Moving south to Tampa? You’ve chosen a top-notch city. It’s received commendations in several areas. Washington Square News listed Tampa as one of the top cities for “twenty-somethings” and Forbes magazine calls it the “5th best outdoor city.” If you have kids, you’ll be happy to hear that Newsweek listed twelve of Tampa’s High Schools in their list of America’s Best High Schools. For a bit of fun in the sun, check out these sites and attractions Tampa has to offer!
Sites & Attractions
With the tropical Tampa heat, you’ll need a fun and exciting place to keep cool. For that, Adventure Island is where it’s at! They have exciting rides for both young and old. While there are a few rides with height requirements, kiddos need not despair because there are plenty of rides and attractions for them, too! Rent a cabana, pack your cooler (or purchase food and drinks there) and get your swimsuit on for the best water rides around. If you haven’t had enough excitement by the end of the day, you can stay for Island Nights to experience the Island at night – live shows, drinks and other entertainment for the whole family. Night entertainment is offered every Thursday through Saturday.
When it comes to attractions in Tampa, Busch Gardens is a pretty much the mother load. They’ve got animals, rides, shows and food. Whether you’re single or have a family, there is something for everyone. For animal lovers, they have eleven different exhibits featuring various arenas of animal life. Visit the Animal Care Center to observe how the park keeps their furry friends healthy; watch the cheetahs’ unbelievable running speeds at the Cheetah Run exhibit or even hand-feed kangaroos and wallabies in the Walkabout Way. If thrilling rides happen to be at the top of your list, they’ve also got 16 different ride attractions.
The Florida Aquarium, considered to be one of the top ten aquariums in the United States, makes for another excellent wildlife experience. Swim with fish, watch the penguins play, or cool off in the water. If you are a certified diver, make sure to reserve your spot to dive with sharks!
And of course it goes without saying that any ocean-side city will draw you to its beaches. Based on sand quality and other environmental factors, the Tampa Bay area has some of the finest beaches in the nation. Among the top ranked are Caladesi Island, Fort DeSoto Park and Clearwater Beach.
Family & Kid Friendly
The sites and attractions listed above are all kid-friendly but check out a few of these kid-focused attractions. Parents magazine hailed the Lowry Park Zoo as the nation’s #1 family-friendly zoo! Kids enjoy up close and personal time with animals in the petting zoo, pony rides and other assorted rides and activities.
The Museum of Science & Industry is home to Florida’s only IMAX Dome Theater and boasts countless interactive exhibits and activities spanning 400,000 square feet. Let your children educate themselves through play in the Kids In Charge. Or allow them to get rid of their excess energy on the ropes courses. Though it’s a museum, thrill seekers will be impressed by the massive zip line located 65 feet above ground.
Aspiring paleontologists can get a head start on their excavation skills and education with visits to Dinosaur World, which has over 150 life size dinosaurs. There is even an area set aside to practice excavating fossils by sifting through sand. When you find a fossil, you get to keep it! Or spend time sifting through the rough for gems! Dinosaur World is about a 20-mile drive from central Tampa.
Arts & Entertainment
For the older crowd, Tampa has everything from pro sports to opera festivals!
Sports fans can get their cheer on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL) and Tampa Bay Lightnings (NHL).
Rock your heart out at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly known as the Ford Amphitheatre, 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre and the Live Nation Amphitheatre), located on the Florida State Fairgrounds. It hosts hot musicians and bands including Kid Rock, ZZ Top, Kool & the Gang, Zac Brown Band and Black Sabbath all year long.
The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts hosts rock concerts, too, but also offers world-renowned entertainment to those who favor Broadway shows and classical music! Broaden your musical horizons by attending their Opera Festival.
Those looking for the best shopping spots have plenty to choose from. For upscale shopping, check out the International Plaza and Bay Street. You’ll find Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Coach and much more. When you need to re-energize, you have options ranging from gelato to Ocean Prime for a steak!
Check out the heart of Tampa’s more seasoned areas by shopping at Hyde Park. The relaxed, open-air mall is a great place to spend the day with family and friends. Window shop, relax with a cocktail and enjoy the day! And make sure to keep up with the schedule of events so you won’t miss exciting occasions like the Wine & Chocolate 5k!
After a day at the beach, the mall or an amusement park, you’ll need to locate quality spots for grub. Bern’s Steak House, which serves traditional American cuisine, is a local spot that’s been featured on three different television food shows. They have a notable wine list, high-quality steaks, and delicious desserts. However, if you aren’t willing to fork over much of your hard earned cash, this place is best reserved for special occasions. When you do choose Bern’s, they recommend making a reservation and dressing in business casual to semi-formal wear.
Another place that should definitely be on your radar is the Columbia Restaurant. Built in 1905, it is Florida’s oldest restaurant and the largest Spanish restaurant on the face of the planet! For over one hundred years, the Hernandez Gonzmart family has served up delicious Spanish and Cuban cuisine.
Health-conscious eaters consider Seasons 52 a diamond find. They promise to serve no dish with a calorie count above 475 and also refrain from using butter or deep fryers. You can even order dessert without feeling bad because they serve itty-bitty desserts in shot glasses. What a guilt-free way to enjoy a tasty treat after a long day on your feet!
Tampa has an endless list of sites and activities located within the Bay area but living here also puts you a little over an hour’s drive from the happiest place on earth! Disney World, home of six different theme and water parks, is around seventy miles from Tampa, depending on where you are.
Sea World Orlando and Aquatica, Sea World’s waterpark, are also right up the road in Orlando.
With lots to do, see, eat, and experience, Tampa Bay makes an excellent place to call home. If you’re moving there soon, make sure to get the best deal on the hardest working movers in Tampa by getting a moving quote and booking through our local movers marketplace on HireAHelper.