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Fun for Families

At the Glazer Children’s Museum, kids can play pretend as a doctor, veterinarian, artist or engineer on two levels packed with interactive exhibits. Discover wild animals from land and sea at ZooTampa at Lowry Park, The Florida Aquarium and TECO Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach. To get fully immersed in nature, book a paddling tour with Canoe Escape to see alligators, birds and turtles on the Hillsborough River. Scientists-in-training will have hands-on fun at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). Known for its heart-pounding roller coasters, Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay is a can’t-miss attraction, particularly if your group has older kids and thrill seekers. Be sure to buy the Tampa Bay CityPASS. You’ll get admission to some of Tampa Bay’s best attractions at a discounted rate.

 

Shopping, Dining, Nightlife and Neighborhood Hopping

The pedestrian-only Tampa Riverwalk links downtown’s hotels, restaurants, parks and shops, making it easy to cool off with a drink at a waterfront bar then catch a sightseeing cruise into the bay. Nearby, there’s plenty to see and do in the Channel District, including the Sparkman Wharf open-air food hall and Amalie Arena, home to the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team. The Hyde Park neighborhood offers classic drinks, elegant spas and chic shopping. Up for a party? Trendy clubs like Ciro’s Tampa and Edge Rooftop Bar welcome night owls drink specials, music and dancing. Hipster haven Seminole Heights is known for its alternative atmosphere. Enjoy craft beers at Angry Chair Brewing, indie bands at the Independent Bar and great food at Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café. On weekends, let Brew Bus do the driving on the Local Loop tour of craft breweries.

 

A Date with History

Long before Tampa Bay was a tourist destination, native Tocobaga, Calusa, Seminole and Miccosukee Indians called it home. See an outstanding collection of tribal artifacts at the Tampa Bay History Center along with hands-on discoveries from the Age of Exploration, allowing you to join a pirate crew, chart your course with a sextant or test your skill as sailor knots. In January, play pirate-for-a-day when legendary buccaneer José Gaspar and his crew sail into downtown with their cannons blazing. Join the throngs along Bayshore Boulevard cheering the pirate parade and collecting treasured beads flung from the floats.

The heart of Tampa Bay’s Cuban history is Ybor City, where Cuban masters still hand-roll some of the world’s best cigars as they have since the community was founded in 1885. The neighborhood’s brick streets and iron balconies call to mind the days when Tampa Bay earned its nickname, “Cigar City.” Stop in at any of the boutiques along 7th Avenue (La Séptima) to watch masters at work and sip a strong café con leche at a sidewalk table. Enjoy an authentic Cuban meal at the Columbia Restaurant, the oldest restaurant in Florida. Stay late in Ybor for unbeatable nightlife.

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Fun Fact

Enjoying a rooftop bar in Ybor City
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A little bit of Cuba: The .06-hectare (.14-acre) Parque Amigos de José Martí (José Martí Park) in Ybor City actually belongs to the Republic of Cuba.

Helicopter ride over Tampa Bay
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The world's first scheduled passenger flight service connected Tampa and St. Petersburg in 1914.

The bike path alongside Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, Florida
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At more than 8 kilometers long, the Bayshore Boulevard bike path is believed to be the world’s longest unbroken sidewalk.

The University of Tampa at sunset
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