Are you ready to experience Tampa, Florida in 2023? From indulging in the culinary scene of Sparkman Wharf, to embracing your inner child with a visit to Adventure Island, Tampa really has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to explore the city’s wildlife and nature or would rather get your thrills from one of the many attractions around, we’ve put together a guide to the 17 best things to do in Tampa so you can make sure you don’t miss the best parts of this sizzling city. Read further to learn about Ybor City, the Tampa Riverwalk, Busch Gardens and more!
17 Things to do in Tampa, Florida
Tampa has all of the attractions you could want when visiting the Sunshine State: from historic architecture, incredible dining, and plenty of outdoor activities. From family-friendly water parks and rivers to paddle during summer months to hikes and walks that showcase Tampa’s stunning scenery, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a day of fun filled with theme parks and museums or just need a break from the heat and humidity, this guide of the best things to do in Tampa will get your vacation started right.
|Opening & Closing Time
|1812 N 12th St, Tampa, FL 33605
|600 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
|Busch Gardens (African Safari)
|10165 N McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612
|1910 N Ola Ave, Tampa, FL 33602
|Varies by business
|701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
|Various locations throughout Tampa
|Varies by location
|Runs through Tampa
|Hyde Park Village
|2206 S Howard Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
|Varies by business
|Various locations throughout Tampa
|Varies by tour
|Varies by tour
|Florida State Parks
|Various locations throughout Florida
|Varies by park
|Varies by park
|615 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
|Tampa Museum of Art
|1200 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
|2117 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605
|1001 Bayshore Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606
|Curtis Hixon Park
|601 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
|Various attractions in Tampa
|Various locations throughout Tampa
The legacy of Vicente Martinez Ybor lives on in Tampa. In the late 19th century, Ybor made his way to Tampa and opened the world’s largest cigar factory. By the time it was at its height, 4,000 staff worked there and almost a million cigars were rolled each month. Today, what was once a factory is now a National Historic Landmark District with a vibrant culture of restaurants, boutiques, galleries, and more. Make sure to visit the oldest restaurant in Florida, Columbia Restaurant, while you’re in the area.
The Tampa Riverwalk is a great way to get a sense of both the city and the Hillsborough River. It traverses the area for 2.5 miles, passing by public art, the Florida Aquarium, the Tampa Museum of Art, and Armature Works. Along the way, you can explore local parks like Curtis Hixon and Hyde Park, which hosts upscale shops and farmers’ markets. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a boat tour to really get a sense of the Tampa Bay area or book an excursion with a local company to explore the river.
Busch Gardens (African Safari)
If you’re wondering what to do in Tampa, then you should add African Safari to your list. There is no better way to get up close and personal with Tampa’s incredible wildlife than to embark on a thrilling African safari. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay offers visitors a unique experience, allowing them to explore its vast 335-acre park on the back of an open-air safari vehicle.
This open-air safari gives visitors an unforgettable opportunity to observe exotic animals in their natural habitat. Visitors will come across African elephants, giraffes, cheetahs, and a variety of other animals as they traverse through the lush grasslands and meandering rivers of the park. Take a chance to explore the wilds of Africa and discover the Floridian wildlife of Tampa.
Armature Works is a one-stop destination for food, entertainment, and more. The venue is home to a variety of eateries, retail stores, and event spaces perfect for any occasion. If you’re looking to grab something to eat, enjoy lunch or dinner at the East + West Hall and sample some of Tampa’s best eats. Afterwards, take a stroll on the Tampa Riverwalk or relax on the grass in Curtis Hixon Park. No matter how you spend your day, Armature Works is the perfect ending point to your Tampa adventures.
Tampa Bay is known for its plethora of attractions, but few measure up to the unique experience and fascinating species at the Florida Aquarium. This maritime gem rests on the banks of the Hillsborough River, a prime spot for taking in the breathtaking views of Tampa Bay. Inside, visitors will find hundreds of aquatic creatures throughout the diverse and interactive exhibits.
From otters and sharks to turtles, stingrays and more, every guest can explore and learn about the wildlife that makes its home in the waters of Tampa Bay. Don’t forget to check out the Coral Reef Lounge, with its 3D movie experiences and daily animal encounters. The Florida Aquarium is an unforgettable stop on any Tampa visit.
Tampa is home to some truly remarkable works of public art, both indoors and outdoors. Explore Sparkman Wharf and take in the stunning murals from local artists, or try to spot the hidden treasures of Ybor City, tucked away in the many alleyways of its historic district.
Curtis Hixon Park is home to a variety of installations and sculptures, including the “Unconditional Surrender” statue, which symbolizes a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square after WWII. There are plenty of stunning works to be found near the Tampa Riverwalk, too, so don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled while you explore.
The Hillsborough River is one of Tampa’s most popular natural attractions. It winds through the city and draws visitors from far and wide. It’s a great spot for fishing, exploring nature trails, and recreational activities like kayaking and paddle boarding. Taking a boat tour along the Hillsborough is a great way to soak up the sun and catch a glimpse of Florida’s wildlife, from alligators to exotic birds. On land, there are plenty of trails to wander through and locations to picnic, giving visitors the perfect opportunity to escape and reconnect with nature.
