Tampa is a haven for anyone interested in a vacation on the water, or even just some stunning ocean views. Whether you’re on a family-friendly getaway or want to explore what Floridian nightlife has to offer, this coastal city is a great destination. The best things to do in Tampa don’t all involve the water, however. Landlubbers can stay just as busy as seasoned sailors. Whether you explore the local zoo or spend a Sunday at the theater, land-based attractions in Tampa will easily keep you entertained.…
Top 17 Things to do in Tampa, Florida
Set yourself adrift on a luxury yacht for a peaceful evening of refreshing beverages, relaxing sun, and fascinating wildlife. During this tranquil 2-hour voyage in the lap of luxury, marvel at the lively colors of the setting sun as a warm breeze gently brushes against your face.
Sip a drink selected from a variety of complimentary soft drinks, or bring your own beverages onboard. Your yacht drifts through the calm and protected waters of Boca Ciega Bay, home to a wide variety of tropical birds and marine life. On cooler evenings hot cocoa and blankets are provided. Make sure to bring your camera to capture the sun's final moments of the day. Read More close
Busch Gardens Tampa has something for every member of the family, from the daredevils to the animal lovers. Dive like a bird of prey aboard the thrilling coaster SheiKra. Soar like an eagle, roar like a tiger, and play with your little ones at Sesame Street's Safari of Fun.
The Falcon's Fury ride mimics the daring high-speed falcon stoop—a predatory maneuver where a falcon soars high into the air before diving steeply toward its target. The ride takes you more than 300 feet (91. 4 m) up its tower for a far-reaching view of the park, and then turns 90 degrees in midair to aim you face-down toward the tower's base. Before you know it, you're plunging straight down at a powerful 60 miles per hour (96 km/h), similar to skydiving without the plane.
And nowhere is the spirit of discovery more alive than on Cheetah Hunt, the triple-launch coaster sprinting across the Serengeti with spurts of pure acceleration. Walk away with lifelong memories of your adrenaline-filled roller coaster rides, new animal friends, and a greater appreciation for their vast wild world.
Read More close
As you spend time exploring the aquarium, meet the resident dolphins Nicholas, Hope, and even Winter—the inspiration and star of the Dolphin Tale movies who swims with a prosthetic tail. Get to know the stories of resident sea turtles, otters, and sharks, and touch our sting rays as they glide through the water.
Your day concludes, leaving you with a greater knowledge about Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s mission to rescue, rehab, and release to protect Florida’s wildlife. The aquarium’s staff and volunteers work each day to rescue marine life and provide the most advanced and effective care to maximize the opportunity to return sick or injured animals to their homes. As you leave the aquarium take with you a new appreciation of ocean life. Read More close
Set your course over the waves as cool reggae & steel band music fills the are on board the Pirates Ransom. Cruise into a swashbuckling world aboard this fantastic brigand vessel. Pass within cannon range of Captain Memo's deserted island, and keep a weather eye on the waters below to see dolphins leaping in the waves beneath the gangplank.
Feel the fresh sea breeze as it billows through the sails and gaze out at the horizon as you explore the Gulf of Mexico—it’s easy to imagine a time when real looters and plunderers ruled these azure seas.
Quench your thirst with refreshing complimentary soft drinks, beer, wine and Champagne—more spirited pirates can belly on up to the full-service bar to purchase their libation of choice. Listen as the pirate crew shares the legend of Captain Memo, and get ready for fun—buccaneers of all ages can get in on the wild action of a water fun fight, search for treasure on board the ship, and have their face painted with the skull and crossbones of the Jolly Roger.
Read More close
Cruise the clear intercoastal waters of Clearwater Beach and admire the numerous historic sites and luxurious mansions along the shore. As the sun sinks down and the evening settles in, keep your eyes peeled for playful dolphins leaping in the waters.
Take a seat in the glamorous dining room for a gourmet 3-course meal, enjoying your choice of a delectable menu of dishes all prepared fresh by an on-board chef. As you dine, enjoy live music and entertainment. After dessert, spend the rest of your evening taking in the scenery from the dance floor before your cruise comes to a close.
