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25 Of the Best Things to Do Near MacDill AFB (2020 Edition)
25 Of the Best Things to Do Near MacDill AFB25 Of the Best Things to Do Near MacDill AFB

25 Of the Best Things to Do Near MacDill AFB (2020 Edition)

Introduction

MacDill Air Force Base (AFB) is in the middle of Florida’s beautiful Tampa Bay and centered between the cities of Tampa and St Petersburg. Surrounded by great beach towns and lots of water, as well as two large cities, there is no shortage of things to do!

Suggested Read: MacDill Air Force Base: In-Depth Welcome Center

COVID-19 Notice

Due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, many businesses, venues, and parks may be temporarily closed or operating under restricted hours. Many, if not all, of the ones listed here, are likely subject to health restrictions, though new re-openings and closings occur all the time. Check websites and call ahead to learn each listing’s current status.

25 Things to Do on MacDill AFB

With base and two large cities nearby, there are tons of options for things to do both indoors and outdoors. Want to go golfing? Want to take a brewery tour? Maybe just lie on the beach and enjoy the scenery? Click the numbers below to jump to specific activities:

(1) Pools
(2) Bowling
(3) Golf Courses
(4-6) Shopping
(7) Movie Theaters
(8) Gyms
(9-11) Outdoor Recreation
(12-16) Attractions
(17-20) Beaches
(21-25) Museums

MacDill AFB Pool

MacDill AFB Pool

1. MacDill Aquatic Center

Condor St, Bldg 47
MacDill AFB, FL 33621
Phone: 1 (813) 828-6093 or 1 (813) 619-1900

If you want to do some lap swimming to stay in shape, check out the MacDill Aquatics Center.

MacDill AFB Bowling Alley

2. MacDill Lanes

8216 Hangar Loop Dr, Bldg 298
MacDill AFB, FL 33621
Phone: 1 (813) 828-4005

A 12-lane facility with league-play, lessons, and party areas.

MacDill AFB Golf Course

MacDill AFB Golf Course

3. Bay Palms Golf Course

1803 Golf Course Ave
MacDill AFB, FL 33621
Phone: 1 (813) 840-6904

Enjoy two 18-hole golf courses, a lighted putting and practice green, 24-hour driving range, pro shop, clubhouse, and restaurant. This has been called “golfer’s paradise” on base with scenic views and challenging courses!

Shopping

Knowing where to shop is vital when you’re moving to a new area. Here are a few options to get you started.

Tampa

4. International Plaza and Bay Street

2223 N Westshore Blvd
Tampa, FL 33607
Phone: 1 (813) 342-3790

A huge outdoor mall and promenade with more than 150 retail stores and restaurant options for all tastes.

Vintage Roost, Tampa, Florida

5. Vintage Roost

2326 E 7th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605
Phone: 1 (813) 304-2134

A fun warehouse-sized vintage shop stocked by many different vendors with all types of items from every style and era you could hope for.

6. Hyde Park Village

744 South Village Cir
Tampa, FL 33606
Phone: 1 (813) 251-3500

This shopping center is a unique mix of local, regional, and national retailers. Browse high end shopping to local artists and enjoy dining and entertainment across six city blocks in the Historic Hyde Park District.

MacDill AFB Movie Theater

7. MacFlix Base Theater

2420 Florida Keys Ave, Bldg 41
MacDill AFB, FL 33621
Phone: 1 (813) 828-3607

Watch movies for steeply discounted rates by seeing them on base. There are also free movies available every Thursday and Sunday at 1400!

MacDill AFB Gym

MacDill AFB Gym

8. MacDill Fitness Center

8115 Cypress Stand St, Bldg 303
Randolph AFB, FL 33621
Phone: 1 (813) 828-4496

MacDill’s Fitness Center is a state of the art and massive complex that features a full ¼ mile track, basketball & racquetball courts, softball field, multi-purpose turf fields, cardio mezzanine, weight rooms, functional fitness area, and sauna. An excellent resource for your mental and physical health!

MacDill Outdoor Recreation

9. MacDill Outdoor Adventure

9909 Marina Bay Dr
MacDill AFB, FL 33621
Phone: 1 (813) 459-3704

The Outdoor Adventure Program is catered to all kinds of adventures and ability levels including surfing, jet skiing, and deep-sea fishing. Great for groups and family outings!

MacDill OutDoor Recreation

10. Outdoor Recreation

10303 Marina Bay Dr
MacDill AFB, FL 33621
Phone: 1 (813) 840-6919

The Outdoor Recreation Center is a consolidated source for rental of all sorts of outdoor camping, grilling, watersports, or sport equipment and a great way to enjoy the area around Tampa Bay without having to spend a fortune buying and storing your own boating or outdoor gear.

11. MacDill Skeet Range

Southshore Ave, Bldg 1100
MacDill AFB, FL 33621
Phone: 1 (813) 828-5299

Though currently closed for construction, the base does offer a range for the skeet enthusiast.

Tampa Attractions

12. SS American Victory Mariners’ Memorial and Museum Ship

705 Channelside Dr
Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 1 (813) 228-8766

An imposing yet beautiful ship that sides in the channel of Tampa Bay, it now serves as a well-kept museum with knowledgeable staff on this Victory ship. These ships were used to transport men and material across the seas during WWII and this museum ship is one of only three left in the US with the other two in California.

