Fun & 'Stay Dry' Water Activities in Tampa
If you don't like water - love to look at it but not get in it - you've come to the right place. Ironic as that might sound, most people come to Florida for one of three reasons; the beach, the sunshine and the attractions. Ranked # 2 with the longest stretch of coastlines, Florida offers a lot of things to do near water. Tampa, protected from the ocean but in the bay, has its fair share of water activities. For the few who don't like to don a swimsuit, here's a list of activities you can enjoy (without necessarily getting wet) and in whatever outfit you want to wear.
Water Taxi & eBoats - The school bus yellow Pirate Water Taxi can’t be missed as it travels daily up and down the Hillsborough River from 11:30am till 10:00 pm and longer on the weekend. With 15 stops and unlimited Hop on and Hop off for one price, this is a great way to explore downtown and enjoy different areas or get off at an attraction, museum or restaurant. If you prefer to be your own captain, rent one of the new eBoats. Open from 8am-10pm, these easy-to-drive, ecologically friendly electric boats can be rented with or without a captain. The are quiet and comfortably seat up to 12 people. They currently have 7 boats and operate 7 days a week.
Water biking - Imagine riding a bike or kayaking on water without getting wet. The Tampa Bay Water Bike Company rents (single) water bikes and (single or tandem) biyaks. Located at the docks in front of the Convention Center, water biking requires little effort to enjoy the city skyline from the water. The are comfortable, fun and great for all ages.
Kayaking - Want to get up close to alligators in their natural habitat? Renting a canoe or kayak and paddling through 16,000 acres of wildlife preserve is one of the most amazing experiences. If you are lucky, you’ll see different types of birds, herons and white ibis, turtles sunning on a log, deer drinking at the water’s edge, turkey, snakes and more. Canoe Escape offers hourly rental, but even better is the 2-hour rental. Pack a picnic lunch (or pick up some sandwiches and drinks) and enjoy a self-guided, tranquil, trip down the Hillsborough River. A school bus will pick you up and drive you back to the starting point and your car.
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is one of the most legendary and unique family destinations - famous for its live mermaids. There are three mermaid shows daily Monday - Friday and four on the weekend. Yes, see mermaids in a submerged 400-seat auditorium. Until October 1, the park also offers water slides, tubing and swimming in Buccaneer Bay. Kayaking, boat rental and paddling for rent and a wildlife area learn about wildlife. You can pack your own lunch or purchase food and drinks at their concession stands. Be sure to check out their website Weekiwachee before going as this is is a popular destinations and does get crowded.
Wakeboarding - If you have kids, this is one activity they will want to come back to day after day. Mccormick’s Cable Park started as a water ski school and quickly became a cable wakeboarding attraction for men and women of all ages. The main, man-made lake was specifically designed for cable wakeboarding and boasts 3 kickers, 4 rails and 2 transfer boxes, ideal for advanced wakeboarders. Novice or beginners can begin with lessons at the two tower cable system before advancing to the main lake.
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