Tampa Florida Day Trip and Riverwalk
For this Florida day trip, you don’t have to do much walking or traveling. Riverwalk is a couple-mile-long walkway along the Hillsborough River. However, our Tampa, Florida day trip covers just a small portion of the 2-mile plus Riverwalk.
You can spend a day doing three things or extend your stay because there is plenty to do and see in Tampa.
Start Your Tampa Florida Day Trip Here
Start at the Florida Aquarium and then walk about a quarter mile down Water Street to The Tampa Bay History Center. Both places are well worth the visit.
Each attraction offers each person a unique experience. The Florida Aquarium is at least a half day of viewing one of the nation’s best aquarium exhibits. Kids love the exhibits and adults learn more about the life beneath the water’s surface.
The Tampa Bay History Center features the long history of the bay area. Tampa’s Cuban influence is highlighted along with Tampa’s waterways. The days of Tampa’s cigar making history tells the story of Vincente Martinez-Ybor and the move from Key West to Tampa.
Ybor City is a colorful part of Tampa just a mile or two away from the Tampa Bay History Center. If you want to squeeze this historical few blocks, you can add Ybor City to your Tampa day trip.
Nextdoor to the History Center is a Columbia Restaurant location offering authentic Spanish food. The original Columbia is in Ybor City a few blocks away.
After the aquarium and History Center, take a ride on the Pirate Water Taxi which is on the Riverwalk adjoining the History Center. Tell the taxi captain you want to go to Rick’s on the River for lunch. The oysters are exceptional! If you prefer other water sports, there are boat rentals, jet skis and paddle boats along Riverwalk.
Riverwalk on Your Tampa Florida Day Trip
Want to enjoy the stroll along Riverwalk? The walkway is secure, well-lit for evening walking and the views are incredible.
On your sroll is a tiki bar behind the Marriott just a couple steps off the walkway – it’s a great place for a refreshment. After you go under the bridge at Water Street, the river opens up into a large bay.
Just across the bridge at Water Street are two good restaurants – Jackson’s and American Social. Both are well-known Tampa restaurants with excellent food. The major attraction though may be the view of the Bay and the boat traffic. Speaking of boats, all along Riverwalk is an assortment of boats of all sizes and shapes.
Tampa has many historical possibilities like Ybor City. If sports attract you, Amalie Arena is next to the History Center. The Tampa Bay Lightning are based at Amalie. The Lightning are one of the top NHL teams and they put on quite a show. A few blocks from Riverwalk and the downtown scene offers plenty of shopping.
We can’t forget to include Sparkman Wharf in our list of possibilities on your Tampa day trip. A block from the Florida Aquarium is an old wharf along the river that has been converted into a community gathering place for food, entertainment and shopping. Sparkman comes alive at night with bands and the locals gather here to socialize.
After all these attractions in Tampa and enjoying the active waterfront, you may be inclined to spend the night. The Marriott has two locations at the foot of the Water Street bridge to Harbour Island. Both hotels are exceptional, but we like the older of the two on Riverwalk.
Your Tampa Florida day trip is about an hour’s day trip from Orlando and about a two-hour day trip from Ft. Myers, Florida. From the Villages, Tampa is about 90 minutes. Just 45 minutes to the west of Tampa is Clearwater Beach, one of the best beaches in Florida.
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