Being developed by the non-profit organization, Friends of the Riverwalk, and the City of Tampa, the Tampa Riverwalk is a multi-faceted, pedestrian friendly space. From strollers and joggers, to boaters and walkers, all come together at the Tampa Riverwalk. There are special events held periodically at the Riverwalk, such as a "Riverwalk Trick or Treat" for Halloween. Also, popping up from time to time is the waterfront pop-up bar where you can enjoy a drink. You can also buy a paver to commemorate a memory or a loved one.
Housing the largest collection of Salvador Dali works in the world, the museum offers a regularly changing exhibit of the legendary surrealist artist's melting-watch canvases and a wide variety of his sculpture and fiber objects that are, at the very least, intriguing. One memorable creation toasts the cocktail party; it is a vest covered with full glasses of creme de menthe. Daily tours seek to explain this complex man and his equally complex art. In the museum store you can select a memento of your surreal experience. Do check the website or call for timings.
Fort DeSoto Park is comprised of over 1,100 acres (445.15 hectares) and five interconnecting islands. The park was used as a military post until 1922 and you will see the original gunnery, plus the reconstructed buildings of the era, including historical photographs and memorabilia when touring the fort. Enjoy miles of white sandy beach, fishing piers, hiking trails, canoeing, picnic areas and camping facilities. There are restaurants, snack bars and public restrooms for your convenience.
Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo is sprawled over 56 acres (22.7 hectares). It boasts of a dual distinction of being Tampa's oldest zoo as well as one of the most kid-friendly attractions in the city. Its fauna are sheltered in eight habitat zones that recreate the natural environment of the wildlife. These include the Wallaroo Station for Australian species, the Asian Gardens and Sulawesi Aviary for giant cats, and the Florida Boardwalk for native animals. Its rehabilitation and preservation programs extend well beyond the efforts of a typical zoo. Its most notable initiative is the hospital, Manatee and Aquatic Center. After an engaging day with animals, kids can delight in safari tours, bumper boats, roller coasters and pony rides. Its traveling exhibits and talk shows educate the public on environmental conservation. This venue is also ideal for camps and sleepovers. Celebrate a birthday party, business event or a wedding in style amidst wildlife.
The Florida Aquarium gives visitors an all-access pass to the mysteries of the deep. Observe seahorses, lobsters, colorful fish, moray eels, gators, river otters, Australian sea dragons and many more. If you're feeling truly adventurous, take advantage of the “Swim with the Fishes” or “Dive with the Sharks” programs (advance reservations required). Kids will love the wide range of colorful and fun-filled interactive displays. The aquarium also sponsors ecotours aboard a 64-foot catamaran, affording patrons an opportunity to get even more up-close-and-personal with the sea. See website for complete list of attractions, calendar of events and more.
Big Cat Rescue is the largest accredited sanctuary in the world dedicated entirely to abused and abandoned big cats. They are home to over 100 lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars and other species, most of whom have been abandoned, abused, orphaned, saved from being turned into fur coats, or retired from performing acts. Their dual mission is to provide the best home they can for the cats in their care and educate the public about the plight of these majestic animals, both in captivity and in the wild, to end abuse and avoid extinction.
Tampa Bay Grand Prix is an indoor go-karting venue. Both professionals and amateurs can participate in races with electric Italian pro-karts that reach speeds up to 45mph (72.4kmh). The race track is 0.25 miles long (0.4 kilometers) and is surrounded by a state-of-the art barrier system for a safe racing experience. You can bring friends and family along and see who records the lowest lap time on their Club Speeding Timing System. A sheet with your lap times is provided to you at the end of the race, and you can check your best times for the week, month as well as top scores online. They also have junior karts for kids.
Owned and operated by the city's Leisure Services Department, this “botanical experience” of tropical splendor, orchids and bromeliads features streams and pools adorned with colorful pink flamingos. There are special activities for children and wildlife presentations for everyone. Horticultural displays occur seasonally. A Rainforest Information Center here has exhibits of some of the eerier critters, including snakes and other reptiles, spiders, and scorpions. In the Garden you'll also find a captivating butterfly aviary.
As an exclusive Dale Chihuly gallery, this venue features the gorgeous and breathtaking glass sculpture works. Unique to the field of blown glass, this man has single handedly pioneered the medium to what its become today. With his exhibits found all over the world, this particular gallery is a St. Petersburg gem.
This familiar downtown landmark with a classical-columned facade has a permanent collection consisting of classical and contemporary artistry in a variety of mediums. Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Bellows and O'Keefe are a few of the greats in the rotating collection. Antiques, historical furnishings, crystal, timepieces, photography, and a sculpture garden, all combine to create a collection designed to appeal to a wide range of viewers. Lectures, concerts, guided tours, and even tea in the garden, are available.
Murielle Winery is the perfect place to find a memorable gift for any special occasion. They create wines from a wide range of grape juices that have been produced around the world, providing a variety of juices that allow for a large selection of different types of wines. Individual labeled bottles can be purchased with the Murielle brand, or you can have a personalized label designed of your own to celebrate a special occasion or give as a unique gift. Single bottles are available, or purchase wine by the case. Wine tastings are available. - Vickie Ferguson
If you're looking for breathtaking views of Florida then Big Red Balloon Sightseeing Adventures is for you. Taking off daily at sunrise you'll be able to get a bird's eye view of alligators lazing in the sun, deer scampering in the early morning, or any one of the amazing sights that make Florida beautiful. Champagne and breakfast are a complementary part of the trip. If you're looking for a romantic ride, be sure to book the Sweetheart Flight which guarantees a private ride with your loved one. Check the website for details and pricing. Reservations are recommended.