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Tampa Bay

Top Things To Do In Tampa Bay

Save 53% on admission to the top 5 Tampa Bay attractions with CityPASS.

With the incredible Florida weather and the jaw-dropping quality of its attractions, travelers will derive huge benefits from using Tampa Bay CityPASS ticket booklets. If you're looking for things to do in the Tampa, Fl area here are a few Tampa Bay’s top stops to add to any itinerary:


Busch Gardens Tampa

Busch Gardens Tampa has heart-lurching roller coasters, heat-beating water activities, climbing complexes for kids, outstanding musical entertainment, and expansive safari lands with wild animals. It’s an amazing universe of fun, and so diverse that it’s tough to pick favorites. But here are some musts:

Things to Do
Cheetah Hunt - Busch Garden’s newest and longest roller coaster rises high above the park for a panoramic view and then hurtles toward the earth to race through a rocky gorge, before zipping skyward again. It even includes a sweet corkscrew flip to keep you on your toes.

Treetop Trails - Smaller children will race and squeal, climbing nets, crossing bridges and crawling through tubes — there’s a multi-level maze for bigger kids. Plus, every child will enjoy the expansive, three-story Jungala play area, which includes a healthy amount of water splashing and jungle exploration.

What to See
Serengeti Safari - When you first arrive at the park, go to the Up Close Adventure Center and reserve a time to embark on a thrilling safari across a 65-acre plain with zebras, ostriches, and giraffes. You can even get close enough to feed giraffes by hand. You’ll definitely want to bring your camera.

Falcon’s Fury - The tallest freestanding drop tower in North America unleashes its frightening ferocity on Busch Garden visitors. Starting at 335 feet in the air, riders are spun upside down, plummeting toward the earth at 60 mph... headfirst! There isn’t be an experience like it anywhere else.

>> Learn more about the Busch Gardens Tampa.

The Florida Aquarium

For the state’s finest collection of sharks, stingrays, moray eels, alligators, otters and other slippery, swimming things, come to the Florida Aquarium. More than just a huge, sea life collection, the park has a wealth of water-inspired activities for kids, and scintillating shows. In addition, the park offers scuba programs for beginners and certified divers, and a wild-dolphin cruise aboard a catamaran.

Things to Do
Kids can play safely in the two-acre Explore A Shore water park with gentle waterslides, model ship climbing, and splashing in water jets. Guests six and older can Swim with the Fishes, taking a scuba dive through a replica of a Florida Keys coral reef. Certified divers can go face to face with the aquarium’s sharks. Extra fees apply.

What to See
In the new Journey to Madagascar exhibit, visitors can enjoy a variety of creatures in a variety of habitats, including ring-tailed lemurs and hissing cockroaches. Those who want to see what’s closer to home will enjoy the Wetlands Trail, which winds through alligator-invested waters and offers encounters with otters, owls and herons.

>> Learn more about The Florida Aquarium.

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

Rated the best zoo in the nation by both Parents (2009) and Child (2004) magazines, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo has 60 acres of animals. There are African and Asian animal habitats, aviaries, a primate area, and birds of prey. Best, there are plenty of interactive exhibits where kids can interact with giraffes, white rhinos, frogs, wallabies and even stingrays.

Things to Do
For a giggling good time, hop on over to Wallaroo Station, the Australian Children’s Zoo. There are animal encounters with koalas, wallabies, cockatoos, bats, New Guinea singing dogs, kookaburras and pet-able goats. This area also has a gentle, kid-friendly roller coaster and a train.

What to See
The zoo provides visitors with a rare and fascinating opportunity to view endangered manatees. There are two observation pools where visitors can get a close-up look at the zoo’s staff caring for injured manatees rescued from the wild. This is the only nonprofit manatee hospital in the world.

>> Learn more about Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Clearwater Marine Aquarium is most famous these days as the home of Winter, the dolphin with the prosthetic tail that starred in the motion picture Dolphin Tale. Bolstered by an all-star cast (Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman), the film has helped the aquarium’s attendance figures skyrocket. Dolphin Tale 2 stars Winter and a new baby dolphin named Hope who was rescued by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in 2010.

Things to Do
Visitors can stop by and feed Rufus, the pelican that appeared in Dolphin Tale, and get a photo with the star. There also are opportunities to feed sharks and stingrays, and to work with dolphin trainers, each for extra fees.

What to See
Take the Behind the Scenes Tour to see how the facility rescues, rehabilitates and releases sea creatures. Limited to very small groups, this tour is led by a staff expert who explains how the on-site animal hospital cares for injured sea turtles and others. Visiting the Clearwater Marine Aquarium is one of the best things to do in Clearwater.

