Zephyrhills is a city of approximately 14,000 residents located in Pasco County in central Florida.
Located about 30 miles northeast of Tampa, it is known for its pristine springs, open spaces, and natural beauty that is less developed than other nearby metropolitan areas.
Zephyrhills is also a large skydive destination. Within easy driving distance from many of the region’s most beautiful beaches and fun-filled theme parks, the city hosts many fairs and festivals throughout the year for many guests to visit from time to time.
Here are 15 things to do in and around Zephyrhills, Florida.
1. Yamato Wind Mountain Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information Center
The Visitor Information Center and local Chamber of Commerce are the perfect first stop for travelers new to the area and unsure of what to see and do.
With the internet, it’s easy to do research before traveling, but it’s hard to beat an actual brick-and-mortar building of knowledgeable locals to get things going in the right direction.
The center is filled with tourist brochures, area maps and business guides; they’re all free, so don’t be shy to help yourself and ask the staff for their advice.
The center is located on Fifth Avenue in Zephyrhills.
2. Waterpark at Zephyr Park
The first few guests at Zephyr Park on Zephyrhills 4th Street commented that it was clean, well-appointed and almost completely sheltered.
The park portion of the facility includes a variety of play equipment such as slides, jungle gyms and swings. There are plenty of covered seating areas near all events, so weary parents can lighten their load in the sun while keeping an eye on the little ones.
The water park includes many swimming pools, a splash pad and many water slides. There’s no better place than the sweltering heat of Florida during the dog days of summer.
3. Main Street Zephyrhills Christmas Parade
Visitors from the country’s Midwest and Northeast should note that Christmas in Florida can include swaying palms, 80-degree weather and revellers in Hawaiian-style shirts.
It’s not the most traditional Christmas setting for out-of-state visitors, but it’s simply stunning, and the annual Christmas parade is one of the highlights of the city’s much-loved Festival of Lights, held every December.
The event features live entertainment, delicious food, and a variety of vendors selling arts and crafts, prepared foods, clothing and other locally made odds and ends.
4. Skydive City
The flat, undeveloped land around Zephyrhills stretches to the far horizon, perfect for skydiving.
Skydive City is a local operator with years of experience providing safe and exhilarating high-altitude experiences to the brave from all over the country who think paying people to get the chance to jump thousands of feet from their perfect plane Privileges are a fun way to spend an afternoon.
First-time skydivers claim it’s one of the most memorable experiences of their lives. With a well-trained and patient staff and multiple jumping options, this is an activity suitable for all ages and levels of physical ability.
5. Saturday Square
Zephyrhills city centre is a trendy and historic area that hosts fairs and festivals and is known for its all-round fun atmosphere.
Saturday in the Square is a block party held on the last Saturday of each month. It includes delicious food, delicious drinks, live entertainment and a variety of arts, crafts and family-friendly activities.
Many vendors and local restaurants offer specials on beverages, food and merchandise. The event often includes cool hands-on activities like getting up close and personal with the city’s fire trucks, which are popular with young boys and men who still act like them.
6. Founders Day and Heritage Days
Rumor has it that Zephyrhills Founders Day and Heritage Festival has been going on for over 100 years.
The event takes place every year in early March, when the weather in Central Florida is at its perfect peak. It’s one of those things that most residents look forward to every year.
Food, parades and live entertainment abound, all in Zephyrhills city centre.
Every year, the festival has a different theme, last year’s theme was planes, trains and cars. Check their website regularly to see what this year’s theme is.
7. Little Ninja Thai-Japanese Food & Café
While Central Florida isn’t usually associated with ninja or Asian cuisine, there is one local restaurant that combines both. This is a popular hotspot for those who want a taste of the East without breaking the bank.
Previous guests have called Little Ninja Thai-Japanese Food and Café a hidden gem and a rare treat. It offers a full range of fresh, vibrant meals that seem to complement Florida’s sunny and hot weather.
Noodle soup, curry, chicken satay and Rangoon crab are some of the favourites. Their prices are reasonable, so they are perfect for those on a budget.
