The Ultimate Travel Guide To Tampa & Things To Do There

Listiyo Ridawer

There are many things to do in Florida and Tampa is one of the cities designed for enjoyment and relaxation. It is a great destination to work, explore, and relax, thanks to its combination of ancient architecture and contemporary landmarks, a culture imbued with Cuban and Spanish characteristics, active business areas, and pretty canals.


The city has a vintage feel but is multicultural. Historic buildings are being brought back to life by being transformed into vibrant food halls in this city. Here is the complete travel guide to Tampa.

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What To Know When Visiting

Tampa florida view
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downtown area in the City of Tampa Florida

  • Tampa’s downtown sections are accessible on foot. Visitors may also fully utilize the city’s superb bicycle lanes. To visit other city areas, though, rental cars are preferable.
  • Visit from September through December. There will be more opportunities for people to find affordable hotel rates.
  • Florida has a subtropical environment that is near the equator. Thus, too much sunlight can be harmful. Plan the vacation appropriately, and bring sunblock.
  • Finally, Tampa in Florida is a top-notch tourist location. Vacationers can anticipate having a great time and relaxing.

RELATED: A Guide To Busch Gardens, Tampa For First-Timers

Best Ways To Get Around

Tampa
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Tampa, Florida, downtown skyline

Visitors will likely require a rental car to travel to other parts of Tampa, the magnificent beachfront in Clearwater and St. Pete, and the artistic regions of Sarasota, except visitors who intend to remain downtown and can walk or ride the Telo Line Streetcar.

The bay area is residential and widely dispersed. Although they can fluctuate depending on supply and the fact that it’s peak season, car rental costs are often affordable.

Commute times may be a little bit longer because driving is unusual here, and people are frequently retiring, visiting from elsewhere, or on holiday.

Best Time To Go To Tampa

Tampa historic district
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Tampa historic district

Tampa is normally ideal to visit between September and December. The autumn’s breezy conditions still bring warmth and sunshine, delivering a respite from Tampa’s oppressive heat and humidity.

The idle hotels provide fire-sale deals to entice visitors during those four crucial months every year. The peak season for visitors to the major sites is from May through August when the weather can also be oppressively humid.

The period from January through April is more costly to book a trip despite being cooler.

Top Things To Do

Even if visitors are not interested in water sports, travelers can try unique activities in Tampa. The area’s outdoor adventure offerings alone are a good enough incentive to visit.

Therefore, this neighborhood has something to offer everyone, whether people are shopaholics, adrenaline seekers, art enthusiasts, or bar hopping.

Visit The Busch Gardens

Lionesses in Busch Gardens, Tampa
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Lionesses in Busch Gardens, Tampa

There are many reasons people should visit Busch Gardens in Tampa. Every adrenaline fanatic traveling to the region must experience Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

The biggest zoo in Tampa is located at the adventure park, also crammed with adrenaline-pumping coasters. Busch Gardens won’t let visitors down with its more than 12,000 animals.

It combines thrilling rides of the highest caliber, adrenaline-pumping thrills, and family-friendly recreation in Tampa.

For a water adventure, people can also visit Busch Gardens’ Adventure Island, Tampa’s lone water park. Visitors can enjoy 30 acres of fast-paced excitement in a tropically sunny setting. Tampa Bay is also home to the largest holiday light display event in the world.

Check Out The Beach

White sand and turquoise water in Clearwater
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White sand and turquoise water in Clearwater

About 35 miles of crystal-clear Gulf of Mexico waters and white sand beaches are accessible on the barrier islands of St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

The shores in the region are among the best in the country and have won recognition for everything from sand quality to environmental protection. Particularly stunning locations that merit a visit include Fort DeSoto Park, Caladesi Island, and Clearwater Beach.

One of the few undeveloped coastlines across all of Florida is located here. Visitors will truly feel as though they are on a remote island.

Explore The Glazer Children’s Museum

Glazer Children's Museum
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 Glazer Children’s Museum on Ashley Drive

The family-friendly museum needs to be a must-visit during the trip to Tampa if visitors are taking kids. Around 20 interactive exhibits for kids of all ages can be found at the Glazer Children’s Museum.

Children can discover everything from finance and trade to architecture at the Engineers’ Workshop at the Central Bank exhibition on the premises.

The Art Smart section is the ideal place for anyone discovering an aptitude for the arts to refine their skill. This kid-friendly museum is situated in the center of Tampa.

Taste The Beer

Angry Chair Brewing
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Beer in glass at Angry Chair Brewing

When the Florida Brewing Company first established itself in Ybor City’s downtown in 1896, Tampa became a hotspot for artisan brews. Craft beer was a tough industry to maintain in the area due to restrictions and other laws.

Therefore, the brewery went out of business, and Tampa’s craft brewing industry essentially disappeared. Until the Tampa Bay Brewing Company was established, and a craft breweries boom began a hundred years later.

Today, visitors may go to any of the numerous craft or breweries in the region and drink anything from German Chocolate Cupcake Stout from Angry Chair Brewing to Coppertail Brewing Company’s Free Dive IPA.

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Tampa is thrilling at any time, but visitors will want to return to discover the city. To get a sense of the city’s pulse, visitors must experience Tampa’s neighborhoods. These places are the thriving core of the city with a unique charm.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park
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Hyde Park neighborhood in the city of Tampa

Henry B. Plant, a railroad magnate, constructed the first bridge over the Hillsborough River around the same time Cuban immigrants built Ybor City, which laid the groundwork for the charming area known as Hyde Park.

Hyde Park is a haven of heritage and retro glitz right on the sea, with its thick and leafy tree overhead, southern-style houses, and brick lanes from the early twentieth century.

