Busch Gardens® Tampa attractions are a must-do for anyone looking for one of the best places to visit in Florida. They host a large collection of exciting roller coasters and the park is known as Florida’s thrill ride leader, with world-class shows that provide entertainment for all ages. They feature state-of-the-art animal habitats are home to more than 12,000 animals from around the world. Busch Gardens is one of the largest zoos in the world.
The convenience of a vibrant downtown, adjacent first-class accommodations and proximity to attractions in Tampa combine to create a remarkable event experience. At the Tampa Convention Center, sparkling waterfront vistas bring the warmth and light of Florida sunshine right into your meeting rooms, trade shows, exhibitions and corporate events. The Tampa Convention Center is phenomenally convenient with a selection of Tampa hotels, and a significant variety of things to do in Tampa.
Located on the bank of the historic Hillsborough River, the Straz Center serves as a cultural crossroads, bringing innovative new artists and blockbuster commercial successes to the Tampa Bay community. The center has award-winning outreach programs that take the arts to under-served school children in the community and has the only accredited performing arts school in the region, the Patel Conservatory.
You have to visit the Florida Aquarium to see why the facility is one of the best aquariums in the country. There is something for everyone from their 2-acre water adventure zone to the Wild Dolphin Cruise. Browse upcoming events.
Plan your visit to the museum and “grow your mind!” There are 170 plus exciting and challenging ‘interactivities’ in multiple themed areas. Explore and discover all there is to do at Glazer’s Children Museum and find out everything the museum has to offer when your family visits them for the day! Visit their website to obtain a guide that lists all of their major events and activities for the year.
The Henry B. Plant museum features spectacular Moorish architecture, lavish furnishings, and gorgeous tropical gardens. Historically, Plant’s Tampa Bay Hotel attracted a host of celebrated guests, from Teddy Roosevelt to Sarah Bernhardt to Babe Ruth. A visit to the Henry B. Plant Museum and the authentically restored rooms of the Tampa Bay Hotel will take you back to a time of indulgent ten-course meals, live music and dancing on the veranda and alligator hunting by moonlight.
The region’s only dedicated zoological garden, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo was designed to enhance quality of life in greater Tampa Bay as an affordable leisure destination and center for education and endangered species conservation. Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo features an abundant 56 acres of lush, natural habitats comprising seven main exhibit areas: Asian Domain, Primate World, Manatee and Aquatic Center, Florida Wildlife Center, Free-Flight Aviary, Wallaroo Station children’s zoo, and the new Safari Africa.
MOSI is a non-profit, community-based institution and educational resource dedicated to advancing public interest, knowledge and understanding of science, industry and technology. MOSI pride’s itself on the premise of making a diference in people’s lives by making science real for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Tampa Bay History Center is a relatively new history museum in Tampa, Florida, that opened in 2009. Exhibits include coverage of the Tampa Bay area’s first native inhabitants, Spanish conquistadors, and historical figures who shaped the area’s history. The museum also features a reproduction of a 1920s cigar store. The museum is on the waterfront at 801 Old Water Street in Tampa’s Channelside District.
The Museum displays some of the most magnificent art by local artists and works from around the globe. The Tampa Museum of Art presents lectures, classes and movies throughout the year that celebrate the current Museum exhibitions as well as the Museum’s collection of ancient art. Plus, children can explore their creativity through Art Spot, Art Space or Summer Camp programs.
The Tampa Theater has long been a catapult for the imagination since 1926, and is a symbol of our city’s glorious past and bright future. Tampa Theater was designed and built by John Eberson, and became the architect’s favorite example of his “atmospheric” style of design. As one of the most internationally renowned and prolific movie palace designers of his time, Eberson built about 100 theaters all over the world. His work still survives in the following cities: Miami; Chicago; Ohio; Michigan; New York; Texas; Paris, France; and Sydney, Australia.
Tampa Theater is a protected landmark and one of America’s best-preserved examples of grand movie palace architecture. The mission of the Tampa Theater is to protect, preserve and program the Theater as a creative film and cultural center for our community.
Known as Tampa’s Latin Quarter for over a century, Ybor City is truly an exotic blend of aromas, flavors, sights and sounds. The area was founded by Vicente Martinez-Ybor for the purpose of manufacturing cigars. Ybor City today is one of only two National Historic Landmark Districts in Florida. Choose from a variety of cuisine – Spanish, Cuban, Italian, Greek and French – just by strolling down La Setima, the main street of the Historic District. Share authentic tapas and a pitcher of Spanish sangria in a café atmosphere reminiscent of a Mediterranean village. Browse eclectic shops and art galleries or visit one of the museums. See a “hand-rolled cigar” being made or just relax and “people watch” with a cup of Ybor’s famous cafe con leche. Have a particular taste for music or love it all? Listen to jazz, blues, salsa, reggae and even hip-hop emanate from a selection of pubs, patio bars and nightclubs. Ybor hosts a great variety of entertainment that makes it one of Florida’s top-ranked nightspots.
