15 Best Things to Do in Largo (Florida)

Written by Bethany Storms
Updated on
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Located across the bay from Tampa, on a peninsula with Clearwater and St. Petersburg, I find myself in Largo, one of Pinellas County’s largest cities. As I glance around, I can’t help but feel the vibrant energy of this place, teeming with life. The last census recorded a population of over 80,000, and I can see why people are drawn to this area.

What truly sets Largo apart is its breathtaking coastline along the Gulf of Mexico. The pristine beaches here are nothing short of a paradise. I have the privilege seeing these beaches in person, and I am constantly in awe of their beauty. The crystal-clear waters and soft, powdery sand make it a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Largo has a rich history, dating back more than a century. It was incorporated long ago, and its roots in this region run deep. Initially, it was predominantly an agricultural area, with farms and fields stretching as far as the eye could see. However, as time passed and progress took hold, the landscape transformed dramatically.

Nowadays, Largo has evolved into a vibrant city with a diverse range of attractions. Its proximity to some of Florida’s most renowned historical, cultural, and natural destinations makes it an ideal base for exploration. There are so many incredible places to visit just a stone’s throw away.

So, let me share with you 15 unforgettable experiences in and around Largo that you simply cannot miss. These are the moments that have left a lasting imprint on my heart and made my time here truly exceptional. Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!

1. Florida Botanical Gardens

Florida Botanical Gardens, Largo, FloridaSource: Aaron Alvarez / shutterstock
Florida Botanical Gardens, Largo, Florida

I  had the pleasure of visiting Largo’s renowned ‘urban oasis,’ the Florida Botanical Gardens. As I stepped into the lush surroundings, I could immediately sense the tranquility that enveloped the area. Managed by the government of Pinellas County, these gardens offered a delightful escape from the bustling city life.

What struck me most was that entry to the Florida Botanical Gardens was absolutely free, making it an accessible destination for everyone. I appreciated the fact that they welcomed visitors from all walks of life, regardless of their budget. With this in mind, I decided to explore the gardens at my own leisurely pace, savoring each moment of serenity.

As I meandered through the grounds, I couldn’t help but notice the numerous educational and instructional programs available for those who sought a deeper understanding of the botanical wonders around them. This thoughtful provision catered to both the curious minds eager to learn and the mindful travelers seeking more value from their experience.

Covering an impressive expanse of nearly 30 acres, the garden grounds were a treasure trove of natural beauty. Alongside the main trails, I discovered charming children’s trails that were designed to engage and educate young visitors. These interactive paths encouraged a sense of wonder and curiosity, making the gardens a perfect family outing destination.

Moreover, the Florida Botanical Gardens boasted a diverse array of natural habitats, each offering a unique glimpse into the region’s rich biodiversity. From vibrant floral displays to tranquil water features and enchanting woodland areas, there was something to captivate every visitor’s senses. It was truly a haven for nature enthusiasts like myself.

Conveniently situated on Ulmerton Road, the gardens were easily accessible. Prior to my visit, I had perused their excellent website, which provided comprehensive information on their calendar of events, pet rules and regulations, and operating hours. This attention to detail ensured that I could plan my visit with ease and make the most of my time exploring this urban oasis.

2. Heritage Village and Historic Museum

Heritage Village And Historic MuseumSource: facebook.com
Heritage Village And Historic Museum

Located in Largo’s Pinewood Cultural Park, I found myself standing in awe at the magnificent sight of Heritage Village and Historic Museum. It was as if I had been transported back in time, surrounded by over 20 acres of preserved buildings from the mid-19th and early 20th centuries. The land around the town was untouched, undeveloped, and it felt like a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered.

As I explored the village, I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of connection to the past. There were more than 30 surviving structures, each one holding a piece of history within its walls. The church stood tall and proud, a testament to the faith that once thrived in this community. The railroad station whispered stories of a time when trains chugged along, connecting people and places. The schools echoed with the laughter and voices of children long gone, reminding me of the importance of education in shaping our future. And the historic homes, with their weathered facades, revealed glimpses of the lives lived within.

