15 best places to visit in Tampa, Florida

15 best places to visit in Tampa, Florida

If you have an idea to visit Tampa, one of Florida’s most beautiful destinations, we’ll tell you the best places to visit in Tampa, Florida, as well as the most interesting things you can do in there. Then, let’s start our tour to Tampa.

1. Busch Gardens

15 best places to visit in Tampa, Florida

Busch Gardens is an African-themed adventure park. It spreads over about a 335-acre area. If you visit there, you can see a multitude of exotic animals in natural habitat settings. You can take a safari to see them. The Serengeti Night Safari is one of the most popular options in this park. The park allows visitors to get close to some residents, like sloths and flamingos. Also, it allows you to hand-feed kangaroos and giraffes. 

Also, the park offers many thrill rides, live music, and entertainment performances. Kiddie rides and water rides are popular in the park. Do you like to have an extreme thrill experience? Busch Gardens’ roller coasters will give you that experience. The park offers several ticketing options and you can choose as you prefer.

2. Florida Aquarium

15 best places to visit in Tampa, Florida

Tampa’s Florida Aquarium is one of the best places to visit in Tampa, Florida. If you visit there you can see an exciting variety of animal habitats and exhibits. Also, the aquarium offers many activities to educate and entertain all ages. You can interact directly with creatures like starfish and anemones in the park. Also, you can go see some wild animals like lemurs.

With a Florida Aquarium admission, you can skip all lines and enjoy the outdoor Splash Pad and 4-D theater performances. If you like to have an exciting premium experience, the aquarium offers the SeaTREK program and Wild Dolphin Cruise.  You can also have an underwater walking tour to see coral caves. This tour also allows you to get up close with spotted eagle rays,  bonnethead sharks, and other aquatic animals.

3. Tampa Zoo

15 best places to visit in Tampa, Florida

Tampa Zoo is one of the best places to visit in Tampa, Florida. Here you can see more than 2,000 animals in natural habitats including animals from Africa, Australia, and Asia. The zoo has a large aquarium and three pools.  The pools are used to treat local manatees who are ill or injured.

The park offers you chances to feed an Indian rhino and get up close to some of the zoo’s residents. Florida panthers, African elephants, African penguins,  and the Bornean Orangutan are just a few of the popular residents in here. The park offers a family-friendly roller coaster ride, a mini-train ride, and a safari ride through the African habitat. It also hosts special events and programs throughout the year.

4. Ybor City

Ybor City

Ybor City is one of the best places to visit in Tampa, Florida, and a  National Historic Landmark District. Cigar baron Vicente Martinez Ybor found this city. The workers at his Key West plant had threatened to form a union when he arrived in the area in the middle of the 1880s. The Ybor cigar factory, employed over 4,000 people to manually roll more than 900,000 cigars per month. It was the biggest in the world. But the boom came to an end when the Great Depression hit, and most companies were shut down as a result of machine rollers.

Later the city experienced a revival. Now it is home to many shops, galleries, cafes, and restaurants. If you like to see the city’s most historic buildings, you should go to Seventh Avenue. It is also called “La Septima” in Spanish. Several buildings here are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can visit Florida’s oldest and the nation’s largest Spanish restaurant during your tour. Columbia Restaurant was opened in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernández, Sr. This restaurant is famous for its old-world architectural charm, Spanish cuisine, and dinner shows.

5. Tampa Riverwalk

Tampa Riverwalk

Tampa Riverwalk is a 2.4-mile walkway and one of the best places to visit in Tampa, Florida. The Riverwalk starts at Sparkman Wharf and provides amazing views out over the Hillsborough River. It ends at the Armature Works. You can see a wonderful collection of public art along your way on the walkway. Some Tampa attractions are located on the walk such as the Tampa Museum of Art and the Florida Aquarium.  Also, there are four playgrounds are available here for younger kids. There are lots of dining options are available along the way.  Many of them have sunny patios that serve up tasty dishes.

