Sunny and upscale Wesley Chapel, Florida is a hidden destination tucked within the confines of the Tampa Bay Metro Area.
It was supposed to be the largest and most populous city of Passo County, but it still remains an unincorporated census-designated place.
However, this hasn’t stopped Wesley Chapel from creating and maintaining many unique attractions and destinations for their entertainment.
From large lagoons with gleaming blue waters to sprawling retail spaces, there’s a wide range of places to be and activities to try while on this side of Florida.
So, for your next getaway, why not travel here?
These are the best things to do in Wesley Chapel, Forida:
Make a Splash at Epperson Lagoon
Epperson Lagoon is the crowning glory of this town, a large aquatic facility built as a getaway for the residents of Wesley Chapel.
This 7.5-acre attraction is the world’s first “man-made sparkling lagoon,” built in 2018 and filled with purified water.
The result is a water park with bright, crystalline waters that glow baby blue under the Florida sun.
And because of the large and spacious pool, you can do so many things here.
You can go swimming or try watersports like paddleboarding, kayaking, and even sailing with small boats.
For the kids, there are many inflatable slides and tubes that make for a playful and fun pool experience.
The tropical beach-inspired banks also offer an experience like no other, with food concessionaires, lawn games, and many other amenities for your enjoyment.
Spend a Few Hours at Wesley Chapel District Park
When in a town as populous and affluent as Wesley Chapel, you might think they’d have many parks where they can enjoy nature and the outdoors.
And in a way, they do.
Most of their suburbs have their own lakes or large ponds, backyards with small forests, and sprawling grounds within their exclusive communities.
So it’s not a surprise that the town only has one public park, and it was only installed in 2008.
Wesley Chapel District Park is a spacious facility with features and amenities fit for the kind of lifestyle that the town’s residents have.
Shaded gazebos, verdant grounds, high-grade play structures, and courts—you’ll see many well-equipped and well-maintained attractions here.
There’s even a street hockey court, something you won’t see in your average US public park.
Of course, you’ll find many trails that are ideal for biking, jogging, and walking for those who like to stay fit.
Test Your Skating Skills at AdventHealth Center Ice
Florida is known for its balmy temperatures and sunny skies, so ice skating is probably the last thing in your mind during your trip to Wesley Chapel.
But thanks to technology, there’s a place here cold enough to maintain a sheet of ice on the floor for ice skating.
AdventHealth Center Ice is a popular destination for those who want to experience a wintertime activity even in the middle of summer.
It’s the largest skating rink in the southeast US, so you can expect many things to do here.
Aside from ice skating, the venue also hosts sports like hockey, curling, and figure skating.
There are also educational programs where you can learn the basics of ice skating and even the aforementioned sports.
So when your family needs a break from the humidity of Florida, head over to this cool attraction.
Join a Traning Session at Saddlebrook Resort
Saddlebrook Resort is an award-winning destination that also serves as a training facility for golf and tennis.
In fact, this place has frequently graced the lists of top training facilities in the world in the aforementioned sports.
But before it achieved these prestigious recognitions, the 480-acre property served as a resort where visitors could get a taste of authentic Florida.
That is why the original owners made an effort to preserve the natural sceneries here while integrating modern amenities.
So you can expect verdant golf courses and tennis courts with a backdrop of cypress trees and the occasional birds calling out to their kind.
Join the programs offered for both tennis and golf, which cater to all skill levels and ages.
But if you’re not the sporty type and simply want to enjoy the best Florida has in store, then you can try the spas, restaurants, and pools that abound in the resort.
Explore the Stores of the Shoppes at New Tampa
The Shoppes at New Tampa is one of the premier retail spaces here in Wesley Chapel.
With more than 188,000 square feet of space, this shopper’s paradise has numerous stalls, restaurants, and galleries for everyone to visit.
Publix is a Florida institution, and their supermarket here is stocked with all the goods you need for your vacation.
At Pinot’s Palette, you can join an art class and test your skills in using various media while sipping glasses of alcoholic drinks.
There are also plenty of other dining establishments and entertainment facilities.
And with ample parking right at the center of the plaza, you’ll have an easy and convenient time staying here.
Ace a Hole in One at Lexington Oaks Golf Club
Whether you’re a professional or a beginner, you’ll have a great experience playing here at Lexington Oaks Golf Club.
This is another premier outdoor facility that reflects the lifestyle of the town’s residents, with well-maintained grounds, a challenging but well-planned course layout, ponds and fountains that also serve as water hazards, and many other amenities.
You’re guaranteed an exceptional experience in this 18-hole course, and you might even want to return for another round.
Omari’s Bar and Grill is the golf club’s own restaurant, and it’s as famous as the course itself.
With its relaxing atmosphere, large menu, and friendly staff, the establishment provides a pleasant dining experience for everyone.
So make a stop here before you start your game or stay awhile after finishing one to enjoy the delicious food and cozy ambiance.
See Colorful Birds at Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary
For lovers of avian creatures, the Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary is a must-add destination to your itinerary.
This facility serves as a rehabilitation center for birds, operated by professionals who adore these winged creatures.
And as the name implies, these birds are “exotic.”
You won’t typically find them in Florida’s forests and swamps, as most of them are rescued from the illegal pet trade market.
From vibrant and friendly parrots to majestic macaws, there are more than 800 species in the aviary at any given time.
You’re welcome to view and make some limited interactions with these birds.
You’d be surprised at how happy, well-fed, and clean these creatures are compared to other zoos in the country.
Unfortunately, none of them are available for adoption, as the sanctuary has a mission to return or relocate these birds to habitats where they are free and happy.
