Top Ten Lists

Tampa

 
Tampa, Florida is a popular vacation and snowbird destination due in part to many desirable factors including being home to Busch Gardens theme park, the city's close proximity to many top rated Gulf Coast beaches, year round warm-moderate temperatures, and convenient access (less than an hour and a half drive) to all of the fun theme parks in Orlando.

Listed below are 10 must-see attractions and parks to add to your Tampa vacation itinerary.
 
 
  • 1. Bike Bayshore Blvd. along the Tampa Bay waterfront
    Bike Bayshore Blvd. along the Tampa Bay waterfront
    312 Bayshore Blvd, , 33629
    Take a walk, jog, or bike ride down the world's largest continuous sidewalk found in downtown Tampa. This beautiful recreational path will motivate you to keep on moving for the entire 8+ mile round-trip journey.

    Excellent skyline views, beautiful historic homes, peaceful views of the bay, and possibly a dolphin or manatee sighting await you on Tampa's best urban escape.
  • 2. See a show at the Tampa Historic Theater
    See a show at the Tampa Historic Theater
    Franklin Street Mall, 711 N Franklin St, , 33602
    It's no wonder that Tampa's gorgeous theater is frequently ranked amongst the top in the world. As soon you step foot into this beautiful theater, you will see that seeing a movie here is not your ordinary run-of-the-mill theater experience.

    This historic landmark, built in 1926, is the perfect old fashioned treat. The star lit ceiling, historic architecture, and pre-show music set the mood for a fantastic date night.

    Special holiday classics like "White Christmas" and "It's a Wonderful Life" are shown throughout the month of December. What a great festive event to get yourself into the holiday spirit! And don't miss out on the classic summer series, featuring a great line-up of favorites.
  • 3. Be on the lookout for gators at Lettuce Lake Park
    Be on the lookout for gators at Lettuce Lake Park
    6920 E Fletcher Avenue, , 33637
    Tampa's most beautiful natural escape is Lettuce Lake Park, a small, yet scenic oasis near the University of South Florida. Here are you are treated to a quiet escape where you can enjoy hiking trails, a boardwalk path leading you over historic swamps, serene lake views, and possibly an alligator sighting. Lettuce Lake is the perfect quick, rejuvenating escape!
  • 4. Visit The Florida Aquarium
    Visit The Florida Aquarium
    701 Channelside Drive, , 33602
    Tampa is home to quite an impressive aquarium, the highlight being a 500,000 gallon tank filled with sand tiger sharks, turtles, and hundreds of other unique species.

    The Giant Goliath Grouper, a 300 pound fish, is another must see sight! The outdoor Wetlands Trail allows you to explore many of the plants and animals unique to Florida.

    The aquarium is small, yet nicely designed, and enjoyable if you visit on a less busy weekday. This attraction can easily be covered in an hour or 2, making it an easy addition to any vacation itinerary.
  • 5. Stroll around the Lowry Park Zoo
    Stroll around the Lowry Park Zoo
    1101 W Sligh Avenue, , 33604
    Tampa's small zoo is a perfect place to visit during the cooler late fall and winter months. Summers can be too hot and humid to enjoy the day, however, winters are quite enjoyable.

    The zoo is nicely maintained with plenty of interesting exhibits. The Safari Africa portion of the zoo is absolutely beautiful. A few unique animals who make the zoo home include a Koala Bear and a Sri Lanka Soth Bear.

    You will also find a few features not typically found at a zoo including a few amusement park rides.

    Annual events include a Halloween themed Zoo Boo, a Christmas themed Wild Wonderland, and a 5k race through the zoo grounds. Overall, Tampa's Zoo is a great family friendly activity and an affordable way to spend half a day.
  • 6. Dine & play at the Seminole Hard Rock
    Dine & play at the Seminole Hard Rock
    5223 N Orient Road, , 33610
    Tampa's only casino happens to be the 6th largest in the world! This large casino features 10 restaurants (including Tampa's Hard Rock Cafe), a poker room, plenty of slots and table games, and a modern, rock themed hotel.

    Although the Hard Rock is most commonly thought of as a great staycation destination for residents, it also happens to be a great vacation destination for out of state visitors due to the convenient access to other Tampa Bay attractions.
  • 7. Bike the pine tree lined Flatwoods Park loop trail
    Bike the pine tree lined Flatwoods Park loop trail
    18205 Bruce Downs Road, , 33647
    Another great park in Tampa, Flatwoods, is the ideal place for those looking for a lengthy bike ride or long distance run. Many area residents use this shady, scenic trail for leisurely weekend bike rides and marathon training.

    It's one of the best places in the city to get away from it all. The 11 mile trail is quiet and lined with pine trees for the entire distance. As an added bonus, you may get lucky and spot some wildlife along the way!
  • 8. Enjoy great skyline views & convenient access to the city's best attractions along the Tampa Riverwalk
    Enjoy great skyline views & convenient access to the city's best attractions along the Tampa Riverwalk
    1010 N Wc Macinnes Place, , 33602
    Downtown Tampa's new 2.5 mile walkway provides you with convenient access to and from various city attractions like the Tampa Museum of Art, the Florida Aquarium, and The Tampa Bay Times Forum.

    The trail is never crowded, very clean, and centrally located nearby most city attractions. Fantastic photos of the skyline can be obtained at several locations along the route. There is not much commercialization along the Riverwalk, which in turns lead to a quiet setting for morning and evening strolls.
  • 9. Walk the nature trails and look for gators at Hillsborough River State Park
    Walk the nature trails and look for gators at Hillsborough River State Park
    15402 US 301, , 33592
    This beautiful, historic park opened back in 1938, making it one of the oldest parks in Florida. One of the highlights here is the Class II rapids, the only of its kind in Florida!

    Miles of beautiful hiking trails, a scenic 2 mile bike loop, a seasonal pool, and kayaking/canoeing opportunities await you on your visit. Most of the
    trails are pretty shady - a must for the hot and humid Florida summer season. Alligator sightings are very common, so be sure to bring with your camera!
  • 10. Enjoy a quiet bike ride along the Upper Tampa Bay Trail
    Enjoy a quiet bike ride along the Upper Tampa Bay Trail
    7499 Montague St, , 33635
    This long (14 miles round-trip), shady, and scenic trail is the place to go for a weekend bike ride, run, or long walk. The general vibe of this trail feels very different from the rest of the city - it's quiet, uncrowded, and offers plenty of natural views. It's the perfect alternative for those who want to avoid congested malls and beaches.