Fun Things To Do In Tampa On Vacation
There’s a world of fun to be discovered when you vacation in Tampa and its surrounding Tampa Bay Area. From the excitement of the city to the tranquil beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and the historic St. Petersburg peninsula, there are attractions to entice everyone. Located on the west coast of Central Florida, Tampa’s weather is mild, moderate and sunny year round. You can expect summertime weather ranging from the mid-70s to the low 90s and wintertime weather in the mid-50s to mid-70s.
Spanning roughly 400 square miles, Tampa Bay is a natural harbor and estuary connected to the Gulf of Mexico with four distinctive basins: Old Tampa Bay, Hillsboro Bay, McKay Bay, Middle Tampa Bay and Lower Tampa Bay. The surrounding area is populated by roughly four million residents, making Tampa Bay a bustling waterway for both commercial and recreational use. Composed of brackish water with freshwater sources arriving from hundreds of small tributaries, Tampa Bay has an average depth of only 12 feet. The shallow bay and its surrounding wetlands comprise a unique ecosystem with sea grass beds, mud flats, mangroves, bottlenose dolphins, manatees, herons, egrets and brown pelicans.
What Can I Find Only In Tampa?
Spend A Day At TreeUmph!
For a one-of-a-kind day in the great outdoors, head to TreeUmph! Adventure Course in Bradenton. Our aerial adventure course in the trees spans 30 football fields. You’ll zip, climb, swing and soar across hundreds of obstacles like floating logs, climbing walls and elevated bridges, all while safely harnessed to the course. It’s an adventure that’s fun for the whole family.
Stroll through the Tampa Riverwalk
Spanning 2.4 waterfront miles along the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa, the Tampa Riverwalk connects various museums, parks and attractions. You can visit museums like the Tampa Museum of Art, Glazer Children’s Museum, Florida Aquarium and the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. There are also beautiful parks and boating excursions embarking from the area. Curtis Hixon Park is a prime spot to soak up the sun and you can also dine at nearby Thatched Roof Irish Pub and Heights Public Market inside the Armature Works shopping center.
Root for the Home Team
Tampa is home to no less than three professional sports teams: the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays and NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. Depending on the season, buy tickets to a game and root for the home team! It’s especially a great destination for baseball fans. Not only is the area home to the Tampa Bay Rays, but it’s also home to three MLB spring training stadiums where teams including the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays practice.
Tampa has a thriving craft brewery scene with nearly 100 breweries across the area. So where do you start? Cigar City Brewing was founded in 2008 by Tampa native Joey Redner, Jr. and it’s frequently ranked amongst the top breweries in the world. Popular brews inspired by Florida’s local culture include Jai Alai Indian Pale Ale, Florida Cracker Belgian-style White Ale and a Lager inspired by Tampa itself. You can visit their taproom to sample flights of beer and go on a tour of the brewery to learn about how it’s made. Other popular local breweries include Coppertail Brewing Co., Hidden Spring Ale Works and 3 Daughters Brewing.
Discover Ybor City
Ybor City is a National Landmark Historic District just north of downtown Tampa founded by Spanish-Cuban immigrant and cigar manufacturer Vicente Martinez Ybor in 1880. The district became a thriving commercial area for immigrants from Spain, Cuba and Italy. Today, it has a reputation for a bustling nightlife, as well as historic attractions by day along Seventh Avenue, the heart of the city. This is the place to try Tampa’s version of a Cuban sandwich, which has an Italian twist; the secret ingredient being salami. Stop by La Tropicana Cuban Café or Carmine’s Ybor for the classic sandwich made of sugar baked ham, roasted pork, salami, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, mayonnaise and pickles, all pressed between crusty Cuban bread.
Culture Crawl in St. Petersburg
Don’t miss beautiful St. Petersburg and all of its cultural offerings while visiting Tampa Bay. Located on a peninsula on the western side of the bay, St. Petersburg has a thriving gallery scene, as well as a couple of must-see museums. Head to The Dali Museum for a survey of over 96 works by the famous Spanish surrealist who lived from 1904 to 1989. The Morean Art Center boasts the Chihuly Collection where you’ll view large scale, site-specific installations of colorful blown glass by this iconic living artist.