Things To Do

The question is not, “What is there to do in Tampa?” The question is, “Where should we start?

The Beach: The beach is obviously the first port of call if you’re looking for fun is in the sun. The beach is the heart of the Floridian lifestyle and Tampa is no exception. At the beach you’ll not only find people sunbathing, but also playing volleyball, beach soccer, running, swimming, snorkeling, sailing, skim boarding, paddle boarding, and occasionally surfing in ideal conditions. These are all activities that can be done at little or no cost to you.

But remember, in Tampa, the beach is a communal experience—so make sure to shuffle your feet in the water, avoid swimming at dusk and nighttime, and don’t swim where you fish in order to avoid unwanted visits from stingrays or sharks. These beaches are also blooming with harmless and charistmatic marine life such as dolphins, manatees (often found in rivers), tropical fish, manta rays, and more. While most of these creatures avoid the coastline, dolphins have been known to show off to humans on the shoreline.

Fishing & Boating in Tampa: Fishing, boating, and diving are also favorite pastimes of Tampanians. It may be hard to enjoy these activities without a boat or experience with fishing, but Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg all offer charter boat rentals and fishing-guide-accompanied trips to productive spots. Bear in mind that, if not split between a large group, deep-sea fishing can become a costly adventure.

The best way to take part in these typical Tampanian pursuits is to befriend a boat owner (genuinely of course). It’s part of the boating culture to invite friends and family—particularly of the boatless kind—to enjoy a day out on the Gulf of Mexico fishing, tubing, wakeboarding, and more.

Tampa Things to Do - Zoomdojo

Museums in Tampa: On those occasional rainy days or sweltering summer afternoons, an indoor day at one of Tampa’s many museums can be the perfect treat for your curious mind. Here are a few of the best listed below.

For art lovers:

  • Tampa Museum of Art

  • Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg

  • Contemporary Art Museum at USF

  • St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts

For the history buffs:

  • Tampa Bay History Center

  • Henry B. Plant Museum at the Tampa Bay Hotel

  • Florida Holocaust Museum

  • The Historic Vinoy Hotel History Room

  • The St. Petersburg Museum of History Tampa

And for Science and Animal lovers:

  • The Museum of Science and Industry

  • Florida Aquarium

  • Lowry Park Zoo

Theme Parks in Tampa: For those with the urge for adventure, the excellent Busch Gardens theme park is always just around the corner, with a yearly pass going for around $170. Besides the thrill rides, Busch Gardens also provides a habitat to hundreds of exotic animals from around the globe in simulated environments. At nearby Adventure Island, a huge water park managed by the same parent company as Busch Gardens (Seaworld group), you can experience 100-foot waterslides and a lazy river.

Sports in Tampa: For Sports Fans, Tampa offers a number of professional sports. The games are always a blast for family or friends and at pretty affordable prices!

  • Football: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Hockey: Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Baseball: Tampa Bay Rays

Not a fan of Florida teams? Both the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees do their spring training in the Tampa Bay area.

Nightlife in Tampa:  Hyde Park and Channelside are some of the hottest places for Tampa nightlife, but don’t expect the $2 pitchers of beer common at many casual beach and sports bars. These areas are home to “classier establishments” so expect to encounter a clientele of corresponding deportment (read: older and wealthier).

If you want to turn up the intensity and party only with the under-30 crowd, the historic town of Ybor City and the USF Area are the places to be.

Bars & Clubs in Tampa: The bar and club scenes rise and fall with the tides. With an influx of new students coming into USF every year and Tampa’s continued expansion, the popularity of bars and clubs changes with the city. But for some great classic bars and clubs that have stood the test of time check out:

  • Macdintons: A traditional Irish Pub with live music!

  • Drynk: A semi-exclusive bar and lounge with thumping music and crowds of young people.

  • Splittsville: Bowling + A Bar = A raging good time.

  • Howl at the Moon: A rock n’ roll dueling piano bar that makes for the most unique nightlife around.

  • Czar: A Russian Vodka bar offering a number of rooms of entertainment.

  • Club Prana: A five level club in Ybor City frequented by college students.

  • Blue Martini: A trendy Martini bar that draws the young professional crowd.

  • Tia's: A Tex-Mex cantina that offers margaritas, Mexican food, y muchas fiestas.