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Top Tours

 
Tampa History Cruise
"With 4000 years of people living in Tampa on this cruise you will learn about how this this city grew from a Spanish outpost to the fastest growing city in Florida. This tour takes you step by step through the evolution of the city and as you cruise along the waters the history unfolds all around you. Your guides will divulge little known facts about this city and share them with you. Many locals have said ""I have lived here all my life and never knew that about Tampa!"" When you leave this tour you will know more than locals! Learn more than you image possible about Pirates and their history in Tampa. See the Pirate ship “Gabriella” up close and be sure to ask your guide ""what's a Pirate beard in Tampa?"" You will be surprised at the a"""One of the most picturesque harbors in Florida
From $30.00
 
Bayshore Drive Motorbike Tour
"Select the best time to ride around Tampa and then make your way to the Port of Tampa located at 604 Channelside Drive. Meet your professional and friendly guide who will drive you around on the motorbike. Strap on your helmet find your seat on the motorbike and head out into the streets of Tampa. On your way to Davis Island cruise along the longest continuous sidewalk in America while taking in the panoramic views of Tampa Bay. Then pass by beautiful mansions and real estate on Davis Island. Stop at the Davis Island Marina for a chance to take pictures
From $80.00
 
Helicopter Tour of Tampa Bay and Davis Island
"Get a bird's-eye view of Tampa Bay and its surroundings on this exciting helicopter tour. Start off by flying west over Davis Island where you’ll see beautiful homes along the water. Next fly near downtown Tampa past Bayshore Boulevard and over the Port of Tampa taking in the wonderful views. Before returning to the Peter O. Knight airport head to Hillsborough Bay where your pilot will lower the helicopter to bring you closer to the water where you’ll see bottlenose dolphins frolicking about!"
From $70.00

Aquarium Tips (14)

Florida Aquarium

Tampa’s Florida Aquarium is a little gem.

My favorite part of the Aquarium is the area that highlights the sea life found in Florida’s bayous, rivers and coral reefs in a natural looking atmosphere. The exhibit also features Florida’s birds.

The aquarium has a “no bone zone” with different types of jellyfish and an entire section of different types of seahorses from around “down under”.

Advice:

The aquarium also offers free shows but most of the time you’ll have to ask for a schedule to find out the show times. I would recommend looking at the schedule when you enter and plan your visit around one or two shows.

The shows are entertaining and educational. The main show to see is the one in the largest tank with the scuba divers. It’s offered several times a day and is a winner with the kids. Many of the shows are run by docent volunteers and vary. Two of my favorites are on training river otters (with demonstrations when the otters choose to cooperate) and feeding the baby alligators.

The aquarium also has a small outdoor water park so if you have children be sure to bring their bathing suits, shoes they can wear in the water and a towel or two.

The aquarium offers additional tours and packages such as swimming with the sharks, backstage passes and a dolphin tour – all cost additional.

The aquarium is next door to Tampa’s cruise ship port and the Channel Side Entertainment district. A free trolley is also available to take you to/from Ybor City (entertainment area) so you may want to combine your visit with some of the activities available in this area.

Tampa Residents: It takes less than two visits to pay for a years pass to the aquarium, so buy the pass the first time you visit and use it throughout the year. The pass also offers free/discounted entrance to other area attractions and is well worth the money. If you are going to buy the pass, do it before you park and save the parking fee (parking is free to members).

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tampa_shawn
May 30, 2008

One Fish, Two Fish . . .

The Florida Aquarium has grown on me over time, but initially I was unimpressed. I guess that if you aren't from Florida and you haven't seen all this stuff eight million times, it's pretty cool. It just seems like, being in Florida - a state surrounded by and punctuated with water - we would have the most kick-ass aquarium ever. We don't, but it's not a bad place to spend the afternoon.
Some parts that always made me like it, though, are the touch tanks. There's one for coral and anemones and one for sting rays. I dunno why, but I love to touch those things.
**Teachers make sure to bring your I.D. because teachers get in for free. They do not advertise this at all.

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sarahjayn
May 31, 2005

Florida Aquarium

Florida Aquarium hosts a wide range of sea-creatures - everything from seahorses to sharks. Sometimes, they have shows that educate visitors about marine life. Also on display are some magnificient coral reefs.

Admission cost is $18 per adult and $12 for cranky children.

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sumit_b
Apr 04, 2004

the florida aquarium

th florida aquarium is located about a mile east of downtown tampa in the channel side district. this interesting aquarium offers sea life and ecological exhibits. a great place to take children when in tampa.

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doug48
Oct 24, 2007
 
 
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Swim with the Fishes

The Florida Aquarium is housed in an interesting glass-domed building and is organized around an interesting concept: tailing a drop of water. Visitors follow that precious fluid from one on Florida's many natural springs through swamps and rivers to a bay and finally the open water. Along the way, you meet all the creatures that call that water home.

There are several highlights on the journey, the best of which is probably the swamp section. Walking out from the cave where the spring emerged, you suddenly find yourself under a high glass dome with real mangrove and cypress trees arching above, real egrets and spoonbills flying freely over your head. On the ground, your path winds between wide shallow tanks about 4 feet tall, allowing you to see the animals in the water (like catfish), on the water (like ducks), and both (like turtles and otters). They're so close you can touch them (though signs advise you not to).

