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Cruising to Belize? Don’t Skip the Manatees!
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Cruising to Belize? Don’t Skip the Manatees!

Porthole Cruise Magazine - August 21, 2019

Fun Things to Do Near Port Tampa Bay

Bustling with culture, outdoor recreation, and world-class entertainment, the Tampa Bay area is a hot-spot for tourists, residents, and, of course, cruisers!  According to Port Tampa Bay, the port hosts over one million cruisers every year on cruise lines including Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Carnival.  Want to explore all the area has to offer before sailing away on your Tampa Bay cruise?  See our list of fun things to do around Port Tampa Bay!

Ybor City and Tampa Riverwalk

Some of the best places to visit are only a few minutes away from the port. Case-in-point: historic Ybor City and Tampa Riverwalk, which are within a 10-minute drive.  They are perfect places great to grab a drink or a meal before embarking on your cruise.  Ybor City is Tampa’s Latin Quarter, famous for hand-rolled cigars, authentic Cuban sandwiches, and freshly-roasted coffee.  Tampa’s Riverwalk is a two-mile walking trail that hugs the Hillsborough River.  Along the trail are tons of shops, eateries, and entertainment facilities.  You can even explore the waterways by renting a water bike or taking a pirate water taxi!

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens is also very close, only a 20-minute drive from the port. Spend an entire day at this amusement park experiencing thrills, chills, and everything in between.  The park is home to some of the most innovate thrill rides in Florida, including Florida’s tallest “launch coaster,” a roaster coaster with a 90-degree drop, and a 335-foot freefall drop tower. Or, take it easy for a while by strolling through the park’s Serengeti plain, which is home to over 200 animal species.

RELATED: Grab Lunch in Tampa Bay Before You Cruise

St. Petersburg, Florida

The town of St. Petersburg is nestled between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, about 40 minutes from the cruise port. The town is known for beautiful waterfront views, great beaches, and a vibrant arts community.  Spend the afternoon soaking up history and culture at the Salvador Dali Museum.  The museum houses over 2,000 artifacts and paintings from this famous surrealist from the 1930s.  The museum also hosts events throughout the year, including cult classic movie nights and Sunday brunch.  Just outside the city of St. Pete is Fort De Soto Park, where you can spend the day hiking, kayaking, or sunbathing at the park’s five connected islands.

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach is consistently voted one of the top beaches in the United States. It’s no wonder Clearwater retains this status with beautiful gulf-view sunsets, white sand beaches, and a variety of family-friendly activities.  Plus, with the beach one hour from Port Tampa Bay, you can relax knowing you’re not too far away.  From dolphin sightseeing boat tours, sunset cruises aboard a pirate ship, and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, there is something for everyone to enjoy while visiting this beach.

You are sure to find something exciting to do in Tampa Bay, whether you’re looking to spend a few hours before embarkation or a few days in the area after your cruise ends!

Savannah Daigle is a writer based out of Orlando. Originally from Pennsylvania, Savannah moved to Florida in 2009 for its beautiful scenery, great weather, and to work for the Mouse. Now, she spends her time writing, working at Disney, and exploring all Florida has to offer with her husband. Connect with Savannah on LinkedIn.  

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