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Tampa Travel Guide: Can't Miss Attractions To Visit

June 9, 2022 By CityPASS

Tampa is a bustling city on Florida’s Gulf Coast on the Tampa Bay. While it’s a major business center, there are also many fun and exciting things to discover when you travel to Tampa.

One of the best things about this city is that there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re looking forward to spending a relaxing time on the pristine Tampa Bay beaches or getting your adrenaline pumping at one of the city’s theme parks, there are options that are sure to appeal to all.

So what is there to do in Tampa, you ask? Check out this Tampa travel guide to discover some of the best and most exciting things to do during your stay in Tampa!

What Is There To Do in Tampa Bay?

1. Get Your Adrenaline Rushing at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Florida is a top travel destination for adrenaline junkies since there are so many amusement parks and theme parks, especially in Orlando. But did you know that just about an hour away from Orlando, you can find another top-tier theme park that’s thrilling for the whole family?

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is a must when traveling to Tampa, Florida. Spread over 335 acres, this park has more than four million visitors a year and is home to several heart-pounding rollercoasters and adrenaline rides, along with the city’s largest zoo.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay also has live entertainment and events, as well as several restaurants and gift shops. If you’re thinking about what to do in Tampa that the whole family will enjoy, this is it.

2. Get Up Close and Personal With Your Favorite Animals at ZooTampa at Lowry Park

Next up is a spot that all animal lovers will enjoy. ZooTampa at Lowry Park is a nonprofit zoo and a center for wildlife conservation and biodiversity that allows you to get an up-close look at amazing wildlife. Here, visitors can catch a glimpse of animals from far and near, including the famous Florida manatee.

Besides animals, ZooTampa also has daily shows, educational talks, and events that are fun for both kids and adults. There’s even a small collection of rides for younger children and water rides that the whole family can jump on to cool down from the Florida heat. If you plan on spending the day at ZooTampa, there are several dining options with food and snacks available for purchase.

3. Take Part in the Tropics Boat Tours or a Sunset Cruise

When it comes to Tampa travel, there’s nothing quite like taking a cruise on the warm waters of the Gulf Coast. The Tropics Boat Cruises offers a magical experience on crystal clear waters with beautiful views.

Every day, The Tropics Boat Cruises launches two-hour Dolphin Exploration Tours on Clearwater Bay, where you’re guaranteed to spot some playful bottlenose dolphins. If you want to kick the experience up a notch, there are also cruises during happy hour with $5 “You Call It” drinks!

The Tropics Boat Cruises also offers the Sunset Celebration Cruise, a two-hour ride that shows you the natural beauty of this sliver of paradise. Guests over 21 can take part in the Sunset Champagne Toast to say goodbye to another beautiful day in Tampa.

4. Take a Family Trip to the Learning Experience at the Museum of Science & Industry

One of the many wonderful things about Tampa travel is that there are so many different things to do, especially for families. The Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) should be at the top of your list if you're into museums. Both educational and exciting, this museum offers more than 100 hands-on activities that kids and adults can participate in.

At MOSI, you can build a robot, dazzle your mind with optical illusions, or learn more about the NASA program and explore the cosmos. One popular attraction is the Sky Trail Ropes Course that’s open to museum guests on the weekend. MOSI also has The Saunders Planetarium, where you can learn about the night sky with a real astronomer.

5. Enjoy an Immersive Experience at the Florida Aquarium or Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Our Tampa travel guide includes two more spots you can’t miss if you’re interested in animals and marine life: Clearwater Marine Aquarium and The Florida Aquarium. They’re both worth a visit but offer different guest experiences.

The Florida Aquarium is a leader in marine conservation and is rated as one of the nation's top aquariums. This aquarium is designed to show how a single drop of water from a Florida fresh-water spring can travel all the way out into the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way, you’ll discover animals and plants that are part of Florida’s natural wonder. The Florida Aquarium also has fish and animals from other parts of the world.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a nonprofit on a mission to rescue, rehab, and release sick or injured animals while promoting conservation and education. It was also featured in the Dolphin Tales movies. During your visit, you'll have the chance to meet rescued animals like dolphins, otters, sea turtles, and many more.

You can book different experiences, like feeding a stingray, caring for a shark, or taking a picture with a bottlenose dolphin. Clearwater Marine Aquarium also offers visitors the opportunity to spend the afternoon out on a boat with an expert to learn more about Clearwater Bay and its marine life.

Save Money During Your Next Trip to the City of Tampa

The easiest way to save money when traveling to Tampa is to purchase the Tampa Bay CityPASS® ticket bundle. You’ll save up to on some of the city’s top attractions, including those in this Tampa travel guide.

The Tampa Bay CityPASS® bundle lets you enter five attractions for one price and is valid for nine consecutive days starting from the day that you visit your first attraction.

Explore all of the thrills and natural wonder that the Tampa Bay area offers with a Tampa Bay CityPASS® bundle, your ticket to fun and savings!

Tampa Bay Lodging

To get the most out of your stay in Tampa Bay, we recommend finding lodging near Tampa Bay's top attractions. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:

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