The beach is also pretty cool. A long tank gives you a cross-section of a slowly sloping sandy beach with lots of sting rays and other fish in the shallow water and a few (real) seagulls on the sand.

The huge coral reef tank is also impressive and is best seen through the wide glass wall.

The aquarium also has a large kid's play area outside. Be sure to bring a bathing suit since many of the activities involve water. (It's an aquarium -- what do you expect? :)

As a side note, food prices here are more reasonable than most similar attractions.

It'll take 2-4 hours to see everything. Since the aquarium can get pretty crowded on weekend afternoons, go in the morning if possible.

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ZenGator
Nov 19, 2004

Bunches O' Fish

The Florida Aquarium is a fairly small aquarium (I live in Monterey, CA – I’m aquarium spoiled) right outside downtown Tampa. The aquarium has exhibits that show the local sea life in fresh water rivers and streams as well as the Gulf of Mexico.

We visited on a fairly crowded day and it was difficult to observe some of the exhibits, but we managed to see most of the fish and sea critters. The entire aquarium can be experienced in a couple of hours depending on how crowded it is.

We enjoyed watching the river otters and water fowl. The large reef exhibit was a relaxing place to sit and watch the fish go by. The shark exhibit looked interesting, but the viewing area is small and it was quite crowded the day we were there.

The Florida Aquarium’s hours are 9:30AM-5:00PM daily. Tickets are $17.95 for adults, $14.95 for seniors, $12.95 for kids ages 3-12 and children 2 & under are free.
Check the website for show schedules and feedings to plan your visit around some of the extras the aquarium offers.

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Lhenne1
Jan 28, 2008

Tampa Aquarium

The Florida Aquarium in Tampa opened in 1995 and features a variety of local habitats including wetlands, beaches, coral reefs, and deep sea. Some seven million visitors annually see the 20,000 plant and animals on display. Some of the aquarium highlights include a huge 350 pound grouper, alligators, river otters, sharks, eels and octopus.

Entrance to the aquarium costs about $15 for adults, with a slight discount for AAA members, seniors, and children. Plan a good two or three hours fro your visit, especially if you plan to take the time to visit every exhibit and read the displays. The aquarium is located in Channelside right next to the mall, and has easy access to the Ybor City-St Pete Time Forum streetcar line. There is a convenient parking garage right across the street.

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Ewingjr98
Jan 07, 2008

Florida Aquarium at Channel Side Tampa

The Florida Aquarium in the Channelside district of Tampa is well worth a visit, and you could spend a whole day there if you take it slow.

Not all areas are wheelchair friendly, but plenty for children and adults to enjoy, and a play area outside and several cafes.

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FrostyJW
Aug 31, 2005
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"Tampa Florida"
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sarahjayn

"Yup, this is Tampa."
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Florida Aquarium

The Florida Aquarium is nice. You'll need about a good 3 hours to get through it.
Kids will love it. The aquarium also offers Dolphin tours for an additional charge. You can learn more about it when purchasing your tickets.

The aquarium is also near Channelside drive so you can check that out afterwards. Channelside has a movie theater so if you wanna cool down and relax there ya go!

Lisachan
Oct 21, 2004

The Florida Aquarium...

The Florida Aquarium www.flaquarium.net is a Tampa’s highlight. Beneath seashell-shaped glass dome, a state-of-the-art exhibit areas replicate the state’s different watery environments: mangrove estuary, fresh water, beach, marina… and coral reef – with sharks! Visitors follow a drop of rainwater from Florida's swamps to the open Gulf, meeting all the creatures along the way. For example, Frights of the Forest displays vampires, poison dart frogs, scorpions etc.

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Tolik
Aug 25, 2002

See sea animals at the Florida Aquarium

Florida Aquarium

The Florida Aquarium features various underwater creatures, like rays, sea turtles, sea dragons, coral, and various fish species. It also has a giant octopus, although that exhibit was closed when we were there. In addition, the aquarium includes a giant, multi-level glass-domed aviary with tanks and trees that exhibit a variety of Florida’s native coastal wildlife, like alligators, otters, and a pelican. This area has a twisting, path that takes visitors to different heights, sometimes offering a bird’s-eye view of the other exhibits. The aquarium also offers special shows with scuba divers, and even has a resident assemblage of penguins that it parades through the lobby at certain times – but we missed both. Additional non-exhibit features include a children’s water play area, cafeteria-style dining, and an outdoor observation deck.

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HSC123
May 14, 2010

Tampa Aquarium

The exhibit is set up so that people can follow a drop of rainwater from Florida's swamps to the open Gulf, meeting all the creatures along the way. The aquarium houses various exhibits. There are some tanks which are open to the air with real trees, plants and birds above it. The aquarium also has shows thoughout the day. Go to their website for a 2$ off ticket if it is still there. Someone in the line in front of me had a buy one get one ticket so check those tampa tourist magazines, it may be available in one of those.

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lashr1999
Dec 23, 2004

Things to Do Near Tampa

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Theatre

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Hyde Park

Hyde Park Village Perhaps my favorite memories of Tampa are from the time we spent exploring Hyde Park Village and its surrounding historic residential area as evening transitioned into night. Hyde...
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Ybor City

This is Tampa's traditional Cuban neighboorhood and today is lined with bars and restaurants. There is a small museum, some art galleries and a lot of souvenir shops but the main attraction here is...
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Lowry Park Zoo

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Seminole Hard Rock Casino

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