Situated on Florida’s west coast, a couple of hours to the north of Miami Beach, Tampa is a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike to escape for a few days of fun. Filled with great restaurants, plenty of places to stay, world-class shopping opportunities, and attractions to excite even the most hard-to-please guests, it’s the perfect spot for, well, virtually anyone looking to get away and enjoy a quick vacation.
Looking for ideas on how to spend your time in the city? Here are just a few ways you can take advantage of your weekend in Tampa:
Head to the Beach
One of Tampa’s greatest perks is its proximity to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Head to nearby Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, or Indian Rocks Beach for stunning sugar-white sands, crystal clear waters, and a laid-back beachy vibe. Bring a cooler filled with drinks and snacks, or pack up when you’re hungry and walk to a nearby restaurant or snack shack for a bite to eat.
Visit the Big Cat Rescue
Love lions, tigers, and leopards? Check out the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, a sanctuary for big cats. It’s home to over 80 cats, ranging from bobcats and cougars to lions and tigers, rescued from various situations. As a visitor, you’ll be treated to an educational tour where you’ll learn about the threats facing big cats around the world. This is one experience you won’t find anywhere else!
Explore Ybor City
Ybor City, one of Tampa’s most vibrant neighborhoods, is well worth a stop while you’re in the area. You can take tours and explore museums to learn about the area’s rich history, seek inspiration at a local art gallery, or shop at one of the many boutiques in the area – including the specialty cigar shops the district is famous for. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, you’ll find plenty of restaurants and eateries to choose from to satisfy your hunger. And if you’re looking for nightlife? Come back after the sun goes down to check out some of the area’s premier nightclubs.
Check Out at Least One Museum
Tampa offers several museums that, depending on your interests, may be worth a visit. These include:
- The Henry B. Plant Museum, housed in a former hotel, which offers a glimpse into the development of Florida (Tampa in particular) during the late 1800s.
- The Museum of Science and Industry, which features a number of fun and interactive, hands-on exhibits perfect for kids.
- The Tampa Museum of Art, home to impressive paintings, sculptures, and other works of art from various eras and artists.
Have Some Fun at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
If you enjoy theme parks, you won’t want to miss out on Busch Gardens. Home to seven heart-pounding roller coasters, exciting thrill rides, and exhibits featuring over 200 different animal species, you can easily spend a day exploring everything this park has to offer.
Keep in mind, you’ll want to take it slow and drink plenty of water if you visit during the summer – with all the excitement, it can be easy to get overheated or dehydrated.
As you can see, it isn’t too hard to find ways to have fun in Tampa for a weekend. Add these items to your itinerary, and you’ll have plenty to keep you busy while you’re there.