Sample menu includes:
- Tropical baby greens salad
- Bread with olive oil and herbs
- House dessert
- Chicken Marsala
- Chicken Spinachi
- Vegetarian Harvest
- Seafood Creole
- Cajun Stuffed Shrimp
- Grilled Salmon
- Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia
- Flat Iron Steak with 2 Stuffed Shrimp
- Flat Iron Steak
- Classic Filet Mignon
- Pork Osso Bucco Read More close
Boca Ciega Bay is an aquatic preserve that was designated in 1968 to cease dredging and filling work. This gorgeous bay is home to indigenous mangrove islands and miles of canals. The area is a natural setting for the playful and calm bottlenose dolphin. Spot dolphins and other wildlife while you sip a complimentary non-alcoholic drink. If you choose, make use of the onboard cooler and bring your own adult beverage.
Marine life abounds on this tropical outing and in the right season, you may even spot a manatee. Keep your camera ready to snap photos of dolphins swimming up to the boat and porpoising along the wake. At the end of your cruise, float back to the marina with a newfound appreciation of the local nature and the lovable bottlenose dolphin.
Read More close
On an intimate tour of the Chihuly Collection, see the permanent collection of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly, and be awed by this unique large-scale glass artwork that has thrilled audiences worldwide. In the Historic Train Station at the Center for Clay—one of the largest working potteries in the southeast US—catch behind-the-scenes tours and artist demonstrations.
Watch live glass blowing demonstrations at the Glass Studio & Hot Shop, and then learn about the science and artistic vision behind creating glass art as resident artisans guide you through the process. Bring your camera and be sure to check out the contemporary art exhibits, the Art Lounge, Make Space, and Salon30 at the Morean Arts Center.
Read More close
Explore MOSI's fascinating exhibits and activities with your admission pass. Discover what it's like to be “blown away,” suspended 3 stories in the air, have your head in the clouds, or just relax on a bed of nails. MOSI, the sixth largest science center in the US, is home to the largest children's science center in the nation and the only IMAX® Dome Theater in the Southeast.
Don't forget to check out Disasterville, which features Bay News 9 WeatherQuest and more than 10,000 square feet (930 sq m) of interactive natural disaster experiences. Then, follow the progression of life in The Amazing You and investigate Kids In Charge. Take your senses to the max in MOSI's IMAX® Dome Theater, and soar to the stars in our state-of-the-art Saunders Planetarium.
Read More close
Select this option for hotels in downtown Tampa.
Select this option for hotels in St. Petersburg/Clearwater.
Select this option for hotels in northeastern Tampa.
Read More close
Categories: Airport Shuttles & Limos
Set sail in search of the purity of Shell Key, a 1,800-acre (728-ha) nature preserve. The key protects sensitive marine habitats as well as numerous smaller islands formed by mangroves and large sea grass beds. The setting makes for a fun-filled shelling and snorkeling adventure, with wildlife and sea creatures all around. Cruise on a powerful 34-foot (10-m) catamaran in search of the perfect shell.
Bring your swimsuit and take advantage of snorkeling the reefs teeming with fish. As you float in the calm waters, search for tropical shells and colorful sea life. Next, choose to hover on the buoyant surface or dive to the white sand below the water. Once back on the boat, sip complimentary beverages and snap a few pictures to capture the memories of this seaside treasure.
Read More close
Categories: Day Cruises & Water Activities
There's nothing quite like a luxurious spa treatment to take you from tired and stressed to radiant and centered. With the Spafinder gift card, you can check in at salons, spas, gyms, or therapeutic centers that cover everything from facials and haircuts to Pilates and chiropractic work. Unwind and get glowing with a beautifying, de-stressing service at an elegant day spa, or find a fitness studio and work it out in a toning Barre class or a calorie-busting boot camp.
