Top 17 Things to do in Tampa, Florida

The Ybor City on the Gulf Coast, Tampa, is considered an underdog among most cities. Earlier known as the cigar city, this city was famous for American cigar mills. In the recent few years, it has cemented its place as an important American business center and a cultural landmark comprising historic neighborhoods and more.

A fun vacation to this tailor-made holiday destination for animal lovers can get exciting! When traveling with family, Tampa, a Southern American city in Florida, has got you covered. With offerings like the best beaches, river walk, cruises, old cigar factories, gardens, aquarium, park, and more, Tampa has something for everybody.

Let us explore the top 17 things to do in Tampa that are bound to fascinate you further to buy that ticket you have been holding on to.

Florida Aquarium

If you appreciate the flora and the wildlife, Florida Aquarium is here to be your biggest treasure. With being the leading conservation center offering a massive space of 200,000 square feet and accommodates around 14000 animals from distinct vegetation, the aquarium is the go-to place in Tampa for discovering the water body like never before.

The Florida aquarium also features a breathtaking 60-foot long coral garden that boasts vibrant tropical fish and exotic plant life. Visitors in this stunning American city can immerse in an enjoyable experience by trying our shark dives in the water to get up close with the beautiful mammals at the Bay water.

Florida aquarium 1.jpg
By Palmount45, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Address: 701 Channel side Dr, Tampa, FL 33602 | Timing: Monday-Thursday: 10:00 am to 04:00 pm, Friday-Sunday 09.30 am to 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: | Phone number: +1 813-273-4000

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Located at a stretch of about 15 minutes from the Ybor city center, the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is a must for thrill-seekers visiting the area. This is an exciting adventure theme park in the Sunshine State which is packed with coasters but is also well known for being the largest zoo in Tampa.

Home to around 12,000 animals from 300 different coasters, the Busch Gardens in Tampa are for the best of thrill rides, nature-loving, animal-watching experience, and offering good family-friendly entertainment all packed into one.

You will find many exciting attractions such as water rides in the river, kiddie rides, roller coasters, in-park dining in the gardens, multi-park passes, and more.

Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay 22.jpg
By Jeremy Thompson, CC BY 2.0, Link

Address: Busch Gardens, 10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612 | Timing: 10:00 am to 06:00 pm | Google Map Location: | Phone number: + 1 813-884-4386

Travel back in time with Tampa Bay History Centre

Exploring the rich history of the surroundings serves as one of the traits that a visitor has, and you cannot go wrong with it. Make most of your stay in Tampa by traveling back in time with the History Centre in Tampa Bay.

This Tampa Bay History Center reflects the rich history of Florida of over 12000 years. Running popular educational programs for both visitors and locals, it enlightens all on Tampa’s cigar industry. It also offers you the opportunity to explore the artworks by eminent artists such as Theodore Morris, Christopher Still, Mike Reagan, and more.

Wind up the day by dining at the popular Columbia Cafe and collect craftworks from the store located at the museum. It is one of the most popular Tampa attractions and popular Tampa things to do in the state.

Tampa Bay History Center 1.jpg
By James E. Scholz, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Address: 801 Water St, Tampa city | Timing: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: | Phone number: +1 813-3228-0097

Tampa Bay Brewing Company

The Tampa Bay Brewing Company is one of the most popular Tampa attractions and is the production brewery located in an industrial area on Tampa’s west side. This American Brewing company comprises a restaurant, a tasting room, along a full production brewery. The restaurant offers a delicious and unique menu that syncs well with the pub fare.

Most of the menu items are beer-infused while highlighting the signature brewing company to create award-winning appetizers and entrees. Featuring indoor and pet-friendly outdoor seating offers indoor and outdoor seating and brewery tours regularly in the Sunshine state.

Tampa Bay Brewing _01

Address: 1600 E 8th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605 | Timing: 11:00 am to 10:00 pm | Google Map Location: | Phone number: +1 813-247-1422

Armature Works

If you are of the curious kind, you are going to love being here! Armature Works is a large multi-purpose industrial complex thriving in Ybor City’s vibrant neighborhood while comprises 14 bars and exhibitions, restaurants, working spaces, shops, and more. The 22,000 square feet industrial market has emerged as the go-to spot for individuals interested in architecture and food lovers.

It used to be the electric company’s storage facility; however, it has evolved into an epicenter of art, culture, and recreation center in the Sunshine state and the Southern city in Florida. If you are looking for the best things to do in Tampa, make sure you head to the public market hosting exciting wine tasting sessions, cooking classes, and various other events.

