Beaches? Tick. Nightlife? Tick. Proximity to some of the world’s most exciting theme parks? Double tick.
Tampa might not be Florida’s largest city (Jacksonville), nor its most famous (Miami), but its array of exciting things to do is as diverse and intriguing as any.
Throw in the endless amount of tourist attractions within striking distance in places like Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Orlando (some of which are mentioned here), and the list truly does become endless.
Whether you’re searching for a trip full of thrills, relaxation, food or fun, here’s the best selection of fun things to do in Tampa to have you covered.
1 – Meet the penguins at Florida Aquarium
Fun for all ages, the aquarium is a journey of all kinds of marine ecosystems, from freshwater springs to the expansive Florida Keys!
As you pass through the sections, you’ll find exhibits of wetlands, beaches, and a coral reef housing a myriad of vibrant sea life.
The highlight, of course, is Penguins: Backstage Pass, where visitors get close enough to see the cute critters waddle, eat and shake their tail feathers!
Take the kids to play with water outdoors at the Splash Pad, or watch a short movie about marine life in the 4-D Theater where you can experience mist, wind, among other effects, as you see them on screen.
2 – Ride a roller coaster and go on a safari at Busch Gardens
Where a zoo meets an amusement park, travelers love the 65-acre Serengeti Safari, a popular attraction complete with over 200 species.
With so many creatures to see, you might be spoiled for choice — so if you need help deciding, you can’t go wrong with hippo, elephant, and kangaroo tours!
Adrenaline junkies, make a beeline for the Iron Gwazi — the world’s fastest and steepest Hybrid Coaster, a hybrid coaster made of wood and steel. It takes you to a speed of up to 76 miles per hour after diving from a peak of over 200 feet tall.
On top of that, between February and April, the gardens host the delicious Food & Wine Festival!
3 – Wine and dine during ZooBrews at ZooTampa
This popular zoo has plenty of animals, but offers plenty more than just your typical furry friends.
Home to over 1,000 animals, especially endangered and threatened species, the zoo aims to help strengthen the connection between people and wildlife — through interactive activities ideal for families.
Toddler Tuesdays are a hands-on hit with younger visitors. Fitness in the wild moves the yoga studio to the African savannah.
ZooBrews is a one-of-a-kind fundraising event with bottomless food and drink, live music and the chance to meet some cute and cuddly animals!
4 – See the riches of old Tampa at the Henry B. Plant Museum
This stunning 19th-century building will captivate you before you even step inside — once in the front door, the vast array of ceramics, art decor, paintings, sculptures and opulent furniture on display (dating back to the early 1800s) just makes it so much more special.
Highlights of the permanent collection include blue and white Japanese and English ceramic vases, French Boulle Style cabinets, and a Chinese Chair from the late Quing Dynasty.
For history and art buffs, put this on your list of things to do in Tampa. After all, it was Plant’s vision and riches that launched Tampa to stardom.
5 – Sample the culinary delights of Ybor City
The lively Cuban/Latin-inspired Ybor City is a delightful part of Tampa. Travelers love taking in the sights and smells of the neighborhood, but it’s the tastes that will truly dazzle!
The city’s diverse communities have been part of defining the flavors of Tampa. Make sure to try the famous dishes in Ybor such as deviled crab, Cuban sandwich, Spanish bean soup and crab enchilau.
On this three-hour walking tour, get ready for four to six food and drink tastings in between points of interest in Ybor City!
Gather up your team for a post-apocalyptic battle at Laser Ops
Master your tactical operation skills if you want to stay alive in Earth 2165. This 8,000-square-foot battle realm takes you to an immersive post-apocalyptic future world.
With state-of-the-art laser tag equipment, you get real-time hit confirmation and tracking feedback. The intuitive software also makes the taggers easy to use and realistic.
Work together and strategize to complete your mission objectives, while battling the opposing team. This extreme laser tag arena takes it to the next level!
You can also choose between bazooka ball and archery tag, or hit up the classic arcade games and virtual reality experience.
