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Day Trips from Tampa

By Viator, August 2013

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While Tampa has much to offer in terms of sightseeing and attractions -- like Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, The Florida Aquarium, Lowry Park Zoo and Ybor City -- there are also an array of worthwhile day trips that allow you to further explore Florida’s offerings.

First of all, Orlando is about an hour and fifteen minutes from Tampa and makes for an excellent day trip. The city is home to the iconic Disney theme parks, as well as attractions like the Everglades National Park, Kennedy Space Center and LEGOLAND Florida. If you enjoy being outdoors the Harry P Leu Gardens sit on the shores of Lake Rowena and feature scenic walking path winding through moss-draped oaks, wetlands, rose gardens and colorful flower beds. Forever Florida is another great nature option featuring 4,700 acres (1,902 hectares) of wilderness as well as activities like ziplining, horseback riding and camping. And if you’re a museum buff, Orlando is home to institutions like the Orlando Museum of Art, the Orlando Science Center, Dinosaur World, Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center and the Museum of Arts and Sciences.

Clearwater Beach is another worthwhile day trip from Tampa. Located about half an hour away, Clearwater Beach is one of Florida’s best beach destinations, with a white sugar sand coastline and crystal waters. The main beach of the resort area is Clearwater Beach, with gentle waves, lifeguards on duty and activities like fishing, beach volleyball and boogie boarding. The Beach Walk is also a fun experience, as the winding path makes for a scenic coastal stroll. Along with Clearwater Beach, the attached Pier 60 is a great spot to take in a colorful sunset and see local artists and buskers providing live entertainment. Sand Key Beach and Park is another local beach that also provides park amenities like a playground, picnic area and BBQ station, and is popular with hikers, kayakers and cyclists.

About 30 minutes outside Tampa you’ll find another worthwhile day trip destination, St. Petersburg. This coastal city is a great option for those who want to take a break from the energetic Tampa and enjoy a more laid-back atmosphere. Along with its beautiful beaches, St. Petersburg is known for its shopping, arts, entertainment and museums. There are a number of gallery walks each month including Central Avenue's Monthly Gallery Walk on the second Saturday of every month and Art Walk on the first Friday of each month. Notable museums and arts institutions include the Salvador Dali Museum, Chihuly Collection presented by Morean Arts Center, Florida Holocaust Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum. And for a natural experience, the Sunken Gardens feature mazes and paths full of lush and colorful flora, with the lowest part of the gardens being 15 feet (five meters) below street level.

Tours & Tickets

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Clearwater Dinner and Dance Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended 19 Reviews

Take your date on a romantic cruise on beautiful Tampa Bay! Enjoy dinner and drinks aboard a luxury dinner yacht, and then dance the night away under the ...  Read more

Location: Clearwater Beach, Florida
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $53.49

St Petersburg Speedboat Adventure

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 11 Reviews

Experience the thrill of driving your own speedboat through the serene waters of Tampa Bay. For the entirety of this narrated tour, you’ll navigate and captain ...  Read more

Location: St Petersburg, Florida
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $69.89

Clearwater Dolphin-Watching Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 14 Reviews

Go in search of bottlenose dolphins on this 2-hour cruise from Florida’s Clearwater Bay to the beautiful, emerald-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Enjoy ...  Read more

Location: Clearwater Beach, Florida
Duration: 105 minutes (approx.)

From USD $21.99

Evening Dinner Dance Cruise from St Petersburg

4 star rating: Recommended 3 Reviews

Dine, dance and enjoy romantic stargazing outside on a St. Petersburg evening cruise. Select from 10 delicious dishes to suit every taste on your fine-dining ...  Read more

Location: St Petersburg, Florida
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $59.69

St Petersburg Segway Nature Tour

Spend a morning in Florida’s amazing nature on this fun, scenic and educational Segway tour. Following your small group and knowledgeable guide through St ...  Read more

Location: St Petersburg, Florida
Duration: 2.5 hours

From USD $69.99

St Petersburg Sightseeing Cruise with Optional Lunch

Sit back and relax on a leisurely cruise along Florida's beautiful Tampa Bay! Departing from the Corey Causeway in St Petersburg, enjoy live narration from ...  Read more

Location: St Petersburg, Florida
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $16.99

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