Top Ten Lists


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 longest 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 best in the world. As soon you step foot into this beautiful theater, you will discover 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 festive event to get yourself into the holiday spirit! And don't miss out on the classic summer series, featuring a great lineup of cult favorites.
  • 3. Alligator watch at Lettuce Lake Park
    Alligator watch 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 hike trails, walk a boardwalk path leading you over historic swamps, and enjoy serene lake views. Best of all, you may see an alligator in its' natural habitat.
  • 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 Zoo Tampa
    Stroll around Zoo Tampa
    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 festival, a Christmas themed Wild Wonderland event, and a 5k race through the zoo grounds. Overall, Zoo Tampa is a great family friendly activity and an affordable way to spend half a day.
  • 6. Get back to nature at Al Lopez Park
    Get back to nature at Al Lopez Park
    4810 N Himes Ave, , 33614
    This wonderful urban park features a number of attractive amenities including a paved 15 foot wide, 1 mile long trail. This trail is shady enough to enjoy for the majority of the year. The scenic surroundings make it the perfect choice for exercise of any type including leisurely weekend bike rides, walks, and jogs.

    Other amenities at this great park include picnic areas, playgrounds, and nature trails.
  • 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 seeking a lengthy bike ride or long distance run destination. 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 beautiful 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 overly 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. Keep hiking to a minimum during the hot months and get out there early! Alligator sightings are very common, so be sure to bring with your camera!
  • 10. Dine and shop at Hyde Park Village
    Dine and shop at Hyde Park Village
    1602 W Swann Ave, , 33606
    Tampa's premier outdoor shopping destination is Hyde Park Village. This beautiful mall is located in a historic section of town, and thus, there are plenty of shady old growth trees here. At the Village, you will be able to enjoy a number of wonderful restaurants, along with local coffee shops, juice bars, and boutique shops.

    Highlights include Buddy Brew Coffee (one of the best local roasters), Cinebistro (a dine-in luxury movie theater), and Sprinkles Cupcakes (the famous Beverly Hills bakery).