Why settle for one sun-soaked Florida destination, when you can visit three?
The Tampa Bay area—encompassing the cities of Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Tampa—has an average 361 days of sunshine each year and subtropical winter temperatures that hover in the 70s (low 20s Celsius). Border this sunny paradise with miles of white-sand beaches and the clear blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and you’ve got all the ingredients for a grand getaway.
Get Near Nature
Florida is a world-class destination for family vacations, and in Tampa Bay, the kid-friendly attractions often feature animal encounters. As a home to some 20,000 marine creatures, including sharks, otters, penguins and alligators, the Florida Aquarium in Tampa is serious about sealife. Visitors can also see ring-tailed lemurs, hissing cockroaches and colorful chameleons in the Journey to Madagascar exhibit.
Visit animals from Africa, Asia and Australia at ZooTampa at Lowry Park. Feed a giraffe, then hop aboard the Expedition Africa safari ride for an up-close look at the resident elephant herd. You can also see some of Florida’s treasured species, like the manatee and Florida panther.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is the ultimate family adventure, offering thrilling rides, one of the largest zoos on the continent, Broadway-style shows, Sesame Street® Safari of Fun for the little ones and much more. Feel like you’re flying on world-renowned roller coasters, or sit back and relax at one of the many live shows.
At the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, learn about the fascinating world of marine life rescue. Head to the Winter Zone and meet resident movie-star dolphins Winter and Hope. The Winter Zone was also a filming area for the movies “Dolphin Tale” and “Dolphin Tale 2”. Explore the working animal hospital and see rescued dolphins, sea turtles, sharks and otters.
Winter and Hope, the famed dolphins of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Art and Science for All
The Chihuly Collection is a must-visit space in downtown St. Petersburg, where visitors can experience art and the artistic process. Explore a magnificent, stunning permanent collection of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly's large-scale installations. The building architecture was specifically designed to house the installations, marrying space and art. Whimsical glass creations in vibrant colors and incredible shapes invite visitors to contemplate and enjoy.
Back in Tampa, the Museum of Science & Industry is a scientific playground with more than 100 hands-on activities. Innovative exhibits urge you to ask questions and expand your mind. Lie on a bed of nails, build a robot and challenge your sense with optical illusions. The museum also houses the Sky Trail Ropes Course and Zip Line and Florida’s only IMAX DOME Theatre.