Downtown Orientation Walk, Tampa

Tampa has become a busy tourist destination lately. What makes this city so special is firstly the beautiful waterfront, the beaches, the cultural sites and thrilling amusements, in a few words Tampas has something to offer for anyone. Don't miss the chance to visit some of its most important touristic sights presented in this orientation walk.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Downtown Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: Downtown Orientation Walk
Guide Location: USA » Tampa (See other walking tours in Tampa)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 km
Author: anna
1
Tampa Convention Center

1) Tampa Convention Center

The Tampa Convention Center is a mid-sized convention center. It has both waterfront views of Tampa Bay and views of the city's skyline. The center is connected to the neighboring Channelside District and Ybor City via the TECO Streetcar Line, which has a station across the street. The center encompasses 600,000 square feet (56,000 m2) in total.

The Convention Center is built on the historical site of Ft. Brooke, the original American outpost on Tampa Bay established in 1824.

The location was used for various commercial and industrial purposes until the late 1980s, when it was cleared to make way for a new convention center to replace Tampa's aging Curtis Hixon Hall. Construction began in early 1989 and the building opened in October 1990.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Tampa Bay History Center

2) Tampa Bay History Center (must see)

Tampa Bay History Center is a history museum. Exhibits include coverage of the Tampa Bay area's first native inhabitants, Spanish conquistadors, and historical figures who shaped the area's history, as well as a reproduction of a 1920s cigar store. It opened on January 17, 2009.

The History Center building is 60,000 square feet (5,600 m2) with 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) of exhibit space.

The Tampa Bay History Center includes three floors of permanent and temporary exhibition space covering 12,000 years of Florida history, with a special focus on Tampa Bay and the Gulf Coast.

The History Center has a museum store, classrooms, the Witt Research Center (a branch of the Hillsborough County Public Library System), a map gallery, an event hall and the Columbia Cafe (a branch of Ybor's Columbia Restaurant.

The History Center is one of the largest on the West Coast of Florida and includes hands-on, kid-friendly activities, as well as cutting edge interactive exhibits and theaters.

Opening hours: Open daily 10 am - 5 pm

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
American Victory Mariners Memorial and Museum Ship

3) American Victory Mariners Memorial and Museum Ship

American Victory Mariners Memorial and Museum Ship depicts the ship history of the entire United States. This museum presents models of ships that were used during some of the most important wars the U.S. participated in, like WWII, and the Korean and Vietnam wars. There are also displays of what are believed to be fragmented remains of war ships that allow historians to reconstruct events from a particular war event.
Hours: Sunday-Monday 12:00 – 5:00 pm; Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
4
Florida Aquarium

4) Florida Aquarium (must see)

The Florida Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, publicly operated institution located in Tampa. It is a large scale, 250,000-square-foot (23,000 m2) aquarium and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The facility is home to more than 20,000 aquatic plants and animals from Florida and all over the world. The facility is located in the Channel District of Downtown Tampa. The Florida Aquarium opened in March 1995 as a privately funded entity, and became a public-private partnership when the city of Tampa assumed responsibility for its debt in 1999. The Florida Aquarium's exhibits are laid out to show the journey of a drop of water from one of Florida's many fresh-water springs out to the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Exhibits include a large simulated wetlands exhibit located under a tall glass atrium, a simulated beach, and a coral reef community housed in a 500,000-US-gallon (1,900,000 l) tank. Its mission is to "entertain, educate and inspire stewardship of the natural environment." The newest section is Ocean Commotion, which replaced the Sea Hunt section.

Opening hours: Daily : 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Splash Pad Hours: 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Sacred Heart Church

5) Sacred Heart Church

Sacred Heart Catholic Church was constructed in 1905 and is one of the oldest churches in the city of Tampa. The church is predominantly a Romanesque structure, with other elements. The church is home to Sacred Heart Parish, part of the West Hillsborough Deanery of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint Petersburg.

As Tampa grew, so did the parish, and by 1897 it was decided that a new church was needed. The dedication of Sacred Heart Church took place on January 15, 1905, and at that time the parish was renamed Sacred Heart Parish.

The granite and marble structure includes a 135 foot dome, solid oak pews and doors, porcelain tiles, and a Carrara marble altar. Its 70 stained glass windows were designed and manufactured for Sacred Heart by Franz Mayer & Co. of Munich, Germany.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Tampa Theatre

6) Tampa Theatre (must see)

The Tampa Theatre and Office Building is a historic U.S. theater and city landmark. On January 3, 1978, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

The Theatre features a wide range of independent, foreign, and documentary films on a daily basis. It is Tampa's only non-profit theater and operating costs are largely covered by its membership program, various corporate sponsors as well as ticket sales. It has periodically been used as a backdrop for movies, MTV videos and local programming.

