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Best Day Trips For Families Around Tampa

Looking to get away, but not too far away? A day trip is the best way to get that accomplished. In and around Tampa, there are many places for you and your family to chase off the cares of life and let loose a little bit. Head to one of the local beaches, check out a local attraction or take an ocean cruise. The best day trips for families around Tampa are not to be missed! -- Steve Hartsoe

Ybor City

Tampa, FL 33605

More than a section of Tampa, Ybor is a city in and of itself. Once a cigar-manufacturing hub and home to the only Cuban-owned land in America, Ybor is alive with the sights, sounds and scents of a bygone era. Take a walking tour from Ybor Walking Tours; sample Colombian, Cuban or Italian cuisine; or take a tour by streetcar. Experience the rich Cuban-American history in Ybor City and leave with a new appreciation for the diversity found in the Tampa area. Children will enjoy a Segway tour or a ride on the streetcar, while adults won't want to miss a visit to one of the area's many cigar shops or a sip of coffee from a local café. Hours: Vary.

Crystal River Archaeological State Park

3400 North Museum Point,
Crystal River, FL 34428
(352) 795-3817

Have you ever seen a manatee? Taken a ride on a clear-bottomed boat? How about gone hiking in a pre-Colombian, Native-American state park? At Crystal River Archaeological State Park, you can do all of that and more. Visitors here can learn about the history of indigenous people and explore burial mounds and worship grounds. In addition, the park offers bird watching, fishing, camping and picnicking on its 61 acres. Boat tours are offered for $10 per person. Ranger-guided tours can be arranged for groups of 10 or more and last about one and a half hours. Hours: Park: 365 days a year, 8 a.m. to sundown. Visitor's center and museum: Thursday through Monday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Big Cat Rescue Day Tour

12802 Easy Street
Tampa, FL 33625
(813) 920-4130

Imagine standing just a few feet from leopards, tigers, lions and other big cats. You can do just that by taking the Day Tour at Big Cat Rescue, a non-profit organization that permanently houses more than 100 formerly abused and neglected cats. The 45-acre site is billed as the largest big cat sanctuary in the world. The tour is always changing because the animals find different things to do for amusement. On the tour, you can get a peek into their world as they play with toys, sleep and live their lives in this amazing big cat safe haven. Tours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Dolphin Cruise

The Florida Aquarium
701 Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 273-4000 or (866) 648-5873

Starting from The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay, you can ride on a 72-foot catamaran as you watch dolphins in their natural habitat. More than 400 bottlenose dolphins call Tampa Bay home, and on this trip you'll feel at one with these fascinating animals. Along with the dolphins, you can also see interesting native fish and birds. Don't forget your binoculars for this memorable, 90-minute adventure. Tours: Daily, 2 p.m.

Head to CBS Tampa's Best Of page for more local tips on family fun, shopping, nightlife, food, culture and more!
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