Tampa, like the entire western coast of Florida, has long been considered a popular destination for recreation and tourism as there is a huge number of attractions worthy of attention.
The oldest district of the city is Ibor City, located northeast of downtown and noteworthy for the fact that the cigar production plants were previously concentrated here. Years passed, and from the past there were only the Cigar Museum and the small state museum of Ibor City, which was popular among tourists, emphasizing the original history of this part of the city. Walking along the streets of the city it is definitely necessary to ride on the still operating historic trams.
Among the modern attractions worth noting there is the large shopping and entertainment complex Centro Ybor and the water-entertainment complex “Adventure Island” with all kinds of water slides and breathtaking attractions for adults and children. If you have chosen Tampa as the destination for your weekend you are offered to choose among the most popular things to do in Tampa this weekend.
- Thing to number 1: Have fun in the Bush Gardens
- Thing to do number 2: Visit the Florida Aquarium
- Thing to do number 3: Entertain yourself in the Adventure Island
- Thing to do number 4: Get acquainted with the oldest district-Ybor City
- Thing to do number 5: Go to the Ringling Museum of Art
- Thing to do number 6: Feed animals in the Lowry Park Zoo
- Thing to do number 7: Go to the Glazer Children’s Museum
- Thing to do number 8: Learn more about the city in the Tampa Bay History Center
- Thing to do number 9: Relax at one of the Tampa beaches
- Thing to do number 10: Enjoy great views in the University of Southern Florida Botanical Gardens
If you are looking for a fun pastime you should definitely go to the amusement park Bush Gardens, where everyone is guaranteed to receive an unforgettable experience, regardless of age.
Busch Gardens is the fourth most popular US theme park. Its territory is inhabited by 2 thousand species of animals, and adults are offered a free tasting of 50 varieties of beer.
The park is different from the rest with the African theme. Most animals are kept in conditions closely resembling to their native habitat. Tourists from a safe distance are able to get acquainted with the unique inhabitants of the Black continent:
It is allowed to feed some animals from hands – goats enjoy carrots with pleasure, and parrots peck grain from the palms of their children.
The territory of the park is huge. You can travel on foot but also there is a cable car and a small train with passenger cars, from where visitors can explore all the sights and decide where to go first.
Fans of extreme rest are offered to drive in a jeep, go down the stormy waters of the Congo, feel adrenaline on the rope ladder. For the most fearless, competition in tug-of-war with a huge tiger is arranged.
Special sensations will be provided by the roller coaster. The most popular is the ShayKra, which rises 60 meters high, and then sharply moves down at an angle of 90 degrees. The park is designed for vacationers of any age, but is better suited for teenagers and adults.
Interesting: There is a hill, called Monti, is considered the largest in the world, it has 7 “dead loops”.
This a great place to visit with children. Here everything is done to make it easy for children to look at fish and other animals. Special stairs and stones are set up, which you can climb to get a closer look at the fish or penguins, there are special windows deep in the ponds, climbing into which the child appears as if among the fish. Outdoors, in the courtyard, there is a cafe, a wonderful playground with slides, swings.
On two floors of the aquarium, there are not only sea inhabitants but also birds from fresh water:
- Ducks with a variety of plumage,
- pink birds resembling slightly reduced flamingos,
- gray herons,
- snow-white birds.
You can look at them without any barriers, as if you were just standing on the shore of the reservoir.
There is a small pool with crocodiles and alligators that live in the waters of Florida. Next you will see a text in which it is very sensibly explained what is the difference between these awesome species.
Interesting: Children like a shallow pool with sea stars and anemones, which you can touch and observe the process of feeding them (if you are lucky to get to the session).
The city has several wonderful water parks, one of the most visited is the Adventure Island.
It will appeal to both:
- fans of extreme sports,
- and visitors with young children,
It is decorated with a huge number of trees and living plants, among this natural splendor for visitors there are luxurious swimming pools equipped with slides. There is a special shallow pool for small children and several cool slides, which not all of them dare to ride. Plan your fun-filled day in the Adventure Island Water Park. The most popular attractions are the following:
- Aruba Tuba,
- Calypso Coaster,
- Caribbean Corkscrew,
- Gulf Scream,
- Key West Rapids,
- Runaway Rapids,
- Wahoo Run,
- Water Moccasin
Interesting: On its territory there are 16 attractions and 5 cafes where you can enjoy tasty meals.
The oldest district of the city is called Ybor City. Once it was a large diaspora of Hispanics living there.
This region was also famous for the fact that it was here that cigar factories were concentrated. But as time went on, Ybor City lost everything and collapsed until one day its fiasco occurred. And only recently Ybor-city began to rise again from the dust:
- New modern houses and roads have been rebuilt,
- schools and public institutions have been built.
There is Centro Ybor, which is a large entertaining centre with the cinema.
Today it is a charming and lively area with a distinct personality. For its distinctive past and architecture, the quarter was declared a cultural landmark. Its characteristic features are low houses made of red brick, an old tram and round signs from the 50’s.