Being a history lover myself and having roots in Largo, I knew that this place was a must-see attraction. There were few other sites in the state that could offer such a thorough insight into the lives of those who resided in this area over a century ago. It was a chance to step into their shoes, to imagine their joys and struggles, and to appreciate the progress we have made since then.

Heritage Village and Historic Museum served as a bridge between the past and the present, reminding me of the importance of preserving our heritage. It was a place where stories came alive, where the past became tangible, and where I felt a profound sense of gratitude for those who came before me.

3. Saturday Morning Market

Saturday Morning Market, St PetersburgSource: fitzcrittle / shutterstock
Saturday Morning Market, St Petersburg

Located on 1st Street in nearby St. Petersburg, I had the pleasure of visiting the Saturday Morning Market. As I stepped into the bustling atmosphere, I immediately felt the vibrant energy that filled the air. The market was abuzz with activity, and it was clear that this was a beloved gathering spot for both locals and visitors alike.

I made my way through the lively crowd, eager to immerse myself in the unique experience that awaited me. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafted through the air, enticing me to indulge in a cup to kickstart my day. The market’s reputation for tasty coffee and fresh baked goods did not disappoint. I decided to heed the advice of seasoned market-goers and arrived early to savor a delicious breakfast before diving into my shopping adventure.

As I strolled further into the market, my senses were delighted by the colorful array of locally-made and grown products on display. It was a feast for the eyes, with vibrant fruits and vegetables enticing me with their freshness and seasonal charm. The commitment to locally-sourced goods was evident, and I relished in the knowledge that I was supporting the community and experiencing something truly unique.

Beyond the produce, I discovered a multitude of stalls offering an enticing selection of prepared food items. The choices were endless, from delectable cheeses to exquisite honey and tantalizing salsa. It was a food lover’s paradise, and I couldn’t resist sampling a few of the offerings as I made my way through the market. Each bite was a testament to the dedication and skill of the local artisans who poured their heart and soul into their creations.

Amidst my exploration, I couldn’t help but notice the friendly and welcoming nature of the vendors. Their passion for their craft was evident, and I decided to take advantage of their local expertise. I approached a few vendors, struck up conversations, and eagerly asked for their recommendations on what to see and do while in town. They enthusiastically shared their favorite hidden gems and insider tips, ensuring that my visit would be filled with memorable experiences.

4. East Bay Golf Club

GolfingSource: photogolfer / shutterstock

Being an avid golfer, I had the incredible opportunity to explore the golfing haven that is Florida. Its reputation for hosting a multitude of breathtaking courses truly sets it apart, attracting golf enthusiasts from all corners of the country. It was during the winter months, when the snowbirds flocked to The Sunshine State, that I eagerly joined in on the golfing festivities.

One particular gem that captured my attention was the East Bay Golf Club in Largo. This public course had been a cherished establishment for over half a century, and I was excited to see what it had to offer. Renowned for its affordability, scenic beauty, and challenging layout, it quickly became a must-visit destination for golfers of all skill levels.

Arriving at the East Bay Golf Club, I was immediately struck by the idyllic surroundings. The emerald green fairways, framed by graceful palm trees and vibrant flora, created a picturesque landscape that set the stage for an unforgettable golfing experience. With a sense of anticipation, I made my way to the first tee, ready to take on the legendary water-hazard holes that the course was famous for.

True to its reputation, the East Bay Golf Club proved to be a challenging test of skill. The layout boasted a generous number of water hazards, strategically placed to add an extra level of complexity to each hole. Navigating these obstacles required both precision and strategic thinking. However, despite its reputation, I found that the course was thoughtfully designed to cater to golfers of varying abilities. It struck a perfect balance, providing an appropriate level of challenge while still ensuring an enjoyable experience for players at all skill levels.

One exciting addition that caught my attention was the club’s brand-new fleet of golf carts equipped with GPS units. This technological enhancement was a welcome surprise, offering valuable insights into the course layout and aiding navigation. With the help of the GPS, I was able to make informed decisions and plan my shots with greater precision. It was a thoughtful upgrade that showcased the club’s commitment to enhancing the overall golfing experience for its visitors.

