’s essential to find the perfect place to stay, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience. With an array of options available, we have curated a list of the best hotels in Tampa to make your decision easier.
Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay
Indulge in the ultimate escape at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, an exquisite oceanfront hotel that guarantees a serene and upscale experience. With its idyllic location along the scenic Courtney Campbell Causeway, this pet-friendly hotel provides direct access to the breathtaking beaches of Clearwater. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or a touch of elegance, the Grand Hyatt offers spacious and luxurious rooms that will make your stay unforgettable. Plus, with its convenient proximity to Downtown Tampa and Tampa International Airport, you’ll enjoy both tranquility and convenience.
For those seeking a more central location, the Epicurean Hotel is a boutique gem that combines elegance with indulgence. Pamper yourself at the fabulous on-site spa, where you can indulge in rejuvenating treatments, or bask in the Florida sun by the inviting pool. Food enthusiasts will delight in the hotel’s proximity to renowned restaurants, including the legendary Bern’s Steakhouse.
Le Méridien Tampa
Immerse yourself in a world of luxury at Le Méridien Tampa, where historic architecture meets modern sophistication. This four-star hotel boasts an elegant ambiance, an inviting pool for relaxation, and an on-site bar and restaurant to satisfy your culinary cravings. Located in the heart of Downtown Tampa, just steps away from iconic landmarks like the historic Tampa Theater and the picturesque Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Le Méridien Tampa offers both convenience and style in one unforgettable package.
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In conclusion, Tampa offers a plethora of incredible experiences and activities for every traveler. Whether you’re seeking adventure in the great outdoors, immersing yourself in the vibrant cultural scene, or indulging in delicious cuisine, there is no shortage of things to do in Tampa. From the stunning beaches to the bustling cityscape, Tampa invites you to explore its charm and create unforgettable memories. So, pack your bags, put on your exploring shoes, and get ready to embark on a journey filled with excitement and discovery.