This futuristic place also has a full bar, grill and party rooms, making it a perfect destination for team building.
6 – Race down the speedway at Grand Prix Tampa Family Fun Center
With something for the whole traveling family, fun is never far away at Grand Prix Tampa.
Rev your kart at the whirlwind Big Track, with fast turns in this 1.2 kilometers long track, or race with your kids on the Family Track.
Putt your way through a fairytale at mini-golf, conquer the ropes course, beat the high score at the Castle Arcade, bounce around at Turbo Bungy Dome, or become Babe Ruth at the batting cages!
7 – Go zip lining in a Florida preserve
Keep your adrenaline pumping for a zip line adventure at the Mobbly Bayou Wilderness Preserve — with a series of five zipline cables.
Keep the momentum by walking across a suspension bridge, jumping off an auto belay or finishing a ropes course.
This nearly 400 acres preserve offers fun-filled outdoor activities, as well as hiking and canoeing. Restrooms and picnic shelters are also available in the area.
8 – Explore the city’s landmarks on a Segway tour
Walking around might not cover all the city highlights in a day, but you can glide through the streets on a Segway tour — while learning historical and interesting facts about some famous landmarks.
Most tours take two hours cruising around the downtown district, covering the starting from the Embassy Suites, Amalie Arena, Riverwalk and Curtis Hixon Park.
With friendly guides and a warm welcoming atmosphere, it’s a fun and exciting way to spend a day in Tampa.
9 – Get refreshed on a craft brewery tour
Who’s ready for a drink?
Join a beer tasting tour and stop at a dozen different craft breweries, restaurants and bars around Tampa.
Visitors can’t get enough of Cigar City Brewing, a local favorite that offers everything from tangerine sour ales to imperial porters (which pack a punch), along with a cheeky handmade cigar or two!
Some cool places and amazing beers in Ybor that can satisfy your brew cravings. Coppertail Brewing Co. and Tampa Bay Brewing Company offer refreshing beer selections such as chocolate beer and expressive sours, which are highly recommended.
10 – Captain a speedboat at Tampa Bay
Tampa and boats go together like peanut butter and jelly, so why not step up to the helm, open the throttle and feel the thrill speeding through the iconic bay with great views of Tampa?
There’s a guide to point out attractions like Fort de Soto Park, and will help you spot local wildlife like dolphins and manatees in the waters below.
If you prefer to focus on the scenery and let a captain steer the boat, hop on a Tampa history cruise which takes you to charming harbors, homes and museums.
11 – Bring your own cocktails on a floating Tiki Boat bar
A floating BYO tiki bar? Sign us up!
The bar floats down the Hillsborough River, winding by the Riverwalk and through downtown Tampa — so you know that the views are extraordinary!
The boat is decked out with ice in the coolers and Bluetooth speakers — just bring the snacks, drinks, and good vibes for a great night out.
Admire the picturesque sights along the river in this cruise that takes 1.5 hours and ends up at the bustling city life amid skyscrapers and traffic flow.
12 – Head out on a dolphin-watching cruise
Tampa Bay is brimming with sea life, so cruises and marine tours are always considered some of the best things to do in Tampa!
These 90-minute cruises take you into the dynamic Tampa Bay ecosystem, exploring its plethora of wildlife, including bottlenose dolphins, turtles, manatees, exotic birds and more.
Get your cameras ready — not just for pictures of the wildlife, but also Tampa’s glamorous seaside estates!
13 – Go skydiving … indoors OR outdoors!
Stroll into iFLY and feel the adrenaline rush of free-falling in an 800-horsepower indoor wind tunnel!
Experience it first here before doing the real thing or practice your skydiving techniques with all favorable conditions and less cost.
Indoor skydiving is easier on the wallet, but if you want to step it up a notch and free-fall for real, head to Plant City.
Take a deep breath before you jump from 11,000-feet for a heart-stopping freefall and breath-taking panoramic views.
14 – Soar over Tampa in a hot air balloon
Take to the skies just before dawn and see the famous Florida sunrise over Tampa — trust us, it’s worth the early wake-up!
You won’t forget what it’s like to see Tampa basking in the sunrise from the clouds. But, if you need more convincing, there’s also a champagne toast waiting for you when you land.
Most tours take off in Hillsborough and Pasco counties to get the best sunrise views of the marvelous terrains.
15 – Take the controls of a seaplane over Clearwater Beach
It’s one thing to fly over the waters of Clearwater Beach and admire the views, it’s quite another for the pilot to hand you the controls!
After your pilot gets you off the ground, you’re slowly introduced to the controls until you can fly level, turn, climb and finally, descend!
Before flying and maneuvering a chopper, you get all the basics in an authorized simulator. This flight will be anything but plain.
16 – Sail into the Clearwater Beach sunset
The stunning sunset over the Gulf of Mexico is simply unforgettable and there’s no better place to take it in than offshore Clearwater Beach.
When the engine turns off and the boat is under sail power, the hypnotic sounds of the water lapping on the boat under the sunset — and with the Tampa skyline in the distance are truly magical.
Toast to the mesmerizing sunset with a complimentary drink and enjoy the rest of the evening with entertaining music and a wonderful vista.
17 – Experience the magic of Walt Disney World
Where to start? Disney World contains four theme parks, two water parks and a plethora of other attractions, including golf and shopping.
By far the most famous theme park on the planet, whether you’re age 6 or 60, no trip to Florida is complete without a trip to the Mickey Mouse’s house.
If you’re after thrills, make a beeline for the vertical drop of the Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
18 – Board your own private Funship for the day
The Funship, complete with an onboard slide, offers half and full-day charters for up to eight passengers.
The full-day experience takes you to wild dolphins and secluded barrier islands, making it perfect for families or groups of friends to enjoy a day out around Tampa.
Don’t miss the chance to go snorkeling and swimming too, or simply relax on the helm and soak in the sun.
19 – Dine on a luxury yacht
An activity for the romantics, the StarLite Majesty’s indoor and outdoor seating areas offer stunning views, while the three-course dinner onboard is nothing short of delectable.
Choose from fresh seafood like shrimp and scallops to tasty chicken, lamb and vegetarian dishes.
After taking in the sights of Tampa Bay in the sunset and listening to the live music, grab a drink at the bar and stroll along the deck or dance the night away!
20 – Take a helicopter tour from Tampa
Take off from Tampa and fly over the historic Sunshine Skyway Bridge and the white sands of Clearwater Beach!
But, the stunning views don’t stop there! Fly over the pink beach palace of Spa Oceana, the sporting fortress that is Tropicana Field, and plenty of nearby paradise islands.
Experience how it feels to really fly whether you want to be a pilot or simply want to see the world from a different view. With a super knowledgeable pilot and amazing staff, this tour makes your trip to Tampa unforgettable.
21 – Go fishing in Tampa
Fishing folk, get excited! There are more than enough great places around Tampa waters to cast your line!
At Davis Island Dog Beach, there’s a great mix of inshore and nearshore species, otherwise, you might find the Tampa Riverwalk a little closer.
Redfish and trout are common (and delicious) catches, but if you’re looking for something trophy-worthy, try your luck reeling in a tarpon weighing up to 200 pounds.
22 – Snap a photo with a turtle at Clearwater Marine Aquarium
With turtles, sharks, otters, stingrays, pelicans and so much more, exploring the aquarium regularly leaves visitors fascinated and satisfied.
For that upgrade experience, travelers love getting up close to the turtles — the adorable critters might be slow-moving on land.
But the way they effortlessly glide through the water is nothing short of magical. With a professional photographer by your side, a perfect souvenir is guaranteed.
23 – Let the children play at Glazer Children’s Museum
As any parent will attest, visiting Glazer is one of the best things to do in Tampa for children, with younger travelers limited only by their imaginations as they explore the creative space.
