Best Things to do in Tampa Florida

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Best Things to do in Tampa Florida

Tampa is full of fun and exciting things to do year-round!  Whether you are a sports enthusiast or adventure seeker, the list of things to do in Tampa is virtually endless.  Below, we have compiled a list of some of the best things to do in Tampa that will satisfy any member of your family!

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There is no shortage of Tampa attractions that will appeal to anyone in the family.  The options are endless from indoor activities to help you escape the summer heat, to theme parks with thrilling roller coasters.  Here is a list of some of the best Tampa attractions. 

  • Busch Gardens – The ultimate family theme park, spanning over 300 acres of explorations from around the world. Within the park, you will find some of the best-known roller coasters, sure to please those thrill seekers in your family!  Additionally, Busch Gardens features a 65-acre Serengeti safari where you can experience up close encounters with hundreds of different animals!  If that is not enough excitement, the park also offers live shows, restaurants, shops and even a little carnival area with games for the kiddos.

  • Adventure Island – Located just across the street from Busch Gardens, Adventure Island is Tampa’s famous 30-acre water park where you can race down the rapids or cool down in the wave pool. Its central location makes this attraction a great place to head to in the summer to escape the heat!

  • The Florida Aquarium – 200,000 sq ft of a/c allows you to comfortably explore Florida’s different ecosystems and learn about the 8,000 animals in house. My kids love getting up close to the big fish, eels, sharks and alligators, but nothing makes them happier than trying to pet a stingray.

  • Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park – Hands down one of my kids favorite attractions in Tampa is the zoo. Tons of animals, a kids play area, splash pad, themed events throughout the year and opportunities for up close encounters with giraffes and other animals.

  • HorsePower for Kids – A hidden and local gem, this attraction has one of the best petting zoos around with tons of animals, including a Zorse (a horse & zebra mix).  Additionally, there is a playground, pony rides, and picnic tables to enjoy throughout the property.

  • The Tampa Riverwalk – The Tampa Riverwalk is a great way to see some of Tampa’s greatest attractions. With nearly 2.5 miles along the Hillsborough River, the Tampa Riverwalk is bookmarked by two popular venues; Sparkman’s Warf, a fun outdoor venue comprised of food trucks and eateries, as well as a bowling hall on the south end and Armature Works, a popular, industrial food hall on the north end.  The Riverwalk’s pathway winds its way through shaded parks, under bridges and over water offering tons of things to do along the way. The Riverwalk passes hotels with outdoor lounges, boat docks, river cruises, sports venues, parks and museums.

  • Dinosaur World – See over 200 life size dinosaurs, go gem mining and dig for fossils. What kid doesn’t like dinosaurs?

  • Epperson Lagoon – Located in Wesley Chapel, a northern suburb of Tampa is the nation’s first man made crystal lagoon over 7 acres in size.  A Day Pass gives you access to the massive pool, slidezilla the inflatable slide, family lawn games, beach toys, beach volleyball, and access to the tiki hut swim-up bar.


Tampa is becoming quite the foodie scene with a variety of dining options to please any pallet. Check out these suggestions for some of the best Tampa restaurants.

Top Tampa Restaurants

Berns Steakhouse (South Tampa) - located in S. Tampa,iconic Tampa classic, fine dining, dry-aged steaks, one of the largest wine collections in the world, wine cellar and kitchen tour, separate dessert room, dinner only. Reservations required far in advance.

On Swann (Hyde Park Village) - recognized by Michelin Guide as having some of the best signature cocktails in Tampa, On Swann offers a mix of italian and southern flare dishes.

Forbici (Hyde Park Village) - modern italian cuisine, roman style pizzas, fun atmosphere, craft cocktails and all Italian wine list.

Bella Brava (Midtown & Downtown St Pete) - USA’s top 10 restaurant in St. Pete, popular brunch spot, signature drinks and generous portions.

Ulele (Downtown Tampa Riverwalk) - located on Tampa’s Riverwalk with beautiful views of the Hillsborough River. Indoor and outdoor dining, American cuisine, with a carefully crafted eclectic menu and craft cocktails.

The Colombia Restaurant (Ybor City) - Florida’s oldest restaurant founded in 1905 (check out the 1905 salad) takes up an entire block in Ybor City and is a must for anyone visiting Tampa.

Wicked Oak Barbecue (Seminole Heights) - award winning, family run, no frills bbq spot in Seminole Heights. A local favorite.


Tampa has some of the best beaches in the country. While St. Pete Beach and Clearwater Beach are the most popular beaches, there are tons of other beaches lining the gulf coast. Check out some of our local favorite spots!

Honeymoon Island State Park - northernmost beach in Tampa Bay, Honeymoon Island has 4 miles of beautiful beaches as well as 3 mile trail through one of the last remaining virgin splash pine forests. You can see eagles, ospreys and great horned owls in this peaceful stretch of Florida. Honeymoon Island State Park also features a dog beach, a concession and a restaurant.

Clearwater Beach - known as one of the best beaches in Florida, Clearwater Beach spans a total of 3 miles of white sand shore with playgrounds and beach volleyball. This is one of the more touristy beaches in the gulf with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, ice cream parlors and shops.

Redington Beach - quiet beach with short-term rental condos and a few small hotels, Redington Beach is loved by locals for its calmer vibe. A local favorite is Candy Kitchen which has been around since 1950 and offers ice cream as well as your childhood favorite candies.

Indian Rocks Beach - small peaceful beach made for those wishing to spend the day relaxing or shell hunting.

Madeira Beach - another beach loved by locals, Madeira Beach is a beautiful gulf coast beach that also offers local shops and restaurants. The main draw here is John’s Pass Village, a historic fishing village with local shops, restaurants, and attractions such as dolphin watching cruises, fishing charters and boat rentals.

Treasure Island - this stretch of beach is uncommonly wide and offers plenty of space to set up with tents and chairs. Locals love to fly kites here and annually, they host a kite festival that draws out all the locals. Treasure Island has “old Florida charm” with its mom & pop style hotels and famous eateries, like Caddy’s.

St. Petersburg Beaches - southernmost beach in Tampa Bay, St. Pete Beaches are known for beautiful clear water and white sands with beach amenities such as umbrellas and chairs for rent. Two of the most notable beaches located in St. Pete are Pass -a-Grille Beach and Ft. Desoto.

Pass-a-Grille Beach

Pass-a-Grille Beach - another stretch of beach that offers old Florida, small town charm (and our personal favorite), has one of the narrower stretches of sand to lay out, so watch for high-tide and setup further from the beach than you think necessary. There are restaurants on the main strip as well as a beach concession stand offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Ft. Desoto - Florida State Park with a $5 entrance fee per car, Ft. Desoto offers pristine white sand beaches, overnight camping, public restrooms, playgrounds, kayak and bicycle rentals as well as one of the nicest dog beaches around.

Tampa is full of exciting things to do, and this list just scratches the surface! From relaxing on stunning beaches to enjoying one of the many festivals, Tampa offers a plethora of activities for all. Whether you're seeking outdoor adventures, cultural immersions, or simply enjoying the vibrant atmosphere, Tampa has something for everyone. Plan your visit and get ready to discover even more of what this incredible city has to offer!

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