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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.
More than just a beach city, Tampa is also a haven for art, culture, and loads of live entertainment. The diverse group of neighborhoods in this west Florida city represent the full spectrum of tourism quite well. Whether you want to keep your toes in the tide or stick to drier land, there is a neighborhood in Tampa serving up just the right type of vacation venue.
Downtown — The downtown district is the heartbeat of Tampa’s cultural scene, with contemporary art museums, ethnic eateries, and cultural festivals all a major part of the landscape here. You can also enjoy plenty of fine dining downtown, or marvel at the skyline.
Hyde Park — This neighborhood holds a lot of history, and it also possess some of the most fun things to do in Tampa. Take a run along the world’s longest sidewalk, which just happens to flank the Hillsborough Bay. Spend some cash at a vintage clothing shop, or have a few sips at a wine bar.
SoHo — Visit South Howard Avenue, more commonly called SoHo, within Hyde Park when the sun goes down. This lively neighborhood is known as an entertainment district above all else, teeming with dance clubs and live-music venues.
Southshore — Southshore offers something for land lubbers and seafarers alike. This is where Tampa and the Gulf of Mexico meet, so you can get on the water with a boat charter or enjoy a fine lobster dinner on the shore.
The best things to do in Tampa, FL also extend to the northern boundary, which contains many of the top amusement parks in Tampa.
Aside from the many sports and tours in The Big Guava, there are plenty of ways to be entertained while you’re in town. The theatrical offerings here are quite impressive, ranging from musicals and family-friendly performances to stand-up comedy. Venues like Carol Morsani Hall and The Straz Center always have something interesting on the stage. For the best photo opportunities in the Tampa area, head to spots like Sand Key Park or the Redington Long Pier.
On top of boat trips, beach combing, and surfing, Tampa has many appealing attractions. Busch Gardens® covers 300 acres in Tampa, boasting rides and wild animals. The Florida Aquarium™ is also located here, and houses everything from turtles to lemurs. If you’re looking for a bit of quiet time while you’re in town, one of the most relaxing things to do in Tampa, Florida, is walk through the Bok Tower Gardens.
There's no need to constantly reach for your wallet in Tampa. The following won't even cost a dollar.
Florida Museum of Photographic Arts - Approach the friendly staff and discover more about the interesting collections housed here.
AIDS Memorial Park - If you enjoy delving into bygone eras, this is one attraction you really shouldn't miss.
Tampa General Hospital - Pay a visit and learn about the importance of this place to the local community.
Wat Mongkolrata Temple - Do some soul searching or simply take in the peaceful ambiance at this sacred site.
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park - Grab your blanket, throw together a quick snack and find a cozy spot to be at one with nature.
If it's pelting down during your visit, ditch the umbrella and try out a couple of these appealing indoor activities:
You'll want to put these things toward the top of your must-see list to make the most of your visit:
You'll barely have time to pull your wallet out of your backpack with so many fantastic free things to do: