More fun in the summer sun

Where to splash, swim, hike, bike, walk, gawk, learn and swim some more, all season long.


ADVENTURE ISLAND The park is open daily March through October; hours vary. Single-day passes are $41 adults, $37 ages 3-9; children 2 and younger enter for free ($12 parking fee). Busch Gardens/Adventure Island combo tickets are available. 10001 Malcolm McKinley Drive, Tampa, 888-800-5447.

ARMED FORCES MILITARY MUSEUM The 33,000-square-foot facility features a range of military vehicles, weapons, uniforms and other artifacts from World War I through the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tues.-Sat., noon-5 p.m. Sun. $8 admission adults/$5 children 7-12 (free for ages 6 and under). Tuesdays-Sundays. 2050 34th Way N, Largo.

BIG CAT RESCUE This 45-acre facility is the world’s largest nonprofit sanctuary for big cats who’ve been abused, abandoned or are retired from performing. The 90-minute guided tours are offered at 3 p.m. Mon.-Wed. and Fri., and at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sat. and Sun. (ages 10 and up only); admission is $29 per person. The one-hour Kid’s Tour (for children 9 and younger, $19; must have a parent or guardian, $29) is offered 9 a.m. Sat. and Sun; other tour options also available. 12802 Easy St., Tampa, 813-920-4130.

BOYD HILL NATURE PRESERVE Amble through a 245-acre preserve along the shores of Lake Maggiore that features group camping, picnic and playground facilities, three miles worth of nature trails and boardwalks, and the environmental education study center and library. Open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tues.-Fri. and Sun. and 7 a.m.-.7 p.m. Sat.. Trail admission is $3 for ages 17 and older, $1.50 for ages 3-16. 1101 Country Club Way S, St. Petersburg, 727-893-7326.

BROOKER CREEK PRESERVE This 8,700-acre wilderness preserve is located in northeastern Pinellas and supports populations of white-tailed deer, wild turkey, otter, gopher tortoise, bobcat, and coyote. The four-miles worth of hiking trails are open from 7 a.m. to time posted daily, with guided hikes every Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. Online preregistration for these hikes is required by noon the Friday before the hike. The center is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs, 727-453-6800.

BUSCH GARDENS 10165 N. McKinley Drive, Tampa (813-987-5000). This 300-acre African-themed park and zoo boasts more than 2,000 animals. Check website to see if some rides will close briefly for maintenance. Open daily; hours vary from week to week. Admission is $85 adults, $77 ages 3-9, and for Florida residents, this includes unlimited admission through the rest of the year (children 2 and younger enter free); parking is $15.

CLEARWATER MARINE AQUARIUM The nonprofit aquarium is dedicated to public education, marine research, and the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of sick or injured dolphins, sea turtles and river otters. Guests can visit Winter, star of the movie Dolphin Tale and the dolphin rescue. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.- Sun.. 249 Windward Passage, Clearwater, 727-441-1790. $19.95 adults, $14.95 ages 3-12, and $17.95 seniors 60-plus.

THE CHIHULY COLLECTION The permanent collection displays works by world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly’s, whose vivid and unique creations can be seen in an awe-inspiring, 10,000-square-foot space designed by award-winning architect Albert Alfonso. 400 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. 727-822-7872.

THE DALI MUSEUM The bigger and better Dali is now open with an expanded installation of the museum’s permanent collection. Viewing salons offer visitors vistas of the paintings from various angles in ambient natural light. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Wed., 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thurs., 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. and noon-5:30 p.m. Sun. Admission for adults is $21; $19 for seniors 65 and older, military, police and firefighters; $15 for children ages 13-18; and $7 for children 6-12; free for children 5 and younger. After 5 p.m. on Thursday, general admission is reduced to $10. Salvador Dali Museum, One Dali Blvd., St. Petersburg. 727-823-3767.

DINOSAUR WORLD Life-size models of dinosaurs welcome families and classes to learn, have fun, or just enjoy a quiet encounter with the lifelike animals. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; during the months of November, December and January the park is open from 9 a.m. time to 5 p.m. $14.75 plus tax for adults, $11.95 plus tax for children ages 3 to 12, $12.95 plus tax for seniors over 60. Well-behaved pets on leashes permitted free of charge. 5145 Harvey Tew Road, Plant City, 813-717-9865,

DUNEDIN FINE ART CENTER The non-profit state-of-the-art facility offers creative, entertaining, enlightening, Earth-conscious and educational experiences in the visual arts through changing exhibitions, from its annual Wearable Art Fashion Show to lectures, studio classes and workshops. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, and 1-4 p.m. Sunday 1143 Michigan Blvd., Dunedin.

FANTASY OF FLIGHT The aviation-themed attraction displays vintage aircraft culled from one of the world’s largest private collections. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Admission is $28.95 adults , $15.95 ages 6-12, and free for children 5 and under. 1400 Broadway Blvd. S.E., Polk City, 863-984-3500.

Scroll to read more News Feature articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]