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Tampa With Kids: The Best Way To See the City Is From the Water

On our recent trip to Tampa with the kids we received free tickets to a sightseeing cruise aboard one of Tampa Water Taxi Co.’s boats. 

Cruising aroung Tampa on the Never Never Land. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz. All Rights Reserved.

Cruising aroung Tampa on the Never Never Land. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz. All Rights Reserved.

 

Tampa is a one of  the most picturesque harbors in Florida  and it’s waterfront is filled with beautiful hotels, homes, museums, shipyards and many other attractions.  As we looked for something fun and interesting to do during our family vacation in Tampa taking a tour of the city from the water seemed to be a wonderful idea. After seeing all the great reviews we decided to book a sightseeing cruise aboard one of Tampa Water Taxi Co‘s Never Never Land boats.

We  boarded the boat on the dock of the hotel we where staying, so this was really convenient and easy.  We started off sailing on the Hillsborough river from where we got the best views of  the University of Tampa, the Riverwalk, the Tampa Museum of Art and other interesting buildings and attractions.  The kids where really excited to see the replica pirate ship, learn about the local wildlife and watch as other boats and sailboats glided through the Tampa Bay waters.

 

Sailboats on Tampa Bay with a beautiful view of the city skyline behind them.  Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz. All Rights Reserved.

Sailboats on Tampa Bay with a beautiful view of the city skyline behind them. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz. All Rights Reserved.

 

We then went out into Tampa Bay where we sailed past Davis Island and had the opportunity to admire some of the most beautiful and largest homes in Tampa, including “St. Jetersburgh” New York Yankee Derek Jeter’s mansion.

We thoroughly enjoyed learning about the city and it’s history as Captain Larry shared with us historic information, fun facts and interesting stories and anecdotes.   He was knowledgeable, entertaining and awesome with the kids.  We felt like we where being shown around the city by an old friend. We have been on other boat tours before and my children tend to get bored but this was not the case on this trip where the kids even got to steer the Never Never Land!

 

My daughter had a blast steering the boat with Captain Larry's help and ecouragement. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz. All Rights Reserved.

My daughter had a blast steering the boat with Captain Larry’s help and ecouragement. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz. All Rights Reserved.

 

We had heard that on most of the trips you are able to spot dolphins who feed in the Tampa Bay. The dolphins played hard to get on this particular day and we didn’t get to see any but we did get the opportunity to see countless stingray couples mating.  We live in Florida and see dolphins often but we had never seen stingrays mating, so this was pretty exciting.  Captain Larry told us that in a few weeks schools of baby sting rays can bee seen everywhere.  We will plan a trip during that time of the year in the future as I would love to see that!

 

Sting rays mating in the Tampa Bay. Now you know how that looks like. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz. All Rights Reserved.

Sting rays mating in the Tampa Bay. Now you know how that looks like. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz. All Rights Reserved.

 

The tour lasted about an hour and during that time we got to enjoy some of the most beautiful sights Tampa Bay has to offer and learned a lot about the city.  The experience was fun, interesting and memorable.  I would highly recommend this as a great way to experience Tampa with Kids.

 

View of the Florida Aquarium from the bay. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz. All Rights Reserved.

View of the Florida Aquarium from the bay. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz. All Rights Reserved.

 

We took a harbor cruise but there are lost of other options including a sunset cruises, history cruises, eco cruises and a Pirate Treasure Hunt cruise for kids on Sundays.  You can also arrange private group charters and point to point trips on the river to turn a regular dinner out into a special occasion.

 

Cruising in the Never Never Land my kids are having a great time. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

Cruising in the Never Never Land my kids are having a great time. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

You can visit the Tampa Water Taxi Co. website or like them on Facebook HERE to learn more about their services.

This is part of a series of articles: Tampa with Kids , you can read more articles in the series HERE. #TampaWithKids

Disclosure: I received a complimentary cruise aboard a Tampa Water Taxi Co. boat.  However all opinions are sincere and are my own. 

Follow 365 Things to Do In Southwest Florida on Facebook for more recommendations, events and activities for the whole family.

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About the author

Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

Paula is a freelance writer, translator & marketer. She started her writing & publishing career as the editor of Bebé y Mamá, the first parenting magazine in Guatemala. She is the founder of www.GrowingUpBilingual.com and www.365thingsswfl.com and writes articles in Spanish and English for both magazines and the web on subjects ranging from travel and food to parenting and bilingualism. She enjoys traveling, good food and is always in search of new things to do and in Southwest Florida.

