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Top 10 Outdoor Activities in Tampa

Tamba Bay

Tampa Bay is a great place to be outdoors. From the sandy beaches, boat trips and everything in between this is one of the best places to enjoy the beach, sun, and nature. It’s also home to some of Florida’s most popular outdoor attractions and landmarks. 

If you are looking for something new and exciting, Tampa is the place to be. There are dozens of great outdoor activities in Tampa that are perfect for the whole family. Here are some ideas that will help you plan an unforgettable vacation in and around the Tampa Bay area.

Here’s our list of the 10 best outdoor activities in Tampa:

1. Go on a Speed Boat Adventure

Tampa Speed Boat Adventure

Tampa Bay is surrounded by water and there are many ways to make the most of it. However, the Tampa Speed Boat Adventure Tour is by far the most exciting! Take the family on an adrenaline-filled ride across Tampa Bay with speeds up to 50mph, and see a whole new view of Tampa. 

The tour will take you through Tampa Bay and along the St. Pete waterways. Enjoy the cool breeze as you blast past the beautiful Florida coast. Favorite sites include the National Wildlife Refuges, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, and more! This is the perfect outdoor activity in Tampa.

2. Myakka River State Park

a body of water surrounded by trees

Photo Credit: Florida State Parks

Myakka River State Park is a great outdoor area where you can go fishing, biking, hiking, and kayaking all year round. The park has several trails which are great for biking or walking with family and friends. It also hosts some of the most amazing wildlife in Florida such as alligators, bald eagles, deer, wild turkey, bobcats, and plenty more! You can enjoy endless outdoor activities in Tampa, all in one spot.

3. The Sunken Gardens – Downtown Tampa

a plant in a garden

Photo credit: StPete.org

One of the most popular outdoor activities in Tampa all year round is the local favorite  Sunken Gardens that are located downtown right in the heart of the Historic Old Northeast. This beautiful garden was built in the 1930s and is home to some of the oldest tropical plants in the region. The garden has a stunning waterfall that will make you feel like you are in an exotic dream destination!

4. Pier 60 Sunset

a close up of a pier next to a body of water

Located on St Pete, one of Tampa’s best beaches, Pier 60 is the perfect place to go for a picnic with family or friends or just watch the sunset while sitting by the water! This pier offers different types of restaurants that serve fresh seafood caught daily by local fishermen as well as live entertainment such as street magic shows for kids.

5. Look out for a Crocodile Encounter! 

a close up of a reptile

Photo Credit: Croc Encounters

You might get more than you bargained for if you decide to visit Croc Encounters! This incredible wildlife park allows visitors to walk right up close to real-life crocodiles, alligators, snakes, and more! Their biggest croc, “Buc”, is over 12 feet long, and always steals the limelight! This is one of the must-do outdoor activities in Tampa.

6. Bok Tower Gardens 

a close up of a lush green field

Photo Credit: Bok Tower Gardens

Bok Tower Gardens, located just north of Lake Wales, offers visitors a mesmerizing break away from the city.  Inside, you’ll feel like you have been transported to another world! With the addition of the stunning bird sanctuary, this is a great place to bring the kids.

The gardens host different types of outdoor activities in Tampa depending on what season it is: spring, summer, fall, or winter. It’s worth taking a trip there and enjoying all that it has to offer at any time of the year!

7. ZooTampa

a boy feeding a giraffe through a fence

Photo Credit: ZooTampa

ZooTampa is one of the most entertaining places you can visit in Tampa. Kids love the interactive animal exhibitions and educational activities. As a bonus, Tampa Zoo was voted the #1 Family Friendly Zoo in the US by Parents Magazine. Be sure to visit the David A Straz Manatee Hospital for an unforgettable experience.

8. Visit Ybor City 

a city street at night

Ybor City is a historic district in Tampa, and today it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Florida thanks to its unique history and vibrant nightlife. In this historic district, you can find many restaurants, bars, shops, and clubs that offer something for everyone no matter what your taste is.

Tip: Browse around the vintage shops on 7th Avenue. You won’t regret it.

9. Go to a Drive-In Movie Theater

a car parked in front of a sign

Tampa has several drive-in movie theaters all over town offering family entertainment every week during spring, summer, and fall! If you are looking for something fun to do with the family this should definitely be on your list! Looking for the best family-friendly drive-in theater in Tampa? Ruskin Family Drive-In Movie Theatre is the place to be.

10. Take a look at St Pete’s Murals

St Petersburg has a very colorful downtown full of artistic murals – a must-see while in Tampa. These murals are a great way to get in touch with St Pete’s history and culture. They also make for some really fun pictures that you can share on your social media profiles to let your friends know where you have been traveling this time around!