Are you planning a trip to Florida? How about a visit to the largest city in West Central Florida, Tampa, with its stunning weather and beautiful nightlife? Tampa is a top tourist destination in Florida!
The city is a rollercoaster of fun. Mixed with excitement, you can’t get enough of the city with its multicultural population, theatre and parks, the impeccably clean penguins in the Florida Aquarium, and, of course, the world-famous Busch Gardens.
Let’s take you through the best things you can do in Tampa and live every minute of your stay in excitement.
Things To Do In Tampa
1. The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
The Florida Museum of Photographic arts is an experience you’re going to enjoy if you ever decide to visit Tampa.
It is clean and organized but does not offer an in-house museum store for purchasing items. It does, however, have a small wall counter with a few items for purchasing.
The Florida Museum is set up on two floors and included a mixture of photos and canvas, but mainly photos taken by several artists spanning decades.
The Museum has presented over 60 significant photographic exhibitions to date, with a range of permanent and temporary exhibitions showcasing the collections.
If you’re looking for something to do today in Tampa, this is a great location to go.
It also offers educational programs, instructor biographies, learner ships, and photography lessons for children and adults, as well as hosting weekly and monthly events.
On National Museum Day, we had the pleasure of visiting this museum with others! This exhibit, we must say, provides a fantastic experience.
The photography you’ll see is of the highest quality and most inspiring. The personnel were pleasant, and the building surrounding the show was fascinating.
Make sure you bring the whole family; they’ll be glad you did.
Address: 400 North Ashley Drive Cube 200, Tampa, FL 33602, United States
2. Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is an African-themed animal theme park located in Tampa, Florida. Owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, the park hosts over 4 million visitors yearly, and here are the reasons.
Even though the Busch Gardens is an African-themed animal park, it is partly a zoo and an amusement park.
Additionally, Busch Gardens Tampa features an array of exclusive park experiences, such as a Serengeti Safari and Guided Adventure Tours, live entertainment and shows, themed rides, and special kids’ attractions. You can also see up to 200 species of animals, including feeding giraffes.
Other activities are available at Busch Gardens Tampa, like food booths, gift stores, movie theaters, play parks, and concert stages are all available.
This park is an excellent destination for families.
Address: 10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
3. Armature Works
Armature Works is a fully restored mixed-use structure that gives the historic Tampa Heights area a new lease on life.
The historical monument has been recreated as a renowned community destination with innovative eateries, Heights Public Market, and renovated event spaces, with an unimpeded view of the Hillsborough River.
Armature Works is a one-of-a-kind collection of casual dining restaurants and eateries. If you’re looking for something more premium, they have a few options.
It’s like an expensive food court, but this isn’t your typical mall food court. All the dishes are unique. Grab a bite to eat, take a seat inside or outside, and soak in the scene.
This is a fantastic place to grab a bite to eat, especially if you have a large group with a variety of culinary preferences!
This place is outstanding! It’s like a much more upscale food court, but the food is like boutique gourmet.
You can sit anywhere, and the vibes are cool. There are couches, tables, bars, and stools. It’s just really a perfect place to hang out!
If you’re in town on the second Wednesday of each month, stop by the Heights Night Market in the evening.
You may examine and purchase locally crafted handicrafts in addition to many food trucks.
Address: 1910 N Ola Ave, Tampa, FL 33602, United States
4. Lettuce Lake Regional Park
Lettuce Lake Regional Park is about 20 minutes northeast of downtown. It features various ecosystems with educational exhibits and displays and also offers a variety of outdoor activities in Tampa.
At the park’s visitors’ center, you can learn about the park’s fauna and natural history.
This park is easily accessible thanks to a boardwalk and a paved walking trail. Many folks come to the park to get some peaceful, natural exercise.
A sizable children’s play area is also available. The park welcomes pets and bikes, although they are not permitted on the boardwalk.
If you visit at different times of the year, the scenery might change considerably, so make a point of returning to see what’s changed.
There’s a concrete track that circles the park and unpaved trails that snake through the woods and around the playground and picnic area.
Its broad limits, which have been protected since 1982, cover a diverse range of Floridian ecosystems. There are freshwater wetlands and a floodplain along with woodlands, marshes, and the winding Hillsborough River.
Visitors can kayak or canoe along streams besides strolling along gorgeous boardwalks; playgrounds and picnic spots are also available.
To spend some time on the River, you can rent canoes and kayaks. You pay for the rentals at the entrance booth.
The cost of admission to the park is $2 per person.
