The city of Tampa is becoming ever more popular with British holidaymakers – and it’s not hard to see why! From the excitement of major theme parks to tranquil canoe trails, eclectic nightlife, and world-class golf and shopping facilities, all the wonders that Florida has to offer can be found in the Tampa Bay area.
Tampa’s top attractions include the child-friendly Lowry Park Zoo, the fascinating Florida Aquarium and the thrills and spills of the famous Adventure Island water park. Top billing, however, goes to Busch Gardens – the Africa-themed adventure park where the rugged beauty of the Serengeti meets out-of-this-world rides, exotic animals, and highly acclaimed shows. Here you can hand-feed a giraffe on an African safari, enjoy close encounters with tigers and gorillas, and even brave a vertical plunge on SheiKra, America’s only ‘dive’ roller-coaster – if you dare.
Another favourite attraction is Ybor City, Tampa’s historic and vibrant Latin Quarter. This characterful, one-of-a-kind entertainment district is known for its cafés, restaurants, and nightlife. In fact, it’s so popular at weekends that it’s come to be known as the ‘nightlife capital of Florida’s Gulf Coast. Just a short streetcar (tram) ride away is Channelside, an entertainment complex adjacent to the cruise terminal that’s also fast becoming a lively nightspot.
Shopping, of course, is an essential part of any Florida holiday and Tampa is the perfect place to find bargains galore. You’ll find quirky boutique shopping in Ybor City and more mainstream stores at Old Hyde Park Village and Westshore Plaza. Whatever you do, be sure to save space in your case for a visit to International Plaza, an upmarket shopping mall that’s home to big-name stores like Tiffany, Diesel, and Abercrombie & Fitch. It’s also very close to Tampa Airport – so you won’t have far to carry all those extra bags!