View Full Version : Tell me about Tampa!

03-05-2009, 09:22 AM
Mum and Dad are off to Tampa with friends at the end of the month.

Dad won a 2 week stay in a private condo in an auction(think he only paid 200) and i'd just like to tell them a little bit about the area and what to do.

I had really hope they would venture to Orlando but they don't really want to do theme parks.

Dad is looking into Busch Gardens as it's so close and they can get a 2 day ticket for the price of one day.

I was also thinking of Big Cat Rescue.

I'm trying to persuade them to do Discovery Cove but they swam with dolphins in Mexico a few years ago.

Dad really wants to do Kennedy so does anyone know how long the drive is from Tampa?

Any hints,tips and ideas will be greatfully received.

P.S.They have a car!

03-05-2009, 09:35 AM
Well, the biggest attraction in my mind is Busch Gardens which you've already mentioned.
Big Cat Rescue is quite a cool place to visit too but you do need to book in advance with most tours here.
What about the Tampa Aquarium, they do some behind the scenes tours.
Lowry Park Zoo is also in Tampa and it was a lovely place to visit.

You will find the information to the places I've mentioned above in my animal guide.

Tampa has botanical gardens too and a museum of science and technology. There's also Adventure Island if your folks like water parks.
You can go hot air ballooning in Tampa too.

03-05-2009, 12:17 PM
I use to live in Tampa, so here's what I know. FYI though, I spent most of my time reading at home for school.

Definitely go to the Lowry Park Zoo. It's a fabulous place!

I would avoid the Science and Industry museum as it was not good when i was there. They did have the Bodies exhibit, but the museum itself was worthless. Again, I would definitely avoid it.

Clearwater is close and many people love the beach area.

The Aquarium was very nice, I was quite surprised. :D

I heard that the Salvador Dali museum was awesome. I had planned to go there but did not get the chance. But I only heard great things. In that same area (St Petersburg) there is a Holocaust museum that I also heard many great things about.

And if they want to spend a bundle in shopping there is the International Plaza mall. It's super duper uper expensive!

03-05-2009, 12:28 PM
Thanks guys i will pass all the info on.

Mum will be happy with the beach and pool but i know the men will want to do stuff!

03-05-2009, 12:30 PM
Oh just another tip, if they can avoid it....try not to drive during rush hour traffic in the morning and the evening. It's an absolute nightmare.

03-05-2009, 12:48 PM
Great thanks for that tip.

03-05-2009, 01:48 PM
Tampa driving is HORRIBLE! :yes: Stay well off the roads as people make their way to and from work.

Mote Museum is nice too.

They can head south to Sarasota, which is a beautiful little city. Ringling Museum is there, and a beautiful little downtown area.

The drive from Tampa to Orlando is about 1 1/2 hours and the drive from Orlando to Cape Canaveral is about 1 hour or a bit more so I'd plan on three hours from Tampa to KSC, although that might be a bit more than is actually needed.

The problem is the driving. You never know how I 4 is going to be and that is the main thoroughfare from Tampa to Orlando. Once in Orlando they can pick up 528/Beachline, but it's getting to it that might take longer than warranted.

Ybor City is a party at night place, so they may want to stop there.

Tarpon Springs is north of Tampa, and loads of folks go there for the sponges, etc. However, I was just over there for work and the area is really depressed/depressing. It's been hit hard by the economy and has nothing too thrilling to recommend it right now.

There is a HUGE flea/farmers market in Auburndale (east of Tampa) at the weekend. They could immerse themselves in the oddities of American culture and roam around there for a lark. :lol: :D (Don't take the term farmer's market too seriously. I have yet to find a true farmer's market here in FL. It's a flea market and that's that)!

I hope they enjoy themselves immensely, DizneyBlonde! :yes:

03-05-2009, 01:54 PM
Another huge flea market in Oldsmar. It's right off of Hillsborough. :D It's usually swamped with people.

03-05-2009, 01:58 PM
Then there is the massive, Mother of all Flea Markets in Webster, FL. Only on Mondays though.

Oh, Brooksville will be north(east) of Tampa. It's a sleepy little village but has the most incredible Christmas shop. It's contained in four (or more, can't quite remember) houses! There is everything you can possibly imagine for Christmas there. Well worth a look if you have any interest at all. There is a little tea/cafe place for lunch nearby, too. The Blueberry Patch I think it's called. The Christmas place is called the Christmas Shops, inventive, eh? :lol:

03-05-2009, 02:05 PM
Wow loads of info,thanks you guys.

I've tried for years to persuade them to come to Disney with us but but they are just not park people.

It sounds like there will be lots there to keep them amused though!