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Top Five Things To Do In Tampa

A beautiful coastal city not far from the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa is bursting with colourful activities for visitors of every age. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly fun, exciting places to eat or a buzzing nightlife, there’s plenty to do right on your doorstep. Between the botanical gardens, the bay itself and the nearby amusement parks, you can entertain adrenaline-junkies, animal lovers and shopaholics alike, not to mention there’s a generous selection of restaurants to satisfy even the fussiest of foodies.

Travelling on a smaller budget? We’ve got you covered! Check out our travel guide on things to do in Florida which are completely free.


  1. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay


Cost: from $84.99

Location: 10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612


One of the best family attractions in the whole state, Africa-themed park Busch Gardens is guaranteed to make a great day out, come rain or shine. Pluck up your courage and try famous rides like Falcon’s Fury and Cobra’s Curse, or if you don’t mind getting damp, whizz down the Congo River Rapids!


There’s more than just rollercoasters at Busch Gardens – pop into the theatre where you can enjoy seasonal shows from world-class performers, or book a safari tour to see your favourite animals up close, like sloths, giraffes, rhinos and more.


  1. Tampa Riverwalk


Cost: FREE

Location: Tampa Riverwalk, Tampa, FL 33602


This is a pretty romantic spot; stroll along Tampa Riverwalk by night and enjoy the twinkling reflections of bright city lights on the water. This idyllic stretch is scattered with things to do, see and eat. See what’s on at the Convention Center, try Native-inspired cuisine at Ulele restaurant, hear some live music or head to The Sail for a cocktail on the waterfront. 


  1. Tampa Museum of Art


Cost: from $7.50

Location: Cornelia Corbett Center, 120 W. Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL 33602


A cultural highlight in the heart of the city, this is a must-visit for anyone interested in modern and contemporary art. Tampa Museum of Art houses several permanent collections, such as Classical Antiquities, 20th Century Photography and Decorative Arts and Sculpture. There are also brilliant exhibitions by both local and international artists, which change throughout the year, so you can keep on coming back!


Every museum needs a good gift shop, and this gallery store doesn’t disappoint! It’s packed with prints, artist merch and great gifts – once you’ve shopped, why not head to the café for lunch?



  1. Big Cat Rescue


Cost: from $29

Location: 12802 Easy St. Tampa, FL 33625


The largest accredited sanctuary in the USA, Big Cats Rescue is a safe haven for abused and abandoned exotic cats, where they receive expert care from trained professionals. When you visit, you can enjoy an hour and half tour of the facility, where you’ll meet all kinds of big cats, including jaguars, tigers, lions and leopards, as well as smaller animals like bobcats, cougars and even a Canada lynx. 


Big Cat Rescue offers kid-friendly tours with extra info for your little ones, but all sessions need to be booked in advance, so make sure you don’t turn up without a reservation!


  1. Ybor City


Cost: FREE

Location: Ybor City, Tampa, FL 33605


Founded in the 1880s by Vincente Martinez-Ybor and several other famous cigar-manufacturers, Ybor City is a unique historical community, previously known as ‘the cigar capital of the world’. This vibrant district of Tampa was once populated almost exclusively by immigrants from Spain and Cuba – as a result, it’s home to some of the most authentic Spanish and Latin American cuisine in the country.


Wander down 7th Avenue to browse boutiques full of hand-crafted goods, vintage shops and galleries, or head to Centro Ybor Mall to try the wine bars and catch a movie. If you’re keen to learn the fascinating history of this area, the Ybor City State Museum is a real highlight – built in an old 1920s bakery, it’s got buckets of charm and character.


Keen to visit? Head over to our Tampa Holidays page to find out more.

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