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Tampa

Updated: Nov 25, 2022


Tampa is a roughly 8 hour car ride from Atlanta. There is so much to do there. We bounce around and go all over Tampa. We have stayed near Busch Gardens (there are some areas near her you want to avoid) , and area called Oldsmar, Bradenton, Clearwater and Hard Rock Hotel area. We don’t mind driving and as you can see most of these places are all over Tampa. During the first 5 years of my sons life we came here about 3 times a year and loved it.


Want to see Manatees? Then check out the Tampa Electric Manatee viewing area.

Busch Gardens

We bought memberships to here for 5 years. I always got the big season pass with free parking and my son and husband got cheaper ones. They do have for kids under 4 a free pass if you live in Florida, so see if they still do that if your child qualifies.


We love it here because my young son had rides to go on, adults had rides adn they had animals. It was always less crowded then Orlando parks and felt we got a good deal coming here.


Stroller parking- when you pay to park and you have a child with a stroller make sure to get a stroller parking pass. You can park right up front and not have to ride the train from parking.



Christmas Time at Busch Gardens

Around Thanksgiving till Christmas, Busch Gardens will decorate for Christmas and have a few Christmas shows. They have an area called Christmas Town near the kangaroos.


It has the characters to take pictures with, a train for kids, carolers and a few stalls with items to buy. This is included in your ticket. The stage show lets the kids come up with Santa. Over near the Safari is where you can get a beeper and go to see Santa and tell him your wish list and get pictures one on one with him.





Museum of Science and Industry

We spent hours here! It is a great hands on science museum near Busch Gardens.


Sesame Street area of Busch Gardens

My son loved going to Tamps and to Busch Gardens as a child. There is a Sesame Street section that he loved. We went 3 times a year for his first 5 years. They have a live play with many of the favorite characters, check the schedule for times.


Check a little out here


They have many rides here for little kids: a carousal, a huge sand box, and obstacle course in the tree, the flying swings, a egg that goes around like a Ferris wheel, a flying airplane (like Dumbo), driving cars, riding a water log, and a small roller coaster.


One year we did the meet and greet lunch. Food was just ok, but my son loved seeing all the characters, so we felt it was worth it. It is in a tent near the splash part. They also have times that you can meet the characters and get epicures with them so check out the times for these too. In the back of the Sesame Street area is a splash area. They have restrooms near there to change, so make sure to bring their suits and a hat if you have a young one, it is all sun with a few tables with umbrellas for parents to sit at. There is a gift shop with Sesame Street items and a small concession stand in this area. What we loved most is that most rides he could ride over and over again as there were not many people like Disney World.







Yacht Starship Cruise

Yacht Starship has cruises through out the year, but we took an Easter Lunch one. You book your tickets on line a head of time. You then get to the dock, there are Tampa cruises and Clear water ones. we did the Tamps one which was near the aquarium. They had a bunny on board to take pictures with and before you got on. My son loved the Eater bunny peep in his Shirley temple. Then you have 2 hours on the cruise. We ate lunch, walked around, and they had a dance party. When we left they gave the kids Easter goody bags. It was a fun way to see the city.






Berns Steakhouse in Tampa is "the best meal" my mom ever had. We took her for her birthday. All steaks are aged 5- 8 weeks. They serve vegetables that are grown locally on the Bern’s farm when available.


Ask for a wine or kitchen tour. Thy have one of the largest wine collections in the world.


Be sure to get reservations ahead. After you dine, head up stairs to the desert room. We had the banana cream pie, s'more brownie and pineapple upside down cake.


All were amazing!

You can pick music for your table and even call another table from it.


Learn the story of Bern's








Safety Harbor

This a cute town around Tampa. It was near our hotel and we yelped to find a good place to eat. We found Bar Fly Saltwater Grill at 100 Main Street suite 106, Safety Harbor, Florida 34695 and have come many times. It is a very casual place, but great seafood.


After dinner we walk down to the waterfront and many times see Manatees near the boats. Sometimes we will see festivals here.


On the way out of town their is a park where people can fish. We always grab ice cream then go sit here to watch.


They have an adorable Safety Harbor Resort and Spa here, but we have never stayed there.






Check out other places in the area:

Tampa

Clearwater Beach

Dinosaur World

Giraffe Ranch

Manatee Viewing Area

Siesta Key/Sarasota

Zen Glass Studio in St. Petersburg

Check back every Tuesday for more family fun trips!

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