The City of Temple Terrace, located in Hillsboro County, Florida, just outside of Tampa, was established in 1920 and was established shortly thereafter.
At the last census, Temple Terrace had a population of about 24,500 people, the smallest of all municipalities in the county.
The name Temple Terrace refers to the Temple of Orange and also to a man named William Chase Temple, who was born in Florida and became very wealthy and successful. At one point, he owned a National League baseball team out of state.
Here are 15 things to do in and around Temple Terrace.
1. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Although it’s not technically on Temple Terrace, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is one of the largest and best-known family attractions in the area and features a zoo that resembles Wild Africa.
Busch Gardens Tampa is filled with engaging educational activities and attractions that are amazing for visitors of all ages; many families choose to spend most of their time on site.
The park includes thrilling amusement park rides, a world-class zoo, and many other dining, shopping and activity options for all ages and interests.
2. USF Claws
The University of South Florida is a local university with a national presence that happens to have one of the most popular golf courses in the region. With a name like “The Claw”, it’s no surprise that it’s a pretty wild place.
The 18-hole par 71 course is one of the most challenging courses in the area and is especially known for its narrow fairways, abundant water and sand obstacles, and a variety of Florida wildlife species commonly found along the way.
Deer, wading birds and foxes are the residents of the course, remember you’re in Florida, so retrieving the wrong drive from the lake could mean getting close to an alligator or two.
3. University of South Florida
In addition to on-campus golf courses, USF offers many cultural and athletic options; many of which are cheap gems often overlooked by out-of-state visitors.
The university’s undergraduate student population is just over 24,000. Its sprawling campus is filled with paved paths, tree-lined areas and charming buildings that often host events such as art and theatrical performances and guest speakers — including scientists, writers, historians, and more.
USF also has excellent men’s and women’s sports teams, so check their website for a full list of events.
4. Temple Crest Park
If you’ve never been to Temple Terrace, a quick glance on Google Maps will reveal that the city is full of parks and natural areas. Many of these are located along the scenic Hillsborough River, close to other attractions such as golf courses, restaurants and museums.
Centrally located, Temple Crest Park’s recreational facilities include a softball field, basketball court, playground and covered seating area with access to restrooms and built-in barbecue grills.
The park is located near East Yukon and North 40th Street and is close to other free-to-visit parks such as Rogers Park and Rowlett Park.
5. Greater Hillsboro County Fairgrounds
For affordable, family-friendly entertainment that goes back in time and always entertains visitors of all ages, there’s nothing quite like a county fair to occupy a healthy vacation time.
The Greater Hillsboro County Fair is held for 7 days in October and includes traditional market foods such as corn dogs, funnel cakes and marshmallows. Once you’ve filled your stomach, you’ll enjoy a wide variety of entertainment options, such as carnival-style rides, rodeos, live entertainment, and crafts.
It all happened on Sydney’s Washington Road in nearby Dover, and the entry fee was reasonable.
6. Tampa Zoo in Lowry Park
The Tampa Zoo in Lowry Park covers more than 60 acres and is often referred to as the Lowry Park Zoo, its predecessor.
Whatever you choose to call it, you may be impressed when you learn that it has been voted one of the top zoos in the country by travel magazines and websites several times over the past few years.
The zoo is located on Sisley Avenue in Tampa, a short drive from Temple Terrace at Interstate 275 Exit 48.
The park is home to a large number of native and exotic animals and is open daily.
7. Westfield Brandon
Truth be told, many visitors to the Sunshine State are reluctant to spend their precious vacation in a place not unlike their hometown shopping mall.
However, there’s something to be said for Florida’s invisible aura that many tourists can’t touch — and that’s exactly what Westfield Brandon has.
The mall is one of the newest and most modern retail destinations in the region, with more than 250 stores selling everything from high-end shoes and clothing to books, homewares, jewelry and bicycles.
There are many dining options and many special events, especially during the holidays.
