From Roller Coasters to Aquariums: Tampa’s Exciting Attractions

Tampa, Florida is the perfect destination for anyone looking for an adventure-filled day. From thrilling theme parks to world-renowned zoos, Tampa has something for everyone. Whether you are a thrill seeker looking for the biggest and fastest roller coasters or someone who loves a more relaxed stroll through a zoo to interact with animals, Tampa has plenty of attractions to keep you entertained.  

Let’s explore some of the exciting attractions that Tampa has to offer that are close to our Garden Communities Tampa properties!  

Beat the Heat on Adventure Island 

View the lazy river and towering, spiraling water slide at Adventure Island
Colossal Curl Water Slide, Adventure Island Water Park Source: Yelp

Adventure Island is a 30-acre water park located right next door to the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay theme park. Beat that Florida heat while winding your way on water slides, lounge in the lazy rivers, and wade in the wave pools. 

Adventure Island offers something for everyone in the family. Small children will have a blast in the new Shaka-Laka Shores, a zero-depth area complete with an aquatic playground with interactive water activities. There are cabana rentals that can seat up to 10 guests, perfect for those who might want to relax in the shade by the Endless Surf Wave Pool or overlooking the Rambling Bayou, and of course there are the more thrilling water slides.  

Upgrade your ticket to include “quick queue” for priority access to the park’s most popular slides! 

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay 

Kumba Rollercoaster as it flips riders upside down on a twisted loop

Another popular theme park in Tampa is Busch Gardens. This 335-acre theme park offers some of the most thrilling roller coasters in the state, including SheiKra and Montu. In addition to the roller coasters, Busch Gardens also features multiple shows, animal exhibits, and shops.  

Not a thrill seeker? Have small children? No problem. Busch Gardens is more than its thrill rides. There are numerous kid and family friendly rides that are all conveniently listed on their website for easy viewing. Busch Gardens is also home to an amazing zoo where everyone in the family can marvel at over 200 distinct species.  

Separate events for the kids and adults, which are included in park admission, are another great reason to visit Busch Gardens. Sesame Street kids’ weekends offer your children the opportunity to have some fun with Elmo, Cookie Monster, and other Sesame Street friends. For the adults, there is the food and wine festival which takes place every Friday-Sunday from March-May, as well as an accompanying concert series. Let us not forget the Howl-O-Scream Halloween event as well as Christmas Town during the holidays.  


Legoland colorful front entrance sign to park
Legoland Source: Yelp

For any Lego lovers out there, a short drive from our Compton Place property in Winter Haven is the popular Legoland theme park. Comprised of three different theme parks and a hotel on the property, Legoland Florida is the second largest Legoland park in the world. 

The Legoland Theme Park boasts over 50 attractions for the family as well as shows and character meet-and-greets from The Lego Movie. The water park has many opportunities to splash in the sun, slide down waterslides, and build your own Lego flotation device to float along the 1,000-foot lazy river. You can even build your own Lego boat to race in Creative Cove. Lastly, mainly for the little ones is the Peppa Pig Theme Park. This park offers kid-friendly rides, meet-and-greets with Peppa and her friends, and play areas based on Peppa Pig’s world.  

The Lowry Park Zoo 

Tiger yawning and revealing its formidable teeth

From gorillas to giraffes, there is something for everyone at the Lowry Park Zoo. It is an award-winning zoo that has been voted the #1 family-friendly zoo in Florida and offers visitors a chance to observe more than 1,000 animals from all over the world. Proud of their conservation efforts and their rehabilitation and release programs for all kinds of species native to Florida, the Lowry Park Zoo is the perfect way to find your adventurous side.  

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium  

Kids observing a dolphin at close range in an aquarium

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a must-see for any marine life lover. Visitors can get up close and personal with rescued dolphins, sea lions, otters, and turtles. This opportunity is part of their rescue and rehab program. Each animal in their care has a story that visitors can get to know while interacting with them in different ways. as well as a hands-on manatee rehab center where you can help care for these gentle giants.