One of the best things about Super Bowl weekend in 2021 is the host city. Next year, the Super Bowl will take place at Raymond James Stadium in sunny Tampa, Florida. Not only does Tampa offer a reprieve from the winter cold for northerners, it also boasts a ton of fun things to see and do. From theme parks to museums to natural beauty, there are plenty of ways to keep yourself entertained. Here is our list of things to do in Tampa:
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Florida is known for many things, and theme parks are just one of them. One of the biggest in the state is Busch Gardens. If you’re a roller coaster fan, you’ll definitely want to check it out as it is home to some of the most thrilling coasters around. In addition to the rides, Busch Gardens is home to over 200 species of animals at its zoo, known as one of the best in the country.
For those who love exploring destinations on foot, the Tampa Riverwalk is the perfect spot. This 2.4-mile pedestrian-friendly path connects visitors to museums, shops, restaurants, attractions, and greenspaces along the water. With views of both the river and downtown, the Tampa Riverwalk is an ideal place for a stroll, jog, or leisurely bike ride. You can even plan your visit before you go with this virtual Riverwalk tour.
The Florida Aquarium is home to over 9,000 aquatic animals. It’s a great place to get an up-close view of some incredible sea creatures. The aquarium is located in downtown Tampa and offers a number of events and experiences you can take advantage of. There is also a café and gift shop on-site.
As the name suggests, Bayshore Boulevard runs along the waterfront, just south of downtown Tampa. Bayshore is another option for those looking for a place to walk, run, or ride. It also makes for a scenic drive if you have a rental car. Take in panoramic water views on one side or check out stunning homes on the other. Unlike the Riverwalk, there’s not a lot of places to visit along the way, but at 4.5 miles long it’s ideal for exercising or a relaxing walk. In fact, it claims to be the country’s longest continuous sidewalk.
This fun and eclectic neighborhood is a National Historic Landmark District with a history dating back to the 1880s. Also known as Tampa’s Latin Quarter, it began as a cigar hub (earning Tampa the nickname Cigar City) after prominent cigar manufacturer Vicente Martinez Ybor settled there. Since then, Ybor City has become a popular destination for both visitors and locals, housing trendy boutiques, great restaurants, bars with live music, and historic buildings. There’s plenty of evidence of its beginnings in the cigar factory industry including the Ybor City Museum.
Speaking of museums, Tampa Fl has plenty of other great ones worth checking out:
Tampa Museum of Art
Founded in 1920, the Tampa Museum of Art, one of the cities top attractions, houses ancient, modern, and contemporary art, including an impressive collection of Greek and Roman antiquities. It’s conveniently located in downtown Tampa next to the Riverwalk and offers a lovely café and store on-site. On Thursday nights, the museum offers “Art on the House,” where visitors choose their own admission price.
Tampa Bay History Center
Visitors can explore Florida’s fascinating history at this 60,000-square-foot facility, located on the city’s popular Riverwalk. With a number of interactive galleries, the Tampa Bay History Center aims to provide an entertaining and educational experience. Currently, tickets must be purchased in advance so be sure to plan your visit ahead of time.
Henry B. Plant Museum
The Henry B. Plant Museum is a unique attraction housed in the former Tampa Bay Hotel, a Victorian railroad luxury resort (built by Plant) that dates back to 1891. The building and its history are fascinating. Visitors can learn more about it, as well as turn-of-the-century Victorian lifestyles, and the start of Florida’s tourist industry at the museum. Located on the University of Tampa campus, visitors may want to check out some of the other attractions in the area while visiting the museum.
Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)
Geared towards children, Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry promotes itself as a scientific playground. Exhibits include robots, brain puzzles, space discovery, and touching the future. The museum is located north of Tampa near the University of South Florida.
Glazer Children’s Museum
Another good option if you brought the kids to Tampa is the Glazer Children’s Museum. A place to “play, discover, and connect to the world around,” there’s plenty for children to explore including a kid-sized grocery store, hospital, bank, engineer’s workshop, and art stations.
Explore the Outdoors
If you’re heading down to Florida in February from the north, you’ll likely want to spend some time enjoying the outdoors. Fortunately, the Tampa area offers plenty of options for nature lovers. Note that some parks do charge an entrance fee.
Hillsborough River State Park
Just a few minutes from downtown, Hillsborough River State Park is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. Spanning nearly 3,000 acres, there are seven miles of nature trails to hike and class II rapids to canoe or kayak. Canoe, kayak, and bicycle rentals are available in the park.
Courtney Campbell Trail
This paved pathway connecting Tampa and Clearwater is another great option for a run or a bike ride with spectacular views. The 9.5-mile pathway runs alongside the Courtney Campbell Causeway across Old Tampa Bay.
Lettuce Lake Regional Park
Located north of the city, amenities at Lettuce Lake Regional Park include hiking, cycling, bird watching, and canoeing. The park also offers nature education tours on certain days.
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
You can enjoy a great greenspace right in downtown Tampa at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. This 8-acre urban park welcomes over a million visitors a year, often to city events like concerts and festivals.
Golfers will be pleased to know that Tampa offers golf year-round thanks to its temperate climate. With a dozen courses to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Tampa also has a Topgolf entertainment complex with over 100 hitting bays on three levels. In addition to the hitting bays, guests can also enjoy Topgolf’s restaurant and bar.
See Tampa from a different perspective with a boat tour. There are tours catering to a variety of interests. Some of the more popular options include dolphin tours, history tours, sunset tours, and celebrity home tours.
Sunshine Skyway Bridge
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is a 4.14-mile long cable-stayed bridge spanning Tampa Bay between St. Petersburg and Terra Ceia. Driving over the bridge rewards passengers with some incredible views. At a peak height of 434 feet, those who are afraid of heights may want to skip this one. Though pedestrians and bikes aren’t allowed on the bridge, there are rest areas at both ends where you can marvel at the views.
With so much to see and do in Tampa in addition to the football festivities, it is certain that Super Bowl 2021 will be one for the ages. Our pre-travel personal concierges and our knowledgeable on-site host team will help all of our guests make the most of their time in Tampa.
*Please note that some attractions may require reservations and/or have COVID-19 restrictions or requirements in place. Details on opening times, fees, and promotions are subject to change. We recommend planning your visit to the above attractions in advance of your departure. Our team is happy to provide our guests with up-to-date information on specific attractions and assist with reservations where necessary.