Find out the top things to do in Tampa, including attractions, museums, kid-friendly activities, food, and tours to make the most of your trip.
Tampa is a fantastic city on the coast of the Mexican Gulf of the famous United States, Florida. In the north of Tampa, it is dominated by the crocodilian- reptiles, navigable waterways, and bayou wildlife of the Hillsborough River. The incredible juicy cheesy food, thrilling Kumba vertical drop rides, and different animals inhabit the paradigmatic Busch Gardens in Tampa.
Tampa, the third most populated city, experiences a hot and humid climate throughout the year. I love to visit Tampa from December to April. My sister, Ruby, and I love this time of the year because the climatic conditions, the dog-friendly beaches in Tampa, and the beautiful sceneries excite us the most. Furthermore, there are many things to be done in Tampa.
We had been living in Tampa for two years. But because of a sudden work transfer, we had to shift to Georgia. We were at first not willing to leave Tampa, because the vibe and beautiful sceneries in and around the city had already won our hearts. So, every year, in December or January, we come here to enjoy and also because all our fun activities are still left!
I love Tampa nightlife and Riverwalk!
I’ll introduce you to a fantastic place where you can heartily enjoy the Cuban and Spanish flavors along with many other attractions in Tampa.
The beautiful places are waiting to be unfolded by you. Enjoy reading!
15 Awesome Tampa plans and things to do for your upcoming visit:
- 1. Relax and Slow Walk on the Tampa Riverwalk
- 2. Wat Mongkolratanaram Thai Temple
- 3. Take a Trip to Downtown Tampa
- 4. Exhilarating twists and turns roller coasters in Theme Park – Busch Gardens
- 5. Tampa Bay Food Tours
- 6. The Castle
- 7. Check Weeki Wachee Spring near Tampa
- 8. Museum Hopping in Ringling Museum
- 9. Walk your dog in Davis Island Dog Beach
- 10. Sunset at Angry Chair Brewing
- 11. Swimsuit at Adventure Island Water Park
- 12. Enjoy Centro Ybor
- 13. Renew History in The Dalí (Salvador Dalí Museum)
- 14. A Glass of Strawberry Shakes
- 15. Oxford Exchange
1. Relax and Slow Walk on the Tampa Riverwalk
Are you searching for free things to do in Tampa? Then just walk through parks and gardens and enjoy Tampa’s beauty and gifts.
It was like Ruby’s and my ritual to visit The Holiday Lighted Boat Parade in December and go for Riverwalk together.
During this time the whole place lights up and at the south, Water Works Park is so beautifully decorated with lights and candles.
On normal days you can walk along the Hillsborough River in Tampa and stop by and talk to new people and have mouth craving foods from side restaurants and food trucks. There is an abundance of food trucks offering so many things to eat.
Along a 2.6 mile trail of walking, there are tourist spots like the Florida aquarium and Glazer Children’s Museum.
This place is so well maintained by the locals and government. The parks are a clean and great place to watch the sky turning black from blue.
2. Wat Mongkolratanaram Thai Temple
Ruby and I went to Wat Mongkolratanaram, for marketing – they have amazing offers on Sunday. Well, it was then we discovered this beautiful Thai temple.
It opens every morning around 8.30 am to 1 pm and you’ll be amazed to find Thailand in Tampa. There were Thai priests all around and so many Thai people.
You can taste delicious Thai food around the temple. The food vendors have many Thai food options to try. If you are visiting this place then you should try beef and pork soup called ‘Guiteow’ and ‘Pad Thai’. If you are thinking of queuing up later after visiting the temple then I can bet you, you won’t get any food. This place is very famous among Thai people.
Wat Mongkolratanaram Temple is a great place for students of the San Francisco Bay Area and Berkeley’s Thai Cultural Center.
3. Take a Trip to Downtown Tampa
It was Ruby’s birthday. I took her there and had an aerial view of dinner! Can you imagine how beautiful that day was?
This place is perfect to turn your cinematic dreams into reality. Book an old streetcar and take a trip around Tampa. If you want a different experience then book a ticket for a cruise and enjoy the water ride of Florida.
This place is a hub for bars, bistros, movie theaters, museums, and many shopping malls. You can go street shopping and buy amazing clothes and gift items for your friends and family.
You can also get a sneak peek of WWII cargo ships if you visit the docks. This place has wonderful nightlife.
You can stay because this place has some great affordable hotels and hostels. If you want to have a five-star experience then this place is just for you. This place has so many things to see in Tampa.
4. Exhilarating twists and turns roller coasters in Theme Park – Busch Gardens
Are you wondering about things to do in Tampa with kids?
It is about 10 miles northeast of downtown Tampa. Normally, it cost us the previous year $ 84.99 each. So, it’s better to check the website and book tickets online before visiting this place.
Bring your kids here to the Busch Garden for a thrilling adrenaline-pumping roller coaster experience. This park was unlatched in 1959 with a theme keeping in mind the essence of Africa, plus animal exhibits based on the Serengeti Plain and the Myombe Reserve.
A connoisseur ride here is Ruby’s favorite!
This is the first place that offers animals of independent roaming in a mock-up of their original habitat.
If you want to experience some fun with your kids then book tickets for Serengeti Safari and Guided expedition, live performance, walkabout way, and shows, themed rides, and special kids’ attractions.
Animal attractions include a Cheetah Run, Jambo Junction, Curiosity Cavern, and Bird Gardens – Lory Landing, Jungala, and a variety of restaurants, cafés, and bars.
5. Tampa Bay Food Tours
Who doesn’t want to eat great Tampa cuisine? We love food, and I’m sure you are also a great foodie like us!
