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With beautiful beaches, great food and an abundance of cultural events to enjoy, Tampa Bay has so much to offer. Here are some suggestions to get your “to-do” list in Tampa Bay started!
You can take in some of the best views of the downtown Tampa skyline from the 2.4-mile open air Tampa River Walk. Trailing along the Hillsborough River, the path will lead you through the best downtown Tampa has to offer, including the Florida Aquarium, Tampa Art Museum and Glazer Children's Museum. The trail ends at Tampa Water Works, the perfect park for cooling off after a hot day exploring the city. Check out the full map of the Riverwalk here!
ZooTampa at Lowry Park is tons of fun for the whole family – along with everything to see, you can also get tickets for up-close encounters with some of your favourite animals, like koalas, African penguins and even giraffes! You can also ride a cheetah or an elephant on the Jungle Carousel or take a guided safari with Expedition Africa. The zoo has six main areas: Safari Africa, Asian Gardens, Primate World, Wallaroo Station, Florida Wildlife and the Main Entrance, where you can find many restaurants and a free-flight aviary.
Much of the Cuban culture in Tampa Bay blossomed in the neighbourhood of Ybor City around the cigar factories that were institutions in that community for decades. If you’re interested in learning about the history of Ybor City and the cigar factories, see the artisans in action and take a tour at Tabanero Cigars. Your $15 tour comes with an educational tour of the factory and its history and a complimentary cup of amazing Cuban coffee.
If your favourite way to travel is by boat, you have to try the Pirate Water Taxi. You can purchase tickets online or at any of their downtown stops, and then hop on and off all day as you explore the city. The water taxi has over 15 stops daily, taking you to many museums, attractions, restaurants and parks. You also get access to Pirate Perks with your wristband – this includes savings at selected restaurants, attractions and more!
If you’re willing to venture away from downtown Tampa, some of the best beaches in the area are on the other side of the bay, in St. Petersburg and Clearwater. At the top of everyone’s list is Clearwater Beach – with meticulously groomed beaches, tons of beach amenities, world-class restaurants and activities like fishing and paddling boarding at your fingertips, it’s easy to see why.
Other great beaches in the area include St. Pete Beach, Indian Rocks Beach, Sand Key Park and Treasure Island. For more information on St. Petersburg and Clearwater, click here.
Written by Andrea Zakaib