If you’re planning a vacation to Florida, you might want to add Tampa to your itinerary! There are plenty of fun things to do in Tampa, and it’s just an hour’s drive from Orlando, so if you can spare the time, it’s definitely worth stopping by.
When it comes to excitement, few things are more thrilling than a roller coaster. That’s why Busch Gardens is so appealing. The Park features 12 world-class roller coasters—eight of which were voted Best in America by USA Today readers. If you go on a Tuesday or Wednesday night during the off-season (February through April), admission is free after 5 p.m.! So come for dinner at one of their many restaurants and then ride all of your favorites once they turn on all of their lights for evening operations!
Museum of Science and Industry
The Museum of Science and Industry is one of America’s most significant science museums and features hundreds of interactive exhibits designed to engage and educate children and adults alike. There’s always something to see at MOSI with indoor and outdoor attractions like a butterfly garden, a giant screen movie theater, and a 4-D Star Theater. The museum also hosts numerous special events every year, such as film festivals, fundraisers, and celebrations of local culture. MOSI is located at 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL 33617.
Tampa Zoo at Lowry Park
Tampa Zoo at Lowry Park is located at 1101 West Sligh Avenue in Tampa. The zoo is home to over 700 animals, including binturongs, otters, and lemurs. Take a stroll through one of several tropical conservatories where you can see fish, snakes, and other reptiles native to Florida. The zoo also has an aviary housing exotic birds from all over the world and an interactive children’s playground. While admission is free for children under 2, adults are charged $15 for access to daytime and evening attractions. Parking costs are separate from general admission costs, ranging from $4 – $10 depending on your length of stay.
Henry B. Plant Museum
It is located at 501 N Franklin St., across from Curtis Hixon Park. The Henry B. Plant Museum is a private museum in downtown Tampa and features an array of artifacts related to its namesake. With exhibits from around Florida from all different periods, including Native American relics from Clearwater to African art from Key West, it’s an excellent place for anyone interested in history or travel. It also has a beautiful greenhouse to enjoy views of tropical plants and animals native to Florida.
One of Florida’s most popular attractions, Florida Aquarium is a fun and educational way to spend an afternoon. The accredited member of AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) features more than 8 million gallons of fresh and saltwater habitats for over 1,500 species worldwide. Visitors have a chance to view dolphins and shark feeding events that occur on certain afternoons throughout each week. The facility also boasts spectacular exhibits, including Tropical River with its Asian river otters and manatees and Surrounded by Sharks featuring some ferocious great white sharks.
Big Cat Rescue
Big Cat Rescue is home to lions, tigers, and bears…oh my! Located just outside Tampa in Dunedin, Florida, Big Cat Rescue is a beautiful wildlife sanctuary where abandoned big cats provide food and medical life care. You can visit Big Cat Rescue on particular days each month or take one of their educational tours.