Welcome to Tampa Bay
The treasures of Tampa Bay are vast – from its gentle blue waters and legendary pirate culture to its many restaurants, museums, performance venues, and art exhibitions, there is much to explore in Tampa. Check out the Tampa Riverwalk and neighbourhoods like Ybor City, or focus on outdoor discovery. No matter your clients’ interests, an exciting journey awaits!
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In 2022, Tampa Bay earned inclusion in the first-ever Michelin guide to Florida, with a total of 19 Tampa Bay recommendations, and then earlier in 2023 three of our restaurants received a coveted Michelin star! These top rated restaurants include Koya, Rocca and Lilac. Here are three authentic culinary experiences you must try in Tampa Bay:
#1 Among the Michelin-recommended restaurants is the Columbia restaurant, Florida’s oldest restaurant from 1905 and the largest Spanish restaurant in the world!
#2 Armature Works at the Heights – at the Northern end of the Tampa Bay Riverwalk, hosts a dozen dining options, among them the Michelin recommended Steelbach and Oak & Ola restaurants.
#3 Sparkman Wharf at the South end of the Riverwalk hosts Noble Rice restaurant, as well as new-age dining places creatively located in refurbished shipping containers and headed by top area chefs such as Lunch Lady and JoDog.
Transport in Tampa Bay: No need to drive!
In contrast to most other places in the U.S., Tampa Bay is very pedestrian-friendly. It has fantastic transport infrastructure which makes it a pleasure to move around. Here are three of the best transportation options in Tampa Bay:
#1 Explore the 4.2 kilometer Tampa Bay Riverwalk along the Hillsborough River for a leisurely walk, run, bike-ride, or even skate along while enjoying the views of the river, the absence of cars and traffic, and not least the many attractions and restaurants located along the riverwalk.
#2 In Tampa Bay you can jump on the free TECO Line Streetcar that winds through the streets from downtown, to the Channel district; home of the Port of Tampa Cruise Terminals, all the way to historical Ybor City! It is a convenient and comfortable way to see Tampa Bay. The streetcar is a replica of the historical streetcars that used to be a part of everyday life in Tampa Bay.
#3 Pirate Water Taxis have 16 stops in Downtown, the Channel side District and Davis Island, and is a fun and unique way to get around, and it is possible to buy hop-on-hop-off style day-passes.
Tampa Bay is a family-friendly destination
Tampa Bay boasts a lot of attractions and activities for the entire family to enjoy together. It’s possible to save money by purchasing the Tampa City Pass and Riverwalk Attraction Pass, which gives access to a wide range of attractions, and free access for the smallest children in most places.
Here are our top three suggestions:
#1 Glazer Children’s Museum is a fantastic home to permanent and traveling exhibitions dedicated to the creation of learning moments for children and families through interactive and creative experiences.
#2 Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is the ultimate family adventure – an amusement park with lots of rides, and one of the best Zoos in the country, that boasts over 12,000 animals. Just across the street you’ll find Adventure Island, a waterpark with unmatched levels of thrilling rides. Both are worth a visit.
#3 The Florida Aquarium is located by the waterfront and just by one of the TECO streetcar stops. Rated one of the best aquariums in the US, here you can meet over 8000 animals from Florida and beyond. Children can play in the splash park while parents enjoy a cold drink in the bar next to it.
Cultural experiences in Tampa Bay
Culture and heritage is a huge part of Tampa Bay, there is so much to learn.
#1 Located in the heart of downtown Tampa, the Tampa Museum of Art is home to exhibitions celebrating art, sculpture, photography, painting, and new media. It is also both a cultural institution and a community museum dedicated to celebrating the diversity of its home city.
#2 Tampa Bay History Center will teach you about the rich history of Ybor City as the cigar-manufacturing capital of the world in the 20th century, about the Buccaneer pirates that constructed a safe-haven in Tampa Bay, and many other fun facts about the history of Tampa.
To find out more including itinerary ideas and attraction tickets, or to download our latest guides including the Tampa Bay Destination guide, Tampa Gay guide and Multicultural guide, please go to https://www.visittampabay.com/travel-professionals/
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