Watch a Film at the Grove Theater at Wesley Chapel
The Grove Theater at Wesley Chapel is another great entertainment venue that also offers relief from the humid Florida air.
It was once the Cobb Theater but has now undergone renovations under new ownership to create the “movie theater of the future.”
So of course, the developers didn’t hold back any expense when designing and building the new, high-end facility.
There are 12 theaters; in half of these, you can enjoy dining or join spin classes while watching a movie.
For those who want a more classic experience, the other theaters offer pure movie-watching options with comfortable chairs, precise acoustics, and great viewing angles.
Whichever option you choose, you’re guaranteed a great time watching the latest blockbusters.
Join an Annual Event at the Shops at Wiregrass
Most of the residents of Wesley Chapel have more than enough to spend for their wants and needs, so you can expect that there’s more than one retail center here.
The open-air layout makes the Shops at Wiregrass different from Shoppes at New Tampa.
Many shops, restaurants, stalls, and entertainment facilities are here, ready to cater to all your needs.
It’s also pedestrian-friendly, so you’re always comfortable while exploring the mall.
The annual events bring a lot of people here, as it’s a chance for the residents to partake in the community spirit and mingle with other locals and visitors alike.
There’s the Symphony in Lights Holiday Extravaganza, Spring & Fall Fair, Artisan Street Market, and many others.
If you want to join in one of these events, make sure to check out their calendar!
Test Your Problem-Solving Skills at Mouse Trap Escape
If you’re someone who enjoys the challenge of puzzles, clues, and thrilling mysteries, then Mouse Trap Escape is the ideal destination for you.
The themed rooms here are perfect for friends and family, and you can try the Hostel, the Octagon, the Dungeon, and various other options depending on your mood.
You’ll be required to work together, test your intuition, and use your problem-solving skills to escape the locked room.
It’s an exhilarating and nerve-wracking experience: you’ll try to solve puzzles, find hidden clues, and connect the dots to get out.
Unlocking the lock and being free is the most rewarding experience, and it’s the highlight of the day for many visitors.
So head over to this attraction and challenge yourself.
Try Delicious Meals at Grillsmith
No trip to this charming town is complete without trying out some of the local favorite dining establishments.
One of these is Grillsmith, considered a Wesley Chapel institution that serves refined and delicious meals in a space that exhibits luxury.
It’s a chef-inspired restaurant concept offering innovative dishes inspired by world cuisines, so you’re in for some exciting flavor palettes when eating here.
The menu consists of classic American fares with twists and upgrades that enhance the taste and textures of every dish.
You can enjoy fusion salads, delicate desserts, a large selection of fine wines, and of course, grilled steaks cooked to perfection.
Reserve a table before you go, as the restaurant is often full because of its reputation.
Explore Cypress Creek Flood Detention Area
On the northwest end of Wesley Chapel, you’ll find the scenic Cypress Creek Flood Detention Area, part of the larger Cypress Creek Preserve.
It’s a quiet and underdeveloped attraction that serves as the perfect getaway for those who want to escape the urban noise.
With its beautiful wetlands, woods, clearings, and trails, the area offers lots of opportunities for nature hikes and wildlife encounters.
Avid bird watchers will have a grand time spotting wrens, herons, woodpeckers, owls, and many other species that call this place home.
There are also some camping sites here, but most people prefer to go backcountry camping to experience a self-sustained outdoor excursion.
This means that there are no amenities, water sources, and electricity.
So if you’re looking for an authentic Florida outdoor experience, then this place is where you should go.
Other Things to Do Nearby
After your tour of Wesley Chapel, why not visit these other destinations nearby?
Trek the Trails of Lettuce Lake Park
A little way south of Wesley Chapel is the gorgeous Lettuce Lake Park, a more developed natural attraction for those who still want modern conveniences in their nature trip.
It’s just outside the city limits of Tampa, so there’s a lot of people coming to this 240-acre park.
The most prominent features of this destination are the boardwalks that traverse the various habitats.
Walk along the paths and see freshwater wetlands, hardwood forests, cypress domes, and rivers that serve as home to many native plants and animals.
There are also picnic grounds, lookout platforms, and playgrounds for the whole family to enjoy.
To learn more about the wildlife, geography, and other features of this region of Florida, don’t forget to make a stopover at the Audubon Resource Center at Lettuce Lake Park.
Find Gators at Hillsborough River State Park
Near the southeastern borders of Wesley Chapel lies Hillsborough River State Park, a natural attraction full of hidden wonders.
The 3,383-acre park is home to a diverse array of animals, plants, and attractions that make it a popular destination for those in Tampa and nearby areas.
You can explore more than seven miles of trails that wind through the park, bringing you to large ponds, bridges, swaths of forests, and swamps that are typical in the state.
The rivers and creeks are great for kayaks and canoes, and it’s especially ideal for those who want to see the park’s local alligator population.
These animals are an icon of Florida, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to see and take photographs of these majestic creatures.
But remember, don’t go too near as their bites will put you in a very dangerous situation.
Spend a Day at Tampa
Since you’re already in the Tampa Bay Metro Area, why not visit the bustling city of Tampa itself.
It’s only a half-hour drive from Wesley Chapel, and it has lots of sights, activities, and attractions waiting for you.
There’s plenty of beaches, golf courses, restaurants, and amusement parks that welcome anyone regardless of age or preference.
And with a community that is as warm as the weather, Tampa will make you feel right at home.
Don’t be intimidated by the affluent residents of Wesley Chapel: they are friendly and welcoming to those who are curious enough to pay attention to their community.
And there’s plenty of things to see and do that you won’t experience in other places within the region, like ice skating and dining in a movie theater.
So when planning your itinerary, check out this list for the must-visit destinations.