Hillsborough County - 61 Attractions You Must Visit
About Hillsborough County
Hillsborough County was created on January 25, 1834 and its area was much larger and included eight other present-day counties: Charlotte County, DeSoto, Hardee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota.
Types of Attractions in Hillsborough County
List of Attractions in Hillsborough County
Adventure Island, is an adventure lover's paradise. With a wide variety of exciting water slides, thrilling rides and carnival games, there is no shortage of fun to be had here. Get the adrenalin pumping with Roller Coaster Rapids or Wacky Slides - both of which are sure to make your heart pound! If that's not enough excitement for you, don't worry - the park also features plenty of relaxing activities such as animal shows and gentle boat rides.
Alafia River State Park
Alafia River State Park, is a popular destination for hikers and nature-lovers. The park contains 6 miles of trails and offers impressive views of river bluffs, small rapids and a diverse array of wilderness flora and fauna. With its array of camping facilities, cabins and fishing spots. Additionally, the park provides various organized activities such as canoeing trips and bird watching, giving visitors a chance to take full advantage of the natural beauty surrounding them.
Ballast Point Park
Ballast Point Park is an idyllic place for visitors to explore and enjoy. Set along the shore of beautiful Tampa Bay, the park has something for everyone. From boat launches and kayak landings to a beachfront promenade, there are plenty of ways to appreciate nature. The park also includes shaded picnic areas, swings, and a playground for children. Guests can even watch for local wildlife from any number of scenic lookout points throughout the area.
Big Cat Rescue
Big Cat Rescue is an accredited animal sanctuary which is home to over 150 big cats and other animals, including tigers, lions, leopards, cougars, bobcats, servals, lynxes, Foxes and more. The purpose of the sanctuary is to provide a safe and healthy environment for these animals—to rescue them from abuse and abandonment and give them lifelong care in a natural habitat. Big Cat Rescue houses the largest population of rehabilitated captive big cats with an intense focus on public education.
Bok Tower Gardens
The Bok Tower Garden is a beautiful botanical garden filled with colorful blossoms and winding pathways. It was built by Edward W. Bok, as a tribute to the beauty of nature and birds. Visitors can explore peaceful walking trails and gardens, to experience the tranquility of nature up close. There's also a 203 foot tall Singing Tower featuring dazzling carillon bells which chime every 30 minutes allowing people to bask in their soothing tones from almost anywhere on site.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
335-acre (136 ha) African-themed animal theme park. The park officially features nine roller coasters and two water rides amongst other rides and animal attractions.
Centro Asturiano de Tampa
The Centro Asturiano de Tampa was founded in 1923 as a social center for members of the Spanish and Italian immigrant communities. It provided them with a place to gather socially and recreate, as well as access to healthcare, education, and other services. Today, it continues to serve the community of Hillsborough County by hosting various cultural events and educational programs. The four story building also houses a library filled with more than 5,000 books ranging from literature to history.
Cheetah Hunt, is a thrilling roller coaster ride offering exciting twists and turns that will leave your heart racing. The roller coaster begins with a series of gentle dips and curves before launching riders up to 60 miles per hour across nearly 4,400 feet of steel track. It ends with a catapult that propels you deeply into the sky before spiraling back down. This state-of-the-art coaster will give you an unforgettable experience filled with free-falling loops and high speed crossings.
Cobra's Curse is a thrilling roller coaster experience located in Hillsborough County, Florida. The coaster twists and turns around an eighty foot snake sculpture and is sure to give any coaster enthusiast their adrenaline fix! Riders start out with a slow launch from the station and climb three stories up to the first "stop" – a face-to-face encounter with the Cobra King himself! After that, it's a wild ride filled with loops, spins and drops throughout its two thousand feet of track.
Congo River Rapids
Lake/ River/ Ponds
Congo River Rapids is the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day. The fun and thrilling rapids will have visitors flying down the river on their inner tubes while navigating through exciting twists and turns. As they navigate through the eight-foot-high wave created by the waterfalls, visitors will experience varying speeds of running water that race through swamps and forests. With lush vegetation all around, visitors can take in their surroundings.
Cracker Country is an educational living history museum that provides visitors with a unique view of rural life in the 19th century. Through its re-created farmstead, period demonstrations, craft and trades heritage exhibits, original buildings and artifacts, Cracker Country showcases Florida's rich culture and diverse history. The guided tour offers an up-close look at lives of Florida pioneers who called themselves “Crackers” — self-sufficient cattle ranchers and farmers who lived.
The Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is a refreshing spot for locals and visitors alike to take in the beauty of Tampa Bay. Located on East Bank of the Hillsborough River downtown, this 10-acre park features breathtaking views of the Tampa skyline, an interactive fountain where kids can cool off, an expansive stretch of green space perfect for picnicking and relaxing during Florida's sunny days, as well as cultural programming such as free concerts.
Dinosaur World offers a unique way for visitors, both young and old, to explore the prehistoric era. Located on over 20-acres of land, there are more than 150 life-sized dinosaur models spread throughout gardens and forests; an educational exhibit where you can learn about all phases of dino history; a Dinosaur Bone Dig Sandbox which provides an interactive experience with real fossils; various activities including a fossil find game that helps with problem solving skills.
Egmont Key Lighthouse
Egmont Key Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse located in Hillsborough County. Its construction was completed in 1858 and it has been under National Park Service protection since in 1998. The lighthouse stands at an impressive 71 feet tall and provides a unique ambiance to the beaches of the area, where locals and tourists explore its ruins for a glimpse into the past. Even after its decommissioning in 1958, this Lighthouse continues to serve as an iconic symbol of Hillsborough.
Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge
Located on Egmont Key, at the mouth of Tampa Bay, it can only be reached by boat or ferry. The Egmont Key Lighthouse and the ruins of Fort Dade, a Spanish–American War era fort, are located in the park. The entire 328 acres (133 ha) island is actually part of Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge.
Eureka Springs Park
Eureka Springs Park, is a beautiful and natural park that is perfect for spending a day outdoors. The sprawling grounds feature plenty of walking trails amongst the thick forestry, as well as some stunning waterfront views. There are also several attractions within the park such as Big Fish Lake and Eureka Springs Park Nature Center, where visitors can learn more about the local wildlife. Other activities include fishing, picnicking, birdwatching or other leisure activities.
Man-made Structures- Other
Falcon's Fury is a unique thrill ride located in Hillsborough County, Florida that opened in 2014. It stands at 335 feet tall and has riders sitting upright with the ground beneath their feet. The ride begins with a slow ascent to the peak before surging riders forward into an almost free-fall experience. Yet even while plummeting, they can still take time to appreciate beautiful views of Tampa Bay before slowly gliding back to the top.
Florida Botanical Gardens
Spanning over 175 acres, the Florida Botanical Gardens is one of the area’s greatest treasures. Here visitors can explore natural wildlife, a world-class collection of palms, and breathtaking butterfly gardens. A variety of workshops and classes, such as botanical illustration, are offered for those looking to learn more about plants and ecology. Additionally, there are 11 distinct displays including a bromeliad garden and showcase herb garden highlighting aromatic greenery.
Fort De Soto Park
Fort De Soto Park is a tropical paradise to explore with numerous attractions. Spanning over 1,050 acres, the park offers miles of picturesque shoreline perfect for swimming around the artificial islands and fishing off the piers. Visitors can also go kayaking or canoeing around the estuaries. Other great activities include camping, canoe races, bird watching tours and history discovery runs.