City Guide: Best Free Things to Do in Tampa

April 2, 2019 0 0

The best free things to do in Tampa, Florida are not what you expect. While history, nature and marine life are in splendid supply, museums, trails and outdoor fun also await you. Ditto for some amazing drinks (especially if you like beer) and gorgeous beaches. If you’re looking for fun that won’t cost you a dime, then fear not. The following list – featuring a wealth of activities for every interest and age group – provides a helpful rundown of 10 of the best free things to do in Tampa, FL today.




Tampa Riverwalk

Multiple Locations along Hillsborough River

This stellar attraction winds itself 2.5 miles through the downtown waterfront, taking you past some of the city’s biggest attractions, including the Tampa Museum of Art and the Florida Aquarium. The Riverwalk also boasts sculptures, and there are plenty of places to stop and get a bite to eat or a beverage.

Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center

6990 Dickman Rd

In season — i.e., winter — the gentle manatees head from the ocean to the warm water discharged from the power plant. Once thought to be mermaids, you can get to see these beautiful creatures up close. There’s a butterfly garden, trail and environmental education building, too.

Clearwater Beach Sunset Celebration

Pier 60

Sunsets on the Gulf of Mexico are stellar no matter which stretch of sand you decide to go to, but every night, Clearwater Beach comes alive. The action is centered at Pier 60, which seemingly reaches right into the Gulf of Mexico. It’s where performers, vendors and musicians take the stage.

J.C. Newman Cigar Company

2701 N. 16th St

This is the last operating cigar company in Ybor City. Its small museum and shop put it on our list of the 10 best free things in Tampa, along with its recently refurbished historic clock tower.

Ybor City Visitor Center

2600 E. 8th Ave.

This National Historic Landmark District is named for cigar baron Vincente Martinez Ybor, and its visitor’s center is a small museum that will introduce you to the city’s Latin quarter, with amazing restaurants, shops and galleries. Get a free map and advice on where to start your exploration.

Bent T. Davis Beach

7740 W. Courtney Campbell Causeway

If you’re looking for a beach that’s close by, then this is the beach for you. Powdery white sands and beautiful waters await you. In the summer months, it’s where you’ll want to spend all your time.

Tampa Firefighters Museum

720 E. Zack St

Built in 1911, this gorgeous historic building was the headquarters for the Tampa Fire Department.  It promotes history — and fire safety — and yes, there are red fire trucks.

Yuengling Brewing Company

11111 N. 30th St

Free tours run daily here at America’s oldest brewery. Though Yuengling started in Pennsylvania (where it is still made) it’s also made at this modern brewery in Tampa. Samples come after the free tour.

Bayshore Boulevard

Multiple Locations

It’s free to walk on sidewalks everywhere, but the Bayshore Boulevard is a really special sidewalk. As the longest, continuous sidewalk in the country it will take you through the city to enjoy the gorgeous scenery.

Fourth Friday Tampa

Multiple Locations

Every fourth Friday the galleries and museums along Tampa’s Riverwalk open their doors and stay open later. Museums like the Henry B. Plant Museum offer free admission some months, while other galleries serve free refreshments. 

Cheat Sheet

The 10 best free things do in Tampa, Florida aren’t hard to find — you just have to follow the links below:

10 Best – Tampa Offers Tons of Free Fun for Visitors

Visit Florida – Free Things to Do in Tampa with Your Kids

Tags: Culture, Top 10 Guides Categories: Culture, Top 10 Guides
Jeanette Hurt

Jeanette Hurt is the award-winning writer and author of eight culinary and drink books, including The Cheeses of California: A Culinary Travel Guide, which received the 2010 Mark Twain Award for Best Travel Book, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wine and Food Pairing. She's written for, Four Seasons Magazine, Wine Enthusiast,, and dozens more publications.

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