Combine a perfect climate and some of the nation’s most popular attractions, and it's easy to understand why the Tampa Bay area is a favorite tourist destination. And its residents get to enjoy our many cultural and entertainment options all year round!
Visitors and newcomers to the region will be delighted to discover a vibrant arts community alive with contemporary art and a deep respect for our unique cultural heritage. The Tampa Museum of Art is a cultural landmark situated along the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa. The museum is located in the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, which is also home to the Glazer Children’s Museum. The Glazer Children’s Museum features 17 themed areas, including health, technology and engineering exhibits, and 170 accessible and bilingual “interactivities” for families.
Tampa’s Straz Center for the Performing Arts is the largest performing arts complex south of the Kennedy Center, and boasts one of the nation's leading Broadway series and is nationally respected for producing grand opera, as well as presenting a wide variety of concerts, performances and events. Other exciting cultural exhibits include the Tampa Bay History Center in downtown Tampa and the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg.
Besides enjoying Tampa Bay’s beautiful beaches, millions of people experience Busch Gardens annually, and the Lowry Park Zoo is one of the most popular zoos in the Southeastern United States. Other major attractions include the outstanding Florida Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, and Big Cat Rescue.
When the sun goes down, Tampa’s nightlife heats up at some of our most popular entertainment districts, including historic Ybor City and downtown Tampa’s Channelside Bay Plaza. For shopping enthusiasts, there is no shortage of high-end stores at International Plaza, Westshore Mall, and Hyde Park Village.
Annual regional events include The Gasparilla Parade – a pirate invasion celebration of the spirit of adventure of the legendary pirate Jose Gaspar that has taken place each February for more than a century. The Outback Bowl provides championship football in January and Plant City’s Strawberry Festival in the spring offers world renowned entertainment and a never ending supply of the world’s best strawberry shortcake.