Tampa
Tampa

Tampa

Florida, United States
Other parts of Florida have more landmarks, but Tampa Bay has more quirks: discover houses as colorful as the local characters in artistically inclined Port Tampa City, opt for tropical fine dining along Courtney Campbell Causeway or Greek food amid professional sponge-divers at Tarpon Springs. Pretend you're in New York with Yankee spring training at Steinbrenner Field and SoHo shopping in Old Hyde Park, and recover from year-round Clearwater Beach partying at mellow Pass-A-Grille Beach.
Getting Around Tampa
The best way to get around Tampa is by car. While public transit exists, the system can be confusing to visitors. If staying downtown during your entire visit, you might forgo a car and use the TECO Line Streetcar instead.
Nearby Airports
  • Tampa International Airport-TPA
Airport Taxis
  • $25 Flat Rate
Things to Do and See in Tampa
DowntownYbor City & Historic Ybor & East YborHyde ParkSulphur SpringsChannelsideBeach ParkPalmetto BeachPort Tampa CityBallast Point
St. Petersburg's downtown is more old school than modern metropolis, but it has authentic appeal. This is a working downtown with businesses, shops, and restaurants, with a smattering of art and pop culture. Tampa Bay Rays baseball team call Tropicana Field their home, and vendors serve ballpark-worthy hot dogs on every corner of St. Pete. Janis Landing hosts pop concerts in an intimate setting, surrounded by shops and balconies. St. Pete also has a tropical side, with miles of beaches, waterfront festivals, the Pier, and the Bay Walk outdoor shopping mall.
Ybor City & Historic Ybor & East Ybormore on Ybor City & Historic Ybor & East Ybor »
After Hurricane Charley did a number on Gulf Boulevard in 2004, the stretch from Clearwater Beach to Pass-A-Grille was completely restored. At the center of this strip are Treasure Island and Madeira Beach, ideal for jet ski and boat rentals, dolphin watching tours and souvenir shopping. Treasure Island is family friendly, but also a major gay nightlife spot. To suntan in peace, park at John's Pass and wander under the draw bridge to a quiet corner of beach, where you might spot dolphins in the water and fiddler crabs on the sand. If you're not in the market for joke T-shirts, plastic coconuts or souvenir beach towels, make a beeline for the solace of Pass-A-Grille beach.
Tampa residents will tell you that SoHo is named after South Howard Avenue, but this party zone models itself after New York's shopping and entertainment neighborhood. Instead of the palm trees and sand usually associated with Tampa Bay, SoHo offers coffee bars, designer retail, farmers markets, and gourmet food festivals. Nestled within Hyde Park's residential area is the Old Hyde Park Village shopping district, which comes alive at night with sleek lounges, thumping dance clubs, and gay bars.
If it is possible for a tourist trap to be quaint and authentic, Tarpon Springs manages it. Though the pier looks like a backdrop for one of the Jaws films, the Tarpon Springs sponge docks only appear touristy. These docks serve a thriving community of Greek sponge divers, who still take their boats out daily. They don heavy, old-fashioned diving bells and weighted boots to find natural sponges in the warm Gulf Stream, and sell them in the tourist shops throughout the area. Tarpon Springs has few hotels, but its antique shops and Greek eateries along the main strip make for a pleasant afternoon. If you are the romantic type, no beach in the area can rival Tarpon's Sunset Beach, where seagulls fly in silhouette against pink skies.
Alongside Downtown Tampa is Channelside, home to Tampa Convention Center, St. Pete Times Forum (where the Tampa Lightning hockey team plays) and the Florida Aquarium, plus ample parking. The area has its own outdoor bar and mall scene along the Tampa River, where the cruise ships dock. Shoppers prowl Channelside's quaint shops, while daredevils swim with the tiger sharks at nearby Florida Aquarium. Adults will appreciate the Aquarium's Tiki Bar, while kids prefer its outdoor splash park.
Bring the sunscreen, sunglasses and Alka Seltzer: located on the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Clearwater Beach is the place to tan, flirt, and party. Located at the north end of the main gulf strip, Clearwater Beach offers spring break year-round with beach bars, boardwalks, and hotels. Take Suncoast Beach Trolley to explore your shopping, pizza, and cocktail options, or head south of Clearwater Beach's Pier 60 to a quieter sandy stretch known as Pass-A-Grille beach.
Bring the sunscreen, sunglasses and Alka Seltzer: located on the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Clearwater Beach is the place to tan, flirt and party. Located at the north end of the main gulf strip, Clearwater Beach offers spring break year-round with beach bars, boardwalks and hotels. Take Suncoast Beach Trolley to explore your shopping, pizza and cocktail options, or head south of Clearwater Beach's Pier 60 to a quieter sandy stretch known as Pass-A-Grille beach.
This eccentric, artsy town at the south tip of St. Petersburg is beloved by nonconformists. At the outer edges of town, artists have painted their cottage homes in candy-colored hues. The city really comes to life on the waterfront, where festivals are held year-round. There's room for everyone at ample public beaches, and picnic areas and small art galleries and curio shops dot every corner. Gulfport has a vibrant gay community, and longtime local artists mingle with newly arrived retirees.
When people imagine Tampa, they usually think of beaches—which is somewhat misleading. Most of the best beaches are actually on the Gulf of Mexico coast, across Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg and Clearwater. But Tampa does have a swimmable beach and a bar scene along the Courtney Campbell Causeway, a road that connects Tampa and the south end of Clearwater. Commonly referred to as Rocky Point, this area has high-end hotels with tropical views and seafood restaurants such as the Pelican and Crabby Bill's. Head to nearby Raymond James Stadium to see a Tampa Bay Buccaneers football game, or to Steinbrenner Field to catch the New York Yankees during spring training.
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