Summer days on the Gulf Coast of Florida are the trademark of tropical paradise with bright, sunny, sand-filled days—which of course you and your family love. That’s one of the reasons you come to the Florida Gulf beaches in the first place, right? Right!. But we totally understand that once in a while during your Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores vacation, you want to spend a little time out of the sun and off of the sand and somewhere cool—both literally and figuratively.
That’s why we’ve rounded up some of our favorite cool places where you can enjoy a break from the heat but still have fun with the family. Whether you’re an art connoisseur, sports enthusiast, animal lover, parent with small kids in tow, or a thrill seeker, there truly is something for everyone of every age and interest here.
Our Florida Gulf Coast attractions are sure to please, so put these on your beach vacation bucket list of cool things to do. They’re all within close and convenient driving distance from your Gulf Coast rental, so you’re never far away from all of the local action this summer.
Have you been to any of these local favorites?
AirHeads Trampoline Arena is a go-to destination for family fun with unlimited jumping, dedicated dodge ball, a huge arcade and more. Bring your kids here so they can literally bounce off the walls!
A local non-profit community art center in Indian Rocks Beach offering art classes and workshops, kids summer camp programs, art gallery, pottery classes, special events, exhibits and shows.
Busch Gardens Tampa is the ultimate family adventure offering 297 acres of fascinating attractions based on exotic explorations around the world. A unique blend of thrilling rides, one of the country’s premier zoos with more than 12,000 animals, live shows, restaurants, shops, games and more.
This stunning, permanent collection of unique glass artwork by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly is a delightful destination to beat the heat for a few hours. Marvel in the explosion of colors in a magnificent 10,000-square-foot setting located in the Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Go from extreme heat to deep freeze! Rent a pair of ice skates and take some laps around the ice rink. Public skating sessions are available daily. Learn how you can make ice skating/hockey your next favorite “thing!”
A visit to Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a must-do for the whole family. See Winter the Dolphin of Dolphin Tale movie fame, then be inspired and educated by the Aquarium’s ongoing work of rescue, rehabilitation and release.
The official site of the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, featuring one of the largest private comprehensive collections of Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dali i Domenech, also known as Salvador Dali, a Spanish-born surrealist painter.
The Florida Aquarium is in beautiful downtown Tampa and is a wonderful family destination with plenty of fun activities like Swim with the Fishes, Penguin encounters, and a Wild Dolphin Ecotour. Don’t miss the outdoor water fun zone for the children!
Designed for children 10 and under, the 24,000 square foot museum is filled with exhibits and activities to stimulate learning through creativity, play and exploration.
The IRB Historical Museum is dedicated to preserving, celebrating, and increasing awareness of what pioneer settler Harvey Hendrick called “the most beautiful place on God’s green footstool.”
This indoor soccer facility is 100% air conditioned with two playing fields complete with dasherboard system, surrounding fields with spectator viewing area, and a high-grade astro turf playing surface.
Make a splash with two giant twisty water slides, a kids splash zone and a winding, lazy river! This family-friendly water park is the perfect destination for staying cool all day long.
Thanks to Tropicana Field’s huge dome enclosure, Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball games can be watched in the comfort of central A/C! Cheer on your favorite team without breaking a sweat. Take me out to the ballgame, baby!
This local family fun center offers amazing laser tag action in Tampa Bay’s largest laser tag arena, great arcade play, and the only indoor batting cages in town. The veteran staff will ensure that you and your family have a memorable and fun experience.
Your Gulf Coast vacation rental is a great place to stay cool this summer!
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