Have you just relocated to Tampa Bay or retired and now have the time to explore this incredible area? Whether you have a few hours or an entire day to explore, there are plenty of Tampa attractions awaiting you. On top of the abundant beaches in the area, there’s tons of thrills to explore. Take a look at some of the area’s best attractions for you, your family and visitors.
Busch Gardens® Tampa is the ultimate family adventure, combining world-class thrill rides, live entertainment and one of North America’s largest zoos with over 12,000 animals in an unforgettable adventure. Enjoy the fully-remodeled Pantopia with sensational new dining options, exciting entertainment, shopping, a renovated indoor theater and thrilling rides, including North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower, Falcon’s Fury®. Plus, closely observe veterinary care at the state-of-the-art Animal Care Center, journey to the four corners of the earth in the original live show, Iceploration, and experience a new breed of speed with Florida’s first triple-launch coaster, Cheetah Hunt.
Five-time winner of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence (2010-2015), ZooTampa at Lowry Park is one of the most popular zoos in the southeastern U.S., with over 1 million visitors annually. The Zoo originated in the 1930’s as a municipal department with a small number of Florida native species. It grew gradually throughout the next four decades, but struggled to meet the developing professional standards of modern zoos. In 1982, community leaders created the Lowry Park Zoo Association to take over management of the Zoo for the City of Tampa with the goal of creating a world-class zoo through a public-private partnership. The Association then became the Lowry Park Zoological Society of Tampa, Inc., as it remains today. Working with a national zoo designer, the Society was able to create a modern, 24-acre facility that opened to the public in 1988 and shortly after earned Accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). ZooTampa has now grown to what now encompasses 56 acres of naturalistic animal exhibits in a lush, tropical garden setting. The Zoo offers popular educational programming, fun recreational amenities, up-close animal encounters and engaging seasonal events for which it has won accolades as one of the country’s most family-friendly zoos.
Big Cat Rescue
The Florida Botanical Gardens inspires and educates visitors by showcasing flora, fauna, and natural resources in motivational surroundings that promote environmentally friendly techniques. Bring the family and spend the day. The Gardens are open almost every day of the year and admission is free!
Take in the view of Old Tampa Bay while strolling along a one-mile shoreline. Enjoy picnicking, fishing, and historical points of interest. Kids love the playground, a rock-climbing park, ball field, and open spaces to roam. A public boat ramp with access to Tampa Bay is open during park hours. The Temple Mound was built by Native Americans known as the Tocobaga. It is the largest remaining mound in the Tampa Bay region and is listed in the National Register of Historic Landmarks. The mound was made of alternating layers of shell and sand. Remains of posts indicate there was at least one structure on top, possibly used for ceremonial purposes or the chief’s dwelling. Archaeologists believe the ramp led to a “town plaza” at the base of the mound.
Edgewater Park is a four-acre waterfront park located at Dunedin Marina. The park is well shaded and features a playground, picnic tables, rest room facilities and a gazebo that may be reserved for weddings and other functions. Edgewater Park is also the site of the City’s Centennial Tree planted by the Bay Bouquet Garden Club on June 1, 1999 to commemorate the City of Dunedin’s 100th birthday.
Whether you are sitting on the beach or kayaking near the still water’s edge at Fort De Soto, you find yourself absorbed in the abundance of natural beauty for as far as the eye can see. The complexity of the ecology is not immediately apparent, but the park offers the greatest diversity of systems just about anywhere. Emerging from the wealth of bird life, sea life, wild life and plant life is the majestic tapestry called Fort De Soto. The largest park within the Pinellas County Park System, Fort De Soto park consists of 1,136 acres made up of five interconnected islands (keys). These keys are home to beach plants, mangroves, wetlands, palm hammocks, hardwoods and scores of native plants. Each of these species plays a vital role in the preservation and protection of the natural environment. South-southwest of St. Petersburg, Florida, Fort De Soto Park is a park operated by Pinellas County on five offshore keys, or islands: Madelaine Key, St. Jean Key, St. Christopher Key, Bonne Fortune Key and the main island, Mullet Key.
The Sunken Gardens are 4 acres of well-established botanical gardens, located in the Historic Old Northeast neighborhood of St. Petersburg, Florida. Sunken Gardens is a botanical paradise in the midst of a bustling city. As St. Petersburg’s oldest living museum, this 100-year-old garden is home to some of the oldest tropical plants in the region. Unwind as you stroll through meandering paths, lush with exotic plants from around the world. Explore cascading waterfalls, beautiful demonstration gardens, more than 50,000 tropical plants, and flowers.
The Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail is a linear park and recreation trail currently extending from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs and is a multi-use trail everyone can enjoy. The Trail, created along an abandoned railroad corridor, provides a unique, protected greenspace for walking, jogging, skating, and biking. Pinellas County Parks & Conservation Resources is responsible for the Trails maintenance and operating costs.
The Largo Central Park Nature Preserve is 31-acres in area and abuts the East Bay County Club Golf Course. The entrance is on East Bay Avenue, but you must travel south on Highland Avenue to get there. There is a butterfly garden near the parking lot and a multipurpose trail from East Bay to the main gate. The 1-1/2 mile hiking trail consists of three loops. No bicycles are allowed on the boardwalks.
Beautiful Beaches in Clearwater
New to Tampa Bay or want to know more about our beautiful beaches here in Clearwater? Clearwater Beach was just named “Best Beach in America” for 2018 by TripAdvisor. To learn more about the area’s Most Beautiful Beaches blog.
Top Aquarium Attractions in Tampa Bay Area
Want an aqua experience for you, your family and/or guests? Our blog about the Top Aquarium Attractions in Tampa Bay Area will give you more details.
Tampa Bay Museums
If you are interested in finding out more information about the Tampa Bay Museums, read our recent blog about the exceptional museums in our area to explore.
Best Historic Small Town in the US
Another amazing place to visit in Tampa Bay is Tarpon Springs. USA Today released the 2018 Readers’ Choice 10 Best Historic Small Towns. The exciting news is that Tarpon Springs right here in Tampa Bay won the top position in the US! Congratulations to Tarpon Springs.
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