New Tampa residents will enjoy getting acquainted with the Cigar City through its wealth of attractions. From scenic parks to historic buildings and fascinating museums, there is plenty to see and do in Tampa. Naturally, the all-year-round good weather in Florida makes Tampa a great place for outdoor pursuits too. Those relocating to Tampa with children will be pleased to find that there is an abundance of attractions that accommodate the whole family.
Here is our list of some of Tampa's top attractions to get new arrivals started.
Attractions in Tampa
Located at the waterfront in downtown Tampa, the Florida Aquarium is home to 10,000 aquatic creatures that call the Florida seas home. From river otters and alligators to stingrays and sea dragons, there is so much to discover. The kids will enjoy the touch pools where they can get up-close and personal with these underwater critters. The 4D movie theatre that showcases some stunning undersea features is always a highlight for visitors of all ages.
Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Opened in 1987, the Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge which connects St Petersburg to Terra Cela across Lower Tampa. The structure itself is quite spectacular and the views are breathtaking. Those with a fear of heights might be in for a challenge, but it’ll certainly be a fun and rewarding experience. While there is a toll required to cross the Skyway, it's a small price to pay for what is a memorable drive.
Dating back to 1926, once known as the ‘movie palace’, the Tampa Theatre is one of the city’s most prominent historical attractions. Impressively, it is still fully operational today and visitors can be transported back in time as they purchase tickets at the vintage glass booth before settling into plush velvet seats. While cinema-goers won’t catch the latest blockbusters at the Tampa Theatre they can view a great selection of documentaries and art films.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
The ultimate in family adventure, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay features everything from thrilling rollercoaster rides to live entertainment, not to mention the more than 12,000 animal residents. Falcon’s Fury which involves a 335-foot drop tower and Cobra’s Curse which is certainly not for the fainthearted are highlights for the thrill-seekers, but there is something for the whole family at Busch Gardens.
Tampa Bay History Center
Travel back in time through 12,000 years of Florida’s history. From the conquistadors to the Cuban cigar rollers of Ybor City, visitors are treated to some wonderful insights into the state's storied past. With hands-on exhibits and an immersive theatre experience, the Tampa Bay History Center is always a hit with the kids. Located just off Tampa’s Riverwalk, this is a great attraction for a fun family day out.
The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
At the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, visitors can explore contemporary life and culture through the medium of photography. With collections and exhibits featuring both historic and contemporary works by nationally and internationally renowned photographers and graphic artists, a visit to FMOPA never disappoints.
Tampa Museum of Art
Florida’s largest museum of art features everything from collections of Greek and Roman antiquities to modern photography exhibitions. Since 2010, the Tampa Museum of Art has been driven by a commitment to providing Florida residents with innovative public arts programmes. With a dynamic annual schedule of special exhibitions, new arrivals will find they’ll need to visit this attraction more than once to truly do it justice.
Located on the Waterfront along the Garrison Channel in downtown Tampa, Contanchobee Park is an oasis of calm in a bustling city. The 4.5 acre includes a children’s playground, a spectacular pier and a memorial to the Seminole Indian Wars. A popular spot among Tampa’s recreational runners and cyclists, Contanchobee Park is also a great place to spend a family day out in the sun.
► Moving to Tampa with children? Our Education and Schools in Tampa page is essential reading for parents
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