trips planned in the last hour
out of 5
Trustscore rating

Best things to do in Tampa

Itinerary planner
+ Add destination
2 adults
- +
- +
- +
You have 1 trip in progress.   See all
Where in the world: USA  /  Florida  /  Tampa
Things to do in Tampa mostly revolve around the city's theme parks and nature-focused attractions, which include aquariums, a botanical garden, and a sandy beach. Most tourists don't leave the city before snapping a few photos from Sunshine Skyway Bridge, stretching across Tampa Bay. Outdoor enthusiasts love exploring a variety of ecosystems at Lettuce Lake Regional Park, which also boasts picnic tables, barbecue pits, and plenty of space to play sports. Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, with a wide range of performances and interactive activities, offer a balanced mixture of wildlife and entertainment, perfect for families with children.

Tampa is best known for its Theme Parks, Zoos, and Aquariums.

Top 15 things to do in Tampa

1. Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando

The world's largest vacation resort, Walt Disney World Resort features four theme parks, two water parks, five golf courses, and a sprawling shopping and entertainment area. The most visited resort on the planet, this vast entertainment complex attracts more than 50 million visitors each year. Developed by Walt Disney in the 1960s, the complex is now a self-contained city spread over an area of at least 171 sq km (66 sq mi). There are 24 on-site hotels. Grab a free resort map to plan out your days and evenings, balancing out shopping and entertainment with adrenaline-inducing roller-coaster escapades and calmer rides. Skip the long lines by purchasing your ride and show tickets in advance, and save money by making your dining reservations online.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
Learn more about Walt Disney World Resort

2. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Both a theme park and a zoo, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay offers a mixture of roller-coaster rides, live shows, dining, shopping, and interactive activities with animals. Opened in 1959 with an African theme, the park now shelters nearly 12,000 animals, spread over 130 hectares (330 acres). You can choose to be an animal keeper for a day or take guided, behind-the-scenes tours of the animal care center, where you can learn how the park's veterinary staff cares for the zoo's residents. The theme park also offers ziplines and water rides. Take advantage of considerable savings by booking your tickets online, and choose from a range of dining and park experiences.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
Learn more about Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Tours including Busch Gardens Tampa Bay:
Plan your trip to Tampa
  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.

4. Universal's Islands of Adventure, Orlando

Hosting more than 8 million guests each year, Universal's Islands of Adventure ranks among the world's top theme parks. It features several distinctly themed areas, each with an eye toward adventure. You can explore a world of superheroes and cartoon characters on the park's roller coaster and train rides, or choose from a range of interactive live shows. As you journey through the islands, look out for Spider-Man, Harry Potter, and a slew of characters straight out of Dr. Seuss' imagination. The park includes several rest areas where you can sit down for a quiet meal or pick up a few souvenirs. Save money and time by booking your park experience well in advance. There's an on-site hotel.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
Learn more about Universal's Islands of Adventure
Tours including Universal's Islands of Adventure:

5. Discovery Cove, Orlando

Swim with bottlenose dolphins at Discovery Cove, a theme park that provides a more relaxing experience than the nearby mammoth entertainment complexes. You can interact with exotic birds in the free-flight aviary or explore the tranquil world of private beaches and heated outdoor pools. The park also contains a coral reef, where you can use the provided equipment to snorkel with thousands of tropical fish. To see the park's highlights quickly, take a boat ride down a tropical river running through the aviary and past sandy beaches, waterfalls, and rainforests. The park only admits a limited number of guests each day, so make your reservations well in advance.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
Learn more about Discovery Cove

6. Universal Orlando Resort, Orlando

Universal Orlando Resort inspires more than 7 million annual visitors to "ride the movies," offering a behind-the-scenes look at movie-making and TV shows. It features two theme parks, seven themed areas, numerous 3-D rides, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, and shops. Created by one of the biggest film studios in the world, the complex provides a mix of rides, live shows, and costumed characters. As you walk around the centrally located lagoon, look for special appearances by Marilyn Monroe, Betty Boop, the Simpsons, Shrek, and Woody Woodpecker, the official mascot of the complex.
Suggested duration: 4h 30 min
Learn more about Universal Orlando Resort
Tours including Universal Orlando Resort:

7. Room Escape Games

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Room Escape Games

8. SeaWorld, Orlando

SeaWorld blends elements of a theme park and marine life zoo. The vast complex also includes a 7 hectare (17 acre) lagoon and a tropical forest. See the famous killer whales in an arena show, or get a dose of adrenaline with a ride on an upside-down (floorless) roller coaster. To combine the best of both worlds, visit the oceanic water-coaster, featuring an 18 m (60 ft) vertical drop. You can also take part in the interactive deep dives, allowing you to have a safe, hands-off contact with sharks, stingrays, and sea lions. For something a bit more relaxing, enjoy one of many live shows, featuring choreographed performances with lights, music, dolphins, and costumed acrobats.
Suggested duration: 5h 30 min
Learn more about SeaWorld
Tours including SeaWorld:

