Tampa Bay Florida
Cycling downtown along the Tampa Riverwalk
Family exploring historic Ybor City’s brick streets
Riding the Cobra’s Curse rollercoaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Enjoying local beers at downtown’s The Sail Pavilion
Feeding a giraffe at ZooTampa at Lowry Park
A cigar roller shares his craft in Ybor City
All smiles at a local splash playground
Sharing a toast on a boating trip
The iconic brick architecture and trolleys of Ybor City
A thrilling shark encounter at the Florida Aquarium
Attractions, shopping and sunshine in Central Florida
Fun for Families
At the Glazer Children’s Museum, kids can play pretend as a doctor, veterinarian, artist or engineer on two levels packed with interactive exhibits. Discover wild animals from land and sea at ZooTampa at Lowry Park, Florida Aquarium and TECO Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach, or book a paddling tour with Canoe Escape to see alligators, birds and turtles on the Hillsborough River. Scientists-in-training will have hands-on fun at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). Known for its heart-pounding roller coasters, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is an absolute can’t-miss attraction, particularly if your group has older kids and thrill seekers. Be sure to buy the Tampa Bay CityPASS. You’ll get admission to some of Tampa’s best attractions at an incredible discounted rate.
Shopping, Dining and Nightlife
The Tampa Riverwalk, a pedestrian corridor directly connected to many of the above attractions, boasts gleaming skyline views as well as parks, restaurants and shops along the path. Cool off with a drink at a waterfront bar or catch a luxury yacht sightseeing cruise into the bay. There’s more shopping and eating to do in the Channel District, which includes the Amalie Arena and Tampa Convention Center. Al fresco dining, spa escapes and chic shopping are plentiful in Hyde Park Village, while the historic Seminole Heights neighborhood has a hip and alternative atmosphere. Browse bohemian boutiques like Sherry’s YesterDaze and grab a beer with the locals at Front Porch & Bart’s Tavern. Up for a party? Head to SoHo (a reference to its location along South Howard Avenue). Trendy clubs like Ciro’s Speakeasy and The Drynk offer drink specials, music and dancing.
A Date with History
Long before Tampa was a tourist destination, native Tocobaga, Calusa, Seminole and Miccosukee Indians called it home. See an outstanding collection of tribal artifacts at the Tampa Bay History Center. In the late 18th century, Spanish pirate José Gaspar terrorized and pillaged the shores of the bay. Well, maybe. He may not have even been real, but don’t tell that to the tens of thousands of revelers who come to watch the re-enacted pirate invasion for the Gasparilla Festival in January.
The epicenter of regional Cuban history is Ybor City, nicknamed Cigar City for the countless Cuban cigars rolled by Cuban, Spanish and Italian immigrants since the 1880s. You can still buy cigars from Ybor’s first cigar manufacturers, Tampa Sweethearts Cigar and J.C. Newman Cigar Company. Don’t miss an authentic Cuban lunch at Columbia Restaurant, the oldest restaurant in Florida. Stay late in Ybor for unbeatable nightlife.
A little bit of Cuba: The .06-hectare (.14-acre) Parque Amigos de José Martí (José Martí Park) in Ybor City actually belongs to the Republic of Cuba.
Movies filmed in Tampa include “Edward Scissorhands,” “Goodfellas,” “Magic Mike,” and “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.”
The world's first scheduled passenger flight service connected Tampa and St. Petersburg in 1914.