About Tampa

by SmarterTravel Staff
Photo: IndexOpen

Tampa, Florida, is a vacationer's paradise. But it's not just the weather that tourists enjoy. The year-round attractions mean that a good time is always guaranteed.

While Tampa's three public beaches may get most of the attention, there's plenty to do indoors. The Museum of Science and Industry lets you brave simulated hurricane winds, while the Tampa Bay History Center brings to life some of the oldest recorded history in the U.S. Arts aficionados will enjoy the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts and University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum.


Golf and fishing are popular activities, and there are several courses within the city and chartered boats are easy to find. Those who prefer spectator sports can cheer on the city's professional teams, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Tampa Bay Storm. The Tampa Bay Rays play in nearby St. Petersburg.

Animal lovers can get wild at Busch Gardens' Serengeti Safari or watch tigers and cougars being fed at Big Cat Rescue. The Florida Aquarium features the state's natural habitats and fauna, including wetlands alligators, while the Lowry Park Zoo allows visitors to pet and feed rhinoceroses.

For a different kind of hunt, visit WestShore Plaza and International Plaza for high-end shopping or stroll Old Hyde Park Village, an open-air mall with designer boutiques and local shops. Ybor City, Tampa's historic Latin Quarter, features specialty goods and art galleries and is the center of Tampa nightlife.

Tampa International Airport serves about 18 million passengers each year, so finding flights to Tampa should be easy.

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