Tampa used to be infamous for creating zoos and theme parks, but is now becoming known for its preservation of old homes and businesses and the modern food and beverage scenes that they house. Historical buildings are among the new places that have become home to trendy restaurants, stores, and shopping centers. Aptly named, the foodies of Tampa enjoy plenty of award-winning options. Tampa has a number of points of interest, such as Busch Gardens. Busch Gardens is a theme park that makes it so much fun for the whole family.
Additionally, there are several stunning natural sites located near Tampa. These sites creates an environment fantastic for people who wish to experience the beauty of the rainforest. The best time to visit Tampa is around September to December, when the flight prices drop by an average of 15%. In contrast, May to August is the peak season when the flight prices increase at an average of 13%.
Downtown Tampa is an area known for floor lanes, but the old quarters of Ybor City and Old Hyde Park are also downtown’s prime historic destinations. Franklin Street is the main pedestrian center of downtown Tampa, having an assortment of stores, restaurants, and other activities.
1. Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens is a large, African-themed, family entertainment and adventure park filled with thrilling rides, and exotic animals. You can go on safari to watch wild animals grazing by replicating African villages and scenes of the camp, and the special “Serengeti Night Safari”. Serengeti Night Safari is one of the most popular available. You can cuddle with kangaroos and giraffes. When you are here please watch the employees at the Animal Care Center tend to their animals.
Busch Gardens has many exciting activities for people of all ages, including kiddie rides and roller coaster rides that are an extreme thrill experience. There are many ticketing options for Busch Gardens, such as multi-attraction passes and packages with meals included.
- Address: 10165 North McKinley Drive, Tampa, Florida
2. Florida Aquarium
The areas of Tampa’s Florida Aquarium are arranged to represent a watershed much like the Tampa area. In this area guests can observe an array of aquatic life. You’ll be able to handle starfish, anemones, as well as other sea life in addition tons of land-dwelling life like the lemur. You’ll have the chance to get hands-on with the Florida Aquarium’s admission to skip lines, which features the outdoor Splash Pad, where kids can cool off.
4-D theater shows often include sensory elements along with movie theater films. For an extra price, visitors with a ticket for one of these shows can take part in backstage tours and in-depth interactions, such as swimming with sea turtles or meeting African penguins.
- Address: 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa, Florida
3. ZooTampa at Lowry Park
Formerly known as the Tampa Zoo at Lowry Park, the facility formerly known as the Tampa Zoo at Lowry Park now goes by ZooTampa at Lowry Park. While there, you’ll see more than 2,000 animals in their natural environments, including animals from a lot of region. Some regions are Africa, Asia, and Australia, as well as Florida habitats, a primate area, and an aviary.
In the zoo is a large aquarium and three pools where sick or injured manatees are rescued. You can learn to get closer to some of the zoo’s inhabitants, such as the opportunity to feed a rhinoceros in the “backstage” area of the zoo.
Popular zoo residents are the African elephants, African penguins, Florida panthers, and the Bornean orangutan. There are additionally rides at the park, including the safari ride through the African habitat, a miniature train ride, and a kid-friendly roller coaster for kids.
The zoo also hosts events and programs throughout the year, and visitors as well as locals alike are drawn to it.
Address: 1101 West Sligh Avenue, Tampa, Florida
4. Ybor City
The center of the Tampeño Hispanic community, Ybor City is a National Historic Landmark District. It is named for its founder, cigar baron Vicente Martinez Ybor. He came there in the mid 1880s, after workers at his Key West factory threatened unionization.
The Ybor cigar factory was among the largest in the world, with approximately 4,000 people involved hand-rolling over 900,000 cigars monthly. However, the Great Depression and automatic machines closed down this labor-intensive industry, and the factory was demolished.
In the past few years, the urban area has experienced a revival and is home to many stores, galleries, restaurants, and cafes. Particularly noteworthy is Seventh Avenue in Ybor City, named in Spanish as “La Septima.” The buildings have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Ybor City’s Columbia Restaurant is one of the oldest and largest Spanish restaurants in the country. This historic restaurant was established by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Herndez, Sr., in 1905. The restaurant is well known for its Spanish cuisine, evening shows, and old-world architectural charm. Live entertainment consists of flamenco and jazz in the cafe.
5. Tampa Riverwalk
If you’re staying downtown and are looking to have a nice place to stretch your legs, check out the Tampa Riverwalk. This 2.4-mile walkway winds its way along the waterfront, offering fantastic views of the Hillsborough River. The Riverwalk starts at Sparkman Wharf and ends at the Armature Works , or maybe the other direction, it depends on where you begin or end.
The Riverwalk has a host of engaging public art along its length, including murals, sculptures, and aquariums. Important Tampa landmarks are also along the walkway, including the Florida Aquarium and the Tampa Museum of Art. For the kids, there are 4 play areas, two of which have splash pads.
If you work up an appetite or thirst along the way, a fine collection of restaurants have sunny patios that serve up tasty dishes and even better people watching. Furthermore, the restaurants at the Sparkman Wharf are great selections for those seeking “container” restaurants. The rundown warehouse nearby is notable for its atmosphere of sanctuary and elegance.
6. Adventure Island
Florida can be hot most of the year and what better way to cool off as a family than hitting Tampa’s most popular water park, Adventure Island. Here, you’ll have your choice of nine major waterslides.
How brave are you? You may find out after reviewing the names of the waterslides: Vortex, Aruba Tuba, Caribbean Corkscrew, Colossal Curl, Vanish Point, Water Moccasin, Calypso Curl, and Riptide.
New in 2022 are the Rapids Racer and the Wahoo Remix. The brand-new Rapids Racer is a side-by-side dual raft run, where you can compete against your friends to see who can get to the bottom first. Moreover, the Wahoo Remix is an audio assault on your senses.
Adventure Island is conveniently located across the road from Busch Gardens.
7. Sunshine Skyway
Sunshine Skyway is a toll bridge located on I 275/US 19. This multi-lane “highway on stilts” is 12 miles long and curves gracefully across the entrance to Tampa Bay. Its most impressive feature is a 4.25-mile-long, high-level bridge, the middle section of which is suspended from two gigantic pylons, allowing the passage of large ocean-going vessels beneath.
As you drive over the new bridge, check out the beautiful views over the ocean. Additionally, the bridge itself is also an impressive sight and often photographed by tourists. If the wind is up, keep an eye out for kiteboarders racing across the water beneath their colorful kites.