What to See While in Tampa?
Tampa is located in Hillsborough County, in Florida. With almost 300 sunny days per year, this city is a favorite tourist spot for everybody who wishes to spend their days at the beach, visiting adventure parks or just strolling around.
There is a lot to do and see in Tampa, so we decided to compile a list of the attractions that you shouldn’t miss. This is just a snippet of all the things that Tampa offers. So don’t hesitate to explore this vibrant city further on your own, with your family or friends.
Gasparilla Pirate Festival
Tampa’s most popular festival takes place annually, somewhere between January and March. Tampa was home to many pirates during the 19th century and to preserve its adventurous history, each year a mock pirate invasion is organized. In memory of Jose Gaspar also known as Gasparilla, the last Buccaneer pirate, the main parade ship is named after him.
There are also many additional festivities during Gasparilla, which include Gasparilla Children’s Parade, Gasparilla Film Festival, Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, and more. Tampa’s version of Mardi Gras is a must if you ever dreamt of becoming a pirate as a kid!
Tampa Bay History Center
If you wish to get familiar with Tampa’s intriguing history, this museum is the place to visit. It contains exhibits spanning through over 12,000 years of Florida’s history. Learn about Tocobaga and Calusa tribes, who were the first people ever to inhabit today’s territory of Florida.
Refresh your knowledge about Spanish conquistadors and find out more interesting facts considering these European explorers.
Also, be sure to check out the supposed mummified hand of Jose Gaspar while roaming through the halls of Tampa Bay History Center.
Soak up the sunshine while strolling around the city. The best way to see as much as possible of Tampa is to take a walk or ride a bike down the Tampa Riverwalk. Placed right next to the Hillsborough River, this promenade spans over 2.4 miles.
Various museums are located here, including the already mentioned Tampa Bay History Center. Tampa Riverwalk is also the home of many restaurants and cafes which are great spots for lunch or a short coffee break.
The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay
If you want to find a nice shade from Tampa’s sun, the best way to cool down and have some fun with your children or with your friends is to visit the Florida Aquarium. Here you can see over 7,000 sea animals and plant species which are inhabiting Florida, but there are also species from all over the world.
Another great spot for taking your children, but also having some fun yourself, is Busch Gardens Tampa Bay theme park. Besides different Africa-themed rides and rollercoasters, Busch Gardens is also Tampa’s biggest zoo with over 200 species. Attraction named Edge of Africa is especially interesting since it is a walking safari tour during which you can observe different animals from the Dark Continent.
When you get tired and wish to take a bite, Busch Gardens has plenty of restaurants. Also, if you are in the mood for a refreshing cold beer, there are great breweries here as well.
Tampa Museum of Art
If you are more of an artistic soul, head over to the city’s downtown and visit the Tampa Museum of Art. Here you can admire the works of modern and contemporary art, including antiquities dating back to Greek and Roman times.
There are also often exhibitions of contemporary international artists held at the museum. Check if there are any being organized during your stay in Tampa that may be of special interest to you.
Ybor City Museum
Tampa’s neighborhood, Ybor City, used to be the center of Florida’s cigar economy. Vicente Martinez-Ybor, one of the greatest cigar manufacturers, developed this whole part of the town and gave work to countless Cuban, Spanish and Italian immigrants.
Today, the majority of these factories ceased to exist, but Ybor City Museum keeps the heritage and the memories of the times when Tampa was named the Cigar Capital of the World.
Henry B. Plant Museum
This charming museum is actually the Tampa Bay Hotel, which was a luxurious Victorian resort built by Henry B. Plant. The plant was an American transportation pioneer with an empire of railroads, steamships, and hotels. But only this hotel was the place to be at.
With 511 rooms which all had telephone lines, billiard room, music room with orchestra, barbershop and other never before seen services in a hotel, Tampa Bay Hotel was the social hub of those times. There are also parties organized here, so you can turn your Gatsby dreams to reality!
Glazer Children’s Museum
If you are running out of ideas of what to visit with your children, head over back to the Tampa Riverwalk. Next to the History Center, you will find the Glazer Children’s Museum. This isn’t just a typical museum with exhibits and not much to do. This is a place where your kids can play and learn at the same time. This museum acts as a learning environment with interactive and fun features. Make sure to visit this place and have some quality fun with your family!
Discover Floribbean Cuisine While in Tampa
Did you know that Tampa is the official home of the Cuban sandwich? This delicacy is made out of roasted pork, ham, salami, homemade mustard, Swiss cheese, pickles, and Cuban bread. Make sure to try it since it is the most popular local meal.
Tampa has the fortune of being the intersection of many different cultures and, therefore, cuisines. Tampa’s food is a true culinary experience. Ranging from seafood to Spanish, Cuban, Caribbean and Floribbean (mix of Floridian and Caribbean cuisines) flavors, no matter your tastes you will surely find something delicious.
Another interesting Tampa originated dish is deviled crabs. This meal was an invention by Ybor City immigrants and it is still popular among the locals.
Getting Around Tampa
Besides walking tours and renting bicycles, one of the more comfortable ways of seeing the most out of this beautiful city is by booking your Tampa car service.
First Florida Limo offers transportation services in modern vehicles driven by our professional chauffeurs. Arrange a comfortable day-trip for yourself and your family or friends.
Don’t worry about parking your car all over the city while exploring its sights. Let professionals take care of your sightseeing and making sure that your visit is as relaxing as possible.