It’s amazing watching kids learn without classrooms — as they build fortresses, learn to cook pizza, create artistic masterpieces, work as a banker, and be heroic firefighters all in one afternoon!
Let your kids have their best quality playtime while in Tampa, while learning and having to try different roles in our society and explore the world.
24 – Wander with the dinosaurs at Dinosaur World Florida
With hundreds of life-sized dinosaurs and interactive outdoor exhibits, you can feel like you’re in Jurassic Park!
Younger visitors will love the energetic dinosaur playground, while anyone wanting to get their hands a little dirty can be an archaeologist at the Fossil Dig and Bone Yard — you get to keep what you find, including real dinosaur teeth!
This family-oriented destination also welcomes your furry members. Bring your well-behaved dog to stroll along the boardwalks surrounded by old oak trees, or anywhere in the park except the indoor museum.
25 – Ride the Solar Vortex at Adventure Island
In between the child-friendly splash areas and expansive waters to relax with sunglasses and a good book, Adventure Island has some great thrill rides on offer.
Waves of water and adrenaline wash over you at the free-fall in Vanish Point, the open flume Calypso Coaster and the Solar Vortex — the nation’s first dual tailspin waterslide!
To enjoy the water park to the fullest, it’s best to get exclusive dining deals and priority access to skip the queue for the slides and rides.
26 – Unleash your inner child at the Museum of Science & Industry
This hands-on scientific playground will captivate travelers of all ages!
A giant playground, MOSI has over 100 firsthand activities, such as brain-teasing problems, robot building and optical illusions.
Among the hundreds of activities available, youngsters love the Saunders Planetarium’s tour of the night sky and Connectus, which brings the world of tomorrow to you today.
For more adventurous visitors, check out the Sky Trail Ropes Course and Virtual Reality Simulator.
27 – Meet lions and tigers at Big Cat Rescue
Don’t come here looking for Joe Exotic!
This colossal sanctuary prides itself on caring for big cats by rescuing the orphaned and mistreated. It also aims to stop the trade of wild and endangered animals.
The upshot for travelers is that they can come to support the excellent cause — while meeting the lions, tigers, cougars, jaguars and other exotic beasts living happily in its care.
Visit the zoo and support this campaign by raising awareness and donations.
28 – Stroll Tampa Riverwalk at nighttime
Illuminating the Hillsborough River with brilliant and colorful lights, the Riverwalk is a bundle of fun to explore.
Among the amazing views, the Riverwalk boasts restaurants, bars, museums and various festivals throughout the year — but it’s post-sunset that you can find it at its most captivating when dressed in the Tampa lights.
Another must-see is the Curtis Hixon Park, a beloved slice of nature complete with water fountains and, during winter, an ice-skating rink!
29 – Hike the boardwalk at Lettuce Lake Regional Park
Adjoining the Hillsborough River, this natural oasis is teeming with hardwood forest, really showing off what Florida’s nature scene has to offer.
Start your day with a quiet picnic, with a stunning natural backdrop, before moving onto the 3,500-foot boardwalk.
Here, you can find an observation tower on the river, as well as canoe rentals where you can explore the river by paddling along the quiet water — while being surrounded by greenery.
30 – Watch the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena
The waterside Amalie Arena, one of Florida’s prime venues for entertainment, hosts plenty of concerts and sporting events.
But, the best show of them all is the local hockey team, who, after its 2020 Stanley Cup victory, is absolutely dominating on the ice!
Seeing the locals cheer on Tampa Bay Lightning team is electric. There’s simply nothing else like it.
31 – Watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium
However, the stadium with its gorgeous sunsets and world-class amenities also regularly hosts the Sunset Music Festival — not to mention wrestling, monster trucks and plenty more!
32 – Spin the roulette wheel at Seminole Hard Rock Casino Tampa
Experience world-class gaming and entertainment at Hard Rock Casino in Seminole, one of the largest casinos in the country.