5. The Dali Museum

Salvador Dali Museum, St PetersburgSource: travelview / shutterstock
Salvador Dali Museum

I had the incredible opportunity to visit the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, and it was an experience that I will never forget. As I walked through the doors, I could feel the anticipation building up inside me. Salvador Dali, the master of surrealism, awaited me within those walls.

The museum itself was situated near the waterfront, on Southeast 5th Avenue and Bay Shore Drive. Its location added to the allure, as I could catch glimpses of the shimmering water as I approached the entrance. The building stood grandly, beckoning art enthusiasts like myself to step inside and explore the world of Dali.

Once inside, I was immediately captivated by the extensive collection that the museum housed. Dali’s works spanned the entirety of his career, and the museum boasted the most comprehensive collection of his art outside of Europe. It was truly a treasure trove for any admirer of Dali’s unique style.

The collection was vast and diverse, consisting of thousands of pieces, with only a hundred of them being paintings. This surprised me at first, as I had always associated Dali primarily with his paintings. However, the museum’s collection showcased his versatility, featuring sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and even furniture designed by the artist himself. Each piece exuded Dali’s unmistakable fluidity and surrealism, offering a glimpse into the depths of his creative mind.

One of the aspects I appreciated most about the Dali Museum was its central location. Being situated in St. Petersburg made it easily accessible for both locals and tourists alike. The relatively affordable admission fee made it an attractive option for art enthusiasts on a budget, like myself.

What struck me as particularly noteworthy was the museum’s popularity during unpleasant weather conditions. On oppressively hot and muggy days or during heavy rainstorms, the museum became a refuge for those seeking shelter and solace. It was as if the allure of Dali’s art intensified when the external world seemed less inviting. I could understand why people flocked to this sanctuary during such times. The museum provided a haven where one could lose themselves in the captivating and thought-provoking works of Salvador Dali.

6. John S. Taylor Park

John S. Taylor Park, LargoSource: Norm Lane / shutterstock
John S. Taylor Park

Located just off 8th Avenue in Largo, I stumbled upon John S. Taylor Park one sunny afternoon. The moment I stepped foot inside, I could feel the tranquility engulfing me. The park was adorned with lush greenery and dotted with charmingly shady areas that seemed to beckon me to unwind and relax.

Carrying a thermos full of refreshing lemonade and clutching a captivating book, I ventured further into the park. My senses were immediately captivated by the sight of a large, shimmering lake. It had an irresistible charm, tempting swimmers and fishermen alike. However, signs warning of resident alligators reminded me that venturing into the water was a risky endeavor. I decided it was best to admire the lake’s beauty from a safe distance.

Exploring further, I discovered a multi-use trail winding its way through the vast 150-acre park. It was a path inviting me to immerse myself in nature’s embrace. As I strolled along the trail, the sounds of birds singing and leaves rustling filled the air. Each step brought me closer to a sense of serenity, providing the perfect backdrop for my leisurely day.

Passing by picnic tables shaded by towering trees, I couldn’t help but imagine a gathering of friends and families enjoying a delightful afternoon feast. The park seemed to cater to everyone’s preferences. Sports enthusiasts would find delight in the disc golf course, offering an exciting and competitive way to spend their time.

Time seemed to drift away as I continued my exploration, losing myself in the park’s beauty and tranquility. The sunlight filtered through the canopy above, casting a warm glow on the surroundings. I found a comfortable spot beneath a tree, setting up my picnic blanket. With a sigh of contentment, I settled down, sipping the cool lemonade and delving into the captivating pages of my book.

John S. Taylor Park welcomed visitors with open arms, providing a sanctuary of natural beauty and recreational opportunities. It was a haven away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, a place where time seemed to slow down. As the day wore on, I realized that this hidden gem, with its shady retreats and serene ambiance, was a true escape from the ordinary.

7. Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Clearwater Marine AquariumSource: Eric Kilby from Somerville, MA, USA / Wikimedia
Clearwater Marine Aquarium

As I stood there, surrounded by the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean and the tranquil beauty of the Gulf of Mexico, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of wonder. Florida, with its abundance of freshwater lakes, meandering rivers, and thriving wetlands, truly was a haven for aquatic life. And it was precisely this rich natural tapestry that gave rise to the plethora of magnificent aquariums that dotted the state.

One particular gem among them was the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, nestled on the shores of the Windward Passage in the nearby town of Clearwater. It was not just your ordinary run-of-the-mill aquarium, but a remarkable place where animal rehabilitation and education took center stage. The moment I stepped inside, I knew I was in for a truly immersive experience, one that would captivate both adults and children alike.

The exhibits that awaited me were nothing short of astounding. Majestic sharks glided gracefully through the crystal-clear waters, their sleek bodies commanding attention and admiration. Stingrays, with their elegant and gentle movements, seemed to dance effortlessly in their watery abode. And the turtles, oh, the turtles! These ancient creatures, with their wise eyes and ancient wisdom, held a special place in my heart.

But what set Clearwater Marine Aquarium apart was the interactive areas designed to engage and inspire young minds. I watched as children eagerly rolled up their sleeves, ready to embrace the opportunity to get up close and personal with the wonders of the ocean. Laughter and excitement filled the air as tiny hands reached out to touch the smooth, slippery skin of a friendly sea creature. It was a sight that warmed my heart and reminded me of the magic that lies within the depths of the sea.

As I ventured further into the aquarium, I couldn’t help but marvel at the dedication and passion of the staff. They worked tirelessly to rehabilitate injured animals, nursing them back to health with expertise and love. The stories of survival and resilience were truly awe-inspiring, reminding me of the delicate balance between humanity and the natural world.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium wasn’t just a place to admire marine life; it was a sanctuary that fostered understanding, compassion, and a deep respect for our oceanic companions. It taught us that we have a responsibility to protect and preserve the fragile ecosystems that these creatures call home.

8. Sand Key Park

Sand Key Park, ClearwaterSource: Oleksandr Koretskyi / shutterstock
Sand Key Park

I arrived at Sandy Key Beach, a picturesque blend of park, beach, and wildlife preserve. The moment I stepped onto the sandy shore, I knew I had found the perfect spot to spend a blissful afternoon immersed in Florida’s breathtaking scenery. The warm sun caressed my skin, and the gentle sound of crashing waves filled the air, creating a soothing symphony.

As I strolled along the beach, I couldn’t help but notice the park’s well-maintained amenities. Public beach access welcomed visitors like me, eager to bask in the beauty of this coastal paradise. I spotted small cabanas scattered across the area, providing a cozy retreat from the sun’s intense rays. The convenience of bathrooms with showers was a welcome sight, promising a refreshing cleanse to wash away any traces of salt and sand after a long day of enjoyment.

While Sandy Key Beach isn’t officially designated as a wildlife preserve, it serves as a crucial nesting site for sea turtles during specific times of the year. It felt like an extraordinary privilege to be in the presence of these marvelous creatures. I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of wonder and awe as I contemplated the magic of life unfolding before my eyes.

It’s important to remember that, despite the allure of observing these majestic turtles, we must respect their natural process. Interacting or interfering with them is strictly prohibited by law. So, I admired them from a distance, cherishing the opportunity to witness such a remarkable natural spectacle without causing any harm.

9. Pinellas Trail

Pinellas TrailSource: Robert Blouin / shutterstock
Pinellas Trail

Named after a former county official, the Pinellas Trail became my ultimate destination for adventure. With a length of nearly 40 miles, this trail stretched between Tarpon Springs and St. Petersburg, offering a picturesque journey through time. Walking along its path, I felt like I was experiencing history firsthand.

As I embarked on this remarkable trail, I couldn’t help but appreciate its origins. The Pinellas Trail was built on an old rail line, giving it the endearing title of a rail trail. This unique feature added a touch of nostalgia to the entire experience, as if the echoes of the past were guiding my way.