6. Tampa Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry is one of the best places to visit in Tampa, Florida. You can explore, and learn about every aspect of science and technology. There are many exhibits to see that start with the basics of math, physics, and other scientific principles and expand into difficult subjects in science.

Kids can learn about how technology helps people live longer and how the human body works while playing a giant game of “operation”. The museum has some exhibits that explore a model of NASA’s vision for human life off-earth. Not only that, the museum offers many fun activities to do such as an exciting ropes adventure course, and a life-size model of the Mercury spacecraft. They have an IMAX theater as well.

  • Visit: 4801 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, Florida
  • Official website: www.mosi.org

7. Sparkman Wharf

Sparkman Wharf

It is a beautiful waterfront gathering spot near the Tampa Aquarium. Some of Tampa’s most interesting restaurants can be found operating out of containers. You can go to the central courtyard to enjoy your meal.  In addition to dining options, you can find yoga classes here. You can also catch live music being performed on the main stage and in a movie. You can bring your pets and enjoy a picnic while looking at the atmosphere. You can visit here by walking along the Riverfront Trail. Parking is available at the Channelside garage as well.

8. Armature Works

Armature Works

The Armature Works area is one of the best places to visit in Tampa, Florida. It is housed in a restored tram car warehouse and you will be surprised when you step the inside this former industrial building.  You can find a variety of eclectic shops and restaurants. The dining options here are home-grown,  innovative, and varied.

You can grab a table inside or set up outside and enjoy your meals while looking at the amazing views of the Hillsborough River. You can also find the Ulele, one of Tampa’s most popular restaurants, and enjoy a more traditional experience. We recommend booking in advance to secure your table. You have to go a short distance across the courtyard to visit there.

9. J.C. Newman Cigar Co. Museum

The J.C. Newman Cigar Co. Museum

The J.C. Newman Cigar Co. Museum & Factory is one of the best places to visit in Tampa, Florida. If you visit there you can learn about the history of cigar production in the Tampa area. The museum is housed in a restored factory dating from 1910. There were about 150 cigar factories in Tampa. It used to be the largest cigar factory in the world.

You can sign up for the 75-minute tour to see normally closed areas of the building and learn more about the process of cigar manufacturing.  This tour takes you down into the basement of the factory and allows visitors to see workers making cigars using the same methods as they have for decades.  You can also see a hidden staircase behind the walls that were recently discovered during this tour.

10. Children’s Museum

Children's Museum

The Glazer Children’s Museum is one of the best places to visit in Tampa, Florida. Kids can learn many things while playing. There are many grown-up jobs kids can explore. They can study about managing money and commerce at the bank, then climb a fire pole on their way to the fire station to rescue lives. Future captains can drive a ship into a narrow passage, and future vets can examine x-rays and make patient treatment plans. Some exhibits explore engineering, robotics, world cultures, and oceanography.

11. History Center

History Center

Tampa Bay History Center is one of the best places to visit in Tampa, Florida. It has exhibits that show the rich history of the Tampa Bay area. Highlights of the Tampa Bay History Center include the Seminoles, early inhabitants of the area, multicultural influences throughout the past five centuries, the railroad and shipping history, and local geography.

The Treasure Seekers Gallery is one of the newest exhibits here. If you visit this gallery, you can see a re-created pirate ship and historical items from the 1600s, including navigation instruments and cannons. In addition to the permanent exhibits,  the history center has a temporary gallery. It features changing exhibits.  If you want to experience one of Tampa’s favorite restaurants without going to Ybor City, Colombia café is here to give you that experience. You can enjoy some of the most famous dishes in Colombia café.

12. Plant Museum

Plant Museum

Henry Plant is one of the best places to visit in Tampa, Florida. In 1933, part of the former Tampa Bay Hotel was turned into a museum. This luxurious Victorian palace is owned by railroad tycoon Henry Plant and the museum has been named his name. The museum has various rooms, such as the Grand Hall, the Garden room, and the Reading and Writing Room. All of them feature fine period furnishings. The museum also has a fine garden that was designed by a prominent landscape architect. The building’s museum section is located to the south of the main entrance and is just one floor high. The University of Tampa is now housed in the remaining parts of the building.

