Tampa is situated on a small inlet in Western Florida and is the economic hub of the area. The city is well known for its selection of attractions that will keep the whole happy and entertained. Families will love visiting Tampa thanks to the variety of child-friendly activities such as Lowry Park Zoo, Busch Gardens, and the Glazer Children's Museum. Adults should check out the bars and restaurants of Ybor City for a unique and interesting experience. Wildlife lovers will enjoy the Manatee viewing areas and wealth of well-run animal exhibits at the Tampa Zoo and Busch Gardens.
Spend a day or two exploring this 335-Acre African-themed entertainment and adventure park. There are a number of thrill rides in the park, and the park is well known for its extreme roller coaster. You will find a few rides aimed at small kids so that they don't feel left out of the experience. The other section of Busch Gardens houses a variety of exotic animals in large and well-run enclosures.
The Museum of Science and Industry is a truly immersive museum experience that includes a giant game of "Operation" that helps kids to learn about the human body and a full-size model that lets visitors explore NASA's vision of human life in space. The Connectus exhibit shows off new technology before it is launched to the general public. A large ropes course is a great place for older children to burn off excess energy.
The Tampa Zoo is one of the best zoos in the United States, and it features over 2000 animals in their natural habitats. There is a large aquarium that features three pools used to treat injured manatees rescued from all around the state of Florida. The park features a family-friendly roller coaster, mini-safari, and a zoo train.
The Florida Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the state of Florida and houses a wide variety of marine creatures. The exhibits are carefully designed to recreate the shoreline around Tampa to show off the wide variety of sea life that is found in the area. Behind the scenes tours are offered that allow visitors to meet the African Penguins and swim with sea turtles.
One of the top-rated wildlife rescue centers in the world is Big Cat Rescue in Tampa. The non-profit organization is home to more than 60 big cats that have been abused or abandoned. This is not a zoo, so visitors can only view the sanctuary on a guided tour. Here, you will learn about the rehabilitation and treatment of these big cats.
The Glazer Children's Museum is focused on learning through play. Children will have a great time playing in all the kid-sized exhibits. These exhibits are based on different jobs such as working in commerce, being a firefighter, working on a cruise ship, and being a vet. These exhibits are very realistic, and children love the museum.
The Electric Manatee Viewing Center marine sanctuary is located across the river from the Tampa Electric Power Plant. The manatees are drawn to the area by the warm water that is provided by the power plant. There is an educational building next to the viewing area that provides information on the power plant and the manatees.
The exhibits at the Tampa Bay History Center museum trace the history of the Tampa Bay area going back over 12 000 years. There is a specific focus on the different cultures of the area over the last 500 years and how they have influenced modern day Tampa. A number of traveling exhibits from other areas are showcased in the museum on a rotating basis.
Ybor City is the historic center of the cities Latino Community. The area was once home to the largest cigar factory in the world and once employed over 4000 people. The factory closed during the Great Depression. In recent years the area has seen a revival, and it is now home to a number of cafes, restaurants, and art galleries.
The Sunshine Skyway bridge is a multi-lane bridge and tollway that spans over 12-miles in length at the entrance to Tampa. In the middle section, two giant pylons hold the bridge up to a great height to allow cruise ships to pass beneath the structure. The views from the bridge are beautiful, and it is a popular scenic drive.
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