Address: 6920 E Fletcher Ave, Tampa, FL 33637, United States
5. Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay
Along the city’s waterfront in the Channel, side District is the fabulous Florida Aquarium, which boasts a massive collection of marine life. The Florida Aquarium is Tampa’s most extensive aquatic collection, with over 20,000 animals.
If diversity is your thing, then you won’t go wrong with this place. You will enjoy everything from the penguin views, colorful corals, or the beautiful dolphin cruise. There’s nothing like it being so close to nature.
Moreso, there’s also the 4D theater that will take you on a fantastic journey to learning deeply about wildlife while also giving you some physical satisfaction and a rollercoaster feeling by rocking your seats and hitting you with wind currents.
Address: 701 Channel side Dr, Tampa, FL 33602, United States
Planning a road trip outside of Tampa? Be sure to check out our list of things to do in Destin, Davenport, Siesta Key, and Alachua!
6. Tampa Riverwalk
Tampa Riverwalk is a walkable, bike-able path connecting culture and entertainment.
The Riverwalk connects downtown Tampa with the city’s Serene waterfront, many hotels, museums, different public parks, restaurants, and other entertainment venues.
The Historical Monument Trail, which runs parallel to the Riverwalk and is made up of exquisite bronze and marble busts and monuments honoring those who have played vital roles in Tampa and Hillsborough County’s history, is also located there.
If you are visiting with your spouse or date, this is a great location for a romantic date.
Address: Tampa Riverwalk, Tampa, FL 33602, USA
7. Tampa Theatre
The Tampa Theatre was opened in 1926 and is a revered community icon and one of America’s most lavish movie palaces.
Visitors visiting the theatre enjoy world-class entertainment under a realistic night sky with twinkling stars. They can buy a ticket to the Tampa Theatre at the old-fashioned glass booth that sits at the edge of the brick building.
However, the theatre is no place for blockbuster movies but a place for documentaries, historical movies, independent movies, foreign works, something that will take you on a journey out of the modern era to another era.
Address: 711 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602, United States
8. The Hindu Temple of Florida
If you are the type that enjoys learning more about history and culture, you can’t plan a trip to Florida without thinking about the Hindu Temple of Florida.
This temple is one of the best in Florida in terms of its traditional Indian architecture blended with contemporary style with free tours during the weekend. It’s so clean and peaceful. The canteen there is good with reasonable pricing, and it’s open on weekends.
Although there is a strict attire policy, sleeveless or shorts are not allowed in the temple to avoid distracting the worshippers.
The Hindus celebrate their festival grandly. Everyone is welcome here to see the temple.
Make sure you visit the Temple while on a trip to Tampa!
Address: 5509 Lynn RD, Tampa, FL 33624, United States
9. ZooTampa at Lowry Park
Another great animal-related attraction in Tampa is the Zootampa.
The best time to visit here is when it is just opened. This time, the animals are in their most active states and are friendly. You can get up close for better viewing angles.
Further, into the park, you can take a safari ride through its African area splash water about in the zoo park.
But do you know what’s better than taking a safari ride? Going by foot, you will get better viewing and have a more enjoyable look at the zoo, and don’t miss the manatee feeding!
There is also a good mix of food, rides, activities, games, and shows that are enough to make an entire day out of after you’ve seen all the animals.
Address: 1101 W Sligh Ave, Tampa, FL 33604, United States
10. Tampa’s Historic Columbia Restaurant
This is a very historical restaurant in town and the largest Spanish restaurant in the world. The restaurant is more interested in providing an experience than a substantial meal.
Aside from that, Many Cuban dishes are available and friendly service, there is also a gluten-free menu for those who need it, and vegetarian options are also available. You can also request quiet rooms as many of the tables are big for large parties.
The sangria and the Spanish flamenco dance? Absolutely the best!
Address: 2117 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605, United States
11. Tampa Museum of Art
The Tampa Museum of Art, founded in 1979, is a state-of-the-art museum and one of the top Tampa attractions. The Museum of Art is located on the banks of the Hillsborough River in Downtown Tampa. Focusing on ancient, modern, and contemporary art, the Tampa Museum of Art offers creative exhibitions and art education.
It has a stunning open atrium with a massive art exhibit suspended above it; Including pieces from people from varied backgrounds that add to the overall experience. This makes the museum more accessible to the public and raises awareness.
There is also a small cafe with food and drink options and a small outside space with tables. You can find the area beneath the building’s huge shaded area. It’s a lovely way to conclude or extend your stay.
The Museum opens from Monday to Sunday from 10 AM – 5 PM.
Address: 120 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL 33602, United States
12. Take a visit to the Ybor City
Conveniently located just northeast of downtown. Ybor City is designated as a national historic landmark. The city, also known as the Cigar capital of the world, once boasted 200 cigar factories.