9. Magic Kingdom Park, Orlando

Hosting nearly 20 million guests each year, Magic Kingdom Park ranks among the most-visited theme parks in the world. Part of the world's biggest amusement park, which covers a vast area twice as large as Manhattan, this theme park is dedicated to fairy tales and Disney characters. The park's centerpiece is a replica of a fairy-tale castle from the 1950s' film "Cinderella." Six magical lands surround the castle, featuring boat and roller coaster rides, games, jungle cruises, train adventures, shooting arcades, and stage shows. Explore the themed lands of this wheel-shaped venue using Cinderella's castle as your hub. A narrow-gauge railroad runs along the park's perimeter and provides an excellent overview of the park before you start exploring.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
Learn more about Magic Kingdom Park

10. Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Orlando

The largest single Disney theme park in the world, Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park dedicates more than 200 hectares (500 acres) to the animal conservation philosophy once pioneered by Walt Disney. Divided into seven themed areas, the park blends elements of a theme park and zoo, offering rides through the diverse worlds of wild animals. You can go on a safari through Sahara or navigate a wild river in Asia, surrounded by zebras, lions, tigers, bats, iguanas, giant anteaters, wallabies, and other exotic creatures. Most animals are real, although some are animatronic. The park also offers an adrenaline-junkie's roller coaster, as well as carnival-style rides and games in an area designed to recall the roadside attractions once scattered throughout the country.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
Learn more about Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park

11. Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Orlando

Step back in time to Hollywood's 1930s and 1940s heydays at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a sprawling theme park spanning 55 hectares (135 acres). Wander the studio's vast network of streets and entertainment areas--blending into one giant film set--for a behind-the-scenes look at the world of movies. Watch live shows or go on backstage tours of a working studio to learn to the secrets behind some of film industry's biggest hits. You can also take an elevator ride through 13 floors of fear, or speed up to 96 kph (60 mph) on the twisting roller coaster taking you through a recreation of darkened streets of Los Angeles. This park attracts more than 10 million visitors each year, so expect crowds.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
Learn more about Disney’s Hollywood Studios

12. Scuba & Snorkeling, Crystal River

Meet manatees and other creatures calling Crystal River their residence on a guided tour, conducted by informative and helpful guides who can take you to places where you can swim and interact with the marine life. Next to these and other marine species--such as dolphins and sea turtles--you may catch a glimpse of pelicans, great blue herons, and more wading birds. Don't forget to bring swimsuits and towels on board--snorkel gear, life jackets, and swim "noodles" are available on the boat. Most tours cater to small groups of maximum six people and last between two and four hours. Children are welcome to come along under parental supervision.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Learn more about Scuba & Snorkeling
Tours including Scuba & Snorkeling:

13. Tampa Riverwalk

The Tampa Riverwalk is a 2.6-mile-long (4.2 km) open space and pedestrian trail along the Hillsborough River in Tampa, Florida. The Riverwalk extends along most of the downtown Tampa waterfront from the Channelside District on the eastern terminus to the mouth of the Hillsborough River and then north along the riverside to Tampa Heights, forming a continuous path that connects a multitude of parks, attractions, public spaces, and hotels. Among the notable points of interest along the Riverwalk are the Tampa Bay History Center, Amalie Arena, the Tampa Convention Center, Rivergate Tower, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Water Works Park, and the Waterfront Arts District which includes the Tampa Museum of Art, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Glazer Children's Museum, and the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Locations along the Riverwalk play host to many community events, most notably the numerous festivals held at Curtis Hixon Park and the arrival of the "pirate ship" Jose Gasparilla, which moors at the Riverwalk behind the Convention Center during the Gasparilla Pirate Festival.

According to the city, the purpose of the Riverwalk is to "enhance the image of Tampa as a beautiful and unique destination" and highlight Tampa's waterfront.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Tampa Riverwalk
Tours including Tampa Riverwalk:

14. Epcot, Orlando

With no parades or water park, Epcot is not your typical theme park. It's divided into two sections: Future World celebrates technological innovation, while the World Showcase focuses on international culture. Take a time machine-themed dark ride though the history of humankind at the park's landmark 18-story geodesic sphere. Have a space adventure in a motion simulator, or design a concept car and take it for a "test drive," a thrill-inducing ride. In the World Showcase, pavilions representing 11 different countries encircle a lake. Take a gentle ride on a Viking ship, marvel at the Chinese acrobats, or order a stein at the German beer garden. Kids can make free crafts and get a special stamp at each country. Each pavilion almost exclusively employs citizens from the represented countries, so you can get a native's perspective on any questions you have. To avoid lines, use the FastPass+ system to book reservations for some key attractions, but be aware the slots fill up fast for the most popular ones.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Epcot

15. ZooTampa at Lowry Park

In addition to hosting exotic animals from around the world, ZooTampa at Lowry Park claims to display more species native to Florida than anywhere else. The zoo features multiple themed sections, including Asia, Africa, and Australia. You can learn about endangered species, and explore more than 23 hectares (56 acres) of exhibits. Don't miss the on-site hospital (the only example of its kind) dedicated to helping and rehabilitating injured Florida manatees. Check before you visit for special events and chances to interact directly with animals.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
Learn more about ZooTampa at Lowry Park
Tours including ZooTampa at Lowry Park: