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Expert Tips On Exploring The Tampa Bay Area

Tampa can be energetic and relaxing. You can choose which path you want to take. If you want to take the energetic path, you can go to a professional sporting event or enjoy the bustling nightlife. If you prefer a more relaxing path with a mix of some fun, then the activities below are likely to interest you. In fact, if you were to do everything listed below, it’s likely that you would have fond memories of Tampa. Let’s get started.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is unlike any other bridge in the United States because it’s like driving up and down a large hill. It’s also different because it’s shaped like two sailboats. 

If you really want to appreciate the bridge, be sure to go over it one way during the day and the other way at night. And if you’re seeking the best photo opportunity, take the South fishing exit and drive to the end of the dock. This is where you will capture the best shots of the bridge.

On the factual side, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge connects St. Petersburg to Bradenton/Sarasota and costs $1.50 to cross. It’s well worth the price. The bridge is shaped the way it is to allow cruise ships to pass through. Some people might feel nervous driving across the bridge, but it’s worth the excitement.

There is a fish and bait shop with friendly service here. You can fish off the side of the bridge if you would like. This can be fun, but it’s not going to be anything like another activity listed further down, which is the Poseidon Fishing Charter Tampa FL. Let’s cover two other Tampa activities prior to getting to that.

Big Cat Rescue

If you look at reviews for Big Cat Rescue, you will see conflicting reports. Most reviewers love the experience and appreciate that Big Cat Rescue was set up to save big cats that have been through traumatic experiences. Some of these cats will also be released into the wild if their health improves. Other reviewers are angry because of a show that focused on Big Cat Rescue in a negative light. It really depends on who has actually been to Big Cat Rescue. Those that go see that it’s for the cats, not for money. In fact, Big Cat Rescue is accredited by the Global Federations of Animal Sanctuaries.

If you visit, you might see lions, leopards, tigers, cheetahs, and more. There are large enclosures so the cats have room to roam. Some of these cats might give you a death stare, but that’s what adds to the excitement and experience. You are prey to them, but don’t worry, you’re safe. And despite them wanting to eat you, your entry will provide aid for them.

Tampa Riverwalk

The Tampa Riverwalk is 2.6 miles along the water, including three swinging benches so you can rest and take in different scenes. You can stroll along the Tampa Riverwalk to people-watch, appreciate the river views, see the public works on display, watch the sunset, go for a morning walk with your coffee, enjoy a picnic, or explore the museums–including the Tampa Art Museum.

You also don’t have to walk. You can run, bike, rollerblade, or skateboard. And you can bring your dog. It should also be noted that there are many restaurants and shops to duck into. Furthermore, you can boat up to the Tampa Riverwalk if you would like.

The Tampa Riverwalk is a prime example of quality city planning. There will be another walk on this list, which is a completely different experience. It’s definitely recommended that you do both walks because they complement each other so well.

Poseidon Fishing Charter Tampa FL

If you’re planning a trip to Tampa, then you need to get to know Captain Steve. He’s friendly, knowledgeable, accommodating, and he will even teach you how to fish if you have no idea what you’re doing. Therefore, let’s throw patience in there as well.

When you take this charter, you will be on the beautiful Tampa Bay, and you’re likely to catch many fish. This is never a guarantee with fishing, but odds are in your favor. You might fish for snooker, grunt, shark, and much more. Regardless of what you fish for, you’re going to have a personalized experience. You also might see dolphins and/or manatees during your charter. A final note here is that Poseidon Fishing Charter has very high ratings.

Bayshore Boulevard

Bayshore Boulevard is the largest sidewalk in the world. It’s 10 feet wide and 4.5 miles long as it wraps around Tampa Bay. It’s likely to be one of the most enjoyable walks of your life.

During this walk, you will see and appreciate the landscaping of the large colonial homes. One of those is Tom Brady’s temporary home, and another is John Madden’s permanent home. Some of the homes along this walk in Old Hyde Park are also on the National Historic Register. But you won’t just see nice homes along this walk; you will also be walking along the water.

It’s not required that you walk to experience Bayshore Boulevard. You can also jog, run, bike, rollerblade, skateboard, or drive along it. Of course, while driving will be nice, you’re not going to pick up as much detail as if you were to walk, jog, or run.

Bayshore Boulevard begins at Columbus State Park at Platt Street and ends at Gandy Boulevard. You can park at Bay to Bay Park, Ballast Point Park, or Fred Ball Park. Another option is to park on one of the side streets in one of the neighborhoods, assuming you don’t need to start at the beginning.

Ybor City

The first thing you need to know is that Ybor City isn’t for everyone. It’s often likened to Bourbon Street. That being the case, if you have ever been to Bourbon Street and enjoyed it, Ybor Street is recommended.

Ybor City was originally settled by Cubans, and descendants of the chickens they brought over still roam the streets. This was also once the cigar capital of the world–you can see the old factories. Today, there are still many cigar shops, and you can watch someone handroll a cigar on the street. In addition to free-roaming chickens and cigar shops, you will also find many coffee shops and tattoo parlors.


If you were to plan your trip to include all the activities above, you would most certainly form lifelong memories and have several stories to tell. Plan your trip, work your plan.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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