Restaurants, bars, stores, and a cocktail-serving movie theater are all part of the complex, which also includes video gaming at Game Time and top-notch comic acts at Tampa Improv.
The Ybor City Museum society, through two organizations, provides an overview of the area’s history that should be included in any Ybor sightseeing trip.
You can even get a ride aboard the electric streetcar.
Address: Ybor City, Tampa, FL. USA
13. Downtown Tampa
Take a ride on a vintage streetcar that announces its arrival with a clang at each stop.
Downtown Tampa has a lot to offer visitors, including dynamic nightlife, family-friendly entertainment, a stunning waterfront, and award-winning parks.
There are plenty of fun events in downtown Tampa. It has cultural, sporting, and entertainment options for people of all ages, whether you want to have lunch in a park, stroll along the Riverwalk, or spend a whole day there.
One of the classic things you can also do is eat at the Bern’s steakhouse. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that begins when you walk into a restaurant that feels like it’s from another era and continues with sweets in the “dessert room”. Also has one of the largest wine collections in the world.
14. Hyde Park village
If you are the shopping kind, then look no further, as Hyde Park Village is a modern haven for discerning shoppers, vacationers, and Tampa locals looking for the best.
It’s a pleasant shopping center in the Tampa Bay area with a mix of major and minor stores, as well as upmarket fast food and restaurant alternatives. Exciting events like the Fresh Market and free fitness classes bolster the sense of community and neighborhood feel in the Village.
Address: 1602 W Snow Ave, Tampa, FL 33606, United States
Wish to have more fun in another city while still in Florida? Check out our list of things to do in Stuart, things to do in Marianna, things to do in Apopka, and things to do in Clermont!
15. International Plaza and Bay Street
Another great place to go shopping is the international plaza and bay street located right next to the airport, is the premier shopping mall, featuring three upscale department stores.
It is the dominant shopping mall and dining destination on the west coast of Florida and you may fill your shopping bags with a wide selection of clothes, shoes, snacks, toys, souvenirs, and travel necessities because it is home to literally hundreds of stores and eateries.
It’s also easy to navigate around and just the walking around.
Moreso, if you are someone with an eye for the exquisite and luxury, look no further, you can get as much as you want, be it Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Tiffany, etc.
Address: 2223 N Westshore Blvd, Tampa, FL 33607, United States
16. Tampa Bay SUP & Kayaking
When the weather is as nice as it is in Downtown Tampa, there’s no need to stay indoors. The Tampa Bay SUP Company, which is located on the waterfront near the Tampa Marriott Hotel on Florida Avenue, is the place to go to test your balance on a SUP paddleboard on the calm waters of the Hillsborough River.
Stand-Up SUP (stand-up paddle boarding) is the world’s fastest-growing water sport/recreation. It’s also simple, a family adventure, and a lot of fun! It also gets you outside and into the water! A Paddleboard provides a great view!
If paddle boarding isn’t your thing, go for a two-hour kayak ride and keep an eye out for dolphins in the bay.
Address: 700 S Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33602, United States
17. Agua Luces
Agua Luces, an initiative of Tampa Bay’s Mayor Buckhorn, covered the cleanup and lighting of five downtown bridges
At night, the architecture of downtown Tampa transforms into a light show. Every day from sunset to sunrise, five of the district’s nine bridges are illuminated, creating a spectacular picture.
Take a sunset walk along the riverfront with your family or even your date. You can even go alone all by yourself or rent an E-boat to get the greatest views.
18. Glazer Children’s Museum
The Glazer Children’s Museum, along with the Tampa Riverwalk and Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, is located in the city’s heart.
It’s a terrific museum with an incredible collection of interactive exhibits ranging from art and the human body to science, math, and technology.
Super cool museum for kids. Ideal for toddlers, ages 2 and up. Lots of interactive things for them to do. Lots of learning tools for start-ups engineers, musicians, artists, farmers, ambulance drivers, doctors and more.
It features over 170 hands-on displays and activities, as well as several themed sections where children may experiment and engage.
Address: 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL 33602, United States
19. Amelie Arena
Watch the Tampa Bay Lightning, play a fast-paced ice hockey match at the Amalie Arena if you’re looking for an entertaining event to attend while in town. The massive stadium overlooks the Garrison Channel and is located along the Tampa Riverwalk.
The views of Tampa from inside the area (upper level) are pretty nice as well
The arena, formerly known as the Ice Palace, first opened its doors in 1996 and has since hosted many NHL games. It also hosts college basketball games, arena football games, wrestling tournaments, and the occasional racing event on a regular basis.
