Tampa Bay is a large natural harbour and estuary connected to the Gulf of Mexico on the west central coast of Florida. The surrounding area is home to about 4 million residents, making it a heavily used commercial and recreational waterway but putting much stress on the bay’s ecosystem, which once teemed with enough wildlife to easily support an extensive indigenous culture.
Much greater care has been taken in recent decades to mitigate the effects of human habitation on Tampa Bay, and water quality has slowly improved over time.
Below we have detailed just a few of the things you can do while in Tampa, but please Contact Us with your exact needs.
Walk with the Wildlife
- Hillsborough River with Canoe Escape – Count the alligators that sunbathe atop floating logs as you paddle.
- Go bird watching at Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay‘s 35-acre nature preserve.
- Big Cat Rescue provides sanctuary to nearly 150 exotic cats, including leopards, lynx, jaguars, lions, tigers and the only three white servals in the world. You can even spend the night in one of the cabins.
- Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, one of the top amusement parks in the country, take a wild safari on the Serengeti Plain where you’ll have giraffes eating out of the palm of your hand, and see eland, ostriches and zebras.
- Lowry Park Zoo – Get up close and personal with Sumatran tigers, Indian rhinoceros, Komodo dragons, Bornean orang-utans and endangered Florida manatees.
- TECO Manatee Viewing Centre – Uncover shy and gentle endangered Florida Manatees, open November 1 through April 15.
- The Florida Aquarium – a unique opportunity for certified SCUBA divers, age 15 and older, to dive with sharks. And don’t miss out on the Aquarium’s Wild Dolphin Cruise!
- Adventure Island – Cool off in the afternoon with high-speed thrills and water-soaked fun.
- The Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) – features 450 hands-on, minds-on activities to keep the kids busy and learning.
- Head west on I-4 and step back in time with over 100 life-size dinosaurs at Dinosaur World.
- Glazer Children’s Museum – Uncover hands-on, interactive exhibits, a family favourite with over 170 fun activities.
- WestShore Plaza and nearby International Plaza – feature Nordstrom, JCPenny, Macy’s and Old Navy, in addition to over 300 specialty stores, AMC 14 Theatres and Bay Street with over 15 restaurants.
- Pick up a must-have Tampa Bay souvenir – a hand-rolled cigar – in one of historic Ybor City‘s many cigars shops.
- Outlets at Ellenton – features designer outlets stores such as Ann Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Nike and Bose.
- Hyde Park Village – offers high-end retailers and boutique shopping in a quaint and historical neighbourhood.
- Explore the boutiques in Palma Ceia, one of Tampa’s most charming neighbourhoods. The antique red brick roads shaded by enormous oaks make this the perfect place to shop!
Explore Rich History in Downtown Tampa
- Tampa Bay History Centre – Exhibits give a glimpse into five centuries of regional history, archaeology and multicultural heritage.
- Henry B. Plant Museum – tells the story of Tampa’s railroad magnate, it Tampa’s beginnings as a visitor destination and as the point of embarkation during the Spanish-American War including the colorful story of Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders.
- Don Vicente de Ybor Historic Inn – renovated from a former clinic circa 1895.
- When the sun goes down, Ybor City comes alive as partiers converge on the lively Historic Latin Quarter in search of a good time. Club-hop down Seventh Avenue, stopping in at Green Iguana and discover why Ybor City earned the name, “Nightlife Capital of Florida’s West Coast.”
- Take a break from the excitement with a laid-back day on one of Tampa Bay’s fabulous nearby beaches. Great beach-front restaurants offer shade from the sun, and if you’re still looking for thrills. parasailing is offered at many locations.
- Unlock the Amalie Arena for big name entertainment.