Tampa is a flourishing city on the western coast of Florida. It is the 53rd largest city in the U.S., and as the hub of the Tampa Bay Area, it is the second largest metropolitan area in the state.
Tampa's Henry B. Plant Museum is a recommended place to see Moorish architecture and grandiose tropical flowers and gardens. A different style of "gardens" would be to visit Busch Gardens, a fun-filled theme park that regularly wins awards for the most beautifully landscaped park of its kind.
The city treasures its historic roots as a Native American and Spanish settlement, and historic museums and landmarks are easy to find throughout the city. Downtown attractions include the historic Tampa Theatre and the Tampa Museum of Art. Not far from downtown are two marinas, ideal for setting sail out on the Tampa Bay.
A splendid way to look at sea life is at the Florida Aquarium or the Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center. From November through April, wild manatees frequent Apollo Beach, and the manatee viewing platform is conveniently located by a favorite manatee hangout. In addition to viewing manatees, the center has a walkway that connects with the Great Florida Birding Trail, a great place to find colorful Florida flowers and plants. Expect to see a wide variety of feathered friends on this pleasant walk. Keep an eye out for birds like tri-colored herons, pelicans or Florida's native Sooty Terns.