20 Fun Outdoor Activities in the Tampa Bay Area

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20 Fun Outdoor Activities in the Tampa Bay Area

The Tampa Bay area is filled with fun outdoor activities for every age and interest!

1. Pier 60

Clearwater Beach, Florida is the #1 Best Beach in America and Pier 60 is the heart of America’s Best Beach. Pier 60 is full of family-friendly activities. There are large playground areas for the kids, fishing off the end of the pier, beautiful beach views, sugar-white soft sand, calm ocean waves, lifeguards nearby, large beach slides, and much more! Every day there is a Clearwater Beach Sunset Festival with local crafters selling their items, street performers, and often times live music. Pier 60 also is the location of many of the Clearwater Beach events including the Sugar Sand Festival. Stick around after sunset for free outdoor movies under the stars!

2. Caladesi Island / Honeymoon Island

Not far from Clearwater Beach you can find a totally different beach experience. You can find a much smaller beach with tree lines even touching into the ocean. This beautiful area provides almost private beach areas during the week. This area is known as Caladesi Island. There are two ways to access Caladesi Island. You can drive to Honeymoon Island in the Dunedin area and take a ferry to Caladesi Island, or you can walk to Caladesi Island from Clearwater Beach. It’s a long walk, but the directions are easy… just keep walking North on Clearwater Beach!

In my opinion, the best time to visit Caladesi Island is during the week. Look up days when the Ferry isn’t running and you’ll have the whole place to yourself!

3. Bok Tower Gardens

Bok Tower Gardens is a “must see Florida attraction” centrally located between Tampa and Orlando among rolling hills of citrus! Our nearly 50 acres of Olmsted gardens, 2.5 acre children’s garden Hammock Hollow, 20-room Pinewood Estate Mediterranean-style mansion and the 205-foot art deco and neo-Gothic Singing Tower carillon is a place that has fascinated millions of Florida visitors.”

4. Hillsborough River State Park

Hillsborough River State Park is located just outside of Tampa, Florida and is a beautiful escape from the busy city. The park offers over 7 miles of hiking trails, a class II river rapids for kayaking and canoeing, and more!

5. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens Theme Park is fun for the whole family! It provides some amazing rides and zoo experience at the same time with many animals throughout the park. Travel across the world all in the same park!

6. Fort De Soto

“Whether you are sitting on the beach or kayaking near the still water’s edge at Fort De Soto, you find yourself absorbed in the abundance of natural beauty for as far as the eye can see. The complexity of the ecology is not immediately apparent, but the park offers the greatest diversity of systems just about anywhere. Emerging from the wealth of bird life, sea life, wild life and plant life is the majestic tapestry called Fort De Soto.”

7. Zootampa

“Five-time winner of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence (2010-2015), ZooTampa at Lowry Park is one of the most popular zoos in the southeastern US, with over 1 million visitors annually. The Zoo originated in the 1930’s as a municipal department with a small number of Florida native species. It grew gradually throughout the next four decades, but struggled to meet the developing professional standards of modern zoos. In 1982, community leaders created the Lowry Park Zoo Association to take over management of the Zoo for the City of Tampa with the goal of creating a world-class zoo through a public-private partnership. The Association then became the Lowry Park Zoological Society of Tampa, Inc., as it remains today. Working with a national zoo designer, the Society was able to create a modern, 24-acre facility that opened to the public in 1988 and shortly after earned Accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). ZooTampa has now grown to what now encompasses 56 acres of naturalistic animal exhibits in a lush, tropical garden setting. The Zoo offers popular educational programming, fun recreational amenities, up-close animal encounters and engaging seasonal events for which it has won accolades as one of the country’s most family-friendly zoos.”

8. Sunken Gardens

Sunken Gardens is a botanical paradise in the midst of a bustling city. As St. Petersburg’s oldest living museum, this 100-year-old garden is home to some of the oldest tropical plants in the region.

Unwind as you stroll through meandering paths, lush with exotic plants from around the world. Explore cascading waterfalls, beautiful demonstration gardens, more than 50,000 tropical plants, and flowers.”

9. Tampa Riverwalk

Walk around the waterfront in downtown Tampa and experience beautiful views, delicious restaurants and more on the Tampa Riverwalk.