Your gift card never expires, and can be used on a wide range of treatments, classes, services, and products, whether you're in the market for a new yoga mat or wanting to touch up your hair color before a big event. Treat yourself to wellness—your body and mind will thank you. Read More close
Categories: Spas & Beauty
The coastline of Florida is home to many different ecosystems, plants, animals, and fish. Appreciate the luxury of a guided and narrated speedboat tour as you take in the picturesque surroundings. The most exciting part of this ride is that you are in charge of the steering. Power and weave your way around the waters of St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay.
Revel in the freedom to steer as you listen to expert guidance and instruction through high-tech headsets. Keep on the lookout for beautiful birds and manatees. Of course, the native Florida dolphins are very prevalent in these waters, so enjoy the playfulness of these animals. Read More close
Climb aboard the Pirates Ransom and grab a beer, a glass of wine, or some refreshing Champagne—you can also purchase cocktails or rum from the barrel if you’re seeking a more swashbuckling spirit. As you sail into the sunset off of Florida’s coast, it’s easy to imagine the days when these waters were rife with looting, plundering, and gold-burying pirates.
As cool reggae island & steel band music fills the air, feel the sea breeze and keep your eyes peeled over the gangplank for the splashing dolphins that call these waters home. Gulls and seabirds duck and dive around the crow’s nest as the pirate crew shares the legend of Captain Memo and leads you in a rousing treasure hunt on board. Get into the spirit with face painting, pick a side in an epic water gun battle on the open seas, and immerse yourself in the pirate’s life for the remainder of your cruise. Read More close
Beyond simply providing entrance to area attractions, your CityPASS booklet also contains valuable insider tips, hours of operation, and transportation information.
Your Tampa CityPASS is valid for general admission to the following attractions:
- Busch Gardens® Tampa
- The Florida Aquarium
- Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium
You also have the opportunity to choose 1 attraction from the following options:
- Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) or
- Chihuly Collection Read More close
Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo
One of the most family-friendly zoos in the country, the zoo has more than 1,000 animals spread across 56 acres (22 ha) of natural habitats. Hop along with a kangaroo, feed giraffes, and see white rhinos, stingrays, and lorikeets. Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo has many interactive exhibits designed to get you closer to animals than you ever imagined.
Museum of Science & Industry
As one of the largest science centers in the southeastern US, MOSI features 400,000 square feet (121,000 sq m) of hands-on exhibits showcasing science and technology, health and the human body, flight, and space. Check out exhibits and even pedal a bicycle across a 1-inch (2. 5-cm) steel cable, suspended 30 feet (10 m) above the floor.
The Florida Aquarium
The aquarium is home to more than 20,000 aquatic plants and animals, ranging from native Florida species to exotic creatures from around the world. Watch playful river otters in a natural setting and local American alligators relaxing in the sun. See many types of sharks, including Blacktip Reef, Nurse, Whitetip Reef, Zebra, and Sand Tiger sharks.
Read More close
At one of the most family-friendly zoos in the country, you can hop along with a kangaroo, feed a giraffe, and witness white rhinos, stingrays, and lorikeets. Enhance your trip with a ride on a roller coaster, bumper boats, the carousel, or the Gator Falls water ride.
Get into the swing of things on your visit to Primate World and see orangutans, chimpanzees, and brilliantly colored mandrills. The zoo's seven main exhibit areas include Asian Gardens, Primate World, Manatee and Aquatic Center, Florida Wildlife Center, Free-Flight Aviary, Wallaroo Station children's zoo, and Safari Africa. Explore and see amazing animals from around the globe.
Read More close
Home to a host of interesting and exciting animals, The Florida Aquarium is 250,000-square feet (23,000-sq m) and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Watch the sleek ominous creatures in the shark collection as well as the rare Australian leafy sea dragons. Amazingly beautiful, the long leaf-like protrusions all over their bodies are not used for propulsion; they serve only as camouflage.
After you see the penguins, watch playful river otters in a natural setting and American alligators basking in the sun. Take this opportunity to witness colorful, free-flying birds and a truly unique giant Pacific octopus. Arguably the largest octopus species, they can be found at depths of 6,600 feet (2,000 m).
Read More close