Exotic Holiday Destinations
- Exotic Holiday Destinations
Tampa Bay is the perfect getaway with a blend of adventure and relaxation. This city provides every type of traveler- from families, honeymooners, backpackers, shopaholics and foodies, with an experience that will encourage you to explore the hidden gems that are around every corner. Whether you're racing through the air on a heart-pounding roller coaster, partying with pirates at the Gasparilla parade, indulging yourself in the numerous spas and shopping plazas, or eating to your heart’s content, you're in for an adventure beyond your wildest dreams.
“Tampa Bay is filled with hidden gems, ready for every visitor to discover. This destination has rich culture, adventure, a great dining and nightlife scene and multiple outdoor activities for everyone to explore,” said Santiago Corrada, President and Chief Executive Officer for Visit Tampa Bay.
Unlock the Adventure in Tampa Bay
Walk with the Wildlife:
For animal lovers, Big Cat Rescue provides a sanctuary to nearly 150 exotic cats, including leopards, lynx, jaguars, lions, tigers and the only three white Servals in the world. Take a wild safari on the Serengeti Plain at Busch Gardens Tampa, or experience giraffes eating out of the palm of your hand, right before you see elands, ostriches and zebras. Get up close and personal with Sumatran tigers, Indian rhinoceros, Komodo dragons, Bornean orangutans and endangered Florida manatees at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo. Dive with sharks at The Florida Aquarium, a unique opportunity for certified SCUBA divers, or experience a Wild Dolphin Cruise. Go alligator sighting, At Canoe Escape while you paddle through a 16,000 acre nature preserve down the Hillsborough River.
Looking for some on the water adventure? Tampa's fishing captains will take you right to the tarpon, snook, red drum, grouper and kingfish; Some captains will even end the excursion with a cook-what-you-catch fish fry on the beach. Charter an electric boat through eBoats Tampa and watch the sunset from the Hillsborough River, or venture out on a daytime or dinner cruise aboard Yacht Starship. Explore a hot air balloon ride and discover Tampa Bay's landscapes, wildlife and waterfront, from a different perspective.
Fun with the Family:
Tampa Bay has countless indoor and outdoor activities for the entire family to enjoy. Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)has 450 interactive science exhibits and a colossal IMAX dome movie theater. The number of interactive activities for at the Glazer Children’s Museum provides young explorers with a fun way to learn develop an appreciation for arts and nature. LEGOLAND® Florida is a 150-acre theme park designed for families with children aged 2-12. This park features a variety of rides, shows, botanical gardens and a water park. You can even take the family to visit over 150 life size dinosaurs atDinosaur World.
Experience the Best Food & Nightlife:
Tampa Bay’s cuisine is just as unique and rich as its culture. Start your day with Cuban bread and a delicious cup of café con leche, at one of the brick-lined streets of Ybor City’s Historic Latin Quarter or Hyde Park Village. In the afternoon, make a trip to one of the several waterfront bistros and bars and sip lavish drinks, while you enjoy the great view and wonderful weather. The food palette of Tampa Bay epitomizes culinary diversity, ranging from fine dining, farm-to-table restaurants, fresh seafood and authentic Spanish delicacies. A Tampa Bay specialty is the Cuban sandwich, i.e., ham, salami, roasted pork,Swiss cheese and a slew of condiments packed in between two slices of freshly baked Cuban bread. It is a must try culinary experience, and no visit to Tampa Bay is complete without a taste of this sandwich. Another supremely popular Tampa Bay special dish is the Devil Crab, with a side of hot sauce. Tampa Bay is known for so much more than its food scene. Explore some Tampa Bay nightlife. When the sun goes down, Ybor City comes alive and theHistoric Latin Quarter becomes a host to a diverse nightlife scene, along with Channelside Bay Plaza, International Plaza and Bay Street and the SOHO District.
Open up to Arts & Culture:
Arts and culture is a key component in Tampa Bay’s vibrant community. Theater groups, orchestras, world-class performance halls, museums and galleries provide enriching experiences for all visitors. There are several exhibitions, which showcase the world’s most talented artists. Tampa Bay History Centerchronicles the area’s growth and heritage perfectly. The Ringling International Arts Festival showcases more than 100 performers from across the US, Central and South America, the Middle East, Europe, and Great Britain in a full roster of dance, jazz, comic puppetry, world music, circus and intergalactic space adventure. There are several stage performances and museum tours available for the arts enthusiast. Broadway performances and some of the biggest top notch performers in music, comedy, dance and even television perform at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.
In March, Tampa Bay becomes the arts destination of the country while hosting the Gasparilla Arts Month. Celebrations begin the first weekend of the month at the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park with a fine arts festival attracting more than 250,000 annual visitors. It extends throughout the month with an epic music festival and an internationally recognized film festival.
Three dozen public, semi-private and private golf courses combined with some sunshine, makes Tampa Bay a treat for golfers.
The Tampa Bay Lightning can be found in downtown at theTampa Bay Times Forum, from October to April. The second the puck hits the ice it’s an evening filled with adventure. The arena football team, Tampa Bay Storm, play at the same venue from March to July. From September to December, Raymond James Stadium is covered with red and black in spirit of the NFL football team, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay’s George M. Steinbrenner Field is the spring training home for the legendary New York Yankees. The Tampa Bay Rays can be found at Tropicana Field. December onwards is the perfect time to uncover top thoroughbred racing at Tampa Bay Downs, the only racetrack of its kind on Florida’s West Coast.
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