>> Learn more about Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Chihuly Collection

Located on St. Petersburg’s waterfront, the Chihuly Collection is a vast assortment of artist Dale Chihuly’s dazzling glass creations, located in a stunning 10,000-square-foot building designed by architect Albert Alfonso. A pioneer of the studio glass movement, Chihuly’s glass artistry evokes ice, fire, space, the ocean and nature.

Things to Do
At the nearby Glass Studio & Hot Shop, visitors can watch glassblowers creating art and have a have a whirl at blowing glass themselves.

What to See
Take a scheduled, docent-led tour to gain a greater appreciation for Dale Chihuly’s whimsical works. Tours are included with admission and one of the top things to do in St. Petersburg. You won’t be able to miss the electrifying Ruby Red Icicle Chandelier, which the artist created specifically for the collection.

>> Learn more about the Chihuly Collection.

Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI)

Children can explore and expand their cranial potential in this wonderland of science, technology, nature and pure fun. There are dazzling, interactive exhibits about space, weather, even a high-wire bike (see below). One doesn’t have to be a science geek to have a great time, but it sure doesn’t hurt.

Things to Do
Explore living on the lunar surface the Mission: Moonbase exhibit. Kids will need all their wits and knowledge to stay alive in a harsh, unforgiving environment. And everyone will want to ride the High Wire Bike along a 98-foot-long steel cable suspended 30 feet above the ground (harness included). For just an extra $10, guests can scamper over the Sky Trail Ropes Course and whoosh on the zip line.

What to See
Visitors can learn the cause of all the crazy weather we’ve been having in Disasterville — an exhibition that explores the science behind tornados, hurricanes, wildfires and other phenomenon.

>> Learn more about Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI).

Fort De Soto Park

This free park is made up of five interconnected islands (keys) for a total of 1,136 acres of natural beauty. It has three miles of white-sand beaches, wetlands, birds and even a loggerhead sea turtle refuge. Click here for more information.

Things to Do
The park has a 238-site family camping area with facilities, plenty of picnic areas, two large swim centers with a concession area, and seven miles of paved trail.

What to See
Tour the 1898 fort, which, although never the site of any battles, still has its four 12-inch seacoast rifled mortars and two 6-inch Armstrong rapid-fire rifled guns mounted. Birders will appreciate that there are 328 species of birds to spot throughout the park.

>> Learn more about Fort De Soto Park.

Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks

Soak up some feasting and fun in this Greek-American neighborhood, which was built on the local natural sea sponge industry. The area makes a great day trip from the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area.

Things to Do
Here you’ll find the finest Greek restaurants, markets and bakeries. The gorgeous St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, which is said to hold the largest Epiphany celebration in the United States, is modeled after the St. Sophia Basilica (now a museum) in Istanbul, Turkey. During the winter months, visitors can stop at Spring Bayou, where the manatees come to rest and feed in its warm waters.

What to See
Check out the free Spongeorama factory, museum and movie theater to learn about Tarpon Springs, the Sponge Docks, and the history of the sponge industry. Spongeorama also has the world’s largest collection of sea sponges and a souvenir store, naturally.

>> Learn more about the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks.

Amalie Arena

A storm is rolling in and lightning is about to strike! Amalie Arena is the only place in the world where you can see electrifying bolts of lightning skate across the ice. Check out Tampa’s beloved NHL team—it’s an exciting treat that will cool you down and rev you up.

Things to Do
Ford Thunder Alley is the main entrance and epicenter of all pre-game fun. Live music, interactive games, and savory food and drink specials won’t disappoint. You can go inside Rolling Thunder, the Bolts’ mobile trailer, for the opportunity to meet the mascot, ThunderBug, and the Lightning Girls dance team, as well as compete in contests for both bragging rights and prizes.

What to See
ThunderBug and the Lightning Girls will keep everyone in the crowd entertained, and the video scoreboard is always showing off fun messages from the fans. No matter where your seat is, the view of the game is always striking.

>> Learn more about Amalie Arena.

Raymond James Stadium

Argh! If you be a Buccaneer fan, you won’t be findin’ any treasure…unless you’re at the one and only Raymond James Stadium. Pirates and landlubbers alike enjoy a bit of football every now and again and Raymond James Stadium has a lot to offer a sports fan or scalawag.

Things to Do
Raymond James Stadium is all about pirates. You’ll never be confused as to where you are because everything oozes Buccaneer spirit. The concessions are themed for the sea; Pizza Plank and Captains Grill are sure to satisfy even the worst case of seasickness.

