Tampa, FL

79 activities

Discover the Best of Tampa, FL

Even with beautiful weather and ideal beaches, Tampa has managed to avoid the plastic pink flamingos that plague its Atlantic Coast counterparts. While Busch Gardens is Tampa’s main theme park and primary tourist attraction, the rest of the bay city provides a less commercial vacation spot. Ybor City (EE-bor), Tampa’s Cuban district, is a seething hotbed of energy and activity where sun-bleached tourists can find many of Tampa’s best restaurants and spend a late night getting hot and heavy at the dozens of bars and clubs that line 7th Ave.

Top Things to Do in Tampa, FL

Plan less, play more. Check out our recommended experiences and activities

Get to Know Tampa, FL

Your one stop resource for where to go, what to see, and how to make the most of your stay.
Produced in partnership with Let's Go! Travel Guides.

Get Oriented

Tampa wraps around Hillsborough Bay and sprawls northward. Nebraska Avenue and Dale Mabry Road parallel I-275 as the main north-south routes; Kennedy Boulevard, Columbus Street, and Busch Boulevard go east-west. With some exceptions, numbered streets go north-south and numbered avenues run east-west. Ybor City is bounded roughly by Nuccio Pkwy., 22nd St., Palm St., and 5th St. Be careful outside these boundaries; the surrounding area can be dangerous.

See & Do

What to do in Tampa

Even with beautiful weather and ideal beaches, Tampa has managed to avoid the plastic pink flamingos that plague its Atlantic Coast counterparts. While Busch Gardens is Tampa’s main theme park and primary tourist attraction, the rest of the bay city provides a less commercial vacation spot. Ybor City (EE-bor), Tampa’s Cuban district, is a seething hotbed of energy and activity where sun-bleached tourists can find many of Tampa’s best restaurants and spend a late night getting hot and heavy at the dozens of bars and clubs that line 7th Ave.

Top Attractions in Tampa

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the endless possibilities in Tampa. Check out our list of favorites. Click the links to explore and book tours or local guides.

Arts & Culture

Entertainment and Nightlife

Every year in the first week of February, the José Gasparilla, a 165 ft., fully rigged pirate ship loaded with “buccaneers,” invades Hillsborough Bay, kicking off a month of parades and festivals. Thousands pack Ybor City every October for “Guavaween,” a Latin-style Halloween celebration.

With over 35 clubs and bars in a small area, Ybor City is teeming with energetic nightlife. Most nighttime hangouts are located on bustling 7th Ave., though fun can be found at 8th Ave. and 9th Ave. as well. Use caution when talking down side streets. During the week, many restaurants close at 8pm, and clubs don’t open until 10am. 7th Ave. is closed to vehicular traffic at night, so don’t be afraid to explore the strip in search of a club that fits your fancy.

Halloween Fiesta

Every year during the last week in October, more than 100,000 people flock to Tampa to participate in one of the nation’s biggest and baddest street parties. Held in the notoriously festive town of Ybor City, Guavaween is a Halloween celebration infused with Latin love and southern soul.

In the 19th century, Tampa residents tried to cultivate a guava industry on the Gulf Coast. Though the effort was unsuccessful, guavas became synonymous with the region. Columnist Steve Otto noted that if New York City was the “Big Apple,” then Tampa could be called the “Big Guava.”

The analogy stuck, and for the last few years, “Mama Guava” has kicked off the Guavaween bash by leading the legendary “Mama Guava Stumble Parade” through the streets of Ybor. Concerts and costume contests abound during the festival, and winners take home prizes of up to $2000. Guavaween has recently toned down its wild antics and now appeals to partiers and families alike, with the “silly scavenger hunt” entertaining children during the day, but don’t be fooled- sin and skin still prevail when the sun goes down, as revelers party early into the morning in search of a trick or a treat.

Customs & Etiquette

Table manners

In the US, good table manners means quiet eating. Loud chewing, talking with food in your mouth, or slurping are seen as rude, and burping or flatulence is not seen as complementary to the chef. Servers at sitdown restaurants usually expect to be tipped 15-20%.

Public behavior

Dress in the US tends to be more modest than in Europe. Toplessness, particularly in women, should be avoided. Many establishments will require a customer to wear a shirt and shoes. The most acceptable forms of public affection are hugging and holding hands; kissing in public will usually draw some glances. Although most cities are tolerant of homosexuality, gay or lesbian couples should be aware that they may receive unwanted attention for public displays of affection, especially in rural areas. Also, note that many American will say “see you later” without really intending to make future plans.

Gestures

One of the most offensive gestures in the US is extending your middle finger at someone. Known as “giving someone the finger,” this gesture is considered not only rude, but obscene. On the other hand, a “thumbs up” gesture is a sign of approval and a widely recognized signal for hitchhiking, which Let’s Go does not recommend.

Popular Destinations Nearby

Discover top destinations near Tampa, FL