13. Adventure Island

Adventure Island

Adventure island is Tampa’s most popular water park. You may wanna escape from Florida’s hot climate and cool off. Adventure Island has nine major waterslides. They are Vortex, Vanish Point, Aruba Tuba, Riptide,  Caribbean Corkscrew, Colossal Curl, Calypso Curl, and Water Moccasin.

The latest water slides are the Rapids Racer and the Wahoo Remix. The Rapids Racer waterslide is a side-by-side dual raft run. This waterslide allows you to compete against your friends to see who can get to the bottom first. The Wahoo Remix is an auditory assault on the senses. You will enjoy a timed light and sound show as you descend 600 feet through the tunnels.

14. Sunshine Skyway

Sunshine Skyway

Sunshine Skyway is one of the best places to visit in Tampa, Florida. It is a toll bridge located on I 275/US 19. This 12-mile-long multi-lane “highway on stilts” beautifully bends across Tampa Bay’s entrance. The 4.25-mile-long, high-level bridge is the most impressive feature. Large oceangoing vessels may pass underneath thanks to the middle section of the bridge, which is suspended by two massive pylons. In 1980, the old bridge was rammed by a cargo ship. It was partly damaged and now its parts serve as piers for anglers. If you drive over the new bridge,  you can see amazing views of the ocean. 

15. Tampa Theatre

Tampa Theatre

Tampa Theatre was built in 1926 and it is one of the best places to visit in Tampa, Florida. It presents specialty concerts, and programs as well as foreign and classic films regularly. This luxurious movie palace features a unique mix of architectural styles including Byzantine, Greek Revival, and Italian Renaissance.

If you want to feel like you’ve stepped back into another period, we recommend to watching some classic movies. You can sign up for a guided tour that is offered at 11:30 am on Tuesdays and Saturdays if you like to learn more about the building and its history. A demonstration of the Wurlitzer Movie Organ and the story behind the mounted peacock are some highlights of this 90-minute tour.

Those are the most attractive places in Tampa,  Florida. If you plan a tour to Tampa, don’t forget to visit these places. You will be able to get an amazing experience in Tampa.

Hotels to stay in Tampa

If you visit Tampa, you can stay in the below highly-rated hotels. They are close to the most attractive places in Tampa.

Luxury Hotels

  • Le Meridien: A top-end hotel, housed in former a federal courthouse (listed on the National Register of Historic Places)
  • The Current Hotel: Easily accessible to all the major highways, every room has floor-to-ceiling windows and gives waterfront views 
  • Epicurean Hotel: Located near the Raymond James Stadium

Mid-Range Hotels

Budget Hotels

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Frequently Asked Questions 

What has made Tampa famous?

The Florida Aquarium, the heart-pounding Busch Gardens, the thriving Ybor City, and the fact that Tampa is the birthplace of the Cuban sandwich are all well-known attractions. Tampa is renowned for its lush parks, cigar manufacturing, modern museums, fine restaurants, and beautiful sidewalks.

Do tourists like Tampa?

Tampa really has the expensive theme parks and water parks that bring families to Florida. A lively art scene, beautiful walking trails, and animal attractions may be found in addition to the water slides and rollercoasters.

Which month is perfect for visiting Tampa?

Tampa is most enjoyable from September to December. The hotels are offering fire-sale prices to entice you to stay during these four important months of the year. The peak season for visitors to the local sites is from May through August when the weather can also be stiflingly muggy.

In Tampa, which month is the hottest?

In Tampa, July is the hottest month of the year, with an average high of 90°F and a low of 76°F. From December 8 and February 27, which is the length of the cool season, the daily high temperature typically falls below 74°F. With an average low of 52°F and a high of 71°F, January is the coldest month of the year in Tampa.

What is Tampa’s coldest month?

January, when the nighttime average temperature in Tampa is 52.4°F, is the coldest month. The highest month of the year, August, has an average daytime temperature increase of 90.0°F.