Tampa Bay’s “Big Three” Attractions (and What You Need to Know About Them)

Tampa Bay's "Big Three" Attractions (and What You Need to Know About Them)

Tampa has three big attractions: Busch Gardens, The Florida Aquarium and Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park. Here’s what to know about them.

Tampa Bay’s “Big Three” Attractions (and What You Need to Know About Them)

If you’re buying a home for sale in Tampa Bay, you probably already know that there are three big deals here: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, The Florida Aquarium, and ZooTampa at Lowry Park. Here’s your guide to each.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Website: https://www.buschgardens.com/tampa

Admission: Adults start at $89, kids (3-9) start at $81

Location: 10165 N McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612

This huge attraction is a true destination unto itself, with more than enough to fill an entire day (or two). In addition to the rides and animals, there are shows, a water park, dining, and shopping. Plus, if you buy a annual pass, you’ll get free parking.

Best restaurants nearby:

  • Three Sisters Speakeasy – this hidden gem is located right next to the park, and has a great patio for people watching.
  • The Rusty Pelican – this is a classic Florida seafood spot with views of the water.
  • Ulele – this creative Native American-inspired restaurant has Tampa Bay’s only on-site brewery.

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    The Florida Aquarium

    Website: https://www.flaquarium.org

    Admission: Adults start at $24.95, kids (3-12) start at $19.95

    Location: 701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602

    This aquarium is focused on marine life native to Florida, so you can expect to see a lot of fish, alligators, turtles, and more. They also have an extensive rescue and conservation program, which is something that kids will love learning about. There are also behind-the-scenes tours available for an additional fee.

    Best restaurants nearby:

    • Columbia Restaurant – this iconic spot has been serving Spanish and Cuban food since 1905.
    • The Sail Pavilion – this is a great place to get a quick bite, and has outdoor seating with views of the water.
    • Rick’s on the River – this is a casual seafood spot with a relaxed vibe.

    Related: 3 quirky things to see this weekend in Tampa

    ZooTampa at Lowry Park

    Website: https://www.zootampa.org

    Admission: Adults start at $32, kids (3-11) start at $22

    Location: 1101 W Sligh Ave, Tampa, FL 33604

    This zoo is one of the most popular in the country, and it’s easy to see why. In addition to the expected animals, they also have a rides, a water park, and dining options. Plus, they offer several different behind-the-scenes tours (for an additional fee) that will give you an up-close look at the animals and the zoo’s operation.

    Best restaurants nearby:

    • Datz – this popular spot is known for its massive sandwiches and over-the-top desserts.
    • Tampa Bay Brewing Company – this is a great place to grab a beer after a day at the zoo, and they have a full menu of pub fare.
    • The Oxford Exchange – this is a beautiful spot for brunch, lunch, or afternoon tea.

    Other Notable Attractions in Tampa Bay

    If none of these are right for you – or if you’ve already been to each of them – check out these other notable attractions in Tampa Bay:

    • The Tampa Riverwalk: This 2.4-mile walkway along the Hillsborough River is a great way to get some exercise while taking in the sights of downtown Tampa.
    • Ybor City: This historic district is known for its Cuban roots, and it’s a great place to grab a bite or do some shopping.
    • Clearwater Beach: This beach is consistently ranked as one of the best in the country, and it’s only a short drive from Tampa.
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    Related: 5 must-try steakhouses in Tampa

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