A gateway to some of the best beaches on the Gulf Coast, this city actually has many appealing attractions away from the ocean.
The city of Tampa lies at the northern end of Tampa Bay, with spectacular weather in the heart of Florida’s glorious beach surroundings. Enjoy the many cultural attractions in the city and visit beaches and other towns all around the bay.
Downtown Tampa offers all the diverse restaurants, bars, shopping and nightlife you might expect in a large city. Stroll along the Riverwalk for all this as well as playgrounds, public art and the large Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Learn about the region’s early Native American residents and Spanish conquistadors at the Tampa Bay History Center in Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park. See a film, with a Wurlitzer organ prelude, in the lavish 1926 Tampa Theatre.
Visit the Florida Aquarium and take a harbor cruise on a quiet electronic boat (eBoat). Go east to Ybor City and step aboard the America Victory Ship, an operational World War II naval vessel.
The region has lots more activities for kids. To the north is Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, with more than 1,300 animals, including manatees in a critical care center. Go to Busch Gardens Tampa for endless roller coaster rides, shows and animal attractions. Across the street is Adventure Island waterpark. Nearby, let kids have hands-on experiences involving space, the human body, weather and a ropes course at the Museum of Science & Industry.
Watch professional sports with Tampa Bay Lightning hockey at Amalie Arena, New York Yankees spring training at Steinbrenner Field and Tamba Bay Buccaneers football at Raymond James Stadium. For outstanding stage events see a Broadway show, concert, dance or comedy at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts.
When you’re finally ready for some beach time, cross the long, tall and impressive Sunshine Skyway Bridge and head to Clearwater and St. Petersburg. The white sands and warm waters will put a nice cap on your visit to the Tampa Bay area.