18 comments

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  1. Coolchillmom

    Wow!!!! Never thought of it!
    Thanks for the great tip
    Water is our passion and we only go to Tampa for the parks
    Coolchillmom recently posted…The Summer Blog Fest is Here!My Profile

    1. Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

      That is what we usually do too and we had so much fun discovering all the other things Tampa has to offer on this particular trip.

  2. Bohemian Babushka (@BBabushka)

    Now I need at least 2 weeks in Tampa to see everything!! Your children seem to be very happy and that’s what makes all the difference- interested, happy kids. Family memories- priceless. BB2U
    Bohemian Babushka (@BBabushka) recently posted…La Tata & the UHF America’s Health Rankings Senior ReportMy Profile

  3. Michele

    I have to admit I am jealous! I love all your photos around FL.

  4. Krista

    Stunning pictures! It looks like you had a great time – we have been thinking about going to Tampa for vacation, you may have just convinced me!! :)
    Krista recently posted…Blogger Opp: Go With Me Chair GiveawayMy Profile

  5. Maria

    There is so much to do there, I would love to bring my family to visit. My kids love the water so its a perfect fit!
    Maria recently posted…Teens, Teeth & Tunes #ToothTunes1DMy Profile

  6. Giveaways 4 Mom

    These are some great pictures. It looks like you guys had a great time.
    Giveaways 4 Mom recently posted…May WinsMy Profile

  7. Natalia

    Me transporté con estas fotos! Un días así es el que necesito!
    Natalia recently posted…Un viaje al pasado con Medieval TimesMy Profile

  8. S. Yissele

    Que lindo paseo, Tampa es uno de mis lugares favoritos!

    ¡FELIZ DÍA!ॐ
    http://mamaholistica.com
    S. Yissele recently posted…Holistic Thursday: Limpieza del Karma.My Profile

  9. Maybelline @ Naturalmente Mamá

    I had no idea there was such a thing as a Water Taxi in Tampa.. I’ve only been there a couple of times to visit the parks but I see there is so much more than that
    Maybelline @ Naturalmente Mamá recently posted…Miércoles Mudo ~ Helado PlayeroMy Profile

  10. Romina Mamá XXI

    Paula!!! Tus post me dan unas ganas de irme de viaje terrible!!!! Hermosas las fotos y muchas gracias por las recomendaciones ¡ojalá pueda ir un día a conocer!!

    Que bella es la Florida!
    Romina Mamá XXI recently posted…After Earth: opinión de Mami y NiñosMy Profile

  11. Jennifer Clay

    You have some really great pictures! I have only been to the beach once and that was a few years ago. I would love to go again and take a tour like this.
    Jennifer Clay recently posted…Treat is Giving Away 1,000,000 Greeting Cards This Month!!!My Profile

  12. michelle

    this looks like so much fun! I always loved doing harbor tours in Boston and I heard recently that Tampa is a super walkable city. We’ll have to go there someday!
    michelle recently posted…Travel Memories Saturday (Washington D.C.)My Profile

  13. Teresa Garza

    Que padrísimo …. de verdad que si hay cosas totalmente distintas y atractivas que hacer los 365 días del año. .. me encantan tus posts.
    Teresa Garza recently posted…Una visita al cine podría ayudar a salvar vidas.My Profile

  14. nina

    that is awesome! i love taking expeditions out to see!! there is a water taxi service here in vancouver, and it is one of my favorite places to see the city from 😉 a must for when ppl come visit us from out of town! una experiencia increible como lo dices! 😀
    nina recently posted…A Bright Plaid DressMy Profile

  15. Steph @ Filipino Beef Recipes

    Great place to spend time with the family, hope we could go there soon!.. :)
    Steph @ Filipino Beef Recipes recently posted…Top 10 Health Benefits of Mango FruitMy Profile

  16. Maria Iemma

    I was in Tampa several years back and it is beautiful. We had a lot of fun eating Cuban Food and walking the streets but never went to the waterfront. Seems like a great place to enjoy a vacation.

  17. Da Masters

    This is wonderful information. I will definitely be on the water next time I travel to FL! Thank you

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