Tampa Outdoor Activities: 7 Ways to Play and Stay Entertained

Many know Tampa for sports teams and beaches, but there are plenty other exciting things to do. The area also offers some of the best fishing in the south, amusement and water parks, and creative ways to enjoy fresh air. So read about the top Tampa outdoor activities, and don’t forget to apply plenty of sunscreen.

7 Tampa Outdoor Activities for Fun in the Sun

tampa outdoor activities boat fishing

Book a Boat Tour

Among the top Tampa outdoor activities, boating ranks as a must-do for all ages and abilities. From sailing the seas to renting speedboats and cruising, visitors love spending time on the water. For a luxury experience, try a private yacht tour with Tampa Bay Yacht Charter or romantic trip with Olde World Sailing Line. Groups and families have a blast sightseeing with Tampa Bay Fun Boat and Kraken Cycleboats.

Additionally, water lovers rent canoes and kayak, stand-up paddleboards, and surf boards. Several tour operators also host eco-tours, dolphin-watching trips, and scuba and snorkeling adventures.

Go Fishing

Tampa’s location on Tampa Bay near the Gulf of Mexico provides opportunities for lots of fishing. The area has lakes, rivers and deep-sea options, so anglers plan their perfect day. For shore fishing, select from piers and parks to cast a line. One top spot is Ballast Point Park Pier where equipment is available 24-7.

For a local experience, book a fishing trip with a charter. Many companies host deep-sea trips into the Gulf. To fish with some of the best, check out Tampa Fishing Charters, Gone Fishing Charters, and Tampa Flats and Bay Fishing Charters. Possible catches include snook, redfish, mackerel and snapper, to name a few. Visitors should note a Florida fishing license is required.

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Play Tampa’s Golf Courses

Players will find dozens of Tampa golf courses scattered throughout the metro area, including nearby Clearwater and St. Petersburg. There’s variety as well with public, private, and semi-private options in remote areas or featuring waterfront views.

A few inland options include Heritage Isles Golf and Country Club, Tampa Palms Golf and Country Club, and Plantation Palms Golf. For those who prefer waterfront courses, play Copperhead Course in Clearwater, Bay Palms Golf Complex in Tampa, and St. Petersburg Country Club.

Fly High

For more exciting Tampa outdoor activities, hop on a helicopter or hot-air-balloon. Old City Helicopters of Tampa welcomes everyone to explore scenic Tampa Bay and nearby St. Pete. The pilot will even fly low over the water, so look for playful dolphins and manatees.

For added adventure, Big Red Balloon hosts balloon rides year-round that fly 1,000 feet in the air. Those who schedule a flight will begin at sunrise and see incredible views and wildlife.

tampa outdoor activities beach vacation

Relax on Beaches

One of Tampa’s biggest draws is the beach. And there are plenty of places to soak up sun. To hang out on the bay, head to Ben T. Davis Beach, one of the top beaches in Tampa. Guests with pets should visit Picnic Island Beach Dog Park. This quiet park welcomes off-leash dogs, and serves as a popular place for sunset views and picnics.

In addition to these beaches, Tampa is only a short drive from Clearwater and St. Petersburg, which have award-winning beaches and natural attractions. Other top-rated beaches near Tampa include Indian Rocks Beach, Madeira Beach and Treasure Island.

Pick Major Attractions

Trying some of the area’s attractions also rank among the top Tampa outdoor activities. Part of the reason is because these attractions provide hours of fun and entertainment.

Not sure where to start? Big Cat Rescue and Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park allow visitors to observe animals from the region and around the world. For action-packed excitement, ride coasters and thrill rides at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Then cool of at Adventure Island Water Park, a large water park in Tampa with slides, pools, lazy rivers and water features.

tampa outdoor fun family sports

See Tampa’s Sites and Sport Scene

Meet locals and learn about the area on sightseeing tours. Tampa’s warm climate and urban vibes help the city rank as a top destination for food, sports and history.

Ybor City Food Tour provides visitors a way to sample food through a historic neighborhood. The area dates from 1885, and today serves as a hot spot for dining and shopping. Other popular city tours include Tampa Cigar Factory Tour, Tampa History Cruise and Tampa Segway Tours.

Sports fans who want to cheer have several options such as Amalie Arena, George M. Steinbrenner Field and Raymond James Stadium. Tampa has both college and professional sports teams in baseball, football, hockey and soccer. Or check out college games from University of South Florida and University of Tampa.

Find more things to do in Tampa, then get the scoop on Gasparilla festival season in Florida.