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Top Rated Attractions in Tampa/St. Petersburg

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Lettuce Lake Park

A hub for outdoor activities, this Tampa park offers visitors the opportunity to hike, fish, kayak, and more. The little ones can let loose on the playground structure and the picnic tables and barbecue's are perfect for a summer gathering. A nature center informs visitors on the local flora and fauna along with the extensive hiking trail information.

Ballast Point Park

As one of the earliest parks in the South Tampa area, Ballast Point Park has been providing outdoor fun for countless Floridians since its construction in 1894. Besides offering splendid views of downtown Tampa, Ballast features a water area, playground and covered picnic area. Families head here in droves during the summer months for some good old fashioned outdoor recreation.

ZooTampa at Lowry Park

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.

John B. Sargeant Park

The John B. Sargeant Park encircles the confluence of Flint Creek and Hillsborough River. This 23-acre (9.3-hecatre) woodland is replete with green and golden vegetation, a swampy terrain, and trails, boardwalks and bridges veiled by thick foliage. Some of their pathways connect to famous parks in the neighborhood. Visitors can also canoe, paddle or kayak along the river, which again leads to surrounding gardens. Other activities include hiking, fishing and spotting birds like the egret and ibis. This park also offers extensive picnic areas for relaxation.

Manatee Viewing Center

Seeking the refuge of the warm canal waters near the old Big Bend Power Station, manatees were seen flocking to this area. From this, the Manatee Viewing Center was born and has since been designated a habitat sanctuary for these peaceful creatures. The onsite educational center features colorful displays and exhibits along with a hurricane simulator. A butterfly garden encapsulating the centers solar panels rounds out this ecologically and environmentally friendly tourist attraction.

Philippe Park

Overlooking the Tampa Bay, the beautifully landscaped open space, the Philippe Park has much to offer for all. The highlight of the park is a National Historic Landmark, the Tocobaga Indian Mound. After exploring the historic site, take a stroll on the scenic shore or enjoy a family picnic in the park. The picturesque facility also has a fishing pier and a boat ramp, making it a perfect spot for relaxation. Other amenities here include playgrounds, softball fields, picnic shelters and restrooms.

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