ZooTampa at Lowry Park#7 in Best Things To Do in Tampa
Spanning 60 acres, Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo boasts natural habitats, educational shows and interactive animal encounters, water play areas, and a handful of rides. Here you'll find a variety of animals from around the world, including African elephants, koalas, orangutans, penguins, and tigers, among other species. Plus, for those that didn't spot any animals at Tampa Electric's Manatee Viewing Center, you're in luck; the zoo is home to Florida's only nonprofit acute care manatee hospital, which means it's one of a few places in Florida where you're guaranteed to spot the area's beloved sea cows no matter the season.
When you're not marveling at the manatees, you'll have your pick of interactive animal encounters, ranging from touching a stingray to feeding giraffes. Recent visitors were generally pleased with the zoo, and especially recommend it for families with young children. Travelers do warn, however, that if you're planning to let your kids play in the water areas, you should pack water shoes to avoid any slips or falls. Reviewers also pass along this tip: Visit in the morning to see the animals when they're most active. As the temperatures rise, the zoo's residents retreat to the shade, making it difficult to spot some of the animals.
Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. One-day tickets for adults cost $27.95 and $25.95 for seniors older than 60. Kids between the ages of 3 and 11 get in for $20.95 and children younger than 2 enter for free. The zoo is located about 5 miles north of downtown Tampa. Parking is free.
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#1 Busch Gardens
Spanning 297 acres and boasting more than 12,000 animals, live shows, restaurants, shops and games, Busch Gardens is a popular way to spend a day under the Tampa sun. Did you know that Busch Gardens is actually older than nearby Disney World? It's also cheaper and includes themed lands on Morocco,
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