One of the things that struck me about the Pinellas Trail was its accessibility. Regardless of where I decided to join the trail, there were numerous access points scattered along its length. It welcomed bikers, walkers, and in-line skaters alike, encouraging a sense of inclusivity and community.

The trail was a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts like me who loved to engage in active pursuits. It provided the perfect setting to spend an entire day immersing myself in nature’s wonders. The trail’s diverse landscapes and coastal habitats offered a glimpse into the rich biodiversity of the region. From dense forests to scenic waterfronts, every step I took revealed a new facet of the natural world.

What impressed me even more was the convenience it offered to out-of-state visitors. Many of the towns through which the Pinellas Trail traversed provided bike rental services, ensuring that everyone could partake in this incredible adventure. It was heartwarming to see how the trail fostered a sense of unity among locals and tourists alike, all sharing in the joy of exploration.

Perhaps the most delightful aspect of the Pinellas Trail was that it came with no price tag. Trail access was completely free, allowing anyone and everyone to experience its beauty. I marveled at the fact that such a remarkable treasure could be enjoyed by all, without any financial barriers.

10. Clearwater Beach

Clearwater BeachSource: liseykina / shutterstock
Clearwater Beach

I stood on Clearwater Beach, just north of Largo, mesmerized by the breathtaking view before me. The sun-drenched coastline stretched out along the west-central Florida coast, caressed by the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico. It was as if I had stepped into a postcard-perfect paradise.

As I gazed out at the azure waters, I couldn’t help but notice that something was different about this beach compared to the ones on Florida’s eastern Atlantic side. Clearwater, Largo, and St. Augustine beaches faced west, allowing them to showcase something truly extraordinary—the most magnificent sunsets I had ever witnessed. The sky would transform into a vibrant canvas, painting hues of orange, pink, and gold, casting a magical glow over the shimmering water.

Clearwater Beach had rightfully earned its reputation as one of the finest beaches in the state. Its pristine, powdery sands beckoned me to take off my shoes and let them sink into the soft embrace of nature. The beach was meticulously maintained, a testament to its cleanliness and dedication to providing an exceptional experience for visitors like myself.

What truly set Clearwater Beach apart from the rest was its perfect blend of convenience and natural splendor. The surrounding area offered a wealth of shopping and dining options, catering to all tastes and preferences. Whether I craved fresh seafood from a beachside restaurant or felt the desire to indulge in some retail therapy, the choices were abundant and varied.

Yet, despite its convenient amenities, Clearwater Beach remained blissfully devoid of the glitz and glamour that often accompanied popular beach destinations like Miami Beach. Instead, it embraced a laid-back atmosphere that made it an ideal spot for families seeking a relaxed and wholesome getaway. The absence of flashy nightclubs and bustling crowds allowed for peaceful strolls along the shore, building sandcastles with loved ones, and immersing oneself in the simple joys of nature.

11. Ruth Eckerd Hall

Ruth Eckerd HallSource: Josh02 11 / Wikimedia
Ruth Eckerd Hall

I couldn’t believe my luck when I discovered Ruth Eckerd Hall. As a lover of live entertainment and performing arts, I knew I had stumbled upon something special on the west-central coast. The moment I walked through those doors, I could sense the excitement in the air, the anticipation of a memorable experience.

The venue itself was nothing short of impressive. With its modern architecture and sleek design, it exuded a sense of sophistication and class. As I made my way to my seat, I couldn’t help but marvel at the grandeur of it all. Ruth Eckerd Hall could accommodate around 2,000 visitors, and every detail seemed meticulously planned.

And let’s talk about the amenities. The state-of-the-art light and sound systems were a testament to the commitment of providing an exceptional experience to every single attendee. Even if you opted for the least expensive seats, there was no chance of feeling short-changed. The organizers truly understood the importance of creating a captivating atmosphere that would leave a lasting impression.

The diversity of shows at Ruth Eckerd Hall was truly remarkable. From symphony orchestras to dramatic theater, dance recitals to contemporary music, and even children’s performances, there was something for everyone. The calendar of events was filled to the brim with an eclectic mix of performances that catered to a wide range of tastes and interests.