8. Halloween Howl
Zephyrhills’ annual Halloween Howl takes place in the historic downtown area and includes a dizzying array of family and kid-focused events, making it one of the most anticipated events in the area every year.
It’s a free event featuring a spooky haunted house, hay wagons and a safe, well-lit trick-or-treating area.
There are costume parades and competitions, where every kid who enters wins a prize, and some carnival-style rides and games that add to the already festive atmosphere.
Many local food vendors will be on-site serving delicious and hearty meals such as burgers, dogs and boardwalk fries.
9. Music and Motorcycle of the Year
For 15 years, the City of Zephyrhills has hosted events centered on live music and motorcycles every year. While it’s younger than many of the city’s annual events, it’s already attracted a sizable loyal following.
It takes place on Main Street in mid-September and includes live bands, delicious street food, plenty of adult drinks and some motorcycle racing.
It’s not as family friendly as some of the other local activities, but for those who don’t mind locking their kids in a closet for hours or pawning them to unsuspecting relatives, it’s an evening to spend a few hours good idea.
10. Saddle Brook Resort
The Saddle Brook Resort is located approximately 30 miles north of Tampa and a short drive from Zephyrhills.
The resort is a truly unique area attraction as it includes a variety of world-class on-site amenities. For many active and luxurious travelers, this is where they spend a lot of their vacations.
The resort’s core amenities include two Arnold Palmer-designed 18-hole golf courses, dozens of tennis courts, a full fitness center and a large swimming pool with nearly half a million gallons of water.
There is also a European spa and several restaurants offering a variety of cuisines.
11. Jinghu Park
While you may not know its name, Lakeland’s Mirror Park is not just another park and pond combination.
Often described as a multi-faceted entertainment destination, its facilities include an amphitheater, lakeside promenade and sprawling grounds spanning over 2,000 acres.
Mirror Lake Park is a particularly popular area for campers and RV trips; there are more than 100 individual sites, many of which have full water and electrical connections.
The park has an extensive network of multi-use trails, and many areas of the park are accessible to those using wheelchairs.
12. Polk Theater
Located on South Florida Avenue near Lakeland, the Polk Theater dates back nearly nine years.
Built in the Roaring ’20s, the theater has hosted some of the biggest names in the music industry, such as Elvis Presley and Glenn Miller, over the years.
The theatre has also struggled over the decades, but since the 80s it has undergone several renovations and upgrades to restore it to its former glory. It once again provides the community with a full entertainment and performing arts schedule.
The majority of the theater’s funding comes from grants and donations, so watching a show is a great way to support this unique community resource.
13. Busch Gardens Tampa
Central Florida is home to the largest concentration of world-class theme parks in the country, and Busch Gardens Tampa is one of the most popular in the area.
Busch Gardens Tampa is part amusement park, part zoo, and part live entertainment. This is one of those places that tends to take up most of the itinerary for those traveling with kids.
Most of the safari-themed attractions are filled with animals and landscapes that are more like Africa than Florida, as well as a wide variety of lodging, dining, activities and live entertainment options on-site.
Crowds are expected, especially during the peak summer months when schools are closed across the country.
14. Florida Museum of Photographic Art
While they are often overlooked as a medium of artistic expression, photographs can capture moments in ways no other art can.
Located on Ashley Avenue in Tampa’s trendy and historic waterfront district, the Florida Museum of Photographic Art is housed in an architecturally distinctive cube-shaped building.
The museum’s exhibits include permanent and temporary collections; many of them are from renowned photographers who have traveled the world capturing stunning sights.
There are many special events each year, as well as teaching and educational programs for adults and children.
15. Tampa Bay History Center
For the history-minded traveler who finds himself in Tampa with a few hours to kill, there’s no better place to go than the Tampa Bay History Center.
Dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich history of the region, the museum’s exhibits span thousands of years – beginning in prehistoric times and continuing to the present.
Many exhibits promote activity and interaction; they are engaging and informative for people of all ages and broad interests.
Facilities at the center include a map gallery, demo room, gift shop, and café serving light meals and hot and cold beverages.
Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Zephyrhills, FL
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