Hyde Park Village
Hyde Park Village is one of Tampa’s premier shopping and dining destinations, located just north of downtown. Filled with delightful boutiques, cozy cafes and lively restaurants, this pedestrian friendly area offers something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for unique fashion pieces, souvenirs to take home or simply a delicious meal, Hyde Park Village has it all. Don’t forget to check out their events, too – they often host outdoor festivals, live music and special activities for kids. Let your inner shopaholic loose and explore one of Tampa’s most charming neighbourhoods.
Boat tours are one of the best ways to take in the beauty and diversity of Tampa Bay. There’s nothing like gliding along the cool water and soaking up the sun, marveling at local wildlife, and admiring the striking skyline of Tampa and its nearby islands.
Whether you’re looking for a sightseeing trip, sunset cruise, or something a little more adventurous, there’s sure to be a tour to suit your needs. For an extra special treat, try arranging a private charter and sail off into the sunset – it’s an experience you won’t soon forget. So hop on board and explore the bay and its surroundings in style.
Florida State Parks
The Sunshine State offers a wealth of natural beauty for all to explore, with Florida State Parks showcasing some of the most stunning sights in the state. Near Tampa, Caladesi Island State Park is one of the best places to visit, with diverse topography, ranging from white sandy beaches and crystal-clear tidal pools to dense mangrove swamps and beautiful southern maritime forests.
Honeymoon Island, a mere ferry ride away, is another excellent spot for a stroll, packed with native plants, trails and lots of picnic spots, while Hillsborough River State Park is great for camping and a range of hiking trails that lead to swimming spots and several animal species.
Located at the beginning of the Tampa Riverwalk, Sparkman Wharf is one of the city’s must-visit spots. Here, visitors can take in sweeping views of the Hillsborough River, find plenty of foodie delights and get their fix of local history. The site was built with repurposed shipping containers and shipping equipment and boasts a modern brewery and excellent eateries such as Urban Brunch, the Sail Pavilion and Café and Poké Rose. There are also regular live events and activities to enjoy.
Tampa Museum of Art
Founded in 1979, the Tampa Museum of Art is one of the highlights of Tampa’s cultural scene. Home to a permanent collection boasting curious works of art from classical antiquity to modern day and housing visiting exhibitions on a regular basis, there’s plenty to take in here. It’s even located right next to the Riverwalk and Curtis Hixon Park, so it’s easy to tie into a stroll along the water or a break in the grass.
The oldest restaurant in Florida, Columbia Restaurant has been around since 1905, when it was opened by a Cuban immigrant. Today, it’s synonymous with Ybor City, a bustling entertainment center and National Historic Landmark District just north of Tampa. It’s a great place to try iconic Cuban sandwiches, classic paella dishes, churros and much more. There’s also live music, dancing and lots of local talent.
At 4.5 miles long, Bayshore Boulevard is the world’s longest continuous sidewalk. Taking visitors on a picturesque journey along Tampa’s waterfront and around Hillsborough Bay, it’s an excellent spot for walking, jogging, cycling and rollerblading. With lovely gardens, promenades and incredible views of downtown, it’s the perfect way to navigate Tampa and see some of the best sights. If you’re lucky, some friendly dolphins will join you along the way to really make your journey special.
Curtis Hixon Park
Curtis Hixon Park is a fantastic spot for those looking for a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of Tampa. Located on the banks of the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa, this lush public park offers plenty of greenery and free outdoor activities, making it one of the must-visit attractions of Tampa.
Along with providing serene views of the waterfront, Curtis Hixon Park hosts various events throughout the year, such as outdoor movie screenings, yoga and fitness classes, festivals, and concerts. If you’re looking to take a break and relax in a beautiful surrounding, Curtis Hixon Park is definitely the place to be.
CityPASS is a great way to save money on all the exciting attractions in Tampa. This amazing ticket bundle includes discounted admission to Busch Gardens, two aquariums, museums, and boat tours. With CityPASS, you can make the most of your holiday in Tampa by visiting multiple attractions without having to worry about the cost.
Whether you prefer to ride the coasters at Busch Gardens or take a boat tour of the scenic Tampa Bay, CityPASS offers multiple opportunities for adventure. If you want to get the most out of Tampa, then CityPASS is an absolute must!
Tampa is a vibrant city with lots of amazing attractions, and the best way to appreciate its beauty is from a bird’s eye view. The majestic Tampa skyline is one of the most recognizable views in the state of Florida, and provides a stunning backdrop for a romantic evening or a photo shoot.
You can enjoy the Tampa skyline at any time of the day, but it is especially beautiful during the night when the city lights up like a glittering jewel. Whether you’re strolling along the Riverwalk or taking a boat tour across the bay, the Tampa skyline will provide a unique experience that is sure to leave you in awe.
There’s no need to worry about running out of things to do in Tampa, as it’s a paradise for outdoor adventures, historical attractions and unique local culture. Whether you’re on the hunt for a thrilling experience, a relaxing day, or a mix of both, Tampa has it all.
From the Tampa Riverwalk and the Armature Works, to the Florida Aquarium and Clearwater Beach, there are plenty of fun, exciting and educational activities to explore while visiting this beautiful city! Get ready to plan your Tampa getaway – the best attractions in Tampa await!