TAMPA BAY, Fla. — You know what Florida fathers don’t need for Father’s Day?

A sweater.

Or any one “thing,” for that matter. Why get Dad another pair of Dockers when you can treat him to a uniquely Tampa Bay experience that will not only make new memories, but help boost a local economy just coming out of a year-long lockdown?

Here are eight great options.

What You Need To Know

  • Father's Day is Sunday, June 20

  • Tampa Bay offers plenty of unique holiday experiences

  • Local experiences help boost the post-pandemic economy

Fishing Trip

How many fathers would pass up the chance to spend some quality time wetting a line? The Bay area offers a multitude of charter and guiding options. Multi-person deep-sea fishing trips like the ones that leave from the legendary Hubbard’s Marina at John’s Pass are relatively inexpensive, available in half- and full-day options, and great for beginner and amateur anglers; Dad will almost certainly bring home multiple dinners. For those with a more serious focus and a little more disposable income, there are plenty of inshore guides, like Flats and Bay, to put small groups on tarpon or snook.

Rent a Boat

DIY dads who don’t own their own watercraft might relish the opportunity to play captain for a day—plus, the gift-giver gets the bonus of some time on the water. No matter where you live in the bay area, you’re probably not far from a marina that rents boats by the day, from center consoles and pontoon party boats to luxurious mini-yachts. You can even use an “Airbnb for boats” broker like getmyboat to pay by the hour for the perfect choice.

Helicopter Tour

Your pops can see Tampa Bay in a way he never has before—from the cockpit of a helicopter. The region has several helicopter chargers, like FlyVenture and Tampa Bay Aviation, that would love to take Dad up. He can soar above the Tampa Skyline, buzz the barrier islands of Pinellas County, or anywhere in between, and a lot of the packages available are less expensive than you would think. Like many of these suggestions, the tour itself likely won’t be available on Father’s Day, but it’s always fun to let him know a once-in-a-lifetime experience is waiting for him when the scheduling is right.

Fantasy of Flight

Speaking of the skies, plenty of fathers are aviation buffs, and a great time for those with planes on the brain is just across I-4 in Polk City. Fantasy of Flight features a massive hangar packed with vintage aircraft from various eras. Founded by competitive aerobatic pilot and airplane designer Kermit Weeks, FoF’s got plenty to thrill Dad during a day trip.


While summer isn’t exactly the perfect season for outdoor recreation in the Bay area, a lazy trip following the current downriver under a hammock of shade trees isn’t too bad a way to spend a dog day afternoon. Hillsborough River State Park is a great place for some freshwater fun, and south of the Skyway Canoe Outpost can hook Dad up with everything he needs, even offering “Moonlight Paddles” in the evenings. Kayak trips are great for families, couples or an opportunity for a father to spend a little quality time by himself.


Whether your pops is a history fan, art aficionado or culture vulture, the Bay area’s multitude of museums offers something for everyone, and almost all of it is air-conditioned. Looking for a mix of art and history? Tampa Museum of Art has you covered. Just local history? Check out the St. Petersburg Museum of History or Tampa Bay History Center. The Burg’s got both the world-famous Dali Museum and Museum of Fine Arts, and just south of the bay resides the Ringling Museum

Tour the Gulp Coast

If Dad’s a craft beer fan, then he already knows that Tampa Bay has a whole lot of good brew available for miles in every direction. Visit St. Pete-Clearwater’s Craft Beer Trail passport serves as a tour guide to some of the best Pinellas County has to offer, from Tarpon Springs to St. Pete. Volunteer to be your dad’s designated driver and treat him to a day of tastings and brewery tours.

Day or Evening Cruises

And finally, here’s a tourism staple that hometown fathers have maybe never done, but always wanted to try. Tampa Bay boasts far more short cruises than we’ve got space to list—suffice it to say that if Dad likes the water, you can find something he’ll remember. Dolphin watching. Tiki themes. Dinner. Island tours. Leaning on the railing with a cocktail in hand, he’ll thank you.