(BLACK PR WIRE) -- Sunny Tampa, Florida is the heart of one of Florida's largest metropolitan areas. The Tampa Bay area consists of the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater on Florida's west coast. There are plenty of attractions for cultural, recreational and scientific interest year-round. African and African American culture has put a noticeable stamp on Tampa Bay's scenery.
One of Tampa's most famous attractions is Busch Gardens Africa, a theme park centered on Africa's wildlife and artifacts. You can take rides on a re-creation of the Serengeti Plain and come face to face with wild animals in a free-roaming environment. If you dare, go take a chance on one of the park's several roller coaster rides and be sure to hold on to your stomach! You can also take a ride on water rapids or take log flume down a 40-foot drop.
For more mild adventures, you can watch a live performance show based on the African griot storytelling tradition. There is also a replication of King Tutankhamen's legendary tomb with Egyptian artifacts, gifts and a children's digging ground. Combined with live animal shows, musical performances, and shopping and dining, Busch Gardens Africa will be the highlight of your trip to Tampa.
If you've ever wondered what's on the other side of the water when you go to the beach, check out the Florida Aquarium. This two-story facility houses replications of natural marine environments and the plants and animals who live there. You can visit Florida's wetlands, see sharks and other predators, watch live diving and feeding shows, and meet unique animals. There are even opportunities for adults and children to scuba dive with live sea creatures in a coral reefs exhibit.
If you're considering plans for the Martin Luther King, Jr. long weekend, The Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival holds a multi-day event in January in honor of the holiday. Speakers, musicians, poets and craft makers nationwide will arrive in the city to share history, cultural enrichment and social empowerment for children and adults. Check out www.tampablackheritage.org to get specific dates, times and directions for this year's celebration. No matter what time you go, there's always something to celebrate when you visit Tampa.