5 Things To Do Near Busch Gardens Besides Busch Gardens
Some friends are visiting Tampa with kids from the cold, frigid north this week. Plans were made to stay near Busch Gardens since the kids wanted to ride Iron Gwazi. They’re that age where nothing scares them and I’d put the collection of coasters at Busch Gardens up against any park in Orlando. But my friends asked me what other things there are to do that are a short Uber away. Where would you point them? I had a few ideas but maybe you have better suggestions. Drop me a line and I’ll add them.
Adventure Island was my first suggestion. It’s obvious to us, but tourists may not realize Busch Gardens has the water park across the street. It’s usually a cheap add on with a theme park pass. With temperatures getting close to 80 this weekend, we should have good water park weather. But unfortunately I found out Adventure Island doesn’t reopen until next month.
MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry) seems like the big no-brainer. It’s just 5 or 10 minutes away. Adult admission is only $14 these days. Kids from 3 to 17 get in for $10. And if the words science and museum don’t get the kids excited, the adults can check out “Science After Dark.” Planetarium shows with a beer or some wine sounds like a win to me. Try the liquid nitrogen ice cream.
Their timing worked out well too because it’s opening weekend for the Florida State Fair. In the mood for a dill pickle dipped in chocolate and rolled in Pop Rocks candy? Well you’re in luck. Other odd food creations for this year’s fair include a Cheddar Pickle Crunch Pizza with Goldfish crackers providing the crunch and Apple Fries with bacon, Ghiradelli caramel and peanut butter powder on top. But personally, I’d go with the Oreo Cookie Cinnamon Bun. That sounds magical.
Downtown Tampa is definitely worth exploring with all the renovations and improvements since their last visit 5 years ago. The weather will be ideal for a stroll along the Riverwalk. And if you’ve got any leftover beads from Gasparilla, take them to the Florida Aquarium this weekend to get half off a ticket for every 5 gallon bucket you bring in. The aquarium is also part of that Tampa Bay City Pass.
After 12 years of living here, I finally got to visit ZooTampa at Lowry Park recently. It was so much bigger than I expected. The number of animals certainly rivals Busch Gardens. Love dinosaurs? Right now they have the Prehistoric Predators attraction. The Australia immersive experience is opening soon too.
A much longer Uber trip away, but worth it for any northerner right now is a trip to one of our beaches. We don’t always get beach weather this early in the season, but anything above 50 degrees to them is beach weather anyway.
Back to Busch Gardens, sure they have the rollercoasters and animals. But that’s not my favorite thing to do when I visit. The most fun can be found near the back of the park. There’s no better sense of satisfaction than when I can get unsuspecting tourists soaking wet.