Before my visit, I took some time to explore their website. It was a treasure trove of information, offering a glimpse into the future of entertainment at Ruth Eckerd Hall. I couldn’t help but feel a surge of excitement as I scanned through the upcoming events. It was clear that my visit to town would be perfectly complemented by an unforgettable evening at this renowned venue.

12. Florida Holocaust Museum

Florida Holocaust MuseumSource: flickr
Florida Holocaust Museum

As I ventured through the sunny state of Florida, known for its vibrant beaches and lively nightlife, I stumbled upon a hidden gem that wasn’t exactly a typical tourist hotspot. The Florida Holocaust Museum stood before me, an unassuming building with a somber presence that beckoned me to explore its depths. Intrigued by its reputation as a poignant historical attraction, I decided to set aside the usual beachside revelries and delve into the museum’s depths.

Stepping inside, I found myself immersed in a world that echoed with the echoes of the past. The museum housed an array of exhibits, each one a testament to the horrors of the Holocaust. Photographs captured haunting images frozen in time, while historical records pieced together the fragments of a dark chapter in human history. It was a stark reminder of the atrocities committed against millions of innocent lives.

Amongst the chilling displays, one collection stood out in particular—the art produced by Holocaust survivors. It was here that the resilience and strength of the human spirit shone through the darkness. Each brushstroke and sculpted form spoke volumes about the triumph of creativity over adversity. I found myself captivated by these artworks, awestruck by the profound stories they silently conveyed.

However, as I explored further, I couldn’t ignore the weight of the exhibits. The museum held a profound emotional impact, and its content wasn’t always suitable for young visitors. The shocking nature of some displays made it clear that caution should be exercised when deciding to bring children along.

Located on St. Petersburg’s east coast near Tampa Bay, the museum’s geographical placement seemed to symbolize the juxtaposition of beauty and tragedy. It was a reminder that even in places associated with leisure and enjoyment, we must confront the darker aspects of history to honor those who suffered and prevent such atrocities from repeating.

13. Busch Gardens

Busch GardensSource: Peter Etchells / shutterstock
Busch Gardens

When I think back to the most unforgettable family vacation we had, Busch Gardens immediately comes to mind. It was a place that truly exceeded all our expectations and left us with incredible memories to cherish forever. From the moment we set foot on its sprawling grounds, we knew we were in for an adventure like no other.

The sheer size of Busch Gardens was awe-inspiring. With nearly 300 acres to explore, it felt like stepping into a whole new world. It was a remarkable blend of a history museum, a wild game preserve, and an amusement park, all rolled into one extraordinary destination. Everywhere we turned, there was something fascinating waiting to be discovered.

As we embarked on our journey, we were delighted to find that Busch Gardens was not just about mindless entertainment. It was a place that seamlessly combined fun with learning, making it an ideal spot for families. My children were enthralled by the educational opportunities that surrounded them. From the rich historical exhibits to the captivating presentations on the natural world, they were exposed to a diverse range of subjects, including history, geography, and art.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Busch Gardens was its location. Situated a mere 15 minutes northeast of Tampa, it was conveniently accessible for families visiting the area. However, during peak times, such as when school was out for the summer, the park could become quite crowded. Despite the bustling atmosphere, we were determined to make the most of our time there, embracing the excitement and energy that filled the air.

The moment we stepped foot into Busch Gardens, we were transported into a realm of endless possibilities. From thrilling roller coasters that made our hearts race to enchanting animal encounters that left us in awe, every experience was more exhilarating than the last. We laughed, we screamed, and we bonded as a family like never before.

14. Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center

Tampa Electric's Manatee Viewing CenterSource: facebook.com
Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center

Manatees, those gentle giants of the sea, have always fascinated me. Living in Florida, I had heard countless stories about these iconic native animals, but I had never experienced their magnificence up close. That all changed when I discovered Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center—an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

I had always found it endearing how manatees were affectionately called “sea cows.” These blubbery, mild-mannered creatures had a special place in my heart. They were herbivores, gracefully grazing on seagrass and other aquatic vegetation. However, their peaceful nature often put them in harm’s way, especially when it came to boats. Due to their slow movement and tendency to swim just beneath the water’s surface, manatees were all too frequently victims of boat collisions. It broke my heart to think of these magnificent beings suffering due to our negligence.

Excitement coursed through me as I made my way to the Manatee Viewing Center. The best time to witness these incredible creatures was between November and April when they sought refuge from the winter cold in the warm water discharge from the plant. This unique gathering drew manatees from far and wide, providing a prime opportunity for visitors like me to observe them in their natural habitat.

As I stepped onto the grounds of the Manatee Viewing Center, a sense of anticipation welled up inside me. The air was crisp, carrying a hint of salt from the nearby waters. I followed the path that led me closer to the viewing area, my heart pounding with each step. The center, nestled amid the beauty of nature, was a haven for both manatees and humans alike.

And there they were, like living legends materializing before my eyes. The calm, turquoise waters revealed the magnificent forms of several manatees, gliding gracefully beneath the surface. I stood in awe, completely captivated by their sheer size and undeniable grace. The sunlight danced upon their backs, casting a soft, ethereal glow upon their blubbery frames. It was a scene straight out of a dream.

As I watched the manatees, their peaceful presence filled me with a sense of tranquility. Their slow movements and gentle nature were a stark contrast to the fast-paced world I often found myself in. I felt a deep connection to these majestic creatures, marveling at their ability to find solace in this man-made sanctuary.

Time seemed to stand still as I immersed myself in this extraordinary experience. Every movement, every breath, was a testament to the resilience of these creatures. I couldn’t help but feel a pang of sadness, knowing the challenges they faced beyond the safe confines of the Manatee Viewing Center. But in that moment, I was filled with hope, knowing that there were dedicated individuals working tirelessly to protect these vulnerable beings.

Leaving the Manatee Viewing Center was bittersweet. I carried the memories of that magical encounter with me, a reminder of the awe-inspiring beauty that exists within our natural world. Manatees had become more than just a symbol of Florida’s wildlife; they had become a symbol of our responsibility to protect and cherish the creatures that share our planet.

15. Glazer Children’s Museum

Glazer Children’s Museum, Tampa BaySource: VIAVAL / shutterstock
Glazer Children’s Museum

Unlike some states that lack in the children’s entertainment department, I had the pleasure of exploring the amazing variety of kid-friendly options in Florida. During my visit, I discovered that the Glazer Children’s Museum in Tampa was one of the area’s best attractions.

As I stepped into the museum, I was immediately struck by the vast expanse of tens of thousands of square feet filled with interactive exhibits. It was the perfect place for families like mine to spend countless hours of fun and learning, especially when the weather outside was uncooperative, with heavy rain or oppressive heat and humidity.

The museum’s exhibits were not only entertaining but also highly educational, encompassing a wide range of topics. I had the opportunity to delve into the natural world, explore the realms of engineering, dive into captivating history, and unlock the wonders of science. The exhibits truly engaged my curiosity and ignited a sense of wonder within me.

To make the most of my visit and avoid the crowds, I took the advice of the friendly staff and planned my trip accordingly. I decided to arrive as soon as the museum opened in the morning, ensuring that I could fully immerse myself in the exhibits without feeling overwhelmed by the throngs of visitors. Alternatively, visiting on a weekday instead of a weekend proved to be another great strategy to enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere.

15 Best Things to Do in Largo (Florida):

  • Florida Botanical Gardens
  • Heritage Village and Historic Museum
  • Saturday Morning Market
  • East Bay Golf Club
  • The Dali Museum
  • John S. Taylor Park
  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium
  • Sand Key Park
  • Pinellas Trail
  • Clearwater Beach
  • Ruth Eckerd Hall
  • Florida Holocaust Museum
  • Busch Gardens
  • Tampa Electric's Manatee Viewing Center
  • Glazer Children’s Museum