Address: 401 Channel side Dr, Tampa, FL 33602, United States
20. Hillsborough River State Park
Hillsborough River State Park has been dubbed “one of Florida’s last wild locations where you can explore historic structures, and have a picnic with friends.
This River State Park also offers a variety of outdoor activities. Fishing in the Hillsborough River, hiking or biking on the trails, and picnicking beneath the pavilions are just a few of the activities available.
It’s densely forested, with swamps, vines, bayous, and mangroves, and alligators can be seen slinking through the marshes.
Camping is another popular activity at Hillsborough River State Park, just a short distance from the bustling city of Tampa.
21. Skatepark of Tampa
The Skatepark of Tampa, sometimes known as “SPoT,” is one of Florida’s most well-known skate parks.
Both novice and professional skaters will find rails, ramps, and jump points. Spectators will find seats and refreshments.
The park has been featured in everything from video games to documentaries, making it a pop-cultural monument that should be on your list of things to do in Tampa.
However, you can bring your own gear or rent it from the on-site shop; they strive to make it as simple as possible for people of all skill levels to have a good time
Address: 4215 E Columbus Dr, Tampa, FL 33605, United States
22. Tampa Bay Food Tour
Who doesn’t like great food, especially one in Tampa?
If you are a foodie like us, you would love Tampa Bay Food.
It serves delectable Tampa cuisine, and you will never forget the delectable taste. Crab cakes, lobster pizzas, dessert shooters, and a variety of other dishes are available.
This restaurant serves wonderful Florida cuisine, and you should stop by and try one of their cheeseburgers.
23. The castle
This is a must see place if you’re looking for nightlife in Tampa. One of the best clubs in the country Complete and utter freedom to be yourself.
The gothic architecture and dark, sexy vibes are just remarkable. It has three different sections for music and five places for hanging out.
There are different drinks to choose from, from a diverse selection of single malt scotches, small-batch bourbon, aged tequila and an eclectic mix of beers from around the world didn’t hurt either.
Address: 2004 N 16th St, Tampa, FL 33605, USA
24. Big Cat Rescue
The big cat rescue is an animal sanctuary in citrus park.
The sanctuary is dedicated to rescuing and housing native wild cats and other exotic felines who have been injured or orphaned. Big Cat Rescue, which was founded in 1992, is now home to over 100 wild cats representing 11 species.
However, visitors can take a variety of guided tours through the facility, including taking photographs and as well as feeding and seeing the resident cats, which include tigers, bobcats, cougars, and mountain lions.
Address: 12802 Easy St, Tampa, FL 33625, United States
See also the list of things to do in Fort Myers, Key Largo, Gainesville, Melbourne, and Tallahassee!
25. Oxford Exchange
Oxford Exchange is located right across from the University of Tampa.
The inside of Oxford Exchange has been meticulously maintained to draw attention to its modern beauty. Transitions between the two stores, the restaurant, and the cafe are smooth. It has the atmosphere of a historic location with modern touches.
This amazing exchange wowed visitors right away with its ambiance and lovely details. Nutcrackers, brilliant Christmas ornaments, and rich garland adorned the outside awning. A bookstore, coffee shop, and champagne bar greet you as you enter.
With tufted velvet pieces that explode with color, the furniture is exquisite but playful. The dining room is spacious, with an enclosed patio that is brightly lit and lushly planted. Whipped Feta, breakfast tacos, and the Autumn Veggie Salad are all delicious.
Try the gimlet, Passion in the Afternoon (hello blueberry passion fruit sorbet and rose Prosecco!), and Rifle Paper Co. Punch. Gretchen, our server, was delightful. She provided excellent suggestions! This is an excellent opportunity.
There is a bookstore and a business specializing in home items and presents. Warby Parker spectacles are also available here!
With its wooden staircase and sophisticated artwork, the cafe area is appealing. Locals can use the communal workstation upstairs.
Address: 420 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606, United States
26. Dinosaur World
For dinosaur lovers or those that want to have a feel of ancient history, the dinosaur world is a great place for you to be!
Conveniently sitting between Orlando and Tampa in Plant City, Florida. Dinosaur World Florida is Central Florida’s only attraction dedicated to the giants of years past. Encounter a wide variety of dinosaurs in a unique, natural lush garden setting.
In the park’s boneyard, look for real fossils and a life-size dinosaur skeleton. Although it may appear gimmicky, Dinosaur World is frequently rated as one of Florida’s best attractions.
Young children and older children who are interested in paleontology will enjoy interactive activities (or “Jurassic Park”).