10. Dinosaur World

“Conveniently located between Orlando and Tampa in Plant City, Florida. Dinosaur World Florida is Central Florida’s only attraction dedicated to the giants of years past. Encounter a wide variety of dinosaurs in a unique, natural lush garden setting.”

Featuring dinosaur-themed playgrounds, beautiful outdoor areas and more!

11. Ybor City

“There is so much more to explore in Ybor! It’s not just Tampa’s playground, it’s historically different with a thriving influx of growing corporations and small businesses, eclectic retail stores, diverse restaurants and a growing number of new residential units for people calling Ybor City home.

Conveniently located just northeast of downtown, Ybor City is the only neighborhood on Florida’s west coast to be designated a National Historic Landmark District. Founded by Vicente Martinez-Ybor, the district has enjoyed a rich and diverse culture for more than a century.”

12. Big Cat Rescue

“Big Cat Rescue, one of the world’s largest accredited sanctuaries for exotic cats, is a leading advocate for ending the abuse of captive big cats and saving wild cats from extinction.  We are the most hated, feared and lied about by circuses, backyard breeders, roadside zoos, cub petting pimps apseudo-sanctuariesies because we are the most effective at ending the abuse of big cats.  We wear that as a badge of honor.

We are home to lions, tigers, bobcats, cougarsservals, caracals, jaguar and other species most of whom have been abandoned, abused, orphaned, saved from being turned into fur coats, or retired from performing acts.”

13. Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks

Head to Tarpon Springs, Florida for an amazing Greek experience! This Greek village is just north of Clearwater and is known for its historic sponge docks and it’s delicious and authentic Greek food!

Hellas Greek Restaurant and Bakery

GREAT GREEK FOOD 🇬🇷 Hellas Restaurant serves up authentic Greek food and desserts in Tarpon Springs! Details >> http://bit.ly/36FzylF via Zack Perry

Posted by Taste and See Tampa Bay on Thursday, January 30, 2020

14. Adventure Island

Adventure Island is a great water park in the Tampa Bay area featuring water slides, lazy rivers, pools and more!

15. Whiskey Joe’s Beachbar & Grill

“When you think of Whiskey Joe’s, think of a warm tropical breeze, white sands, family fun, cold drinks, delicious grub and killer sunsets. Whiskey Joe’s invites you to grab a couple of our famous tacos in the dining room, soak up some sunshine and sweet waterfront views on our patio or relax under a palapa on our large private beach.

Stop by for a coconut full of Hurricane Juice and put your feet in the sand at our World Famous Barefoot Bar. Cozy up to one of our fire pits after a great day in the Florida sun. However you decide to enjoy Whiskey Joe’s, you’ll feel like you’re miles away.

Whiskey Joe’s features delicious, localized dishes and a great bar scene, including 14 types of mojitos, 30 types of margaritas, and over 52 beers on tap at our Tampa location.”

16. Epperson Lagoon

“Over 7 acres in size and with crystal clear blue waters, there are endless ways for the whole family to enjoy the day at the Lagoon.

The Lagoon Day Pass gives you access to the nation’s first Crystal Lagoon®. Included with your visit is access to a tropical beach paradise, swimming in crystal clear water, family lawn games, beach toys, beach volleyball, access to swim-up bar, live entertainment & big screen TV viewing on select days. Food and beverages are available for purchase.”

17. Drive-in Movies

Go back intime and enjoy a drive-in movie at 5 different drive-in movie theaters in the Tampa Bay area!

18. Weeki Wachee Springs

Weeki Wachee is an enchanted spring where you can see live mermaids, take a trip on a river boat cruise, learn about Florida wildlife, and swim in the pristine waters at Buccaneer Bay. You can also embark on a paddling adventure down the pristine waterway of the Weeki Wachee River.”

19. Urban Kai

Learn to Paddleboard and experience guided tours with Urban Kai! Choose from guided tours the mangroves in St. Petersburg or through the waterways of downtown Tampa!

20. Tampa Bay Water Bike Company

“Come experience the City of Tampa the way it was meant to be seen: from the water!  Tampa Bay Water Bike Company offers one of the most exciting ways to explore Downtown Tampa and its waterways, all for as little as $30.”

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