Bradenton

13. CPonies Tour

8410 Manatee Ave W
Bradenton, FL 34209
Phone: 1 (941) 773-5196

If you enjoy either horseback riding, the ocean, or both, check out this tour which features horseback rides through the surf or on land near St Petersburg. A unique experience with friendly guides, the horses are mostly rescues and the ride through water aids in their rehabilitation as they gain back strength.

Tampa Bay Area Attractions

Tampa Bay Area

14. The Brew Bus

Phone: 1 (813) 990-7310

The only tour of its kind, The Brew Bus features multiple different tour loops that will take you to breweries, bars, restaurants, and even shuttle you to hockey games! Check the website to buy tickets and for a schedule of stop locations and hop on!

Tampa

15. Lowry Park Zoo Tampa

1101 W. Sligh Ave
Tampa, Fl 33604
Phone: 1 (813) 935-8552

Winner of a 2020 Travelers’ Choice Award from Tripadvisor, ZooTampa at Lowry Park is a spectacular place for animal and nature lovers of all ages. Enjoy and learn about their over 1,100 different animals from all over the world across their 54 acres of exhibits and habitats.

16. Busch Gardens Tampa

10165 McKinley Dr
Tampa, FL 33612
Phone: 1 (813) 884-4386

From their thrilling roller coasters to their award winning Serengeti Safari, Busch Gardens in Tampa, is sure to delight anyone, no matter what their interests, hobbies, or ideas of a fun day out are. And with their special military tickets and rates, you can make it a fun day for the whole family for a great price.

MacDill AFB Beach

17. Macdill AFB Beach

9909 Marina Bay Drive
Tampa, FL 33621
Phone: 1 (813) 840-6919

Florida is known far and wide for its beautiful beaches and you won’t even have to leave base to enjoy one. The base Outdoor Recreation Center and Marina includes a stretch of lovely, sandy beach perfect to catch some rays or take a swim.

St. Pete Beach, Florida

St. Petersburg

18. St Pete Beach Florida

155 Corey Avenue
St Pete Beach FL 33706
Phone: 1 (727) 367-2735

Aptly called the Sunset Capital of Florida, this resort city sits on a barrier island which means there’s nothing between in and the crystal blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. And with sunshine year-round, you’ll enjoy plenty of great beach time leading up to each of those breathtaking sunsets.

Local tip – if you’re not opposed to walking a few blocks you can find plenty of free parking off of Corey Avenue on the North side of the beach.

Clearwater

19. Clearwater Beach Florida

419 East Shore Drive
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
Phone: 1 (727) 461-5088

Rated the #1 beach in the United States and one of the top 10 beaches in the world, the sparkling water soft white sands of Clearwater Beach make it a picturesque place to visit. And with plenty of hotels and great restaurants nearby, it’s perfect for a day trip or an extended vacation right near base. Keep in mind that due to Clearwater Beach’s reputation, parking can be a real challenge especially during Spring Break and the Summer seasons. Check out their website for the best and cheapest places to park.

Local tip – you might even get lucky, scoring one of the few free spots on the North side of the beach next to the tennis court, but you didn’t hear it from us.

20. Sand Key Beach

1060 Gulf Blvd
Clearwater, FL 33767
Phone: 1 (727) 582-2100

Sand Key Park and its beach is a wonderful spot if you are not a fan of beaching with the tourists. This beach is a much quieter, family-oriented beach, where you can sunbathe without the crowd of people around you. In addition to the sand and surf they have numerous amenities like a dog park and cabanas. Unlike Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach, there are plenty of parking spaces right up front for a flat rate of $5/car.

MacDill AFB Museums

MacDill AFB Museums

Tampa

21. Glazer Children’s Museums

110 W Gasparilla Plaza
Tampa FL 33602
Phone: 1 (813) 443-3861

This interactive installation invites kids to “play with purpose” in order to create lifelong learners. Bring the whole family to the Glazer Museum for a fun, educational day everyone can enjoy.

22. USF Contemporary Art Museum

3821 USF Holly Drive
Tampa, FL 33620
Phone: 1 (813) 974-4133

Run by the University of South Florida, this art museum features more than 5,000 pieces, including photography and an extensive African art collection. This vital cultural institution houses my numerous acclaimed and famous artists from all over the world.

23. The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts

400 N. Ashley Drive Cube 200
Tampa, Florida 33602
Phone: 1 (813) 221-2222

From important historic photos to stunning shots by contemporary artists in the medium, FMoPA sits in the heart of Tampa’s Waterfront Arts District. It’s chock full of amazing exhibits and has programs for children and adults.

St. Petersburg

24. St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts

255 Beach Dr. NE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: 1 (727) 896-2667

See an amazing and extensive collection of art from the contemporary to works nearly 5,000 years old. Right on St. Petersburg’s scenic waterfront, the Museum of Fine Arts has art of all kinds from the old masters to modern photography.

25. Chihuly Collection

720 Central Avenue
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: 1 (727) 896-4527

Dedicated solely to the inspiring artwork of Dale Chihuly, this assembly of 18 installations run by the Morean Arts Center is a sight to see. The building was specifically designed to house and complement the works, which makes the whole thing one big, beautiful work of art.

Conclusion

With Tampa, St Petersburg, the Tampa Bay, and the gulf coast all within short driving distance there is no shortage of things to see or do. We hope this short article will help get you started in enjoying your new home. Get out there and enjoy the beautiful Florida sunshine and remember to use sunscreen!

 

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

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