Let the Gulf Shore breeze carry you to a weekend of sun-kissed fun. The Tampa-St. Pete area is Florida's second-biggest metropolitan area. Not as flashy as Miami or as crowded as Orlando, the region has grown as a tourist destination, and it's easy to see why: miles of waterfront, sandy beaches, cultural attractions and exciting amusements. Busch Gardens has been drawing visitors for years, but the city also has another zoo, an aquarium and several major museums for those who need some time in the shade.
Top 3 Things to do in Tampa.
Busch Gardens is a 335 acre African-themed family entertainment and adventure park featuring thrill rides, live music, craft performances and a multitude of exotic animals in natural habitat settings. This is one of the must see attractions in the Tampa area for visiting families.
Also, visitors can take a safari to see animals grazing on the plains with reproductions of African villages and camps. Visitors can experience close up encounters with some of the animals.
The Serengeti Night Safari is another popular option at Busch Gardens.
Built in 1926, the Tampa Theatre is a luxurious movie palace featuring a unique mix of architectural styles including Italian Renaissance, Byzantine and Greek Revival. It presents foreign and classic films regularly along with specialty concerts and other programs.
While you can see both new and old films here, watching one of the classics in this building is a great way to feel like you've stepped back to another time period.
The center of Tampa's Latin community, Ybor City is a National Historic Landmark District. It is named for its founder, cigar baron Vincente Martinez Ybor. He came to the region in the mid-1880's after workers at his Key West plant threatened to unionize. At one point, the Ybor cigar factory was the largest in the world with over 4,000 people hand-rolling more than 900,000 cigars a month. However, the Great Depression and machine rollers brought an end to the boom and most factories were closed and demolished.
In more recent years the area has experienced a revival and is home to many shops, galleries, restaurants and cafes. Seventh Avenue in Ybor City, known in Spanish as "La Septima," features some of the district's most historical buildings, several of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.