Tampa Bay's allure to boaters from across the country stems from its expansive size and diverse offerings. Home to numerous tributaries flowing into its waters, the bay's proximity to the Gulf of Mexico creates a true haven for boating enthusiasts. The area boasts a vibrant boating community and provides a range of options, whether you prefer exploring the bay itself or navigating the scenic intracoastal waterway. With its pristine waters, you'll encounter natural sandbar formations and abundant wildlife.
Widely recognized as one of the premier boating destinations, the Tampa Bay region consistently ranks among the best locations for boating, and it's easy to see why!
Tampa Bay Activities
Tampa Bay is a fishing paradise, both inshore and offshore, with over 200 species of fish inhabiting its waters. This abundance of fish species makes Tampa Bay a popular destination for anglers of all skill levels and interests. Tampa is home to a wide variety of fish, including snook, redfish, spotted sea trout, tarpon, and flounder. The bay's extensive mangrove shorelines, grass flats, and oyster bars provide ideal habitats for these inshore game fish.
For those seeking offshore adventures, Tampa Bay offers access to the Gulf of Mexico, where anglers can pursue larger species such as grouper, snapper, kingfish, cobia, and Spanish mackerel. Tampa Bay also hosts a number of fishing tournaments and events throughout the year, attracting anglers from near and far.
It's important to note that fishing regulations and seasons apply in Tampa Bay, so it's advisable to check with local authorities or fishing guides to ensure compliance with the rules and to make the most of your fishing experience.
Each January, the Gasparilla Pirate Fest transforms Tampa Bay into a realm of pirates and hidden treasures. Led by the Captain and his Ye Mystic Krewe, the parade covers a 4.5-mile route along historic Bayshore Blvd and downtown Tampa. With over a hundred floats, it's the third-largest parade in the U.S. – Just make sure you hydrate as the sun can get pretty hot while you wait for the parade!
Exploring Tampa Bay
Take a leisurely walk along North America's longest sidewalk, Bayshore Boulevard. Spanning 4.5 miles along Tampa Bay, this scenic pathway offers breathtaking views and the perfect opportunity to spot dolphins at play. Or take a walk or a bike ride along the scenic Tampa Riverwalk, a vibrant waterfront promenade lined with restaurants, shops, parks, and attractions.
To take full advantage of downtown Tampa, embark on one of the Yacht StarShip cruises. Their fleet of four luxury yachts offer an array of experiences, from romantic dinner cruises to high-energy party cruises.
Tampa Bay and its surrounding areas, including St. Petersburg, have undergone a remarkable culinary transformation, becoming a true paradise for food enthusiasts. With a thriving culinary scene, the region is now home to several world-class restaurants, including three Michelin-star establishments, and with more opening each year!
As an added bonus, the area also offers numerous Dock & Dine hotspots, where boaters can indulge in mouthwatering cuisine while taking in the picturesque waterfront of the bay.
For an unforgettable dining experience, look no further than WTR Pool & Grill, which has been voted "Best of the Bay." Located downtown, this establishment offers a luxurious poolside setting with breathtaking views of Tampa Bay. Alternatively, head over to Watervue Grille, another downtown gem, where you can enjoy some of their delicious dishes while enjoying the bay's scenic beauty.
If you're in the mood for a more laid-back tropical escape, venture to The Getaway, nestled on Gandy Boulevard. This hidden gem offers a relaxed atmosphere and a menu filled with tantalizing flavors that capture the essence of a tropical paradise.
Discover Boats for Sale in Tampa
As a popular boat marketplace around Tampa, we have something for everyone!
Nearby, the stunning islands, including Caladesi Island, Beer Can Island, Shell Key, Egmont Key, and Honeymoon Island, offer opportunities for fishing, boat parties or just taking in the breathtaking sunsets.
The hidden gem of Hillsborough River State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities such as kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, and hiking trails. Exploring the park's trails, you'll discover a diverse ecosystem teeming with fascinating wildlife, including mosquitos which can be present in the park, especially during warmer months.
If museums and art galleries pique your interest, then Tampa Bay has an abundance. From Henry B. Plant Museum, a Gilded Age palace transformed into an art museum, to the vibrant hub of interactive exhibits and engaging activities at the Glazer Children's Museum, and the captivating world of surrealist art at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg.
Discover the incredible energy and vibrant culture of this region. With so much to do and explore, you could be here for some time to fully experience all that Tampa Bay has to offer!
Bay Access and Hours
Most boat ramps are open 24/7 but there are a few that open from sunrise to sunset.