What to See
Get to the game early to see the Jolly Roger, the giant pirate ship behind the north end zone in Buccaneer Cove. Whenever the Buccaneers score, a canon is fired off in piratey celebration. On the ship is the famed animatronic parrot—he chats with "Buccfans" and gives fans from visiting teams a hard time.

>> Learn more about Raymond James Stadium.

Lettuce Lake Park

Nature’s gifts are plentiful in all 240 acres of Tampa’s Lettuce Lake Park. From pinky-sized grasshoppers to alligators the length of a sedan, there’s more wildlife at Lettuce Lake Park than you could ever see on any nature show.

Things to Do
Rent a canoe and paddle down the Hillsborough River. Or stay on land and check out the boardwalk, which provides visitors with a scenic view of the lake and plenty of wooded picnic tables along the way. In the water and on the winding trails, you’re bound to see a good variety of Florida critters.

What to See
Head to the tower and climb up the stairs to get an overlooking view of Lettuce Lake. Bring binoculars to get a real bird’s-eye view of nature, and take plenty of pictures. Birdwatchers flock to Lettuce Lake, and any nature enthusiast will appreciate the wide variety of plants and animals around the vast park.

>> Learn more about Lettuce Lake Park.

Upper Tampa Bay Park

More than twice the size of Lettuce Lake Park, Upper Tampa Bay Park is a 596-acre natural wonderland. The diverse habitats of Upper Tampa Bay Park are sprinkled in every direction. With plenty of fresh air and peaceful nature sounds, Upper Tampa Bay Park is ideal for relaxation.

Things to Do
Cast your line and reel in a big one at the fishing dock. Visit the nature center for educational exhibits about the park history and ecosystem. The snakes and turtles are always great hosts, even from the inside of their glass homes.

What to See
Upper Tampa Bay Park is home to bobcats, butterflies, turtles, and tourists. Pines, oaks, and other native plants thrive in the park, just as the coastal waters attract otters, manatees, and the occasional bottle-nosed dolphin. From trees up high to plants down low, Upper Tampa Bay Park will keep you on the lookout for lots of wildlife.

>> Learn more about Upper Tampa Bay Park.

Tampa Theatre

The Tampa Theatre was resurrected from extinction in the late 1970s and stands as a nationally recognized historic building as well as a Tampa City Landmark. This 1920’s-era theatre still boasts the grandeur of an old-school movie theatre, and continues to thrive as an entertainment powerhouse.

Things to Do
Whether you’re into action/adventure or dramatic foreign films, Tampa Theatre will satisfy your film-hungry appetite. With 1,400 seats, you can bring your entire family to enjoy a black and white Sunday matinee, or strut in the theatre during the evenings for a unique indie flick.

What to See
Extravagant architecture and the warm glow of the Mediterranean courtyard compliment the twinkling night sky above. If you get there early, you can hear the Mighty Wurlitzer organ play rich music before the show. The lavish luxury makes the Tampa Theatre unlike any other.

>> Learn more about Tampa Theatre.

Bayshore Boulevard

Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard is claimed to be the world’s longest continuous sidewalk. At four and a half miles in length, it’s an impressive stretch for an active afternoon.

Things to Do
This jogging spot is popular because it showcases the best scenery an outdoor trail could offer. Bayshore Boulevard’s four and a half mile long sidewalk is perfect for the casual walker and the committed runner. Or, if you’re feeling a little quirky, strap on some rollerblades and skate the smooth pavement.

What to See
On one side of Bayshore Boulevard are clear waters and the Tampa horizon, and on the other side is the urban beauty of some of Tampa’s most expensive real estate, most of which is historic. The scenery is so breathtaking, you’ll want to stop for a water break just to take it all in!

>> Learn more about Bayshore Boulevard.

To visit the top attractions in Tampa Bay, use Tampa Bay CityPASS and save significantly off combined admission. Plus, CityPASS holders avoid some ticket and entry lines, which means less time waiting and more time doing. Tampa Bay CityPASS includes prepaid admission to the Busch Gardens® Tampa, The Florida Aquarium, Lowry Park Zoo, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and either the Chihuly Collection or Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). Some special exhibits are not included with the CityPASS and may require an extra fee.

CityPASS can be purchased online or at any of our participating Tampa Bay attractions. Use Tampa Bay CityPASS and discover these top places to visit and things to do in Tampa Bay.

Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks Photo Credit
Fort De Soto Park Photo Credit
Amalie Arena Photo Credit
Raymond James Stadium Photo Credit
Lettuce Lake Park Photo Credit
Upper Tampa Bay Park Photo Credit
Tampa Theatre Photo Credit
Bayshore Boulevard Photo Credit

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