Whether testing your beginner’s luck or for serious fun, you have an array of options for slot machines to try, such as Dragon Link and Buffalo Gold.
Outside of the swanky gaming floor, visitors can relax in a mellow cocktail lounge or find live music and experience the famous Tampa nightlife.
To complete your evening, consider staying at Seminole’s luxurious hotel. While you’re there, make sure to sample an artisanal ice cream infused with top-shelf liquors for dessert from Aubi & Ramsa!
33 – Watch the horse racing at Tampa Bay Downs
With races mostly on Wednesdays, Fridays and weekends from November to May — and more stakes races than one can count — Tampa Bay Downs is a top destination for thoroughbred racing.
Travelers can make a day of it by raising the stakes at the Silks Poker Room or by getting a lesson at the Downs Golf Practice Facility.
Indulge in delicious meals and drinks in the restaurants available, including the Skye Terrace Dining Room and the Sports Gallery at the Clubhouse, as well as Silks Bar and Grille, and Legends Bar at the Grandstand.
34 – Watch a film at Tampa Theatre
Not your average cinema, the not-for-profit Tampa Theatre hosts more than 600 events a year, with the focal point being its Mediterranean-style courtyard.
With flowers and stone gargoyles sitting under a breathtakingly-designed night sky mural, it’s a perfect spot for the ‘gram.
Keep your ears open for the mighty Wurlitzer Organ too!
Watch films and live events, or tour the theater backstage to feed your curiosity about how great shows are produced.
35 – Board the American Victory Ship & Museum
After serving in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, the SS Victory has docked at Tampa where it serves as an immersive museum.
Walk through the historic ship, past the former hospital beds, admire the weaponry, check out the lifeboats, and so much more. For history buffs, it’s one of the best things to do in Tampa.
Having served for over seven decades, the ship is not only a breathing museum, but also a venue for special events and training for reserve military, firefighters and police officers.
36 – Build a raft and ride it at Legoland Florida
If you’re looking for things to do in Tampa for kids, Legoland can easily make its way to the top of your list!
Aimed at kids aged 2 to 12 — but sure to be enjoyed by older kids as well — Legoland is packed with exciting rides and water features, including Miniland USA where you can see the whole United States in one day!
Enjoy all 50 Lego-themed rides and other attractions with the best deal available. You can also double your fun with a two- or three-day ticket pass.
37 – Go horse riding at HorsePower for Kids & Animal Sanctuary
HorsePower is the dream of Armando Gort, who always wanted a horse farm for children to learn to love animals. Nothing can describe the experience here better than that.
Make horse riding a fun way for the children to enjoy nature and connect with horses and all animals in the sanctuary.
It’s a wonder complete with a petting zoo, pony rides, children’s train rides and zip lines.
38 – Catch a live show at Straz Center for the Performing Arts
Although it began life as an abandoned gravel lot, the Straz Center is now a cultural hub for the performing arts, hosting everything from jazz and opera to Next Generation Ballet and contemporary musicals.
This center for performance art consists of five theaters with unique characteristics, including the horseshoe-shaped Carol Morsani Hall with 2,610 seating capacity, as well as a rehearsal hall.
To get the most out of a show, start with dinner at Maestro’s On The River with spectacular Riverwalk views and a glass (or three) of wine.
39 – Shop and dine at Sparkman Wharf
On the spectacular Riverwalk, a host of great fashion shops await!
A vibrant part of the downtown waterfront, Sparkman Wharf provides intimate spaces for dining, drinking, live music and other recreational activities.
Treat yourself at Joyful Notion or treat your pet at The Modern Paws. Foodwise, there are plenty of delightful eateries covering all sorts of cuisine, plus a popular beerhouse!
40 – See a concert at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
The Amphitheatre is the largest concert-only stage in Tampa Bay.
There are truckloads of concerts and music festivals, most notably the Next Big Thing — held on the first Sunday of every December.
The event showcases the best alternative and up-and-coming rock acts in the region!
For the best seats, buy a lawn ticket and bring your own deck chair.
