Tampa Bay, Saint Petersburg, and Clearwater Vacation & Activities guide.  Tampa Bay Area Things To Do.

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Activities in the Tampa Bay Area.

Tampa is on the western Gulf of Mexico side of Florida, and has many attractions available for families, couples, and singles alike. The Tampa Bay area is the home of Busch Gardens, The Salvador Dali Museum, and the Lowry Park Zoo, and don't forget about the fantastic nightlife, and more. Letís take a look at what Tampa has to offer visitors and hopefully you will find Tampa Bay the perfect place to take the family this year for vacation.

Busch Gardens Africa amusement park is locaated right here in Tampa. There are plenty of rides to make the kids scream and the famous African Animal Adventure Safari is also located on the grounds. Visitors to Busch Gardens Africa can enjoy a variety of shows and other entertainment that is located throughout the park. There are many itineraries available for all ages or you can just wander around at your own discretion.

If you enjoy touring historical districts, then you will want to visit Ybor City. This is the original historic district of Tampa settled by the Spanish and Cubans when Tampa was originally founded. There are plenty of shops in the city including cigar shops, boutiques filled with wonderful Latino gifts, and ethnic restaurants that are waiting for you to sample their food. During Halloween, visitors will want to be in Ybor for Guavaween, a street festival where the bizarre and strange fill the streets. Think Mardi Gras!

Yo-ho, ho-ho, a pirateís life for me! Visitors to Tampa should try Captain Memoís Pirate Cruise out of Clearwater Marina. Guests of the crew will enjoy a two hour cruise on the Pirateís Ransom. The ship has been custom designed and approved by the United States Coast Guard. Itís fully equipped including restrooms for both men and women. Able to accommodate up to 125 passengers, you will be treated to the legend of Captain Memo and have some pirate fun as you cruise the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Everyone loves to go to the zoo and the Lowry Park Zoo features examples of Floridaís wildlife in a natural setting. From Florida panthers and black bears to alligators and manatees, visitors will enjoy seeing the variety of wildlife and the additional exhibits sponsored by the zoo. Visitors to the zoo will enjoy feeding the giraffes at the Africa exhibit and people love the lemurs! Other attractions at the zoo include a place where visitors can pet stingrays, a childrenís petting zoo, kiddy rides, water play area and pony rides. Itís a great place for a day with the family.

While Tampa may have its own tourist trap in Busch Gardens, there are plenty of other things that the whole family can be doing. There is an active nightlife in the city and youíll never have a problem finding someplace that is rocking when youíre ready!

At Busch Gardens, animals roam free and you are the outsider. You can see the park by monorail, cable car or train. You'll find Roller coasters, wild animals, entertaining shows, food, shopping, sightseeing, bird shows, exotic flowers, train rides, Serengeti adventures, river rapids...the list goes on and on.
Busch Gardens
3000 E. Busch Blvd. Tampa, FL 33612
Phone: 813-987-5082
Adventure Island
Don't miss the new thrills and spills of Key West Rapids, splash your way through more than 700 feet of twists and turns, water mines and a grand finale plunge into a refreshing pool. Admission varies, including combination tickets with Busch Gardens.
10001 Malcom McKinley Dr.
Tampa, FL 33605
Phone: 813-987-5600
Tampa Bay Channelside
Channelside Shopping & Entertainment Complex
The Channelside shopping and entertainment complex offers movie theaters, shops, restaurants, clubs, and Pop City, a games arcade.
615 Channelside Dr. Tampa, FL 33602
Tropical Shores Beach Resort - Siesta Key Florida
Tropical Shores Beach Resort - Siesta Key
Tampa Bay History Center
225 S. Franklin St. Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 813-228-0097
The Tampa Bay History Center is a museum and research library in downtown Tampa. Gallery exhibits show the geographical, historical and multicultural influences that have shaped the region through the centuries, from 12,000 years ago to the present.
Museum of Science & Industry, Tampa
Museum of Science & Industry
The Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) presents over 400 "hands on" displays and science exhibits, including the IMAX Dome Theater where viewers thrill to magnificent scenery projected on an 85-foot-high domed screen.
4801 E. Fowler Ave. Tampa, FL 33617
Phone: 813-228-0097
Tampa Bay Activities
701 Channelside Dr. Tampa, FL 33602
The Florida Aquarium
Phone: 813-273-4020
Located in the Channelside area of Tampa, during your visit to The Florida Aquarium you can follow the path of a drop of water from the underground aquifer to the deep sea. See birds, plants and sea creatures of all descriptions in near-natural habitats.
Clearwater Florida Activities
Game Workd Tampa Florida
1600 E. 8th Ave Ybor City Tampa, FL 33602 The restaurant (Jax Grill) and bar (Hop Scotch) at this fun factory are secondary attractions to the massive, 128-game arcade designed by Steven Speilberg.
Phone: 813-241-9675
The Children's Museum of Tampa
Visit the Children's Museum of Tampa and watch your children work with the "hands on" exhibits and exercise their imaginations. Admission charged for children over the age of 1.
7550 North Blvd. Tampa, FL 33604
Phone: 813-935-8441
Tampa Theater
The Tampa Theatre is now open year-round and features an acclaimed Film Series of cinema from around the world. The Theatre also hosts live concerts and special events.
711 Franklin St. Tampa 33602
Phone: 813-274-8981
Ybor City State Museum
Tampa Museum of Art
225 S. Franklin St. Tampa, FL 33602 1818 9th Ave. Tampa, FL 33605
Phone: 813-274-8130 Phone: 813-247-6323
Ybor City Brewing Company African Art Gallery & Museum
1711 W. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33606
2205 N. 20th St. Tampa, FL 33605 Phone: 813-242-9222
Phone: 813-272-2466
Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
U.S.F Contemporary Art Museum
746 South Village Circle
4202 E. Fowler Ave. Cam 101
Tampa, FL 33606 Phone: 813-251-1800
Tampa, FL 33620 Phone: 813-974-4133
Henry B. Plant Museum Lowry Park Zoo
401 W. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33606
7530 North Blvd. Tampa, FL 33604
Phone: 813-254-1891 Phone: 813-932-0245