The seventh avenue of this retro-paradise is included in the honorary list of “10 famous streets of America”, with shops, eateries, tea shops, open-air fairs and street shows. Here you can also visit the museums of immigration and tobacco, wander through the art galleries, and also meet free cocks and chicken descendants of runaway poultry.
Interesting: The most remarkable things here is the Ybor Cigar museum where you can trace the whole history and the whole process of creating the best cigars in the whole Florida.
While traveling to Europe, John Ringling bought art for his future collection.
Ringling built a winter residence in Sarasota and created a museum to accommodate the acquired masterpieces. The core of the collection is works of Italian baroque. After the death of the owner in 1936, the estate was taken over by the state.
The museum’s rooms are located around the sculpture garden. They are housed in a chronological order, from the late Middle Ages to the European art of the 17th century. Here you will see:
- The art of Italy XVI and XVII centuries;
- Modern art;
- Special exhibitions demonstrated in the wing of Searing.
Interesting: John Ringling was the owner of the circus, to whom the incredibly successful show brought millions.
Lowry Park Zoo consists of seven main zones:
- the Asian world,
- the world of primates,
- the water center,
- the wildlife center “Florida”,
- the aviary for birds and the African safari.
You will especially like the local zoos in that many birds and animals live outside the enclosures, roam the park on a par with visitors or are separated by a purely symbolic barrier.
Lowry’s Park is not very big – it’s easy to get around within a day, many animals can be approached very close, fed or patted.
Interesting: Even a rhinoceros is allowed to be fed when it does not have a very bad mood.
In Tampa there are a lot of attractions for family weekend.
The beautiful museum Glazer Children’s Museum occupies a beautiful modern building. This museum is more like a colorful entertainment center:
- There are playgrounds for children of different ages,
- interesting interactive attractions,
- for the smallest kids there is a large sandpit and inflatable attractions prepared here,
- older children will like playgrounds with gymnastic attractions.
Interesting: At the entrance to the museum there is a beautiful square with fountains, where tourists and children also like to rest.
The Tampa Bay History Center is located in the Tampa Bay. Here you will be able to discover everything about the city as the center features 12 years of Florida and the local history. There is the Witt Research Center and several halls, including an event hall. Here you will be able to look at:
- interactive and educational exhibits,
- programming featuring 12 years of Florida history,
- over 130 mln of artifacts in the Smithsonian’s collection.
Annually this center is visited by millions of tourists as well as the residents of the country. The center was built using the recycled materials.
If you want to know more about Tampa, there is no better place to visit as there are a lot of artworks, documents and artifacts from old times and up to date presented on the 2 floors:
- on the first floor there is a collection of exhibits devoted to the first human beings and artworks of Theodore Morris;
- on the second floor there are exhibits telling more about the local history, including the natural resources of the bay, civil right and many interesting historical facts since 1830.
Interesting: In 2012 The Tampa History Center was awarded a Silver LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
There is a great number of beautiful beaches in Tampa. Which one to choose? Here you will find three most incredible beaches that are worth your attention:
- Caladesi Island Park: If you are looking for the beach rest, then there is no better place than Caladesi Island Park, which is one of the greatest beaches of Tampa. Its main distinctive feature, which attracts tourists is the fact that it is secluded with no manmade things. If you love nature, then you will be impressed by the divine shores of the Caladesi Island. Due to the fact that you can get here only if use a boat, there are not so many tourists. It is a perfect place for couples looking for the romantic place to stay as well as for family weekend.
- The Clearwater Beach: In case you don’t like crowded beaches, then give preference to this place. However, if you like busy beaches, then the Clearwater Beach will be a good choice, which is great for those who are looking for attractions.
- The Davis Island Beach: Don’t miss a chance to go to the Davis Island Beach, which got its name after the developer Davis who lived in Tampa. Here it is possible to enjoy picnics, sunbathing, canoeing and many other interesting things to do.
Interesting: Besides the top-3 beaches, you can visit Egmont Key State Park, Fort De Soto Park and Indian Rocks Beach, which will also impress
It is worth visiting the University of Southern Florida Botanical Gardens if you are fond of plants and animals as here you will be able to find a lot of living plants and look at animals found in their natural habitat. This place is by right visited by more than 30000 people.
Things to enjoy here:
- Visit plant festivals;
- Learn more about the medical botany research;
- Get botany education.
During two decades the University of Southern Florida Botanical Gardens was used as the department of biology where different research took place.
It is the best place to have workshops and classes as there are beautiful plans everywhere here. The University of Southern Florida Botanical Gardens is still growing and developing. The gardens host many interesting events for tourists and locals. Here you will be able to look at the palm garden, wetland forest, tropical trees, shrubs.
Interesting: The University of Southern Florida Botanical Gardens has the territory of 16 acres of garden and 3,000 species of the greenbelt.