Armature Works with Floating Christmas Tree

Address: 1910 N Ola Ave, Tampa, FL 33602 | Timing: Monday-Thursday: 7.30 am to 10:00 pm, Friday- 7.30 am to 12:00 am, Saturday: 08:00 am to 12:00 am, Sunday 09:00 am to 09:00 pm | Google Map Location: | Phone number: + 813-250-3725

Book a tour to Big Cat Rescue

As mentioned earlier, a heaven for the animal lovers, booking a tour to the popular Big Cat rescue is here to make your heart melt. The facility at the Southern city in Florida is a non-profit organization and a home to 80 wild cats such as leopards, tigers, lions, etc.

The best part about the facility is its mission of rescuing animals from the cruel circus, naive owners, and hunters. Offering a safe habitat environment for the big cats, the rescue center offers a heart-melting experience to the visitors.

The night safari serves as one of the biggest attractions. You can also be a volunteer and safeguard the unique furry beings for a while and enjoy the tour, which is one of the best things to do in Tampa with kids.

Big Cat Rescue

Address: 12802 Easy St Tampa | Timing: Temporarily closed. Please visit for the latest timings. | Google Map Location: | Phone number: +1 813-920-4130

Tampa Riverwalk

Visiting the popular riverwalk requires the tourists to commit an entire day to witness and enjoy the shops, restaurants, and recreational centers. The 2.6 miles long walking trail runs along the popular river of Hillsborough River in Tampa.

You can make most of the day by walking, going for cruises in the river, boat rides, biking, enjoying the public art, and closer access to the stores, restaurants, bike rental shops, parks, and playgrounds more. Take a long walk along the river and end the day by visiting Southern Ybor City’s history center in Florida.

You can indulge in the fun with their families by renting human-powered water bikes here at the Riverwalk and then unwind the day at the iconic Ulele restaurant.

Tampa Riverwalk Sunset

Address: Tampa, FL 33602 | Timing: 24*7 | Google Map Location: | Phone number: +1 813-221-1539

ZooTampa at Lowry Park

Spread across a large area of 60 acres, the ZooTampa is home to several endangered animals of Florida, such as babirusa, clouded leopards, sloth bears, and more. Vouched as one of the best family-friendly American zoos, the recreation center is a conservation center.

Housing 1300+ animals, ZooTampa offers visitors an up and close visit with the wildlife. If your kids have been waiting for a close-up view of the wildlife, visiting this place in the Southern Ybor city in Florida is a must. Feel the wildlife closer while feeding a giraffe, caressing your hands through your favorite animal, or patting a tortoise.

Lowry Park Zoo Sign in Tampa.jpg
By TampAGS, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Address: 1101 W Sligh Ave, Tampa | Timing: 09.30 am to 5:00 pm | Google Map Location: | Phone number: +1 813-935-8552

Catch a show at historic Tampa Theatre

Catching a show at the legendary building, Tampa Theatre is all you need to have a fun night with your family. It was opened in 1926 and was also the very first commercial building to be an air-conditioned one. Designed by the popular architect John Eberson, the theatre featured a Wurlitzer organ and showcases classic and independent feature films like documentaries.

Witness both new and old films here; watching the classics is a great way to revive the prior decades by yourself. If you hit cigar city of Ybor and are wondering what to do in Tampa, catch a music concert tour out there!

Tampa Theatre by PedroNunezPhotography.jpg
By PeterNunezPhotography, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Address: 711 Franklin Street, Tampa, Florida | Timing: Monday to Thursday: 7.00 am to 10:00 pm, Friday: 07:30 am to 12:00 am, Saturday: 08:00 am to 12:00 am, Sunday: 09:00 am to 09:00 pm | Google Map Location: | Phone number: +1 813-274-8981

Go fishing at Ballast Point

Emerging as a photogenic place, heading to Ballast Point is a must on your trip to Tampa. Located inside the Ballast neighborhood, the Sunshine state historically belongs to the indigenous people, becoming a quarry for ships amidst the colonial times.

However, it exists as a sustainable park, working its way to promoting waste recycling. The park comprises several shelters where the visitors party and indulge in memorable picnics with their loved ones. Fishing at Ballast Point is one of the fun things to do in Tampa and can be enjoyed by the entire family visiting the city.

Fishing Pier at Ballast Point Park.JPG
By Heditor6, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Address: 5300 Interbay Blvd, Tampa, FL 33611 | Timing: 6:00 am to 08:00 pm | Google Map Location: | Phone number: +1 813-274-8615

Go Golfing

Americans take their golf very seriously, and Tampa offers several world-class golf courses to fulfill their golf experiences. Offering many fine resort courses welcomes its visitors to explore Copperhouse Course and go golfing. While looking for a quality public course, Tampa city has several maintained courses to play that are reasonably priced.

Rocky Point Golf Course, Copperhead Course, TPC Tampa Bay, and Pebble Creek Golf Course are a few of Tampa’s popular golf courses. If you are wondering what to do in Tampa looking for the best things to do in Tampa, you can enroll for a short time course offered on distinctive packages.

