As we enter fall and the summer weather abates, we can finally leave the house comfortably. As if sensing our energy, Tripadvisor released its 2023 Traveler’s Choice Awards, and three local experiences earned top honors among all attractions in the country.
The closest to home here in St. Pete, Get Up And Go Kayaking checked in at No. 14 on the “Best of the Best Things to Do” list, as the Tierra Verde-based kayaking outfit was recommended by 99% of travelers in 3,291 reviews. In addition to clear kayaks, Get Up And Go has the added benefit of launching right next door to Billy’s Stone Crab Restaurant, making it easy for a pre- or post-ride meal.
The highest-ranked local experience requires a bit more of a drive, but it’s more than worth the time. Fun 2 Dive Manatee Tours in Crystal River ranked No. 8 overall, an impressive showing for the wet and wild tour.
Meanwhile, across the Howard Frankland, ZooTampa at Lowry Park was bestowed honors for being among the top 10% of attractions worldwide – an incredible feat given the iconic destinations it was up against. For example, The Colosseum in Rome finished No. 2, just behind Basílica de la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Not bad for our favorite local zoo.
While some may bemoan the area getting more attention from tourists, honors like these also serve as a good reminder of how much we have available to us here every day. After all, what’s the use of living in paradise if you don’t get out and enjoy it sometimes?
As for Get Up And Go, our geographically closest honoree, Tripadvisor had this to say: “Get out on the water and see Tampa Bay from a new perspective with this kayaking tour. Ride in a clear kayak—which has the advantage of greater visibility of the underwater world. Along the way look out for coastal birds, marine life, and the beautiful mangroves. No need to worry about missing out on photo opportunities—the trip includes photo stops and a break at Shell Key to enjoy its beach and sandbars.”