Idyllic weather year-round, an abundance of family attractions, and pro-level sports destinations make the Big Guava a favorite for vacationers and transplants alike.

Although today it’s one of Florida’s largest cities, Tampa was at first overlooked by the Spanish as a place worth settling. Perhaps they simply never made it through both Tampa Bay and Hillsborough Bay to find the wetland peninsula that forms South Tampa. Happily, people today feel a little differently about this thriving metropolis, which has consistently ranked on “best city” lists.

If you’re wondering what to do in Tampa, hit the bay. From its thriving cruise ship port to fishing charters to paddling your own kayak, the bays and rivers around Tampa are a playground for water sports enthusiasts. In fact, recreationists of all kinds enjoy 165 city parks and beaches, too.

Despite its warm weather, locals also love heading indoors for some ice skating. Several NHL-sized rinks are open to the public, and the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team captures the hearts and attention of sports fans throughout the state. That’s not to say Tampa’s other teams don’t inspire loyalty. The AFL Buccaneers and the Rays draw large crowds too, while the New York Yankees hold spring training here.

If you’re looking for things to do in Tampa with kids, it’s going to be an easy search. The Florida Aquarium, Busch Gardens amusement park, and the Lowry Park Zoo are all favorites for youngsters…and everyone else, for that matter. Why not let your inner child out to play while you’re here?

No matter what you choose to do in Tampa, you can relax and have fun without worrying about your budget. Our Tampa vacation packages make a holiday on the bay both easy and affordable. Whether you want to get out on the water or recline in the sunshine, you’ll be glad you booked with us.

Frequently Asked Questions about Tampa

What does Tampa mean?

There's a bit of dispute over the origins of the word "Tampa." There was once a tribe of Calusa Native Americans just south of Tampa, and it's thought that the word "Tampa" meant "sticks of fire" in the Calusa language. Others claim it means "the place to gather sticks," while it has also been argued that the word resulted from a miscommunication between Spaniards and Native Americans, and simply means "near it."

What is Tampa known for?

You've no doubt heard about Tampa's cigars. Dubbed "Cigar City," Tampa enjoyed early prosperity and growth because of its cigar factories. The city is also the home to Florida's largest port, first brewery, and oldest restaurant. Tampa is also famous for Gasparilla Fest, where each January, the world's only fully-rigged pirate ship descends on Hillsborough Bay and explodes with marauding pirates to commemorate legendary swashbuckler, Jose Gaspar.

What to do in Tampa at night?

You'll find plenty of happening hot spots in the Tampa neighborhoods of Ybor City, SoHo, Seminole Heights, and Westshore. The Honeypot is a great pick if you're looking for an LGBT-friendly night out, and Club Prana has five levels of partying with an incredible music selection. If comedy is more your thing, check out Improv Comedy Club, and you can find a mellow locals' scene at Skipper's Smokehouse in North Tampa.