Destination Tampa … Just a Stone’s Throw Orlando day trip!

Recently we posted an Orlando day trip article on heading east straight to the closest beaches from Orlando. Well, in the interest of fairness, lest we leave out our neighbors to the west! The good news for vacation rental guests is that many attractions in Tampa are less than 75 minutes away. Yes, Tampa Bay is less than 75 miles away and offers plenty to do for an Orlando day trip.

Busch Gardens Day Trip Near Orlando

Probably the most well known attraction in Tampa is Busch Gardens. Busch Gardens is a gorgeous theme park packed with rides, animals, botanical gardens, food, and fun for all! Tampa is also for the vacationer who wants to expand their horizons to see what the gulf coast has to offer. As you can see below, in addition to sandy beaches of their own, there’s a lot going on!

Busch Gardens Tampa Day Trip From Orlando

Busch Gardens Tampa Day Trip From Orlando

What many people don’t realize is that Busch Gardens is actually a 300 acre zoo! Originally opened in 1959 by Anheuser Busch as their hospitality headquarters , Busch Gardens is now a world renown research center. Busch Gardens serves as home to hundreds of animal species who receive the very best in veterinarian care. The park offers many interactive opportunities and is a must see for bird and animal lovers alike. For more info, visit their website at:

Florida Aquarium in Tampa Near Orlando

Another great attraction in Tampa is the Florida Aquarium. Located on the city’s beautiful Tampa Riverwalk, the aquarium is touted as one of the most “kid-friendly” experiences in the country. The aquarium offers an interactive Ocean Commotion attraction, as well as a Swim with the Fishes experience. This venue will give youngsters their first taste of scuba diving! And for those 15 years and older  … there’s a dive with the sharks! There’s also a Coral Reef exhibit and a Bays and Beaches exhibit that houses over 20,000 marine wildlife! They also have a summer Splash Pad, a children’s play area that opens on June 16. For more information, visit their website at:

Also located on the Riverwalk which connects the city’s multiple venue choices along the Hillsborough River is the WWII American Victory ship, an historical Monument Trail. There are many shopping and dining options along the Riverwalk. There’s also a Hillsborough River State Park.

Tampa is a well-known cultural destination, featuring several museums, entertainment, and educational opportunities for those seeking a close Orlando day trip. There’s the Contemporary Art Museum, The Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Museum of Science and Industry, and the Glazers Children’s Museum.  Additional attractions include the Henry B. Plant Museum, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, and the Tampa Museum of Art. 

Ybor City Near Orlando

There’s also the Ybor City Museum State Park which educates visitors about the origins of the cigar industry that made Ybor City the “Cigar Capital of the World!” The park is also home to some gorgeous Mediterranean gardens. Sounds like a great spot to relax and enjoy a cigar! 

If you prefer to wait for the evening to enjoy a smoke and drink, be sure to head over to Davidoff of Geneva, a luxurious cigar bar located in Tampa. Visit their site at Enjoy!

Not to leave out the professional sports fan for an Orlando day trip, Tampa is home to several pro sports teams. These include the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays, NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, and the MLS’s Tampa Bay Rowdies. Talk about a sports fan’s paradise! 

Just a couple of hours drive from Orlando, there’s no reason not to head over to experience what all Tampa has to offer. If you fly into Orlando, you can also enjoy an Amtrak train ride aboard the 91 Silver Star over to Tampa for as little as $13 each way. Now that’s a deal! To search for your commute, visit

This article is brought to you courtesy of Orlando Vacation Homes 360. If you are planning a visit to the Orlando/Kissimmee area or even Tampa, please take a moment to look over our extensive inventory of vacation rental properties. These are available at Thanks! 

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