The Top Theme Parks That You Need to Visit in Tampa
There are plenty of things to do in Tampa, but visiting a theme park may just top the list. Discover why you can’t leave the city without visiting one of these popular parks.
There’s no shortage of things to do in Tampa Bay. It’s renowned for its sunny skies and world-class chefs. And it’s also the home of century-old Cuban cuisine.
But for all of you adrenaline junkies out there, relaxing on the waterfront may not be enough. And the glittering waters of the Gulf of Mexico may not hold your attention for too long.
If that’s the case, you may want to drop in on one of the theme parks in Tampa.
Tampa Bay is home to the most open-air adventures in the entire state. While in the area, there are a variety of attractions for every member of your family.
Check out what each park has to offer and pick out a favorite or two for your next visit.
How do you beat the Florida heat?
Any local will tell you to head on down to the water. But there’s no reason why you can’t add a little adventure to go with your water excursions.
Adventure Island Tampa is the city’s premier waterpark and the perfect place to cool off.
Get ready for some thrilling twists and turns on one of the nine feature water slides. And if you’re feeling adventurous, hop onto the Solar Vortex for some spins and splashes. You can also grab some friends with you and spend time on the Aruba Tuba and Colossal Curl.
But if slow and steady is more your style, you can either head on to the 17,000 square foot wave pool or float without a care in the lazy river.
The park’s Endless Surf features a rolling surf that generates waves every five minutes. But if that doesn’t appeal much to you, grab a tube and float through lush landscapes and tropical waterfalls at the Rambling Bayou.
Do note that some of the attractions have height restrictions. But that shouldn’t stop your splash-time adventures. The park also features youngster-friendly attractions to keep them cool.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
If you’re looking for Florida’s best coasters and thrill rides, look no further. Thrill-seekers flock from all over to hop onto the rides at Busch Gardens.
For the extreme adventurer in you, jump onto the Sheikra. It features a 200-foot drop at a 90-degree angle – one of the most harrowing in the country. But if you prefer inverted coasters, the Montu may be right up your alley.
Busch Gardens also features family favorites like Cobra’s Curse, which is the state’s first spin coaster for the entire family.
This theme park isn’t just about the rides, though. The park also plays host to over 200 animal species.
Take the whole family on a trek across the Serengeti Plain without leaving the country. That’s because Busch Gardens has a 65-acre safari you can safely explore inside an open-air vehicle – just like the usual African safari.
Get up and personal and hand-feed a giraffe. Or observe exotic animals, like ostriches, rhinos, and zebras, in something close to their natural habitat.
Animal lovers can also participate in Animal Connections. This program allows for up-close and personal interactions with some of the park’s wildlife.
And when you get hungry, the park has a variety of offerings for the most finicky appetites. From quick snacks and wraps to a full-service restaurant, Busch Gardens has many food options to satisfy your appetite.
ZooTampa at Lowry Park
This last entry isn’t necessarily a theme park. But it deserves an honorary mention on this list.
ZooTampa at Lowry Park has one of the most beautiful zoological settings in the world for its 1300 animal residents. The zoo created experiences for bringing together visitors and animals in a way that’s both natural and unforgettable.
Hop onto a tram ride for the expedition of a lifetime. You’ll have a chance to get up and personal with some of the rarest animals in the world in the Africa park area.
If you’re curious about the wildlife a little closer to home, you can head down to the Florida Boardwalk & Manatee Mangrove. It’s where you’ll find local species, such as the Florida panther, black bears, and manatees.
Florida temperatures can soar during the day. So if you need a way to cool off while enjoying the zoo, check out Roaring Springs. This three-story splashdown attraction is the best-kept secret of the park. This area also features a play area for the kids and a diner for a little downtime before continuing your adventure.
Don’t forget to head over to the Asia area to get up close to rare and endangered animals, like Malaysian tigers and clouded leopards. It’s the closest you’ll get to see them without having to travel thousands of miles.
And of course, no zoo visit is complete without a visit to the primate area.
In Primate World, the majority of the primates there are in danger of becoming extinct. So, not only can you learn about each of them, but you’ll also learn what you can do to protect them.
Nature and Adventure Come Together
The theme parks in Tampa Bay have a variety of things to offer each member of your family.
For the thrill-seekers, Busch Gardens is the obvious choice. But you can also head down to Adventure Island for the same adrenaline and twice the splash.
But if you’d rather get closer to nature, both Busch Gardens and ZooTampa offer incredible opportunities to see the animals of Africa and more. What better way to introduce the little ones to the beauty and majesty of nature, right?
Just remember that many of the attractions at the theme parks listed above have height and age restrictions. Some attractions also require advanced registration. So, check out the rules before you book tickets to avoid disappointment at the gate.
- Australia & New Zealand
- Cape Cod
- Daytona Beach
- Kuala Lumpur
- Las Vegas
- Latest News
- Miami Beach
- New York
- North America
- North-Central Indian Ocean
- ocean City
- Port Douglas
- South America
- South Pacific Ocean
- Travel Tips
- Virginia Beach