8. Tampa Museum of Art
Established more than forty years ago, the Tampa Museum of Art is a world-class cultural and arts attraction. It is filled with contemporary and traditional art created in various mediums and has many local, national and international influences.
In addition to thought-provoking exhibitions, they offer a variety of events, including guest speakers, teaching and educational programs, and programs specifically designed for young children.
Open daily, the museum is located in West Gasparilla Plaza along the scenic Hillsborough River.
9. Museum of Science and Industry
Located on East Fowler Avenue, the Museum of Science and Industry is a suitable destination for travelers of all ages and interests. Since its inception, it has worked to maintain and promote the region’s contributions to science, business and technology.
The museum is the largest and most comprehensive in the region and includes hundreds of interactive exhibits covering space exploration, the natural world, robotics and industry.
There’s also a dedicated butterfly garden, IMAX theater, and regularly scheduled science programming, so check their website for your schedule in the area.
10. Tampa Riverwalk
The Tampa Riverwalk is a popular destination for those who need to stretch their legs and want to see some fantastic scenes and beautiful neighborhoods in the process.
The Riverwalk’s trails are easily accessible and well-marked, winding through the waterfront and parks. Many accommodation, retail and dining options are within easy walking distance, allowing you to experience all that the area has to offer without spending hours in the car.
The Florida Aquarium and the Historic Monument Trail are major attractions in the area, along with many museums and live entertainment nearby.
11. Ybor City Museum State Park
Tampa is often referred to as the cigar capital of the world, and while places like Cuba and Honduras may have a few who may object to that claim, there’s no question that Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood is rich in history and Cuban culture.
Ybor City Museum State Park is located on the grounds of an old bakery from the 1920s, and the area is also home to a large cigar manufacturing industry.
The park offers historical and natural attractions; for those who want the inside scoop, take professional tours led by well-informed rangers or local volunteers.
12. Big Cat Rescue
Whether it’s a black panther from Florida, a tiger from India, or a lion from Africa, big cats are fascinating and majestic beasts that are breathtaking.
While some tourists find it frustrating to see the animals in captivity, there are few other options for the animals in the rescue and the staff are caring for them.
Founded in 1992, Rescue now includes more than 100 cats from nearly a dozen species.
There are many guided tours to choose from, which may include photo ops, feedings and night views – which makes sense since most cats are nocturnal.
13. Glazer Children’s Museum
Florida is home to a plethora of children’s museums, and for children’s museums in the Tampa and Tampa Terrace area, nothing is more popular than the Glazer Children’s Museum located in West Gasparilla Plaza.
The museum is dedicated to educating and entertaining children in ways that promote engagement and interaction, not just casual viewing.
The museum’s activities and exhibits touch upon engineering and science, art and the natural world, technology and history.
There are a variety of staff-led programs, including field trips and summer camps for children of most ages, so check their website for specifics.
14. Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center
Many first-time visitors to the Sunshine State know little about the iconic manatees that live in the region’s warm coastal waters.
Manatees are large herbivorous marine mammals that can reach epic proportions and spend most of their time grazing on underwater vegetation. For those who want to see them in their natural environment, there’s no better place than the Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach.
The center is free to visit and includes a variety of interactive exhibits, and the warm water discharge from the power station attracts manatees – especially during the coolest winter months on coastal waters.
15. Astro Skate Family Fun Center
Featuring pristine wood floors, funky retro lighting and a premium sound system that plays oldies and modern music, the Astro Skate Family Entertainment Center near Brandon is the perfect indoor entertainment option when the weather isn’t conducive to outdoor activities.
Skate rentals are available, and instructional sessions are available for those who have difficulty staying upright.
In addition to ice skating, the facility offers pool tables, video games, and a snack bar; there’s often a live DJ as well. Special events are offered at different times, so it’s a fun and unique way to socialize even for non-skates.
Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Temple Terrace, FL
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