Tampa sees millions of cruise passengers every year from lines like Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America and Royal Caribbean International.
Ron Chapple Stock
The Florida Aquarium shelters approximately 20,000 animals, including sharks, African penguins and polar bears.
Courtesy the Florida Aquarium
This Busch Gardens coaster features a 360-degree vertical loop.
The Tampa Riverwalk is a devoped pedestrian trail along the Hillsborough River. As you meander along the 2.4-mile-long stretch, you'll spot many of the city's top attractions, including the Florida Aquarium and the Tampa Bay History Center.
Vacationers appreciate a little break in their itineraries to see manatees swimming through the Tampa Electric water plant, and they don't have to pay an arm and a leg for the privilege.
James R.D. Scott
One of Florida's most popular state parks is just a 22-mile drive north of the city. Hillsborough River State Park is a retreat that's home to pine flatwoods, cypress swamps and grass ponds, among other habitats.
Part of Florida's Grapefruit League, the Yankees play their preseason spring training games at the George M. Steinbrenner Field, located about 5 miles west of downtown Tampa.
Ybor City is a popular nighttime hot spot in Tampa, but it's also a National Historic Landmark District filled with reminders of the neighborhood's identity as a melting pot of immigrants from Spain, Cuba, Germany and Italy.
Recent visitors say that if you're a fan of these majestic cats, you'll love a visit to Big Cat Rescue. But remember: This is more of a sanctuary than a zoo, meaning the focus here is on education, not entertainment.
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which crosses Tampa Bay, is known as the "flag bridge" of Florida.
At Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, you'll find a variety of animals from around the world, including African elephants, koalas, orangutans, penguins and tigers, among other species
Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo
Popular shorelines like Clearwater Beach, Treasure Island and Caladesi Island State Park are located less than an hour from Tampa.
To truly experience the Tampa Theatre, recent travelers say you have to attend a performance.
Courtesy Tampa Theatre
Situated about 30 miles northwest of downtown Tampa, Honeymoon Island State Park is a popular retreat for travelers that boasts several nature trails, not to mention a stunning beach.
Spanning 60,000 square feet and ideally situated on Tampa's waterfront, the history center aims to showcase 12,000 years of Florida's history through three floors of exhibits, educational films and interactive displays.
Courtesy Tampa Bay History Center
Make the most of Tampa's coastal location with a boat tour around its bay.
If you're in Tampa with young kids (12 and under), consider a stop at the Glazer Children's Museum.
Pronounced ee-bore, this northeast enclave of Tampa was once a hotbed for hand-rolled cigars.
Some travelers suggest that you just visit this northeast Tampa site for the IMAX theatre, and not the exhibits.
Museum of Science and Industry
The Henry. B Plant Museum bills itself as the nation's only Victorian railroad resort museum.
Courtesy Henry B. Plant Museum