Tampa Bay has some of Florida’s best urban adventures, but it’s also home to amazing outdoor experiences minutes from downtown’s glittering towers. Paddling, bird-watching, animal interactions — they’re all waiting for you to discover when you unlock Tampa Bay.
Paddle Into The Past
Glide silently through ancient cypress forests on a Canoe Escape expedition along the wild upper reaches of the Hillsborough River. The same river that carries pleasure boats through the heart of downtown is very a few miles upstream. In the dappled shade of towering trees, you can get in touch with truly old Florida. Cast a line for a fish, spot migrating birds flitting among the treetops, snapshots of basking turtles and dozing alligators.
Walk in the Woods
Explore the footpaths and boardwalks of major parks just minutes from the excitement of the city. Florida’s only Class 2 rapids can be found at Hillsborough River State Park. Tackle challenging single-track on a mountain bike or in your trail runners at Alafia River State Park. Lettuce Lake Park offers canoeing along a natural lazy river as well as a boardwalk and tower for spotting wildlife.
Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful
Leave Tampa Bay better than you found it by volunteering with one of our many environmental organizations. Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, Tampa Bay Waterkeeper, or the Tampa Bay chapter of the Sierra Club strive to keep our natural world free of pollution. These and other groups welcome volunteers and regularly organize clean-ups and other projects to improve the local environment. You can also do your own part by making sure litter — especially plastic — goes into the trash instead of into the bay. If you see something astray, please put it away! Our beautiful aquatic environment deserves attention.
Meet the Manatees
Maybe your idea of roughing it is room service and a cozy robe. We hear you. You can still get in touch with Mother Nature on your own terms in Tampa Bay.
• The Florida Aquarium invests in the preservation of sharks and injured sea turtles, as well as breeding coral to replace wild coral disappearing from Florida’s coast. You can even support their shark efforts when you order a Sand Tiger Stout by Coppertail Brewing.
• ZooTampa at Lowry Park has the country’s only non-profit hospital to treat injured West Indian manatees and return them to the wild.
• Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is a leader in international efforts to preserve threatened and endangered species in the wild.
By visiting each attraction, you support their work behind the scenes to conserve and preserve endangered species and other wildlife.