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Best Extreme Sports And Rec Spots In Tampa

Everyone needs a little adventure in their life. If you think Tampa doesn't have anything exciting to do, check out some of these extreme sports centers. From SCUBA to skydiving, there is something to make every heart pound.

Vertical Ventures
5402 Pioneer Park Blvd, Suite E
Tampa, FL 33634
(813) 884-ROCK

Price: $35 for introductory climbing class
Hours: Tues to Thurs - 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Fri -  8:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m., Sat to Sun - 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

If you think you can only travel horizontally, then think again. Vertical Ventures is the Tampa Bay area's most popular indoor rock-climbing gym, and for good reason. This place has it all. There are introductory classes for beginners, a supply store for gear, and four levels of climbing areas, including an "expert" area that covers the ceiling. If you discover you really love climbing, take it to the next level and enroll in one of the many training courses, including movement and technique classes and intro to outdoor climbing classes. This is a great place for your child's next birthday party, too.

Canoe Escape
John B. Sargeant Park
12702 U.S. 301
Thonotosassa, FL 33592
(813) 986-2067

Price: Click here for prices
Hours: Daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Canoeing and kayaking doesn't necessarily have to be slow and leisurely. The Hillsborough River boasts some Class II rapids in the northern section of the river. While you don't need to be a seasoned expert to manage the rapids, you could expect some fun maneuvering challenges to get through rough water and small drops. Additionally, wildlife flourishes along the river, and animals such as turtles, raccoons, deer, otters, alligators, and dozens of species of birds are spotted regularly. Don't forget sunscreen and water.

Divers Supply
4349 Gunn Hwy
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 960-3480

Pricing: $299 all-inclusive SCUBA course
Hours: Mon to Sat - 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sun 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Diver's Supply is not only an equipment store. The store also has certified diving instructors, which means you can be exploring Florida's dive sites in just a few weeks. The all-inclusive SCUBA course, Diver's Supply's premier package, includes the PADI crew pack, all equipment, and certification fees for the entire open water diver course. Once you earn your certification, you may then join one of the many dive trips that are offered throughout the year, in places such as Florida Springs, West Palm Beach and the Florida Keys.

Related: 5 Great Places To Spend a Rare Dry Day in The Bay

McCormick's Waterski, Wakeboard and Cable Park
2020 McCormick Lakes Way
Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 681-4441

Pricing: $45.00 per hour
Hours: Daily - 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Whether you are just getting started or already have some experience, McCormick's has some of the best coaches in the world to teach anyone from beginners to elite skiers and riders of all ages. Check out the cable park, meant to help and teach beginners how to water ski. Lessons are available in waterskiing, wakeboarding, wakeskating and wakesurfing. McCormick's also features a Lil Bro practice site, which is set in a small cove away from the other riders. This is a perfect way for children to have a safe and fun experience.

Skydive Tampa Bay, Inc.
7498 Coronet Road
Mulberry, FL 33860
(863) 425-3140

Pricing: $199.00, tandem training jump
Hours: Daily 9:00 a.m. to sunset, by appointment

Put on a parachute built for two: every skydiving beginner will jump in tandem with a certified skydiving instructor. This allows the participant to experience the thrill of skydiving while being safely guided in equipment operation. The tandem classes are short and are meant to introduce participants to the sport. The classes typically take three to four hours to complete, and tandem jumps are made from at least two miles above the ground. Once you complete tandem training, you may then take it to the next level and enroll in the Accelerated Freefall Program, in which you alone are responsible for your parachute's operation in a solo jump.

Related articles: Best Day Trips for Families Around Tampa Bay

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

Amanda Mole has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil and cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove. She believes that food provides more than just vital nutrients: it is an irreplaceable part of countless cultural and social activities. As a Tampa Bay resident for the past 21 years, she is well acquainted with the incredibly diverse range of restaurants, bars, and food festivals that the area has to offer. Her work can be found at

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