Dinosaur World is a great experience for wholesome and educational family fun. The door fee is reasonable for a large, week put together attraction.
Besides, a large gift shop with decently priced items for kids and adults is also available.
Fun activities for kids between rock mining and fossil excavation; and dozens of large full-size dinosaurs and animatronics to take photos with.
Allow yourself to be startled by this charming Tampa park.
Address: 5145 Harvey Tew RD, Plant City, FL 33565, USA
27. Adventure Island
Next to the World-renowned Busch Gardens is another of the city’s top attractions: Adventure Island.
The park features water rides, dining, and other attractions. The park is one of the best places to cool off with the different water rides, countless pools and raft rides, etc.
Also, the four-man family raft ride with the plunges is outstanding! The “cliff jumping” pool was an enjoyable, unique feature we liked despite being no-tech.
Address: 24th Gregory Lane, Tampa, 45432
28. Manatee Viewing Centre
This is a special manatee sanctuary that provides a protected environment for the manatee to live and breed. Visitors may observe the marine creatures bask in the warm water, taking a break from the cool waters, from the viewing platform.
An educational structure is put in place to even educate and instruct visitors on the habits and lives of manatees while outside, complete with mini-theater, nature trails wind along the banks and through picnic areas.
The best part? The manatee viewing centre is free to visit but only open when the manatees are around, usually from November to April.
Address: 6990 Dickman Rd, Apollo Beach, FL 33572, USA
29. Museum of Science & Industry
The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) is the intersection of science, technology and innovation in the Tampa Bay region where conversations and learning happen, knowledge is exchanged and new ideas are celebrated
MOSI is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering an interest in and understanding of science, industry, and technology in the community.
The Museum is the largest science center in the Southeast, with over 450 interactive and hands-on activities and experiences, including a drone and robot zone, 3D printing display, live science demonstrations, a working planetarium, a Bio-Works butterfly garden, and daily science seminars.
This is a terrific destination to visit if you’re seeking for exciting things to do in Tampa with the whole family. The museum also houses Florida’s only IMAX Dome Theater, the Florida Hospital DOME Theater, which shows films, movies, and shows on the big screen.
Address: 4801 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33617, United States
30. Tampa Bay Brewing Company
The Tampa Bay Brewing Company is one of Florida’s oldest breweries and a major tourist attraction for visitors to the Tampa area.
You won’t want to miss it if you’re searching for nice cuisine, excellent drink, and good company.
It’s not a flashy location. You won’t see folks with their pinkies in the air snacking on fine cheeses and sipping imported wines.
The Tampa Bay Brewing Company is a down-to-earth organization. It’s a family-run business that specializes in genuine homebrews that will have you licking your lips and begging for more.
They’re available to sample in the taprooms, at special brewing events, and as part of a meal at the on-site cafe and patio bar.
Make time for the Tampa Bay Brewing Company on your Tampa vacation if you enjoy beer.
Although Florida has several breweries, this is one of the greatest, thus it merits a thumbs up.
Address: 13937 Monroes Business Park, Tampa, FL 33635, United States
31. Clearwater Beach
The northernmost built barrier island along the Tampa Bay Beaches is Clearwater Beach, Florida.
Clearwater Beach has a reputation as an outstanding holiday location for people of all ages from all over the world and has repeatedly been recognized as the greatest beach by many organizations.
However, if you’re willing to go a little south of Tampa, Clearwater Beach is undoubtedly the best beach.
It’s about 25 miles west of Tampa Bay and has pretty much everything you could desire from a beach. Swimming, surfing, jet-skiing, parasailing, and paddle boarding are all options for adrenaline junkies.
There are stores, cafes, restaurants, boardwalks, and a variety of street performers and musicians for culture buffs.
32. USF Contemporary Art Museum
The Museum was founded in 1989 with the mission of collecting, preserving, and presenting major and creative contemporary art exhibitions from across the world. If you enjoy contemporary art, then this is a great place for you.
You will see a wide range of contemporary artworks and the shows change out frequently. There are no permanent pieces on display for every visit. It is always a fresh experience.
Yes, some describe the place as a small museum. However, the set that is here is genuinely cool and some of it engaging. They host events regularly and it feels nice and comfortable to walk in with great reception.
Address: 3821 USF Holly Drive, Tampa, FL 33620, United States
Planning your trip to Florida?
There it is, some of the best things you can do in Tampa, Florida if you happen to visit. With these, you can confidentially plan your trip, knowing fully well you will experience one of the best and most memorable times of your life.
Florida is such a big place, with lots of fun. You can’t go wrong visiting!