5 affordable things to do in Tampa Bay in a day.

things to do in tampa

Shorts, sunglasses, and sunscreen is basically the unofficial uniform for the sunshine state. 

Tampa bay sits on the Gulf Coast of Florida and is home to more than 3 million people. 

There’s so much to see and do in town from fine dining to  Florida roller coasters to year round outdoor activities that the whole family can enjoy!  

I’ve teamed up Visit Florida & Visit Tampa Bay to put together this detailed list of  top 5 affordable things that you can do during the day in Tampa Bay! 

Table of contents

Historic Ybor City Walking Tour

Lace up your walking shoes and get ready to explore the rich history of Ybor City.

Tampa Bay’s community is diverse and so is the history here. With its blend of Latin American influence you’ll see where the descendants of Cuban, German and Italian immigrants contributed to the build of Historic Ybor City, also known as the Cigar Capital of the World. 

Things to do in Tampa Bay

When in town you have to experience an Ybor City Walking Tour! During the tour a knowledge guide will share all there is to know about Ybor’s 130 year history and how its grown to become what see and love today! 

My tour guide was Max, the son of the original Ybor City Walking Tour guide Lonnie Herman, whose been a Tampa resident for over three decades! How cool is that?!

The tour starts at Centennial Park and takes you to roughly 9 locations within Ybor city. 

This photo here is from Jose Marti Park, just one of the stops you’ll see on the tour. This park  is the only plot of land in the United States owned by Cuba, and is the site of a former boarding house where Marti recovered from an assassination attempt by Cuban agents.

You can book your tour here

Things to do in Tampa Bay

How to get around town

TECO Streetcar Station 

things to do in Tampa Bay

While you’re in Ybor a fun way to get around town and still experience all of the sights and sounds is by way of a TECO streetcar. 

The TECO Line Streetcar System is an electric streetcar that connects Downtown Tampa, Channel District, and Ybor City.

You can ride for FREE seven days a week!

things to do in Tampa Bay

Click here to see a list of the streetcar stations, stops, and hours of operation! 

things to do in tampa bay

Columbia Restaurant

While visiting Tampa Bay you owe it to yourself to grab a bite at Columbia restaurant! One of Florida's oldest restaurants in the heart of Ybor City's historic Latin Quarter.

Columbia restaurant is where I had a taste of my first ever cuban sandwich and it was delish! 

I also ordered their shrimp and yellow rice dish and ended with the wildly popular White Chocolate Bread Pudding.

Check out more delicious dishes from their menu here

Things to do in Tampa Bay

Over the years its transformed from being a  small 60-seat corner cafe to a fine dining destination with more than 1500 seats available today. 

Welcoming some of the biggest stars in sports and entertainment like Babe Ruth and Marilyn Monroe to name a few. 

Fun fact! The Columbia Restaurant is not only Florida’s oldest restaurant, but also the largest Spanish restaurant in the world and was founded in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr.

Things to do in Tampa Bay

Sparkman Wharf

When visiting Tampa Bay you'll definitely want to check out Sparkman Wharf & enjoy their live events, restaurants, and more.

Sparkman Wharf sits right along Garrison Channel in Downtown Tampa. Offering great food vendors, small shops, and the best channel side water views! 

You can also catch a ride to Sparkman Wharf from Ybor City on the TECO streetcar. 

When visiting Sparkman Wharf be sure to grab a bite from Jotoro their newest Mexican Kitchen +Tequila restaurant. 

I love their chips and queso and their Pineapple Mangonada is sooo good and insta-worthy! 

See more from their menu here

@aubreyonair

I got another hot spot for you 🌴 Let’s go to Sparman Wharf | #tampabay #visitflorida #tampatiktok #floridacheck

♬ Aesthetic Girl - Yusei

Pirate Water Taxi

What better way to see Tampa Bay than on the water! Pirate Water Taxi offers daily tours of Tampa with 14 stops near attractions, museums, restaurants & parks!

The best part of getting on a Pirate Water Taxi is that its always decked out for the season and right now you’ll see it beautifully lit with all of the Christmas lights and holiday adornments. 

Once you purchase a ticket you’ll receive a Pirate Water Taxi wristband that allows you to hop on and off of the taxi at any of the stops for unlimited rides – all day!

These wristbands also give you discounts through the Pirate Perks Program.

Empower Adventure

things to do in Tampa Bay

This activity in Tampa Bay is great for my adventure loving thrill seekers! 

Empower Adventure in Oldsmar, FL is about 25 minutes from Tampa and is worth the drive for a fun time on a zip line!

The zip line adventure takes you up a 60-foot-tall start tower, flying  on five invigorating zip lines totaling more than 3,000’ feet over water, challenging aerial obstacles, and ending with a zip line that gives you one-of-a-kind panoramic view over Tampa Bay.

Could you do it?!

I have a fun behind the scenes tiktok video below for you to watch! 

After that, book your adventure and let me know how your tour goes! 

I was a nervous wreck at first but I promise after you make it through the last zip line you feel so empowered and proud! 

@aubreyonair

Hey babes! Let’s go on a zipline together at @zipontampabay! #thingstodoinflorida #tampabay #GoodMorning #zipline #travelbloggers

♬ Quirky - Oleg Kirilkov

St Pete Pier

For more recommendations of where to stay and play in Tampa Bay! Be sure to check out my Staycation series and other Florida fun topics that I share here on So Southern Belle. 

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