Adventure Activities in Tampa -- Try if You Dare

by Jessica Panian, an AOL Travel ContributorPosted Oct 5th 2010 11:35 AM

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Adventure Activity Tampa

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Thrill-seeking in Tampa, Florida will most likely lead you to the water. This should come as no surprise considering just how much water there is in and around the city. You have the Gulf Coast to the west, Tampa Bay at its heart, and even the land surrounding the city is swampy. If you are looking for an adventure activity in Tampa that will give you a quick adrenalin boost, take a look at this list and find the perfect activity for the most daring, and even the most timid, of thrill-seekers.


Busch Gardens


Busch Gardens of Tampa, Florida, is home to fast roller-coasters and exotic animals. Hold on to your hat on the SheiKra coaster as you plunge down 90 degree angles, shoot 70 miles an hour, spin, jerk, and fly underground. You must be 54 inches tall to ride. The Gwazi coaster is an original wooden coaster that adrenalin seekers have flocked to for years. It's a double coaster with crossing speeds of over 100 miles an hour. You must be 48 inches tall to ride this one. There are plenty of outdoor adventure activities at this Tampa attraction, and you'll surely find yourself wanting to come back for more!

Busch Gardens, 10165 North McKinley Drive, Tampa, FL 33612, 1-888-800-5447
Hours: vary by day and month; check the website to plan your trip
Admission: Adult $74.95, Child (3-9) $64.95

Track Racing


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to race around a NASCAR track at over 100 miles per hour? If you have, the Richard Petty Driving Experience is the adventure activity in Tampa you've been looking for! This experience will leave you feeling ready to fly to the moon. You can sit as a passenger of a professional driver who will take you through all the exciting and fast turns and show you what it's like to really be in the race.

Richard Petty Driving Experience, 3450 North World Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, 1-800-237-3889
Hours: Schedule varies by month and location; check website to plan
Admission: Prices vary from $399 to $2099, depending on program chosen

Parasailing


If you are planning a Tampa adventure vacation, be sure to include Gator's Parasail & Watersports. Soar over 1000 feet in the air and get a bird's eye view of Tampa and the Gulf of Mexico. Can anyone say, "Shark spotter?"

Gator's Parasail & Watersports, 209 Boardwalk Place East, Madeira Beach, FL 33708, 727-363-1881
Hours: 9AM-sunset daily, weather permitting
Cost: Varies based on height, ranges from 400 ft for $45 to 1200 ft for $75

Canoeing


Take up your paddle and follow your guide down the Hillsborough River with Canoe Escape. Bring your waterproof camera because you are likely to see gators and other Florida wildlife. This is a fun Tampa family adventure!

Canoe Escape, 335 East Fowler Avenue, Thonotosassa, FL 33592, 813-986-2067
Hours: Guided tour offered every Wednesday at 11AM; schedule your own time with a 48 hour advance reservation
Cost: $65 per person with 2 people, $50 per person with 3 or more people

Shark Fishing


If viewing alligators from the boat isn't adventurous enough, maybe you're looking to get up close and personal with some wildlife. Ever reeled in a shark? John's Pass Fishing Charters can take you out for an evening shark tour where you can go fishing for sharks. Only serious fishers should take this on - it's hard work! The best part is, if you don't catch anything, you don't pay anything. Note: The loop current keeps these waters free of oil.

John's Pass Fishing Charters, 503 150th Avenue, Madeira Beach, Florida 33708, 727-580-6531
Hours: Shark Fishing trip leaves at twilight and lasts 3-4 hours
Cost: Shark Fishing trip $450
Other trips available; check website for hours and pricing information.

Seafood at ABC Seafood Restaurant


If you are planning an adventure vacation in Tampa, don't forget to include adventurous food choices on your agenda! The ABC Seafood Restaurant is a must stop while you're in Tampa. It's authentic Chinese cuisine, not the normal Chinese-American stuff you normally find. They have salt and pepper crab, salty fish and eggplant claypot, and tiger clams. For those who find a thrill in trying something new and different, this is the place to stop, short of hopping a plane to China yourself.

ABC Seafood Restaurant, 2705 54th Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL 33714, 727-522-1888
Hours: Wed-Mon 5PM-12midnight

Now that you know where to go in Tampa for outdoor activities and travel adventures, the only thing left is to decide how much you can handle. Whatever your poison, try something new, take lots of pictures, and brag to all your buddies in the office when you get home about your most daring adventure activity in Tampa.
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