Cheap Things to Do in the City
If you lot’re wondering how to make the about of your fourth dimension in Florida without eating into your budget for boogie boards and theme parks tickets, never fear. Artsy, nether-the-radar Tampa is total of free and inexpensive activities, from viewing gentle manatees in their natural habitats to going on colorful scavenger hunts for unique murals to exploring the urban center’due south diverse history.
Whether you’re looking for staycation inspiration, a special day out with the kids, or a city pause on a budget, these are the all-time cheap attractions in Tampa.
- 1 Manatee Viewing Heart
- 2 Tampa Murals
- 3 Florida Botanical Gardens
- 4 The Tampa Firefighter’s Museum
- 5 The Tampa Riverwalk
- 6 Ride the TECO line streetcars
- 7 Wat Mongkolratanaram
- 8 Bayshore Boulevard
- 9 The Pinellas County Heritage Village
- 10 Ybor Metropolis Saturday Market
- 11 The Sulphur Springs Museum
- 12 Cheap things to do in Tampa
- 13 Henry B Institute Museum
- 14 Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
- 15 Ybor Metropolis Museum State Park
- 16 Tampa Theater
Manatee Viewing Heart
One of Florida’southward more surreal wildlife encounters is spotting manatees in the warm-h2o discharge canals of coal-fired power plants. These placid mammals show upward here so reliably from Nov through April that this is now a protected sanctuary. Tarpon and sharks tin be spotted as well, and a new interactive stingray showroom in a ten,000-gallon tank allows upwardly-close interaction. The latter can be touched (2 fingers merely!).
A snack bar, bathrooms and picnic tables round out the sight. It’s half an hour from downtown Tampa; take I-75 due south to exit 246 and follow signs.
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Tampa (not to mention the broader metro area, including St. Pete and Clearwater) are full of colorful murals that pop out at yous from unexpected corners. Yous can easily cord together a free, self-guided walking tour from the listings on the Tampa Murals website, or simply past going for a walk and seeing where whimsy takes you.
Florida Botanical Gardens
This 100 acre garden is full of native plants, palms, cacti, succulents, tropical fruits and other flora, as well as a butterfly garden, herb garden, children’s discovery garden, jazz garden, and rose garden. Information technology’s entirely free to visit, and there are lots of places to wander, including some ADA attainable trails. At that place are some special areas that showcase the natural landscape, too, like the Wetlands Walkway boardwalk that weaves through Florida’s famously clammy geography.
The Tampa Firefighter’s Museum
The Tampa Firewoman’s Museum will excite kids of all ages. Housed in a 1911 firehouse, the exhibits include vintage firefighting equipment through the ages, as well as a hands-on interactive area for children that lets them play the function of firefighters (including a pint-size fire truck) and also playfully larn about fire prophylactic and emergency preparedness. Though the museum is by-donation to enter, until the COVID-19 pandemic ends visits are by appointment simply. Call (813) 964-6862 or email Tampafiremuseum@gmail.com to schedule your visit.
The Tampa Riverwalk
Downtown, the attractive Tampa Riverwalk connects nigh sights. Located along the Hillsborough River, this undulating green space, with playgrounds and restrooms, makes a pretty walk from the museums edging Curtis Hixon Park, past the Convention Center, to the aquarium at the far finish.
Ride the TECO line streetcars
HART’southward gratis erstwhile-fashioned electric streetcars connect downtown’s Marion Transit Heart with a number of attractions downtown, along with Ybor City, running every 20 to 30 minutes. It’s a great way to get the lay of the land – particularly on a hot Florida afternoon.
On Sundays hundreds of people show up at this striking Buddhist temple for the nutrient and flower markets, lining upwardly for a much-loved beefiness soup with fish balls. Visitors tin can also enter the temple barefoot and savor traditional music. Orchids and bonsai copse are for sale, equally are Thai iced teas, egg rolls and a diversity of strange and wonderful desserts (go for the pumpkin cake).
True to the name, this 4.5 mile walking trail hugs the shoreline and is lined with benches where you can take in the views, public workout equipment if you desire a free sweat sesh, bike racks for cyclists, and a handful of side by side restaurants.
The Pinellas County Heritage Village
It’south difficult to picture 19th century Florida when you’re used to the state’s contemporary blend of Art Deco and mid-century modern architecture plus age-of-the-auto strip malls. But you tin can travel back in time at the Pinellas County Heritage Village, a living history museum that has preserved a number of celebrated structures. One of the thirty three buildings on site is the McMullen-Coachman Log Cabin – built in 1852, it’s the oldest structure in the county. But today information technology’s surrounded by a church, a railroad depot, homes from other eras, a general shop, and a school – as well every bit a company center where you can learn more about the county’due south history. Demonstrations take identify throughout the year of traditional skills similar humid sugar pikestaff and weaving.
Ybor Metropolis Saturday Market
This outdoor market emphasizes arts, crafts and local nutrient products, all in the centre of Tampa’s historic district. It’southward been going for twenty years now, and vendors range from beekeepers to farmers to cigar rollers (natch) to makers of bespoke bowties.
The Sulphur Springs Museum
Sulphur Springs was one of Tampa’southward original tourist attractions in the 19th century, capitalizing on local mineral springs bubbling up from the bedrock. Known as “Florida’due south Coney Island,” Sulphur Springs included alligators amongst its attractions, along with a shopping arcade. Today, it’s a costless museum jubilant the long history of this corner of Tampa, with exhibits that delve deep into Sulpher Springs’ Black and Ethnic history with pottery, bronze castings, fossils, taxidermy, vintage postcards, and more than.
Cheap things to do in Tampa
Henry B Institute Museum
The silver minarets of Henry B Constitute’southward 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel glint majestically, testimony to the vaunting ambitions of its creator who offset brought the railroad to the urban center – and then extended it then guests could disembark direct into the entrance hall of his 511-room hotel. Never-before-seen-luxuries such as individual baths, telephones and electricity became the talk of the town, every bit did the hotel’due south European decor of Venetian mirrors, French porcelain and exotic furnishings.
Now part of the University of Tampa, one section re-creates the original hotel’s golden late-Victorian earth. Tickets for adults are $10; $5 for children
Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
This small, intimate photography museum is housed on the 2d and 3rd stories of the Cube, a five-story atrium in downtown Tampa. In addition to a permanent collection from Harold Edgerton and Len Prince, temporary exhibits have included the work of Ansel Adams, Andy Warhol and contemporary photographers such as Jerry Uelsmann. Photography courses are also offered. Access is $ten for adults, or $8 for students.
Ybor Metropolis Museum State Park
This dusty, erstwhile-school history museum preserves a bygone era, with cigar-worker houses (open 10am to 3pm) and wonderful photos. The Ybor City Museum has information on a free, self-guided, multimedia tour of Ybor City, accessible with any internet-connected device. The tour includes 21 stops and narration from prominent characters within the community. Access to the museums is $four for adults; children are gratuitous.
This historic 1926 theater in downtown is a gorgeous venue in which to see an independent film. The mighty Wurlitzer organ plays before nigh movies. Too bad showtimes are so limited, with only one or two films playing on whatsoever given day. Look for special events. Adult admission is $12; $10 for children from 2-12.
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Cheap Things to Do in the City