Designed as a atmospheric theatre style movie palace by architect John Eberson, the Tampa Theatre opened on October 15, 1926. Besides being architecturally stunning both inside and out, the theatre was the first commercial building in Tampa to offer air conditioning. This fact gave the theater even more appeal during Florida's sweltering summer months.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
John F. Germany Public Library

7) John F. Germany Public Library

John F. Germany Public Library is a new facility with professionally designed meeting rooms for hosting various cultural events. This library contains a huge selection of books, magazines and educational resources for adults and children. They also host several recreational programs, book discussions and training sessions. Remember to stop by the permanent exhibition room where the works of local and regional artists are on display.
Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday: 10am - 9pm; Friday-Saturday: 10am - 6pm; Sunday: 12:30pm - 5pm.
8
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center

8) Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (must see)

The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, opened in 1987, is located in a beautiful downtown area along the east bank of the Hillsborough River. It produces a wide variety of concerts, performances, and cultural events that attract locals and tourists alike. The center is home to five different theaters, a conservatory, rehearsal hall, fashionable boutiques, and delicious restaurants.
9
Tampa Museum of Art

9) Tampa Museum of Art (must see)

The Tampa Museum of Art exhibits 20th-century fine art, as well as Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities. The museum was founded in 1979 and debuted an innovative new building in 2010 on the banks of Hillsborough River just north of its original site. The current location is part of Tampa's Riverwalk and the Waterfront Arts District along with the Glazer Children's Museum and the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts and includes a gift shop and SONO Cafe, a restaurant operated by Mise En Place.

In 2010, the Tampa Museum of Art was chosen as a winner of an American Architecture Award by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design.

Opening hours: Mon. – Thurs.: 11am – 7pm; Friday: 11am – 10pm; Sat. – Sun. :11am – 5pm

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Plant Hall, University of Tampa

10) Plant Hall, University of Tampa

Plant Hall is another landmark of the city located in the University of Tampa. The Hall was originally a famous hotel, which then transformed into Tampa University. The building was preserved due to its great history and the superb architectural design of Frederic Spaulding. The main building of the university has a style influenced by Moorish Revival architecture.
11
Henry B. Plant Museum

11) Henry B. Plant Museum (must see)

The Henry B. Plant Museum is located in the south wing of Plant Hall on the University of Tampa’s campus. Plant Hall was formerly known as the Tampa Bay Hotel, which was a 500+ room resort hotel opened in 1891 by Henry B. Plant near the terminus of his rail line.

The museum's exhibits focus on the Gilded Age lifestyle of the old Tampa Bay Hotel’s guests during the 1890s, when Tampa was experiencing sudden population and economic growth, including the beginning of the local tourist industry.

During the Christmas holiday season, the museum hosts the annual Victorian Christmas Stroll.

The entire building (under the title of Tampa Bay Hotel) is a U.S. National Historic Landmark, designated as such on December 5, 1972.

Besides serving as offices and classrooms for the University of Tampa, the entire south wing of the building is dedicated to preserving the glory days of the old Tampa Bay Hotel. Guided tours and a self-guided tour that starts with a video entitled The Tampa Bay Hotel: Florida's First Magic Kingdom, showcase a life of leisure in old Florida.

Operating hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm; Sunday: 12 pm - 5 pm

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
12
Tampa Riverwalk

12) Tampa Riverwalk (must see)

Tampa Riverwalk is a phased open space and pedestrian trail development along the Hillsborough River in Tampa, Florida. The downtown Tampa portion travels alongside the Tampa Arts District and includes Curtis Hixon Park, The Macdill Park, the Tampa Museum of Art, Glazer Children's Museum, Rivergate Tower and adjacent atrium containing the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. The Riverwalk extends along most of the downtown Tampa waterfront from the Channelside District west to the Tampa Convention Center and north up the east bank of the Hillsborough River to Water Works Park in Tampa Heights, forming a continuous path of 2.4 miles connecting parks and attractions to several large hotels.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Tampa, Florida

Create Your Own Walk in Tampa

Create Your Own Walk in Tampa

Creating your own self-guided walk in Tampa is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Walking Tour: Tampa Landmarks

Walking Tour: Tampa Landmarks

Tampa is a lively city with a great history that is well-represented by its landmark buildings. These wonderful towers, churches, and centers add a certain cultural depth to the city's skylines. Take this tour to discover some of the most well-known landmarks in all of Tampa.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Tampa Museums and Galleries

Tampa Museums and Galleries

Tampa is an interesting and beautiful city with a great history. It is home to museums of art, maritime, and others that relate to the developmental history of the city. Local galleries relay the importance and significance of art within the community. Take this tour to discover the places that keep the history of the city alive.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 km
Walking Tour: Top Architectural Sites in Tampa

Walking Tour: Top Architectural Sites in Tampa

Tampa is a young, vibrant city full of modern buildings that represent a new generation of architects and new era of architecture. All over the city, you will find mostly new buildings featuring contemporary designs, with a few historic structures hidden among them. Take this tour to discover some of the fabulous architectural sites around Tampa.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Tampa for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Tampa has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Tampa, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.