Located on the west coast of Florida, Tampa Bay is one of the state’s most diverse destinations. Florida as a whole attracted almost 31 million tourists last year and the greater Tampa Bay area found its hotels, beaches and attractions at maximum occupancy.
There is something for everyone in Tampa Bay, whether that’s catching a game at the Raymond James Stadium, meeting the wildlife at ZooTampa, or taking a relaxing stroll along the Tampa Riverwalk.
If you are soon to be visiting the area for a short break, here are a few places that are definitely worth a visit:
See the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Raymond James Stadium is home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a top NFL team who have won two Super Bowls so far. The stadium is easily accessible by car or public transport and both group daily tours and private tours are in operation.
In a 75-minute tour of the stadium, visitors are able to see a luxury suite, the stadium club, the team locker room, the pirate ship, the hall of fame, the field and more. These tours need to be booked ahead of time online, but this is easy to do via the stadium’s website.
If you visit to watch a game, you will be impressed by this stadium’s grandeur and size. Before you go, you may wish to check out the betting odds for the game and place a wager on the Buccaneers chances.
Meet the animals in ZooTampa at Lowry Park
ZooTampa is one of the most visited zoos in south-eastern United States and has almost one million guests each year. There are areas of the zoo dedicated to animals found in Asia, Australia, Africa and Florida.
The zoo has won numerous awards for the protection of endangered species and its educational exhibit aims to inspire visitors to join their effort to protect and preserve vulnerable wildlife.
Visitors may wish to start the day at Macaw’s Landing Cafe where they can grab breakfast until 10:30. Look out for the Macaw Flyover, where colourful birds fly together across the Zoo entrance.
Some of the best areas to explore include Manatee Mangrove, Key West Deck, Saunders Conservation Theatre and the Bald Eagle Overlook Gift Shop. There is also the Roaring Springs Family Water Adventure with the Lookout Landing Splash Zone to enjoy.
Rides here include Boomer’s Flyin’ Bananas, Overland Express Train and The Carousel.
Have an adventure at Busch Gardens
For those who love theme park rides there is also the famous Busch Gardens, which is located eight miles northeast of downtown Tampa and 30 minutes from Tampa International Airport.
There are both family-friendly rides and more exhilarating rides open to those who are fans of thrilling roller coasters. For example, the new Iron Gwazi is a coaster with a 206-foot-tall peak and top speeds of 76 miles per hour. Alternatively, Cobra’s Curse is a less terrifying ride suitable for families.
Also, for those that love the water, the Congo River Rapids provide a thrilling white-water rafting expedition. Stanley’s fall flumes are also a great option for adults and youngsters alike.
A day out at Tampa’s Busch Gardens is not complete without a stop off at one or two of the park’s food and beverage establishments. For a cool drink with Serengeti Animal Views there is the Giraffe Bar, or for a sit-down meal with plenty of choice there is Dragon Fire Grill.
This venue serves everything from burgers and pizza to Asian cuisine and chicken platters. For a great shopping experience, there is a selection of gift shops, emporiums and market areas.
Stroll along the Tampa Riverwalk
While there are plenty of indoor attractions in Tampa Bay, there is plenty to do outside in the sunny weather. The Tampa Riverwalk is a great choice and consists of 2.6-miles of open space and a pedestrian trail along the famous Hillsborough River.
You are able to enjoy river views while hiking, cycling or even on a segway. Why not travel along the river itself in a kayak or a water bike?
At the sound end of the walk there is a wall displaying 550 photographs from the photographer Bruce Marsh. You are also close to the Florida Aquarium and the Tampa Bay History Center.
Explore everything on offer at Ybor City
Lastly, check out Ybor City where you will find a selection of boutiques and vintage stores. There is also an array of bars, food options, a cinema and a museum. The museum exhibits a collection focussing on the cigar industry.
The GaYBOR district also has a choice of diverse bars and clubs to explore during the evening.
These are some of the best activities in Tampa Bay, be sure to plan your itinerary in advance to fit in all the best sights and attractions.