Other Tampa Bay Area Activities

Big Cat Rescue (Tampa)
The sanctuary houses the most diverse population of exotic cats in the world, with 16 of the 35 species of wild cat represented among more than 100 residents. These include tigers, lions, leopards, cougars, bobcats, lynx, ocelots, servals, caracals and others, many of whom are threatened, endangered, or now extinct in the wild. Web page

Egmont Key State Park (St. Petersburg/Skyway Bridge Area)
The island of Egmont Key has unique natural and cultural histories which have made it a valuable resource since the time settlers first arrived in Florida. Named in honor of John Perceval, the second Earl of Egmont and member of the Irish House of Commons in 1763, Egmont Key has had Spanish conquistadors and nuclear submarines pass its shores as they entered Tampa Bay. On March 3, 1847, Congress authorized funds to construct a lighthouse on Egmont. The construction was completed in May, 1848. Once completed, it was the only lighthouse between St. Marks and Key West. At the end of the third Seminole War in 1858, Egmont Key was used by the U.S. Army to detain Seminole prisoners until they could be transported to Arkansas Territory. In 1939, the Lighthouse Service was transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard, which has maintained the light as well as radio guidance equipment. The Key was designated a National Wildlife Refuge in 1974, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Visitors can spend the day on the beach sunbathing, swimming in the warm bay waters, walking through the historic ruins of Fort Dade, or walking the brick paths that remain from the days Fort Dade was an active community with 300 residents. A gopher tortoise can be seen at almost every turn as you walk the historic paths. Many visitors are treated to the sight of hummingbirds as well as other seabirds.

January through May guided walks are conducted on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month from 10:30 AM until 3:30 PM. These walks allow the participants to view the wildlife and natural environment of the island, learn the history of the island and tour the historic lighthouse.

Access to the island is by boat only. The park is located at the mouth of Tampa Bay, southwest of Fort DeSoto Beach. To visit Egmont Key State Park, contact one of the following ferry services for schedules and fees.
Capt. Bill (727) 867-8168
Capt. Daves (727) 367-4336
Capt. Franks (727) 345-4500
Capt. Kidd (727) 360-2263
Dolphin Landing (727) 360-7411
Hubbards Sea Adventures (727) 398-6577. (departs from St. Petersburg area)
Or call (727) 893-2627 for more info.

De Soto National Memorial
This memorial commemorates the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, who landed on the southwest Florida coast in 1539. He brought with him 600 soldiers and was under orders from the King of Spain to explore, colonize and pacify the Indians of the area known as "La Florida". The park depicts 16th century Spanish cultural values and the clash with the native cultures that the expedition encountered. The main visitor season is from December through April. Dogs are allowed on the one half mile self-guiding interpretive trail which leads through mangrove and coastal environments. Dogs need to be on a 6 foot leash. From late December to early April, there is a reproduction of the 16th Century Indian village with park rangers dressed in period costume. They give demonstrations of blacksmithing, cooking, armor repair and military weapons. Phone 941-792-0458

Skate Park of Tampa
The name is often abbreviated as SPoT, and is well-known for its annual Tampa Am and Tampa Pro competitions. The skatepark played a major role in the Tony Hawk's Underground video game with many SPoT employees featured. The skatepark includes a "pro course", which offers a pyramid and many difficult rails. Outside, there is a full size vert ramp, a form of half-pipe. The "beginner's course" features many smaller rails and ramps to sharpen your skateboarding skills

Tampa RC Model Boat Club
There are classes and boat speeds for everyone's interests. There are boats which run 35-45 MPH (beginning class) up to over 100 MPH for the really hot classes. They welcome families and beginning boaters. There are various classes of Nitro Engines, as well as Weed Eater Gas Engines.

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