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What are Some Outdoor Activities in Tampa, Florida?

Tampa's access to the Gulf of Mexico makes it popular with divers.
Tampa's Busch Gardens features various amusements and rides, including roller coasters.
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  • Written By: Mary Elizabeth
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 August 2014
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Outdoor activities in Tampa, Florida can provide a good time as you sightsee, exercise, or interact with Florida’s natural beauty. Whether you wish to stay within the Tampa Bay area or use Tampa as a jumping off point, you can find many outdoor activities in Tampa to suit a variety of interests.

Visiting Busch Gardens, AFRICA is a treat for both Florida residents, who receive a special price break, and travelers. Featuring a combination of rides, shows, and animal attractions that range from the Budweiser Clydesdales to a recreation of the Serengeti Plain, this theme park is designed for visitors of all ages. Want more animals? Try Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, where you can find over 2,000 animals in natural habitats, plus shows and rides. Or, if you like marine life, check out the Florida Aquarium, where you can enjoy the Swim With the Fishes or Dive with the Sharks programs to make your visit more interactive.

Want something less tame? As a wildlife sanctuary with 140 wild cats, Big Cat Rescue takes a different approach to introducing visitors to animals. You can even hold your wedding there! And Dinosaur World is anything but tame, with its 150 or so life-size dinosaur models, not to mention skeletons.

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If water is what you want in choosing your outdoor activities in Tampa, a visit to Adventure Island might be in your future. It features a wave pool for younger children, as well as a variety of rides with rafts and tubes, cliff-jumping, and adventure camps. If you’d rather be on the water than in it, consider a cruise. Starlite Majesty offers lunch and dinner cruises from Clearwater Beach. Dinner cruises include live entertainment and opportunities for dancing. Or seek out Florida Fishing Adventures in Tarpon Springs and spend some time fishing in Florida’s Gulf Coast.

If walking around in the great outdoors appeals to you, you can seek out one of Tampa’s numerous, highly-rated gold courses, or stroll through the University of South Florida’s Botanical Gardens, If you don’t mind traveling, a visit to Long & Scott Farms in Mount Dora, which features a country market and Scott’s Maze Adventures, can provide an extension of the outdoor activities in Tampa proper.

Other outdoor activities in Tampa include visiting any of the numerous highly-rated beaches in the area. A number of sports teams are based in Tampa, and Raymond James Stadium is a Tampa Bay landmark, as well as home to the Buccaneers. The Tampa Yankees play at Legends Field.

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Discuss this Article

anon241843
Post 4

I would highly suggest an outdoor adventure with Florida Boarder. They are a great wind and water adventures company in the Tampa Bay Area. I got with Tim the owner and set up a Stand-up Paddle Boarding tour at Weedon Island, he was able to get my entire family out and we had an amazing day outdoors. It was the best beach day I've ever had, we saw tons of wild life and I would recommend it highly.

CarrotIsland
Post 3

@cmsmith10: We visited Busch Gardens last year and it was fabulous. My children loved Nairobi. This is where you can observe crocodiles and alligators up close. There is a part called Curiosity Cavern which has reptile and mammal exhibits. Nairobi also contains Myombe Reserve which is a tropical rainforest that houses the Western Lowland Gorilla and Common Chimpanzees. There is a ride in this area called Rhino Rally which is awesome.

CellMania
Post 2

@cmsmith10: Busch Gardens sits on 335 acres and is a 19th century African themed amusement park. It is in the Top 20 most visited theme parks in the United States, hosting more than 4.1 million people in 2009 alone.

Inside the park, there is more to do than I could ever do justice. The Moroccan Palace is an indoor theatre that seats 1.200 people. There is a 90 foot, 50 mph dueling wooden roller coaster called Gwazi, named after a mythological creature with the body of a lion and the head of a tiger. There are many other fabulous rides in the park.

For the children, one of the best attractions is the Sesame Street Safari of Fun. It contains a Sesame Street theme and includes an interactive play area, a swing ride, watering hole, and a children's roller coaster.

cmsmith10
Post 1

Next year, we will be vacationing in Tampa. The kids really want to go to Busch Gardens. What all does Busch Gardens have to do?

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