Tampa is a great Florida destination for family travel.  It is less expensive than Orlando and Miami, has calm pristine Gulf Coast beaches nearby in Clearwater and St Petersburg/ St Pete Beach, and has lots to do for adults and for kids at all different ages. 

Here is a list of some of some of the best (obvious and not so obvious) Tampa Area activities:

  • Busch Gardens - great for teens, adults and thrill seekers. they also have areas for small children and shows.
  • Swimming with Manatees - just north of Tampa in Crystal River you can legally swim with wild manatees
  • Florida Aquarium - one of the best in the world
  • Powder white Gulf beaches - among the best beaches in the world
  • Captain Memo's Pirate Cruise - this REAL pirate ship with kid-friendly pirate crew is a favorite of toddlers and small kids
  • Canoeing the Hillsborough River - nature lovers will love being this close to turtles, egrets, gators and more
  • Lowry Park Zoo - rated the #1 Family Zoo in America!
  • Big Cat Rescue - off the beaten path
  • Museum of Science and Industry-the largest science museum in the southeastern United States.
  • Tampa Bay History Center
  • Riding the TECO Street Car
  • Glazer Children's Museum-very worthwhile,
  • Curtis Hixon Park-next to Glazer Children's Museum and the Tampa Art Museum on Ashley St. Lots of free events are held there and there is a series of 8 rows of water fountains that children enjoy playing in and a nice playground as well. Also a good place to picnic with wooden slabs you can sit on. They are building a second water fountain area in a park in the Heights area as well that will open in July.
  • AirHeads Trampoline Arena is a huge, indoor trampoline arena with open jumping, dodgeball and a huge arcade. Perfect weather proof activity for the whole family, and they even have a separate area for small children.