TPC Tampa Bay.jpg
By Bernard Gagnon, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Address: Rocky Point Golf Course, Dona Shore, 4151 Dana Shores Dr, Tampa, FL 33634 | Timing: 07:00 am to 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: | Phone number: +1 813-673-4316

Bayshore Boulevard

The Bayshore Boulevard is known for its stunning views of the Sunshine state. It is the longest American sidewalk while being one of the most popular Tampa attractions. Visitors can witness jogging, biking, walking, exercising, rollerblading, and more, which is bound to bring the inner joy out.

Offering some of the most mesmerizing skylines, the Bayshore Boulevard is one of downtown Tampa’s popular sites. The 4.5-miles sidewalk offers the most charismatic view of the sparkling Hillsborough Bay.

A popular spot for cyclists, runners, dog-walkers, skaters, and more, the site is one of the most well-known architectural sites in the city, featuring an iconic decorative concrete balustrade. Catch breathtaking sunrise and sunsets while feeling the fresh air out in the open.

Bayshore Boulevard Ends

Address: 312 Bayshore Blvd, Tampa, FL | Google Map Location:

Go on a Dolphin Cruise

Port Tampa Bay’s water offers travelers a unique opportunity to witness a dolphin cruise in Southern Ybor City in Florida. What was once bustling with marine wildlife and commercial shipping, the water today hosts a unique show of dolphins for travelers. There are water tours run in the Sunshine state that offer prime viewing spots for the two-tiered decks and are among the best things to do in Tampa Florida.

The boats sail into the Gulf and the Boca Ciega Bay to spot a dolphin. Along with witnessing the dolphin, you can also catch a sight of the exclusive sea turtles in the water, seabirds, exclusive dolphin, and manatees, among the things to do in Tampa.

Dolphin Jumping in Wake

Address: Boca Ciega Bay, Gulf | Timing: around sunrise, mid-morning, (10:00 am to noon), mid-afternoon (2:00 pm to sunset) | Google Map Location:

De Soto National Memorial

If exploring nature is your thing, a visit to the De Soto National Memorial is a must. De Soto National Memorial park conserves the experience and memories of the native people tortured, imprisoned, and killed by Hernando De Soto. A visit to the nature trail will guide you along the historical walking park.

A walk through the mangroves surrounded by a small dog-friendly beach will have the entire family hooked together. The park rangers guide a nature trail and the camp, which is traveled along by the visitors and volunteers sharing historical tales pertaining to the expedition.

If you are tired and wish to beat the heat in Ybor City, you can take a swim at the beach and also indulge in recreational activities such as boating and wandering around nature.

Bradenton FL DeSoto Natl Mem01.jpg
By Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Address: 8300 De Soto Memorial Hwy, Bradenton, FL | Timing: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: | Phone number: +1 941-792-0458

Manatee viewing center

Popular for being one of the busiest attractions in Florida, Manatee unfolds a new educational sphere about the habitat of Manatee. These are seen swimming in the area throughout the year, and if you are lucky, you might even be able to spot them.

Visitors can also climb up to experience a panoramic view of the surrounding area. It also hosts several interactive programs such as exhibitions, swimming classes, and educational classes about the manatees’ life cycle and nature.

Do not forget to discover the natural surroundings at the butterfly garden and the mangrove of the state.

Manatee Swimming By

Address: 6990 Dickman Road, Apollo Beach | Google Map Location:

Morean Arts Centre

The popular arts center was although started back in the year 1917. However, today it is one of the most primary tourist attractions in Ybor city, hosting a sea of eminent artworks. Offering renowned artworks by popular international and national artists such as Jun Kaneko, Peter Max, and more, the center is a pride and glory of Tampa and the state.

It also holds a number of art classes for you to hone the natural skills. Offering free entry to all, it showcases distinctive contemporary artworks of the Southern city in Florida.

719 Central Ave (Morean Art Center)

Address: 719 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL | Timing: Monday-Saturday: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm, Sunday: 12:00 pm to 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: | Phone number: +1 727-822-7872

Amalie Arena

The state-of-the-art multi-purpose entertainment venue is the Tampa Bay Hockey Team, Football Team and presents unique entertainment events. It also presents a unique banquet space and is available for as many as 25,000 people.

The majestic stadium hosts the cup finals and is home to the hockey league. Also hosting several concerts, the Amelia Arena in the Southern Ybor City in Florida is an entertainment space.

Amalie Arena.jpg
By Miosotis Jade, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Address: 401 Channelside Dr, Tampa | Timing: Monday-Friday 09:00 am to 06:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am to 02:00 pm and are closed on Sundays | Google Map Location: | Phone number: +1 813-301-6500

With the guide as offered above, you will no longer just take a vacation but indulge in a fun-filled adventure. From going on a crazy roller coaster ride to petting a giant tortoise to exploring Florida’s history, the itinerary as stated above is here to make you have a memorable time on your trip to this beautiful American city.