Top Free Things to Do in Tampa, Florida

Traveling can be expensive; whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it’s always nice to find something fun to do that doesn’t cost any money. Luckily for those traveling to Tampa looking for some free fun, there are endless opportunities to explore the city that won’t cost you a dime. Here are our favorite free things to do in Tampa, Florida!

The Tampa Riverwalk

The Tampa Riverwalk may not be as famous as the San Antonio Riverwalk, but it’s awesome nonetheless. The Riverwalk stretches nearly three miles, offering all of the great oceanfront views while taking you right through the heart of downtown Tampa.

There are numerous entry points to the Tampa Riverwalk throughout the city and plenty of stops along the way. Some of those stops include some of Tampa’s best museums, which are also free of charge. It’s the perfect spot for your morning jog before your business meeting or a family stroll before brunch.

Manatee Viewing Center

The Manatee Viewing Center is an observation deck that features outstanding views of one of the ocean’s most magnificent mammals. Unfortunately, manatees are listed as an endangered species. Seeing this many manatees in a small body of water is certainly uncommon anywhere else in the world. 

The observation deck is right outside of Tampa Bay’s Big Bend power plant, which causes the manatees to migrate toward the warmer water that’s discharged from the plant. The viewing center is more than just an observation deck. There’s also an educational building where you can learn more about manatees, embark on walking trails, or enjoy the many picnic areas. This is a great spot for the whole family.

Yuengling Brewing Company

There aren’t many breweries in the United States that offer free tours, but Yuengling does. Yuengling is known as America’s Oldest Brewery and guides Tampa visitors through an hour-long excursion through the brewery. Visitors get an insider’s look at the brewing process, and, of course, can sample some of their famous brews after the tour.

J.C. Newman Cigar Company

J.C. Newman is one of the largest cigar factories in all of Tampa – a city with a rich tradition of cigar companies. Unlike all the other’s in the Tampa area, J.C. Newman is the last operating cigar factory in the area. While they are certainly known for their premium cigars, the company also features a famous clock tower that chimes every hour. After checking out the clock, you can head inside to tour the museum or stop in their cigar shop. 

The Beaches

The closest beach to the downtown area is Ben T. Davis Beach. According to USA Today, it is one of the best places to watch the sunset and is close to the new Courtney Campbell Trail. 

Although there aren’t too many beaches right in Tampa, there are a few great ones within a short driving distance. Fred Howard Park, Indian Rocks Beach, Sand Key Park, and Honeymoon Island State Park are just a few on a long list of great beaches near Tampa. 

Fourth Friday

Many cities choose a certain day of the month to have recurring downtown celebrations. Tampa chose the fourth Friday of each month for theirs. It’s a free event from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. and boasts tons of free activities for people of all ages. 

The event takes place along the Riverwalk and there is usually live music from local musicians. All you have to do is stop by and pick up a wristband from one of the participating vendors and you can enjoy all the perks, including free admission to the Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa Bay History Center, and Tampa Theatre.

Florida Botanical Gardens

Another great free thing to do in Tampa is to take a trip to the Florida Botanical Gardens. There are roughly 90 acres of natural areas and 30 acres of gardens, showcasing native Florida plants. Not only is admission free, but you can also take a guided tour for free. 

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