20 quintessential Tampa Bay 'tourist traps' every new resident should visit at least once
So you made the move to Tampa Bay? Well, now it's time to get stuck in traffic and knock off a few mandatory tourist traps so you can truly call yourself a local.
But we should note that the phrase "tourist trap" isn't always fair, especially since most of these spots are popular for good reason—they're legit good. From century old mermaid shows, to aquariums, theme parks and historic bar and shopping districts, here are a few local hangs every new transplant should scratch off their bucket list.
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If you wander down the Riverwalk, you’ll eventually end up at Armature Works, Tampa’s largest food hall and influencer magnet. Home of rooftop lounge M. Bird, and a slew of other concepts, this massive food hall features everything from tacos, gyros, coffee-tea, ice cream, sushi, pizza, burgers, wine, craft cocktails and more.
Photo via Google Maps
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is basically a giant zoo with roller coasters. Founded as a literal place to drink beer, the park has since blossomed into the mega theme park it is today. Recently, the park added Iron Gwazi, North America’s tallest and fastest hybrid coaster.
Photo via Visit Tampa Bay
Visit a collection of works by renowned surrealist artist Salvador Dalí, from the iconic melting clocks to visual illusions like the large-scale masterwork “Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea.” There are permanent exhibitions, plus temporary ones, and the Dalí cafe (beer and wine) which has impressively good food for a museum. When you’re done tripping out, walk across the street to The Hangar restaurant for a bloody mary and views of planes taking off from Albert Whitted Airport.
Photo via Google Maps
Go back into the prehistoric age at Dinosaur World, where you can wander among hundreds of life-sized dinosaur statues in a natural setting. Attractions include a dino-themed playground, the area’s largest interactive boneyard, and a prehistoric museum featuring a collection of animatronic dinos. After a day here, parents have definitely earned a wine or two at the nearby Keel Farms.
Photo via Dinosaur World/Facebook
Start your day off at Honeymoon Island State Park, then make the short drive to downtown Dunedin for lunch or dinner. There are a ton of breweries and good restaurants all within walking distance of each other. Bicyclists and pedestrians also use the Pinellas Trail which cuts through downtown and past fancier restaurants like Black Pearl and Bon Appetit, plus great casual options like Taco Baby, a former ATM-turned taco stand.
Photo via Visit St.Pete/Clearwater