Student Group Travel Tampa In A Day
A short distance from Central Florida you will find a city on the Bay that is perfect for student groups of all ages. There is so much to do in Tampa that it is hard to fit it all in. Recently, I decided to take a day trip to Tampa to share this great destination and a few of my favorite attractions with my family. There are beautiful beaches, water and plenty of sunshine, however we decided to enjoy the metropolitan area of Tampa.
It is great to begin your day at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo to get an early start and to beat the heat. The Lowry Park Zoo has been named the #1 Zoo in the U.S. by Parents Magazine for many reasons. There are Cheetahs, and Tigers, and Bears (Oh My), but they also have some more unusual animals like the Clouded Leopard, Bornean Orangutan, and Koala. Besides their amazing collection of rare and exotic animals, this zoo has so much more. There are rides, such as the Gator Falls Flume Ride, Jungle Carousel, and the Tasmanian Tiger Family Coaster, in addition to their very popular Safari Ride which offers the best view of the animals around Safari Africa. For an additional charge, you can also ride a Camel, Gypsy Vanner Horse, or even a Llama. The Florida Boardwalk & Wildlife Center offers guests a chance to see many of the species that can be found right in our backyard, but are usually hard to spot. My favorite experience has to be letting a Giraffe eat ride out of my hand. On certain days you can even touch and feed the White Rhino. What an amazing experience!
After lunch we made a short trip to Channelside Drive to visit the Florida Aquarium. We started our visit with a Wild Dolphin Cruise on a 72-foot catamaran, the Florida Aquarium’s Bay Spirit II. With a 95% chance of spotting a dolphin we were ready for an adventure. The cruises are 90 minutes long and provide a great tour of Tampa Bay and the history of the area. And, the Wild Dolphin Cruise is narrated by an educator from the Florida Aquarium who is able to answer questions about the area and the dolphins. Tampa Bay is home to more than 500 bottlenose dolphins and is one of the best places in Florida to view endangered manatees and numerous species of birds, many of which are threatened or endangered.
After our cruise we were ready to continue our adventure inside the aquarium. Though it is extremely large, the Florida Aquarium has a well-designed flow, which allows everyone the opportunity to enjoy the exhibits in an orderly, yet leisurely pace. Your adventure begins on the second floor and takes you through the Mangrove Forests of the Wetlands before heading out to the bays and beaches of Florida’s coastal areas. The Coral Reefs offer some of the most spectacular panoramic views of fish, sharks and other creatures swimming through the Gallery. I can stare at this exhibit for hours. The aquarium offers a couple of hands on experiences with the No Bone Zone and the Stingray Touch Tank which are popular with kids of all ages. The aquarium also offers a behind the scenes tour for an additional cost which allows guests the opportunity to visit areas that are off limits and experience feeding time for some hungry residents. This is a great way to spend the day.
We ended our day trip to Tampa with a visit to Splitsville Luxury Lanes & Dinner Lounge. The atmosphere is fun and the food is great. Their approach combines bowling with billiards, dining, music, and nightlife. This place is clean and the service is exceptional. We would highly recommend Splitsville to a student group for lunch or dinner.
There is a lot more in Tampa that we did not visit on this trip, including Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry), or, my personal favorite, a Tampa Bay Rays Baseball Game, but we will have to save those for our next visit. Our friends in Tampa know just how to welcome our student groups and have designed educational experiences to meet any school requirements, while maintaining an element of fun in all that they do. We would love to book your next student group on a trip to Tampa. Contact Kaleidoscope Adventures today to start planning your next student trip.