The Tampa Bay area is one of the top holiday destinations in Florida. Home to picturesque beaches blessed with almost year round sunshine, it is one of the leading destinations for beach vacations in the US.
A prominent conservation area of marine wildlife, Tampa Bay attracts a large number of nature lovers. However, there is more to Tampa Bay than sand, sea and sunshine. It also offers a number of recreational and cultural venues. Regardless of the type of vacation you are planning in the Tampa Bay area, there is something for everyone in this beautiful part of Florida.
Things To Do In Tampa Bay
RelaxOn The Beach
When we talk about Tampa Bay the first thing that comes to our mind is its lovely beaches lapped by the warm waters of the sea. With almost year round sunshine, the beaches dotting the Tampa Bay area are the perfect destinations for soaking up the sun. One of the best family-friendly beaches in the area is Fort DeSoto Park. Situated to the south-southwest of the city of St. Petersburg, the park comprises of five islands.
In addition to the popular North Beach, Fort De Soto Park offers several unspoiled areas for camping and angling. Another popular beach area for leisure and recreation is the Clearwater Beach, about 40 km from Downtown Tampa. The Tampa Bay area is home to eight other fascinating beaches including Archibald Beach Park, Caladesi Island State Park, Ben T Davis Beach, Egmont Key State Park, Davis Islands Beach, Honeymoon Island State Park, Fred Howard Park Beach and Indian Rocks Beach.
Explore Busch Gardens
Ever thought that you can catch a glimpse of the African wilderness at the heart of Florida? For an exotic adventure visit Busch Gardens Tampa, one of the most visited theme parks of USA. Busch Garden offers a wide range of thrilling adventures for kids and families. The top attractions of Busch Gardens include the exciting roller coaster ride called Cheetah hunt, the twister-style wild coaster ride Gwazi, the Tanganyika Tidal Wave ride and more. For an African safari like experience, the park offers Serengeti Safari, Heart of Africa Tour, Serengeti Night Safari, Guided Adventure tour and more.
Visit The Florida Aquarium
Located in downtown Tampa, the Florida Aquarium is a prominent research and conservation facility. For kids, Florida Aquarium offers a water adventure zone featuring slippery slides, geysers and watery waves and giant figures of sea creatures. To explore the man-made reef and swim with the different species of fish, sharks and turtles that have made the reef their home, go for safe scuba diving in the Coral Reef exhibit area of the aquarium.
Dolphin Watching Cruise
Tampa Bay is one of the best places for dolphin sighting. If weather permits, cruises depart daily from the bustling port of Tampa Bay to the deep sea where the endangered bottlenose dolphins can be seen playing in the waters. To get close to the marine creatures, you can also opt for private boat trips and snorkel in the deep waters in the company of these lovely animals.
Visit Lowry Park Zoo
One of the top family-friendly zoos in the US, Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa is home to over 2000 animals. The 56 acres of lush greenery is divided into various zones dedicated to different animal species. The Safari Africa and Ituri Forest is a slice of African wilderness in the zoo, home to elephants, zebras, rhinos, pygmy hippos, cheetahs, giraffe and African penguins.
The Asian Garden is inhabited by tigers, clouded leopards, bears and the Indian rhinos. To get a glimpse of the Australian wildlife head out for the Wallaroo Station where you can interact with koalas, cockatoos, wallabies and other Australian animals. The zoo also boasts of a subtropical rainforest, home to a variety of vibrant colorful bird species.
Check The History Of Tampa Bay At Tampa Bay History Center
The huge exhibition area, spread across three floors of the Tampa Bay History Center, offers the history of Tampa Bay spanning for 12,000 years. Different areas of the museum are dedicated to different eras of history. Vestiges of the prehistoric humans and the first people of Florida and the European settlers are displayed on the first floor of the History Center. On the second floor, the interactive map of the region provides a virtual tour of the Tampa Bay area. Temporary exhibits are hosted on the third floor of the museum.
Visit Tampa Museum Of Art
Tampa Museum of Art is an important destination in the itinerary of art aficionados. From ancient antiquities to contemporary art, the Museum of Art exhibits art forms from every era. Not to be overlooked is the unique architecture of the award winning building of the art museum that resembles an electronic jewel box mounted on a glass pedestal.
Watch A Concert At Straz Center For The Performing Arts
Situated on the bank of the Hillsborough River, Straz Center for the Performing Arts is one of the most popular cultural venues in the Tampa Bay area. The performing arts complex, spread across 9-acre of land, comprises of five theaters, retail shops and restaurants. Musical concerts, plays and dance performances are held in the theater halls almost every day. Some of the popular annual events hosted in the performing arts center include Best of Tampa Bay, Broadway Theater Project, Florida State Thespian Festival, Eggstravaganza and more.
Attend Sunsets At Pier 60
The Sunsets at Pier 60 is a nightly festival held almost every day, if weather permits, after dusk at Pier 60 Park on Clearwater Beach. The festival features musical events, street performances and displays by local artisans. You can also watch free movie screening on the jumbo screen on weekends. This is one of the best places in the Tampa Bay area for buying exquisite handicrafts and fashion accessories. Magicians, fire eaters, break dancers, escape artists and other street buskers entertain spectators who gather every night to watch the street performers in Pier 60 Park.
Dining In Downtown St Petersburg Waterfront Restaurants
Downtown St Petersburg is one of the most bustling areas of Tampa Bay. It is a popular destination for gourmands in search for delectable local and ethnic cuisines. The area is dotted with upscale restaurants, stylish cafes and bars. From American casual to authentic Asian vegetarian dishes, foods catering to all types of tastes are available in the waterfront eateries. Not to be missed is the Saturday Morning Market where local farmers and vendors sell a wide variety of gourmet foods.