41 – See CITY fashion and ancient vases at the Tampa Museum of Art
Home to an exciting and eclectic mix of displays, from ancient Greek and Roman artifacts to contemporary art, including painting and video — there’s something for every twang of art lover.
The museum exterior design is a magnificent work of art as well, with LED installation on the 1,300 square meters facade called “Sky” by Leo Villareal.
After browsing the permanent collection, which includes sculptures, photos and new media, drop by at the museum store for souvenirs from exhibitions.
Check the dates for the museum’s signature events: the LGBTQ+ inspired Neon Jungle, the CITY fashion show, and the black-tie Pavilion events.
42 – Party and pedal on Cycle Boats
Built for 8+ passengers, the Cycle Boats have pedal stations to move your party out to the water and a long table with benches for when the party starts!
Put on some music and bring a cooler full of drinks! With plenty of room to walk around, there might even be a little boogie on board.
Pedal together to paddle the boat with team effort and fun, as you cruise along the downtown area in this remarkable journey.
43 – Explore Tampa on a water bike
Instead of the bustling, group-friendly Cycle Boats, the quiet water bike is perfect for solo travelers or as a tandem activity for couples keen to ogle at the impressive waterside homes.
Explore the city from the river and experience it with a little exercise. No need to change into swimwear, as these water bikes are made to keep you dry and have fun in a safe way (of course).
With hordes of wildlife around as well, it’s are a great way to explore Tampa from the water at your own pace! This outdoor adventure and sightseeing can be enjoyed by all ages and cycling skills.
44 – Go bar-hopping from the river at Staying Afloat Party Boat
A surefire hit for all party-goers, cruise the river and go for a swim with the funky floaties provided.
Dry yourself off and then go to a bar … and another … and another!
Passengers can also bring whatever food and drink they like on the party boat. With typical warm weather year-round and Bluetooth speakers on board, the fun never stops!
45 – Have a laugh at Side Splitters Comedy Club
With touring headliners gracing the club every week, pull up a chair and enjoy the show by the bar or at a table with a full menu.
Sidesplitters has been showcasing some of the best local and national stand-up comedians since 1992 in its club in Tampa.
There’s no other way to enjoy or learn humor than in a live performance. Some of the more daring travelers love Comic’s Nights Out, an award-winning open mic night.
Buy a ticket and enjoy your complimentary drink before you head up on stage!
46 – Dance aboard the Calypso Queen
Take your party to Clearwater on the colorful Calypso Queen!
Hop on this 65-foot tall triple-decked ship to cruise with delight along the Intracoastal Waterway. It’s a party of up to 150 passengers, so it can also be a way to meet more like-minded people and make friends.
Travelers love the evening sightseeing cruise not just for the views, but also for the dinner buffet!
After the captain points out some photo-worthy sights on the way, the lights dim and the live DJ takes center stage — remember, there’s an open bar if you need a little liquid courage for the dance floor!
47 – Ride the Hogwarts Express at Universal Orlando
Another colossal complex, this one encompasses two theme parks, including the famous Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure — connected by the Hogwarts Express steam train.
You can also spend a day at the water theme park Volcano Bay and Universal CityWalk with dining, shopping and evening entertainment.
This is the only place you can find Harry Potter and Homer Simpson a stone’s throw from each other!
48 – Ride Sea World’s Infinity Falls (if you dare)
SeaWorld offers plenty of rides and sea life, making itself a crowd favorite for decades.
For an adrenaline surge, the Infinity Falls is the tallest drop in Florida, while the Mako hypercoaster is sure to make even the bravest souls scream.
The truly unique experience, however, is the killer whale tour. See the ocean’s most powerful predator in full flight while admiring its grace and beauty.
49 – Hit the golf courses around Tampa
Golfers LOVE Tampa.
At Club Renaissance, you can find satisfying Bermuda grass greens and fairways lined with ancient oaks.