Tampa Bay Food is our favorite. It offers delicious Tampa cuisine and you will never forget the appetizing taste it offers. You can also taste crab cakes, lobster pizzas, dessert shooters, and a lot more.
This place serves delicious foods of Florida and you should visit here and taste their cheesy burgers.
Recommended read: The best countries for foodies around the world
6. The Castle
This place is so different from all the above places but one of the best places in Tampa. You can do so many activities in Tampa. In 1992 this Tampa Castle was built and was themed as a Gothic nightclub. It has three different sections for music and five places from hanging out.
This place is open to all to enjoy music and forget the city stress.
7. Check Weeki Wachee Spring near Tampa
It is a place for pleasure and thrill-seekers. The spring has shades of pure blue and green color which make it unique and beautiful. Weeki Wachee spring is also known as the deepest freshwater cave system in the United States.
If you want an extraordinary and rich experience then book a ticket and go for a cruise ride. You can swim in the clean water at Buccaneer Bay. You cannot swim wherever you want; there are certain rules and regulations. You can also bring your kids and give them unforgettable memories.
You’ll be thrilled to know that you can perform some adventurous activities like Kayak and paddleboard here.
This natural spring near Tampa is famous for mermaid shows. To enter this place adults have to pay $13 while children aged 6-12 have to pay $8.
We both visited Weeki Wachee spring but alone. This year we are planning to visit together here and also in Silver Springs.
8. Museum Hopping in Ringling Museum
What unique things are there to do in Tampa? Stop! There, this Ringling Museum will take us back to the days of history. This place is famous among aficionados.
This is my favorite place, a bad day and I was there sitting quietly in this quiet place.
This place offers some best tourist spots like Circus Museums, the State Art Museum of Florida, Bayfront Gardens, the Historic Asolo Theater, the historic Ca’ d’Zan Mansion, and an Art Library. You will be flabbergasted to see the 31 galleries with amazing works and modern cravings.
The Art library was built in 1925, and John Ringling built this beautiful Art Museum. Enjoy European Art and educate yourself in such a unique place in Tampa.
Circus Museum is a great place to see carved parade wagons, tent poles, utility wagons, and bail rings, and a lot more. Back in those eras, this place was for performers who visited to showcase their talent. Their wardrobes, performing props, and make-ups are all preserved in small glass boxes for visitors.
9. Walk your dog in Davis Island Dog Beach
Yes, Ruby and I have Rocha, a beagle dog.
Thus, we visited a lot in Davis Island Dog Beach which is one of the best dog-friendly beaches in Tampa
This beach is significantly perfect for sunbathing, a noiseless place, and spending quality time with your four-legged friend. Your dog can run free and you don’t have to leash him.
This place has a water fountain and washes station so that after all the sandy runs and sunbathing you can clean yourself and your dog. The perfect beauty of its natural environments and crystal clear blue water is all you want in Tampa.
Do you want to take a break from Tampa’s hot humid climate? This is our all-time favorite spot.
10. Sunset at Angry Chair Brewing
I always like this place because it offers Puff beers.
This place has a huge variety of beers from hoppy IPA’s to lactose sours to dark stouts. You can also taste Berliner-Weiss beers with a marshmallow flavor. Yes, did you have it before?
This year before Easter they will be launching three different flavors.
11. Swimsuit at Adventure Island Water Park
You will be amazed to find such a wonderful themed water park on the northern fringes of Tampa. This is the best place for summery days; it has bayous of the Deep South, slides, fashionable sands at sides, and a lot more things.
We haven’t been to this place but are planning to visit at the end of this year.
12. Enjoy Centro Ybor
Centro Ybor gives us the Improv Comedy Theater, Tampa Bay Brewing Company, the Hyppo, nightclubs, brilliant restaurants, and thriving nightlife.
This place is a little crowded because it is the hub of Ybor City. If you are looking for partying and having fun then this is the exact place for you.
Centro Ybor is one of my favorite places!
13. Renew History in The Dalí (Salvador Dalí Museum)
This museum has a collection of oil paintings, many original drawings, book illustrations, artists’ books, prints, sculptures, photos, and a lot more things.
If you are wondering what to do in Tampa then you are just wasting time. Come here for a fun experience and uncover all the magical world this artist born in Figueres, Spain, created from scratch.
Recommended read: All the Barcelona architecture masterpieces you cannot miss
14. A Glass of Strawberry Shakes
Plant City located near Tampa is known as the “winter strawberry capital of the world”. It serves sweet and delicious berries, muffins, martinis, and the famous strawberry milkshakes.
Parkesdale Farm Market is a must-visit place near Tampa, FL!
Recommended read: 10 Healthy snacks you can make anywhere
15. Oxford Exchange
Recommended read: Exciting coffee experiences around the world
This European-inspired space has everything a culture buff that loves coffee could wish for. Namely a restaurant, a throughout bookstore, a coffeehouse, and a shop full of decor stuff and witty gifts.
Sunshine state with an incredible story behind it:
Tampa has a few famous nicknames including “The Big Guava” and “Cigar Capital of the World”. In 1884, there was a rumor that Tampa was a place full of wild guava. Gavino Guitierrez was curious and explored the place with his friend.
The sweet aura of this place had some magic in it which eventually led to launching a business program. He cracked this idea with his business friend Vicente Martinez Ybor. He was so confident in his choice that he even thought of opening his cigar factory.
Since then, the name stuck – well, this place has always been fascinating and dazzling.
Keep reading: Unique things to do in Miami
Contributing members are responsible for the accuracy of content contributed to A World to Travel.