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Busch Gardens in Tampa

Tampa Travel Guide: 6 Reasons to Visit Tampa, Florida (2023)

The city of Tampa is located along Florida’s Gulf Coast. It is a beautiful and bustling metropolitan city filled with historic architecture, museums, beaches, and trendy restaurants. Tampa is known for having some of the best beaches in the United States. Palm tree-lined streets and endless outdoor activities have made Tampa, also known as Tampa Bay, one of the top vacation spots of Florida.

6 Reasons to Visit Tampa, Florida

Let us look at some of the top reasons to visit Tampa, Florida.

1. Miles and Miles of White Sandy Beaches

Tampa is home to some of the best beaches in the US, and once you land in Tampa, you won’t ever be too far away from a beach. The Clearwater Beach, named as the number one beach in the US in 2016, 2018, and 2019, is the first beach to check out when in Tampa. With its white sand and crystal clear shallow waters, the Clearwater Beach is the perfect spot to let your hair down, lie down on your beach towel, and just watch the water splash up against the white sands. You will find dozens of restaurants and shops near the beach, making it convenient to find delicious beach snacks and drinks at a stone’s throw.

Some of the other notable beaches you must check out when you are in Tampa include Treasure Island and St. Pete beaches. These beaches are giving close competition to Clearwater beach with their laid back atmosphere and beautiful scenic views. These two are the less commercial beaches of Tampa and thus have a lesser crowd thronging here.

You should also check out Sand Key, specially designed for people who prefer to enjoy in solitude. This beach provides some of the most spectacular Gulf views, and it is a quiet and romantic beach. The Sand Key beach is just one bridge away from the Clearwater Beach, and you can opt for packing a [picnic and setting up camp on the northern side of the beach. This beach is also ideal for those who want to indulge in a spot of fishing. This is a wide beach and includes bathhouses, picnic pavilions, and you can even explore the boardwalk and trails that take you through a salt marsh. If you are lucky, you may even be able to observe many endangered birds nesting and feeding. This is a favorite spot for the locals to head to after a storm when hundreds of shells lie along the shore.

2. Lots Of Sunshine and Warm Weather

Even in the Fall, the average temperature at Tampa remains in the high 70’s and 80’s. The lovely warm weather of Tampa has made it an ideal getaway for tourists who do not want to get stuck in the snow. The best part about Tampa is that the water here is also warm. The water at the beaches averages temperatures in the 70s throughout the Fall.

Tampa gets a whopping 250 days of sunshine, so make sure to bring your flip flops, sunscreen, and even a hat – and yes, you will be needing all these even in October and November.

3. Plenty Of Water Activities

The calm waters of Tampa Bay have made it the perfect place to indulge in a variety of watersports. Paddle boarding, water biking, kayaking, paragliding, and many others are popular water activities in Tampa. For those who prefer to add some speed to their actions, trying out a speedboat adventure is an excellent option in Tampa. For a more relaxing experience, taking a day cruise on the Tampa Bay is a great idea.

In fact, you even get a unique opportunity to try riding a bicycle on the water while in Tampa. The Tampa Bay Waterbikes is a much sought-after activity here. These water bikes have pedals but no wheels. Two kayaks will hold you comfortably above the water to ensure you do not tip over. You can rent these bikes by the hour, and there are many discounts available for students, teachers, law enforcement, military, and seniors.

Another excellent water activity you must try out in Tampa is to go snorkeling at Egmont Key in Fort Desoto. While a trip to Fort Desoto is included in most itineraries, you must also indulge in snorkeling at Egmont Key when you visit the fort. It is easy to reach the Egmont Key by ferry from the Fort Desoto Bay Pier. On the way, you will also be lucky to spot many dolphins, sea turtles, and sometimes even manatees.

It is possible to rent snorkeling gear at the pier itself. Taking the first ferry of the day to go snorkeling is often highly recommended so that you can enjoy your dive without the crowd piling up.

4. Exciting Amusement Parks

It surprises many visitors to learn about the sheer number of amusement parks that are there in and around Tampa. In fact, many tourists visit Tampa to try out all the amusement parks here.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Tampa is the Busch Gardens. This theme park features many exciting, and fun rides, wild animals, and a variety of stage shows for families to enjoy together.

Another popular amusement park with families that have small children is the Adventure Island Amusement Park. The Adventure Island Amusement Park offers a wet and wild experience, sprawled over 30 acres in size. This park is famous for having some of the most exciting rides in Florida. There are pool slides named Gulf Scream and Rip Tide, making for some of the most heart-stopping adventures to be had in this park.