The Groves Golf and Country Club blends into its surroundings of Florida wetlands and is friendly for all skill levels — unlike the more difficult Palmer Course which includes plenty of hills, elevation challenges and sand bunkers.
Difficulty aside, the picturesque scenery is second to none.
50 – Take the tidal walk at the Manatee Viewing Center
When the Big Bend Power Station accidentally attracted manatees near its discharge canal, it became committed to keeping the water clean and safe for the visiting sea life!
Nowadays, manatees and rays are quite common, and the 900-foot tidal walk takes them closer to visitors.
Don’t forget to check out the nearby butterfly gardens!
51 – Take a cooking class at Armature Works
Armature Works is a foodie’s paradise — that’s just a fact.
Formerly a warehouse for electric streetcars in Tampa way back in the 1900s, Armature now serves as a destination for markets, events and co-working spaces in the neighborhood.
You can find an array of food choices from the 22,000 square-foot market Heights Public Market, as well as full-dining restaurants in the building to satisfy your tastebuds!
It’s full of amazing eateries and boasts incredible fresh food that you’d be dying to sink your teeth into!
The place also hosts workshops from top chefs and restaurateurs with pop-up meals, cooking classes and wine tastings.
52 – Dine at Columbia
For foodies, this is one of the most iconic things to do in Tampa.
Located in historic Ybor City, Columbia is Florida’s oldest restaurant and the largest Spanish restaurant in the world — run by fourth and fifth-generation descendants of the founder Casimiro Hernandez Sr.
What once started as a corner cafe over 11 decades ago, the restaurant has been frequented not only by locals but also celebrities and tourists.
Don’t miss the Ybor classic devil crab croquetas and Spanish most popular tapa — gambas which is Gulf of Mexico shrimp sauteed in Spanish olive oil. Make sure you get to also try its very own Original “1905” Martini and Columbia Original “1905” Salad.
To accompany some brilliant Spanish cuisine, Columbia hosts flamenco dancing and jazz.
53 – Join Captain Memo’s search for dolphins
In this unique dolphin-spotting cruise, board the Pirate’s Ransom for a live-action roleplay of Captain Memo’s search for (real) dolphins!
At every corner of the ship, there are pirate activities including a treasure hunt, face painting, water gun duels and dancing.
With the crew in character, you can get so caught up you won’t remember where you are. Get to learn also Captain Memo and his wife’s journey that they embarked on to make their dream pirate ship come to life in Clearwater.
54 – Stroll through Florida Botanical Gardens
With plenty of places to wander in greenery, this 100-acre free-entry park is a tranquil oasis and a stark contrast to Tampa’s bustling lifestyle.
Camera at the ready, check out the colorful roses of the Wedding Garden and the ponds of the Wetlands Walkway.
Take in the aromas of the Tropical Fruit Garden and see the gorgeous residents of Butterfly Garden who aren’t afraid to land on you!
55 – Tip the buskers at Pier 60
Pier 60 is the best sunset in Tampa Bay, hands-down.
While the colorful sunset is already amazing, Pier 60 brings local artists and buskers to perform every night — the variety of skills on show dazzle and entertain visitors for hours, from jugglers to fire-eaters to stencil artists and more.
This nightly celebration hosted by Sunsets at Pier 60 has helped the artist community to showcase their talents for more than 25 years.
It happens all year round from 5 pm to 9 pm.
56 – See the melting clocks at the Salvador Dali Museum
The 20th century’s greatest artist has over 2,400 of his works in St Petersburg, Florida — a collection that is simply unmissable.
The Salvador Dali Museum has instantly-recognizable oil paintings with melting clocks, as well as stacks of variety such as sculptures and films.
Objects from the permanent collection include a white vintage telephone with a lobster handle called “Aphrodisiac Telephone,” a peculiar coat with a metal collar called “Aphrodisiac Dinner Jacket.”
You can also find clot sculptures made of bronze, such as “Alma del Quijote” (Soul of Don Quixote), “Apollo Musagetes” and “Caballo con jinete tropezando” (Horse and Rider Stumbling).
