Things to do in Tampa

Last updated on September 5th, 2018 at 10:02 pm

Busch Gardens

busch gardens

Across the street from Adventure Island is its parent park, Busch Gardens. Another notable Tampa feature, the gardens have actually been around for longer than Disney World. It is also considerably cheaper to enter, and boasts of a number of themed sections focusing on the Congo, Morocco, Egypt, Nairobi, and Timbuktu. There are also exhibits focusing on the Serengeti and the Myombe Reserve, both of which enable guests to get really close to the animals.

Adventure Island Water Park

adventure island water park tampa

Adventure Island Water Park offers plenty of wet fun and excitement for the entire family. One of Tampa’s most enduring and most endearing landmarks, the park has been around for over 30 years. Although it isn’t the most modern or most innovative water park, there are plenty of cool features to keep families entertained for hours, including two swimming pools, several water slides, a volleyball court, and so much more.

Florida Aquarium

Florida Aquarium Tampa

Located directly beside the cruise port, the Florida Aquarium offers interactive, hands-on displays, exhibits featuring many different sea creatures and wildlife and has a great example of Florida wetlands housed under a giant glass dome. There are different shows during the day, including the Penguins Promenade. There is also a great outdoor water adventure area for the kids – Explore a Shore – where they can cool off among pirate ships and water cannons.

Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center

manatee viewing

Kids and even adults will definitely appreciate the Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center with its array of cute and cuddly creatures, mangrove forests, a stunningly beautiful butterfly garden, and a cool gift shop. Providing a unique opportunity to observe manatees swimming through the channels of the Tampa Electric water plant, the tour is a must for anyone who has even a passing interest in marine life. Best of all, it costs much less than a visit to most other parks and attractions in Tampa.

Henry B. Plant Museum

henry plant museum

Also worth checking out is the Henry B. Plant Museum, which is just as impressive for its antiques, architecture, and historical displays as it is for its setting. Located within the grounds of the Moorish Revival Tampa Bay Hotel on the campus of the University of Tampa, the museum provides a unique and detailed look into life in Tampa during the start of the 20th century, and also hosts a fascinating display on Henry Bradley Plant, the railroad magnate who created the museum.

See Excursions in Tampa

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Top Excursions in Tampa

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Clearwater Dolphin-Watching Tour
This tour will take you through the gorgeous waters of the Gulf Coast with your informative captain telling tales of the sights you'll see along the way. This tour guarantees dolphin sightings!
Duration: 1.5-2 hours
Activity Level: Easy
Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes

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Private Tampa Speedboat Adventure
Take the helm of your private F13 mini speedboat as your guided tour (over the boat's radio) takes you through 15 miles of beautiful Gulf Coast waterways. You may see dolphins or manatees as you tour through wildlife refuges and Fort de Soto park.
Duration: 2 Hours
Activity Level: Easy
Note: Tour leaves from St. Pete's Beach. 2 adults and 1 child max. per boat.

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Busch Gardens, Alfalfa River, Tampa Helicopter Tour
Experience Tampa from a bird's-eye view on this exhilarating helicopter tour. You'll fly over downtown Tampa and see the Florida Aquarium, University of Tampa, before heading over to Busch Gardens and the Alfalfa River where you'll get a glimpse of wildlife and roller coasters.
Duration: 1 hour
Activity Level: Easy
Note: Individual and group weight restrictions.
Wheelchair Accessibility: No