Here’s a list of the most exciting amusement parks to check out in Tampa:

  1. AirHeads Trampoline Arena – This is the best trampoline arena to experience the joy and thrill of flying high on their gigantic trampoline. The park also offers AirSports like dodgeball along with many arcade games and prizes to be won. The place is usually always crowded as it plays host to many birthday parties and even corporate events. There is something for everyone at this amusement park in Tampa. In fact, if you want to, you can even bounce off the trampoline walls here.
  2. Dinosaur World – Located near the outskirts of Tampa, this is a dinosaur experience like never before. The park houses many huge life-sized replicas of some of the biggest dinosaurs ever to be discovered in the US.
  3. Splitsville – This is a complete family fun zone with many arcade games, indoor bowling, fun, and food for the whole family or gang of friends. You can spend hours and hours having fun here without realizing the time.

5. Time To Check Out The Museums

The city of Tampa is famous for its many unique and exciting museums. You cannot visit Tampa and miss out on seeing the museums here. The museums are a great place to visit, especially for history buffs who want to learn more about the history of Tampa and Florida. Here are the must-see museums in Tampa:

  1. Glazer Children’s Museum: Start your trip from the Glazer Children’s Museum. This is the perfect museum for children 10 years and younger who want to learn through the process of discovery. There are many themed exhibits here that teach children about many different topics. For example, children learn about banking at the Central Bank exhibit. They learn where our food comes from in the Farm exhibit. The Firehouse and Forts exhibits are some of the most popular ones amongst children who visit. This museum is the perfect place to let your children learn how to explore the world around them.
  2. SS American Victory Mariners’ Memorial and Museum Ship: This is the perfect museum for the sailor in you, and especially if you love boats. Take a walkthrough on the museum ship and check out the many artifacts and stories of maritime bravery and adventures of the US Navy. While here, you must make sure to pay a visit to the captain’s quarters. The museum is actually a fully operational WWII ship in the US. This American Victory Ship is a historic American icon, and you get to go aboard and witness firsthand the entire ship, including the cavernous three-level cargo hold, hospital, galley, radio and gyro rooms, weaponry, steering stations, signaling equipment, flying bridge, mess halls, crew cabins, lifeboats, and the wheelhouse. You even get to check out the engine. There are many rare artifacts displayed in the museum, including uniforms, medals, photographs, and other important documents.
  3. Tampa Bay History Center: Located in the heart of downtown Tampa is the Tampa Bay History Center, which houses a huge range of Florida’s history and industrial development. With changing exhibits, there is much to see here. From seeing the early maps of Florida to checking out the fossil history of Florida, there is something for everyone here. The Tampa Bay History Center is a must on your itinerary.
  4. Wat Mongkolrata Temple: Visiting the Wat Mongkolrata Temple feels like you have been transported to the heart of Thailand while in Tampa. You can learn all about the culture, religion, and people of Thailand here while also getting a taste of authentic Thai and other Asian foods.

6. Lions and Tigers and Bears – Oh My!

Tampa is also home to a wonderful zoo, an aquarium, and many other nature and animal-related attractions. While we already talked about the Busch Gardens above, let’s just mention again that it is home to many wild animals. The Florida Aquarium is also a hot favorite with people when in Tampa. The aquarium is home to over 10,000 aquatic animals and plants, and it is one of the most visited places in Tampa. Not only can visitors look at the plants and animals, but there are also animal shows to watch, with the most popular one involving a diver swimming around inside a shark tank. Let’s take a look at some of the natural attractions to check out in Tampa.

  1. Florida Aquarium: A very popular tourist attraction, especially for the kids, the aquarium has some of the most fantastic collections of fish and other aquatic animals. There are many different types of tickets and even an annual pass to help you save money all year round.
  2. Lowry Park Zoo: Who doesn’t love a fun day at the zoo to check out a wide variety of exotic and endangered animals? There is a separate dinosaur exhibit that you must not miss, but the entry ticket for that is a bit extra.
  3. Night Safari at Busch Gardens: Apart from the many rides at the Busch Gardens, there is also a unique night safari that you must not miss. One of the highlights of the night safari is that you get to feed the giraffes.

There are many other reasons to visit Tampa, Florida as well. If you want to experience its lively nightlife, then you are in for a surprise once the sun goes down. Tampa is the perfect city for enjoying a thriving nightlife as you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining out and clubbing. The city is home to many top restaurants that offer every type of cuisine you can possibly imagine. Many of these restaurants are located right on the waterfront, giving you a beautiful view and being close to Ybor City. Ybor City is the hub of entertainment near the waterfront, and you can party away till the early hours of the morning in one of the many clubs and bars here.

There’s something for everyone in Tampa. Now without wasting any time, book your trip to Tampa to have an unforgettable experience of a lifetime.

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