St. Petersburg Attractions
Sunken Gardens is a four-acre botanical attraction that features an exotic collection of 50,000 tropical plants, a butterfly garden, wedding lawn, and an orchid arbor. Open seven days a week. Phone: 727-551-3100
Along Beach Drive you’ll notice cafe tables and umbrellas, a wide array of bars and restaurants and the Tampa Bay area’s best parade of people – and most often their dogs. Enjoy generous water views on St. Petersburg’s Beach Drive with waterfront parks on one side, and shops and restaurants on the other side. Phone: 727.464.7200 or 877.352.3224
The Interstate-275 bridge connects the southern end of St. Petersburg with Manatee County and Sarasota to the south, and is recognized as one of the largest suspension bridges in the Western Hemisphere, measuring 4.1 miles long and 19 stories. Enjoy magnificent views of the Gulf. The toll is $1 each way.
The Tampa Bay area is growing significantly in the manufacturing of craft beer. In St. Petersburg, brewing and craft beer scene is hopping, and St. Petersburg breweries are wonderful spots to begin a Craft Beer Trail that can lead you throughout the county and Tampa Bay area. In St. Pete, new breweries include 3 Daughters Brewing, the Brewers’ Tasting Room, Cycle Brewing and Green Bench Brewing Co. Explore what the exciting world of craft beer has to offer.
Baseball Boulevard, a series of home-plate plaques, chronicles an interesting 90-year history of St. Petersburg’s love affair with baseball’s spring training. View the sidewalk plaques, now located on the exterior wall of the museum on the downtown waterfront. Facing north, the plaques are visible above the Box Office, between Al Lang Field Gates 2 and 3.
Doo’s offers historic, scenic and eco tours of the waterfront aboard a personalized Segway vehicle. Kayak tours are also conducted. The tour leaves from North Straub Park’s white pergola several times daily and navigates around the downtown waterfront. 727-642-5133; 727-278-9799 or www.DoosAmazingSegwayTours.com
The Dali Museum features some of the most amazing art in the world. Where can you see the world’s most comprehensive collection of Salvador Dali’s surrealistic art works, a spiral staircase resembling a strand of DNA, and a flowing glass dome rising 75 feet in the air? The Dali Museum, of course, in St. Petersburg, Florida. The new museum has 66,450 square feet that is a tribute to Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali. and is more than twice the size of the previous one that opened January 11, 2011, at One Dali Boulevard (Bayshore Dr. S.E. and 5th Ave N.E.). www.thedali.org 727-823-3767.
Presents the historic voice of St. Petersburg’s African American community in the perspective of local, regional, and national history. It is another demonstration of the commitment to revitalize the Midtown St. Petersburg area. The museum joins Mercy Hospital at the Johnnie Ruth Clarke Health Center, the Royal Theater Boys and Girls Club, and the renovated Manhattan Casino as evidence of the renaissance of this area along 22nd Street S. www.woodsonmuseum.org 727-323-1104.
The center is formerly the Science Center of Pinellas County, offers an observatory, theater and planetarium, an animal room with over 30 species of animals, a 600-gallon marine touch tank, future plans for a Sustainability Village, and exhibits about scientists, inventors and astronauts, all for your learning pleasure. www.sciencecenterofpinellas.org 727-384-0027.
From September to May, gaze at the night sky in any season or from any location on Earth during special presentations and viewings at the St. Petersburg College Planetarium, a star-theater under a 7.3-meter domed ceiling projection screen. www.spcollege.edu/spg/planetarium.htm 727-341-4320.
HOP FROM GALLERY TO GALLERY
In addition to St. Petersburg’s world class museums, the visual arts are vibrant in the Sunshine City. More than two dozen galleries open their doors on the second Saturday evening each month for a downtown gallery hop. Among stops on the hop — the Warehouse Arts District, Florida Craftsmen Guild’s statewide gallery and the Morean Art Center Galleries and Hot Shop, which allows the audience to actively participate in the glass-blowing process, from first gather to the finished creation, through demonstrations or a hands-on contribution. www.stpetearts or 727-323-2787, 727-821-7391 or 727-822-7872.
World-renowned theatrical and national performing artists are sure to entertain at the beautiful St. Petersburg’s Mahaffey Theater, a part of the Progress Energy Center for the Arts. Each season, the European-style, waterfront theater features a wide array of nationally-recognized artists, musical performers, and Broadway shows. www.themahaffey.com 727-893-7832.
