If you are looking for fun in the sun close to your Tampa vacation rental, there are plenty of theme parks to choose from. Whether you want to spend the day splashing in a water park or checking out the natural habitat of this west Florida region, you can find plenty of fun and interesting ways to while away a day in this tropical city. Check out our picks for theme parks that are just a short drive from Tampa vacation rentals.
Visit the Mermaids
Weeki Wachi Springs is all about mermaids, from live shows that delight audiences daily, to mermaid camp designed just for kids. The park was originally created in 1946 by former Navy man Newton Perry. Perry created an underwater breathing apparatus connected to an air compressor, rather than an oxygen tank strapped to a diver's back. This method allowed people to swim underwater seemingly unhindered, and the mermaid theme was born. In addition to the mermaid shows, guests can enjoy a large water park fed fully from the spring, known as Buccaneer Bay.
Paddle a Canoe
For vacationers who prefer all natural adventure, Canoe Escape offers the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the native Florida wildlife. This theme park gives you the opportunity to paddle your own canoe through some of the rich Florida swampland. On your short journey, you may spot alligators, turtles or colorful tropical birds of all kinds. The park is located just 12 miles from Tampa vacation rentals, and offers half- and full-day packages. Adventures are available for both experienced paddlers as well as beginners.
Take a Splash
Adventure Island is a water park owned by Busch Gardens and located right across the street from this amusement park. Decked out in corkscrew slides, a wave pool and an abundance of waterfalls, this theme park offers all the fun in the sun you would expect from a Florida vacation. The large park provides activities for guests of all ages and abilities; even those who prefer relaxing under a cabana to swimming the big waves. The four-lane mat slide is a guest favorite, shooting you down 55 feet in an enclosed tube and plunging into one of the wettest rides you will ever experience.
Ride a Coaster
Whether you are looking for the roller coaster ride of a lifetime or a journey into the African grasslands, you can find what you are looking for at Busch Gardens. This multi-themed park combines some of the best rides in Tampa with abundant opportunities for wildlife viewing. Busch Gardens also offers a wide range of entertainment and special areas just for younger children. This park is so large; most visitors find they can't get through everything in a single day. Plan for at least a couple of days to reap the full benefits of everything this theme park has to offer.
There is plenty to do and see in Tampa, whether you want to shoot the waves, ride a roller coaster or take a leisurely trip through the Florida swamplands. Tampa is the perfect location for theme parks of all kinds, to delight even the most discriminating Florida traveler.