Top 10 ways to explore Tampa Bay

Written by FE Online | Mumbai | Updated: Mar 12 2014, 21:43pm hrs
Tampa Bay is a natural harbor along the Gulf of Mexico on the west central coast of Florida. Termed as one of the summer destinations, Tampa Bay has a lot of attractions for everyone. Listed below are top 10 experiences to discover at the Tampa Bay:

1] TECO Line Streetcar System to Historic Ybor City: Home of the Original Cuban Sandwich, Ybor City has several places to try the best around, including the Columbia Restaurant and Gaspars Grotto. In 2012 the Cuban Sandwich was named the official sandwich of the City of Tampa. While youre in Ybor, dont forget to stroll down Seventh Ave and enjoy caf con leche.

2] The Florida Aquarium: A unique opportunity for certified SCUBA divers, age 15 and older, to come face-to-face with live sharks. Dive into the Aquarium's largest tank, the Coral Reef Exhibit, featuring warm clear water teeming with massive sharks, moray eels, barracuda, a green sea turtle. If not SCUBA certified, still one can swim with the fishes through a replica of one of the Florida Keys' most beautiful coral reef dive sites.

3] Shopping : Tampa Bays transition into high-end retail began in 1998 and has since flourished with the opening of International Plaza (in 2001). With over 350 stores between International Plaza and Westshore Plaza, those in search of quality, luxury and high fashion can find the perfect fit. Hyde Park Village also offers high-end retailers and boutique shopping in a quaint and historical neighborhood.

4] Roller coaster at Busch Gardens: Take a ride on Cheetah Hunt, the parks newest mega-attraction and Floridas first triple-launch coaster that launches riders from 0 to 60 in seconds.

5] Waterfront Arts District, along the Tampa Riverwalk: Stop at a venue in the waterfront arts district, including Tampa Museum of Art; David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts; or the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. Dont forget to experience the Riverwalk, a waterfront walkway along the Hillsborough River where kids can jump in the fountains at Curtis Hixon Park and play in the interactive playground. The 1.5-mile walkway is a great place to ride bikes, rollerblade, take a Segway tour or even just a relaxing stroll.

6] Culinary delight: One can indulge in creative cuisine at Edison or one-of-a-kind fine dining at Berns, steakhouse and dessert room, complete with private booths made from old wine casks and a 65-page menu of sweets. Also enjoy fresh farm-to-table dishes at Boca and the Refinery, or Great Gatsby-inspired good times at Ciros Speakeasy.

7] Farmers market for local goods: The Ybor City Saturday Market, Tampa Downtown Market (Sundays), and the Seminole Heights market (Sundays) are great events to purchase locally grown produce, gifts, and homemade desserts, breads, pastas, and even popsicles.

8] Play golf in Tampa Bays 361 days of sunshine: With year-round golf the area offers more than 100 courses to play, from Saddlebrook Resort to TPC Tampa Bay.

9] See Tampas Historical Roots: Visit the Tampa Bay Hotel, built in 1891 and a stop along the plant railroad system, which brought a lot of visitors and businesses to Tampa Bay over 120 years ago. Home to the University of Tampa since 1933, the hotel is now the Henry B. Plant Museum, named after its founder.

10] Lowry Park Zoo: See more than 2,000 animals including manatees, alligators, cheetah, okapi, hippo, hogs, storks and more housed on 56 acres of lush natural habitats.