Visitors can discover the many stores and eateries in the upmarket Hyde Park Village, a walkable dining and shopping area. Bayshore Boulevard, which has a waterfront promenade where folks can bike and stroll, is the area’s eastern limit.

Channelside District

Channelside District
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Harbor Island and Channelside District, Tampa

The Channelside District is brimming with activities for tourists to enjoy while there. Sparkman Wharf, a riverfront alfresco entertainment venue in Tampa’s Channelside District, offers microbrews in a Biergarten, musical performances, and various eating options.

Over 8,000 animals, flora, and sea life can be seen at the Florida Aquarium, which is situated in the Channelside District. It’s a fantastic location to learn about everything from local conservation initiatives and coral reefs to sharks and marine turtles.

Dolphin trips are also available in the aquarium. No Bone Zone is a habitat featuring anemones, sea stars, and sea cucumbers. Here visitors may approach and feel stingrays.

Downtown

Downtown Tampa
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Daytime Downtown Tampa

There are several historical and contemporary cultural attractions in downtown Tampa. Art enthusiasts can view exhibitions of the highest caliber at famous sites like the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts and the Tampa Museum of Art.

The Glazer Children’s Museum offers engaging activities for families to enjoy. Travelers can also visit the Florida Aquarium in Downtown Tampa.

All year long, outdoor events and festivals are held at Corey Hixon Waterfront Park. People can enjoy a Broadway musical, opera or ballet performance, or a musical event at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.

After spending the day in Downtown Tampa, stroll along the Tampa Riverwalk to enjoy the Hillsborough River sights and learn more about the diverse selection of eateries and bars that line the street.

Where To Stay

Tampa Bay has a wide range of lodging options, from five-star hotels to spaces perfect for conferences. Entertainment is around each corner, whether people are traveling for work or play.

Hence, some of the best all-inclusive resorts are available to book in Tampa.

Luxury hotels

Luxury Hotel
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Grand lobby inside Breakers Hotel

The Tampa Edition

  • Cost: Starts at $709 per night
  • Address: 500 Channelside Dr., Tampa, 33602
  • Amenities: Fitness Center, Outdoor Swimming Pool, Garden

Floridan Palace Hotel

  • Cost: Starts at $299 per night
  • Address: 905 North Florida Avenue, Tampa, FL 33602
  • Amenities: Fitness Center, Restaurant

Hyatt Place Downtown Tampa

  • Cost: Starts at $349 per night
  • Address: 325 N Florida Avenue, Tampa, 33602
  • Amenities: Fitness Center, Outdoor Swimming Pool, Restaurant

Budget Hotels

Colony hotel
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Colony hotel florida

Hotel South Tampa & Suites

  • Cost: Starts at $199 per night
  • Address: 3314 South Dale Mabry, Tampa, FL 33629
  • Amenities: Swimming Pool, Fitness Center

Hilton Garden Inn Tampa East

  • Cost: Starts at $166 per night
  • Address: 10309 Highland Manor Drive, Tampa, FL 33610
  • Amenities: Restaurant, Swimming Pool

Sleep Inn & Suites Tampa South

  • Cost: Starts at $179 per night
  • Address: 6231 S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, 33611
  • Amenities: Spa and Wellness Center, Fitness Center

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Where To Eat

cuban sandwich
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cuban sandwich

The food of Tampa Bay is just as distinctive and varied as the culture. Indulgent drinks are available for visitors to savor at the beachfront bistros and taverns. Travelers can have the most iconic Tampa food.

Visitors can choose from various dishes, such as choosing haute cuisine or farm-to-table eateries, and appreciate fresh seafood and traditional Spanish meals.

Tips For Visiting Tampa

Sunpass
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Sunpass

  • Sunpass is a pre-paid digital permit that can simplify life for travelers who anticipate traveling frequently by highway to other locations.
  • The Tampa City Pass, which offers discounted entrance to many of the city’s top attractions, should also be purchased by visitors. The price is $97 for kids and $107 for adults.
  • Avoid going in freshwater except in springs designated as suitable for swimming. Even then, use caution because Florida is host to more than a million alligators.

Spend A Perfect Day In Tampa

Tampa Convention Center-1
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Tampa Convention Center

People can still see Tampa if they only have 24 hours. Despite Tampa’s size and excitement, travelers can check out the best attractions to make the most of their time there.

Visitors can begin their exploration of Downtown Tampa by going to the Glazer Children’s and the art museums. The Busch Gardens can be the next visit for some hours of adventure.

A great way to start the evening would be to visit one of the breweries. Hyde Park is a fantastic location for dining and shopping. The Channelside District is another location where visitors can go to enjoy performances.

FAQ

Q: What is Tampa known for?

The Florida Aquarium, the heart-pounding Busch Gardens, the thriving Ybor City, and the fact that Tampa is the origin of the Cuban sandwich are all well-known attractions.

Tampa is renowned for its verdant gardens, cigar manufacturing, modern museums, fine dining establishments, and beautiful sidewalks.

Q: Is Tampa better than Orlando?

Tampa is the first choice for beach enthusiasts, considering it is far neared the coast and encircled by Tampa Bay. Another Central Floridan city of Orlando is preferred more by Universal and Disney lovers.

Q: Is Tampa Riverwalk worth visiting?

One of the top activities to explore in Tampa is a stroll along the Garrison Channel and Hillsborough River on the Tampa Riverwalk, filled with various water-based activities, museums, restaurants on the beachfront, and entertaining festivals all year long. It is unquestionably a must-see attraction.

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