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Many people only know Tampa for its gorgeous coastline of beaches and Hard Rock Casino gambling, but the city has so much more to offer. With competition from its big-city counterparts, Tampa holds its own with tons of fun and unique activities for people of all ages to enjoy. Here are awesome things you can do in Tampa.
Test Your Courage at Adventure Island
What Is It? If you’re the adventurous type, you will surely enjoy Tampa’s own water park.
Why Do It? One of the top waterparks in Florida and perfect for one of those scorching hot days in Florida, you can choose to be a daredevil in the 55-foot slide or just float through the lazy pool and cool yourself off.
Good to Know: A great activity for those of all ages, Adventure Island will give you and your family a thrilling experience without breaking the bank.
Get your Art on at Salvador Dali Museum
What Is It? It could come as a shock to art fans around the globe, but St. Pete holds the most comprehensive collection of Dali paintings outside of Europe.
Why Do It? Located a short drive from Tampa’s city centre, this top museum in Florida holds more than 2,400 Dali works such as oils, watercolors, sketches, sculptures, and other objects. The artist is said to have 18 “Masterworks,” of which this museum holds an impressive 8.
Good to Know: Any true art fan will appreciate the thought-provoking nature of Dali and enjoy a stroll through these stunning pieces of work.
Sample Beer at Cigar City Brewing
What Is It? An activity obviously geared towards the of-age crowd, nothing beats exploring a local brewery and tasting their products fresh from the tap.
Why Do It? While Tampa’s craft beer scene has been growing recently, Cigar City Brewing maintains their position as the more popular choice.
Good to Know: One of Florida’s top breweries, you can join a tour and taste their famous Florida Crack Wit, Northdale Pale Ale and Jai Alai IPA.
Cheer on the Local Team
What Is It? Calling all sports fans! Whether you’re into football, baseball, hockey, or all the above – you’re spoiled for choice in Tampa.
Why Do It? Whether you’re a sports newbie or a seasoned veteran, Tampa offers you and your family a chance to catch a live game.
Good to Know: You can go to Raymond James Stadium and cheer the local favorite Tampa Bay Buccaneers, get your heart pumping watching the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Amalie Arena, or find baseball action at Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Feed a Giraffe at ZooTampa at Lowry Park
What Is It? ZooTampa at Lowry Park is home to a long list of exotic animals such as manatees, tigers, monkeys, rhinos, and other wild creatures.
Why Do It? The zoo’s most popular feature is the chance to get up and personal and feed a giraffe some lettuce from a feeding plateau.
Good to Know: Perfect for families, the zoo features include a jungle safari ride that takes you through the animal exhibits, splash pads for the little ones, and a petting zoo to feed playful goats.
Observe Gentle Giants at Manatee Viewing Center
What Is It? Only open from November 1st to April 15th, the Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center is a local gem.
Why Do It? Offering visitors a chance to observe the treasured Florida manatees, you are given truly a once in a lifetime experience. Make sure to visit when it’s cool, as manatees flock here to take refuge.
Good to Know: Providing an educational approach, the viewing center gives you not only a glimpse at the manatees in their natural habitat but a chance to learn about them as well.
Bask in the Sunshine at Clearwater Beach
What Is It? While it is not technically an unexpected activity to visit the coast while in Florida, many out-of-towners don’t realize that Tampa is so close to one of the best beaches in Florida.
Why Do It? A short drive from Tampa’s city center is Clearwater Beach, an award-winning beach on the Gulf with white sugary sand and bright blue waters.
Good to Know: Here you have an array of activities such as deep-sea fishing, boating, jet skiing, and scuba diving. If you’re lucky, you might spot a sea turtle, ray, or school of dolphins passing you by.
Explore the Nightlife in Ybor City
What Is It? Ybor is known as Tampa’s historic district, situated conveniently near the downtown area.
Why Do It? Perfect for a late night out, the streets of Ybor are lined with bars and clubs. The area boasts a variety of spots for all types of party-goers, from laid back lounges to high energy clubs.
Good to Know: Many compare Ybor to the likes of New Orleans, as crowds weave in and out of bars along the strip exploring the vast amount of attractions available.
Indulge at the Annual Florida Strawberry Festival
What Is It? If you visit Tampa in March, make sure not to miss the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City, a cherished food festival in Florida for all ages.
Why Do It? With a state fair type feel including rides and fried foods, you will also find plenty of strawberry related food items to keep your heart and stomach full.
Good to Know: If you enjoy strawberry shortcake, chocolate-covered strawberries, strawberry milkshakes, or really strawberry anything, you will be in heaven. (Check the official website for dates.)
Become a Pirate at Gasparilla Pirate Festival
What Is It? Those who are up for great fun and adventure should come to Tampa for Gasparilla.
Why Do It? Tampa’s Gasparilla celebration is named after Jose Gaspar, a man who terrorized the coastal waters of West Florida in the 18th century. The city takes this theme seriously, with over 30,000 party-goers hitting the streets in their best pirate costume to participate in a full schedule of pirate-themed events of live music, food, and entertainment.
Good to Know: This event generally takes place in January, check website for dates.