After exploring the gallery, head outside to the Avant-garden that represents the connection between nature and mathematics.
57 – Learn about photography at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
A museum dedicated to displaying the best of local and international photography talent, and hoping to spread the secrets of photography to anyone who listens — FMPA offers a host of displays that are both dynamic and brilliant.
Located at the Waterfront Art District, the museum occupies the second and third floors of the Cube, a six-story building that is a work of art itself!
Established in 2001 as Tampa Gallery of Photographic Arts, the museum (renamed in 2006) has an expanding permanent collection — including early 20th-century panoramic photos that show the old Tampa.
However, to take full advantage, why not sign up for a class?
Choose from basic photography, photographing places or people, or smartphone and social media photography.
58 – Watch the Tampa Bay Rays play baseball at Tropicana Field
International travelers might want to start here.
Opened in 1990, Tropicana Field (formerly the Florida Suncoast Dome) has a total area of 1.1 million square feet that is unique in Major League Baseball.
Baseball is a favorite sporting pastime for the locals, but no trip to Tropicana Field is complete without taking the stadium tour!
It includes the Rays Touch Experience — a 10,000-gallon tank of friendly rays who can happily swim up to your hand and get to know you!
59 – Spot an alligator at Canoe Escape
If you want to see alligators up close or go bird watching, canoeing down the Hillsborough River into the wetlands is a great way to see nature!
Did we say American Alligator? Yes, you might be able to spot one while paddling along the wildlife preserve with an area of 16,000 acres.
Keep an eye out for wild hogs, deer, turkey and songbirds, depending on which of the year you’re visiting.
While you can hire a canoe yourself, you can get the most out of it with tour guides. They can point out the local wildlife, explain the significance of the river, and most importantly, help you paddle so you don’t get tired!
60 – Drink and see spirits at a ghost and pub tour
For a tour that blends quirkiness, drinks and frights, look no further.
Keen travelers can have the chance to sample four of the best watering holes Tampa has to offer — with a ghoulish guide revealing all of the haunted and historic stories behind the destinations along the way.
Discover creepy urban legends such as a Spanish ghost believed to haunt the Ybor City Museum State Park. It’s definitely a wacky way to paint the town red!
61 – Hit the dancefloor at The Castle
The energetic the Castle club — with a slogan, “Everyone is welcome, nothing is taboo,” guarantees a night to remember with pulsing music, strong drinks and a lively crowd.
What started as a small saloon in 1992, this dynamic venue has thrived to achieve its goal — to make an amazing venue where friends hang out.
Try its selection of strong spirits, aged tequila and beers, and dance to the DJ’s beat which replaced its popular jukebox that energized the parties in the past.
Visitors love to dress up, so don’t be surprised to see clubbers in goth, emo or fetish outfits. Sometimes, they just dressed as superheroes!
Getting dressed up adds to the fun, so why not give it a try?
62 – Treat yourself at the Don CeSar
After all the adventure and late-night events Tampa has to offer, it would be nice to unwind, right?
The Don CeSar is a hotel with an iconic bright pink exterior, representing elegance and luxury for visitors of Florida to have a quality vacation.
This celebrated timeless palace opened in 1928 — the Gatsby Era — used to be a gathering place of the high society. It also served during the Second World War!
With glamourous history, this majestic hotel has been an icon on the Gulf Coast. Feel like royal here with its excellent food and deluxe offerings.
You can go straight to the Spa Oceana, one of the world’s most glamorous spas. Choose from world-class massages, pedicures, relaxation treatments and more!
Whatever you need to release any stress and recharge the batteries for the rest of your trip, this legendary pink palace takes care of it all.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our selection of things to do in Tampa! If you have any other must-see suggestions, feel free to let us know in the comments!
Where to go next? Make sure to check our selections of fun things to do in Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, and Orlando – all easy drives away. For a longer trip, don’t miss our list of fun things to do in Florida.
As always, happy travels!