Categories: FloridaTravel Guide

Bucket List: Top 15 Best Things to Do in Tampa, Florida

Tampa Bucket List: Amazing Places to Visit in Tampa, Florida

Visiting Tampa is more than just a vacation – it is an adventure of a lifetime. Whether you go solo or with family, you are in for a stirring time. Tampa is filled with an infinite number of fun activities that can jam-pack both your days and nights. You can literally find fun at any corner you take in this sunny Florida city.

Geographically, Tampa is located in the heart of Florida, a location that contributes to its seething culture, history, and personality that it offers with some bits of southern charm.

What to do in Tampa? Here are the top 15 Best Things to Do in Tampa, Florida:

Seek thrill at Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens topiary lion photo via Depositphotos

If you are visiting Tampa for thrills, the first place you should stop is the Bush Gardens. This amusement park is known for being home to 9 of the most extreme rides in the whole of Florida.

Fancy being whisked up and down at more than 60 mph? Hop into one of the rides and scare yourself till you pass out.

Those who are not into intense rides and roller coasters, visit the largest zoo in North America at the site.

Explore the city of Tampa

Centro Espanol Social Club was the first Latin club organized in Ybor City at Tampa Bay photo via Depositphotos

Just like most southern cities, particularly Florida cities, Tampa is a vibrant city rich in culture.

Start with Ybor City, a historic neighborhood in Tampa founded in 1885 by Spanish cigar businessman Vicente Martinez Ybor. If you are a history buff, you will enjoy this area of the city.

For the best restaurants, museums, and beautiful parks, head over to downtown Tampa.

Enjoy crabs and corals at the Florida Aquarium.

Florida Aquarium by Palmount45 via Wikipedia CC

One thing everyone should never miss to do in Florida is seeing corals. At the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, you will get to interact with gators, Burmese pythons, exotic otters as well as other marine life.

However, the main attraction is a coral garden stretching 60 feet that are overflowing with a variety of tropical fish.

Have a snifter at the Tampa Bay Brewing Company

Tampa Bay Brewing Company photo via FB Page

Opened its door first in 1995, the Tampa Bay Brewing Company is one of the most popular microbrew companies in the city.

It focuses mainly on bespoke beers, and today, they serve more than eight regular labels and many seasonal tipples.

Admire big cats at the Big Cat Rescue

Big Cat Rescue photo via FB Page

To evoke your wild side, visit the Big Cat Rescue center in Tampa. Here you will encounter over 80 big cats rescued from big game hunters, circus, or neglectful owners.

You can take a full-day tour of the facilities to see big games such as tigers, lions, and leopards as well as bobcats.

Also on the menu are guided photo tours and on-site safaris.

Visit the Lowry Park Zoo

ZooTampa at Lowry Park By TampAGS, for AGS Media – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,  CC

The Lowry Park Zoo is considered the best family-friendly attraction in Tampa and has been welcoming visitors since the 1950s.

Over the years, the zoo has expanded and grown to accommodate more animals such as the white tigers, sloth bears, komodo dragons, and many others.

Other attention-seekers at the zoo include the black and white colobuses, lemurs, and lion tamarins.

Take a day trip to the Hillsborough River State Park.

Hillsborough River State Park By Mwanner at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

This state park is a jerry-rigged of vine-covered marshlands and wetlands, gigantic mangrove, and oak hammocks, all playing home to thousands of tropical birds and river alligators.

It is one of the oldest state parks in Florida and is hailed as among the last remnants of the real Florida.

Visitors come to the park to enjoy rover canoes, cycling through the meandering tracks, and strolling along the boardwalks.

Cool off at the Adventure Island water park

Adventure Island water park photo via FB Page

Located adjacent to the famous Busch Gardens, the Adventure Island waterpark is a great place to cool off from the sunny Tampa climate.

The park features several lagoons designed to resemble the Deep South; different slides; and artificial beaches that look like the Mexican Gulf.

The park also has an onsite dining option called Surfside Café and a replica beach shack that serves iced cocktails and cold beers.

Walk along the Tampa Riverwalk

Tampa Riverwalk photo via Pixabay

No trip to Tampa is complete without an evening stroll on the famous Tampa Riverwalk. Twisting its way through the city’s downtown along the Hillsborough River, this beautiful pathway is among the heartbeats of the city’s cultural life.

Besides the attractions lining this sun-kissed strip, Tampa Riverwalk is also a great spot for picnics and sampling southern dishes.

There are also several museums along the walkway, along with several eateries and shops.

Learn about the past of the city at Tampa Bay History Center

Tampa Bay History Center by Christopher Hollis via Wikipedia By Christopher Hollis – Own work, Public Domain,  CC

Though the city of Tampa may look modern, it sits silently on some fascinating histories. To find out more about its past, head over to the Channelside District, and amidst arcades and shops, you will find the Tampa Bay History Center.

You will learn about the history of Tampa as well as that of south-central Florida. The permanent exhibits include the pieces about the early days of the European invasion of the region and the Spanish conquistadores’ exploration.

Cheer on the city’s giants

Tampa Bay Rays via Pixabay

Tampa is blessed with several sports giants, including baseball heavyweights, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Tampa Bay Rays.

Book a sunset cruise

Tampa Sunset Cruise

If it is the romance that takes you to Tampa, you are in luck. From sunset cruises to dining on top of a cruise, your relationship is guaranteed the much-needed spark to ignite the passion that will remind you of the old days.

Try a Cuban sandwich.

Cuban sandwich photo via Pixabay

The best way to spark a fight between Miamians and Tampans is to ask them which city is the popular Cuban sandwich’s true birthplace.

But whichever city has the right claim, Tampa Cuban is one of the tastiest sandwiches you will ever see.

It is made with salami ham, Swiss cheese, pork, mustard, pickles, and fresh Cuban bread.

Jog along Bayshore Boulevard

Scenic Fort Lauderdale Beach along Beach Boulevard photo via Depositphotos

Stretching some 4.5 miles, Bayshore Boulevard offers the best spot to jog or stroll while enjoying the views of the sparkling Hillsborough Bay.

Enjoy an evening at Tampa Theater.

Tampa Theater By Ebyabe – Own work, CC BY 2.5,  CC

The well-preserved Tampa Theater is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. Here you can be amused by the Mighty Wurlitzer organ pipes or admire the theater’s breathtaking interior.

Tampa Travel and Tour Packages

To help you plan out your visit to Tampa, FL, we listed places to visit and other amazing Tampa, Florida. We also listed some of the best travel deals and tour packages and excellent flight deals and accommodation.

Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable Tampa hotels and resorts via Agoda, Booking, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

Want more updates about new package tours and tourist spots in Tampa, Florida? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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