Tampa, Florida. It's not Los Angeles or even Miami, but it's a city on the rise. Located in sunny Florida, it's minutes away from beautiful beaches and is home to a large variety of activities. It's a place where you can take an African safari in the day, feast on delicious Cuban cuisine for dinner and then dance the night way in one of the many nightclubs. That is only the icing on the cake for this great city.
For starters, Tampa has one of the best theme parks in the country. Not only does Busch Gardens, Tampa have incredibly fast rides and cutting edge roller technology, it is also a zoo too. You can get up close and personal with exotic animals; like gorillas, elephants, giraffes, lions, tigers and rhinos. All the habitats are designed to be as close to the animal's natural habitat as possible. So close, in fact, you might even feel like you're on an African safari. The rides are pretty spectacular, too. The latest addition to the roller coaster family at Busch Gardens is Shekira. It has become Florida's tallest roller coaster. The ride drops you over 200 feet and goes about 70mph. Shekira also has the distinction of being the tallest dive roller coaster in the world. There is also Kumba and Montu, both of which provide speed and thrills enough for any roller coaster enthusiast. Tampa is also home to the Lowry Park Zoo. This zoo has a cheaper entrance fee than Busch Gardens, but it wonderful as it offers many different animal species, including the native manatee. Lowry Park Zoo also allows guests to feed giraffes and rhinos.
Looking for some spice to your dining or nightlife? If that is the case, visit Ybor City. This city is extremely proud of its Cuban heritage and visitors will find wonderful Cuban restaurants and handmade cigar shops. Ybor City at night becomes club central. The city offers a club for every kind of taste, from Goth to 80's. Every night you can find live music at most of the clubs. Some of the infamous clubs there include the Green Iguana, The Amphitheatre, On the Rocks and even a Coyote Ugly. The party here doesn't stop until at least two am and all bars are within walking distance of each other. Plus, Ybor has many great surrounding hotels, including the Tampa Riverwalk Hotel and any other Tampa Florida hotel, if you don't have a designated driver.
Still not satisfied? Well, Tampa is home to the Stanley Cup Champions, the Tampa Bay Lighting; and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are Super Bowl Champions. The city has begun to establish it's sports reputation and the fans here are crazy for their teams! The city also has the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, an upcoming baseball team. All these teams make for an exciting sports night out. If you can't get tickets, the city offers many wonderful sports bars, where you can dine and watch your team play. For the more culturally minded, Tampa has fine art museums and children's museums. There is the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Old Hyde Park Art Center and the Tampa Museum of Art, which hosted exhibits like Diana and the Titanic. Tampa also offers a fine children's hands-on museum. It is the Museum of Science and Industry and it displays exhibits on weather, human body, and math, to name a few. It's completely interactive and children can spend hours there learning and playing. It was also home to The Body's Exhibit, which drew spectacular curious crowds.
As you can see, Tampa is a great place to visit and bring the family. Whether you're looking for an exotic safari, a night on the town, or sports and culture, the city has it. Make your next vacation Tampa, Florida.