Experience world-renowned performances in this historic and well-preserved theater. The facility hosts professional, fully-staged operas in the 880-seat Palladium Theater in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, as well as other venues in the Tampa Bay area. The Palladium boasts excellent acoustics and the intimacy of an old-style European opera house, where hearing the voices and seeing up-close the expressions of their artists, creates an enriching experience for the patron. www.stpeteopera.org 727-823-2040.
BEACH IT: Three of the Top 20 beaches in the United States are in Pinellas County. From St. Petersburg, the closest and most pristine is also the No. 3 Beach in the continental U.S., Fort DeSoto, a 900-acre county preserve consisting of five islands, seven miles of undeveloped beaches, a camp ground, boat ramps, fishing piers, paved fitness trails and a historic fort. The sugary-white sands of St. Petersburg’s 500-foot Gulf-front municipal beach on Treasure Island are certified annually by the National Clean Beaches Council as an outstanding environmentally-friendly “Blue Wave” beach.
The calm waters of Tampa Bay are ideal for learning to sail. The St. Petersburg Sailing Center at downtown’s municipal marina offers sailing lessons and boasts some award-winning alumni including avid sailor and resident Jennifer French. The silver medalist in the two-person keelboat at the London 2012 Paralympics was also named US Sailing’s 2012 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year. And, St. Petersburg native Ed Baird, who got his start with the St. Petersburg Sailing Center, served as helmsman of the 2007 America’s Cup champion, the Swiss team’s Alinghi yacht. Several private companies can also teach you the tacks of sailing. 727-822-3113.
HIT THE TRAIL: The Pinellas Trail is a 47-mile fitness trail built on abandoned railways. One of the longest linear parks in the United States, it runs from Tarpon Springs to the north to its terminus in south St. Petersburg, now extended to the downtown waterfront. 727-549-6099.
DRIVE YOURSELF CRAZY: St. Petersburg is home to three acclaimed municipal golf courses, Mangrove Bay, Cypress Links, and Twin Brooks. In addition, there are numerous privately-operated championship golf courses in St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay area ready for play. 727-893-7800 or www.stpete.org/golf.
Take a walk along three miles of boardwalk and paved trails at this pristine and natural resource once home to Seminole Indians. The 3,190-acre park features a 50-foot-high lookout site over Tampa Bay waters showcasing a panoramic view of downtown St. Petersburg, Tropicana Field, and Tampa. An ideal park for biking, ‘blading, canoeing or birdwatching. www.weedonislandpreserve.org or 727-453-6500.
Feel the rumble when the “World’s Fastest Spring Break Party,” a.k.a., the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, roars through downtown St. Petersburg each spring. World-class IndyCar Series drivers take the wheel in a demanding 14-turn, 1.8 mile race course. See who’s left in the dust and indulge in the need for speed, while on the edge of your seat. www.gpstpete.com 727-898-4639 or 727-824-RACE(7223).
St. Petersburg known around the world for great baseball since its former Mayor Al Lang became known as the “father of spring training” in Florida. More than half of the 15 Major League teams that train each spring in Florida’s Grapefruit League, play in the Tampa Bay area. The Tampa Bay Rays, St. Petersburg home team plays through the regular season at Tropicana Field. Visit www.raysbaseball.com for more information or call 727-825-3250 or 888-FAN-RAYS.
Want to be part of most celebrated athletic events in the world? Well, here’s your opportunity to participate in or be a spectator at the St. Anthony’s Triathlon. The event is part of the World Triathlon Corporation’s 5150 Triathlon Series and has been ranked as the fourth largest triathlon in the country by USA Triathlon. Some of sport’s biggest names make their way to this triathlon as well as 3,500 competitors from more than 45 states and 17 countries with a $65,000 purse. Athletes come together on the downtown waterfront each April for this Olympic-distance event which includes a 1.5K swim, 40K bike and 10K run. www.SATriathlon.com 727-953-9005.
In addition to Major League Baseball with the Rays, the St. Petersburg area is also home to other professional sports, including three world-champion franchises: NHL – Tampa Bay Lightning, NFL – Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tampa Bay Storm arena football league. During April through September, Al Lang Stadium turns into a regulation professional soccer field hosting home games for the North American Soccer League’s 2012 Soccer Bowl Champions, the Tampa Bay Rowdies. While there, visit the Tampa Pro Shop, take a Tropicana Field Tour and browse the interactive stadium map. www.rowdiessoccer.com 813-287-1539.
Also, visit the Tampa Bay Walk of Fame, located at the west side entrance to Tropicana Field. Here, dozens of sports legends who hail from the 11-county Tampa Bay metro area are recognized, including the late Tampa Bay Bucs great Lee Roy Selmon, baseball all-star Wade Boggs, Babe Zaharias, the greatest woman athlete of all time, and Olympic and world champion swimmer Nicole Haislett. Admission to the Tampa Bay Walk of Fame is free.