Known affectionately as ‘The Big Guava’, in reference to an ill-informed mission to find wild guava trees, Tampa is a beautiful city situated on Florida’s Gulf Coast. While it might be famous for its beautiful beaches and the hedonistic nightlife of Ybor City, Tampa has plenty to offer families and couples. Whether you want to enjoy beautiful gardens, spend the day at the zoo or catch a hockey game, hotels in Tampa will put you in the perfect place to enjoy the attractions you want.
With more than 360 days of sunshine a year, Tampa is the ideal place for a beach break. There are plenty to choose from and, if you’re wondering where to stay in Tampa to make the most of the sun, sea and sand, you’ll find there’s something to suit all tastes and budgets.
Clearwater Beach is one of the best beaches in the region and very popular with families. There are water sports by the dozen and plenty of restaurants and diners, allowing you to grab a snack in between topping up your tan and zipping across the waves. Shoppers will find some excellent retail opportunities just behind the beach, and little ones are sure to enjoy a trip on an old-fashioned pirate ship before you return to your hotels in Tampa.
If you want to avoid the crowds at Clearwater, then head for Sand Key Park. Small and secluded, it tends to attract only a handful of surfers and is a superb spot for a family picnic by the sea.
Honeymoon Island State Park Beach is popular with newlyweds, who come to soak up the spectacular sunsets. With four miles of white, powder-soft sands, it’s perfect for a romantic stroll.
If you’re looking for a fun day out for all the family, you’ll find that there are some excellent things to see and do just a short distance from most hotels in Tampa.
Busch gardens is set over 335 acres and is an African-themed animal theme park. Roller coaster fans and older children can experience the thrills on some of the best rides in Florida. The Sheikra is a floorless dive-coaster that towers over 60 meters in height. Alternatively, test your nerve – and your stomach – on the upside-down experience that is the Montu roller coaster, or get your adrenaline pumping with a ride on the Falcon’s Fury: a 335-foot-high drop-tower.
The fun isn’t just for older visitors, either; there’s plenty for youngsters to enjoy, such as the Sesame-Street-themed Air Grover mini-rollercoaster, the Stanley Falls Flume and the Serengeti Express safari train. For those who like to party, Busch Gardens has extended its opening hours as part of the Summer Nights program, giving grown-ups the chance to dance the night away and whiten their knuckles on some of their favorite rides.
Families staying in Tampa hotels with youngsters should put a trip to the Museum of Science and Industry at the top of their to-do lists. Packed with interactive exhibits, it’s ideal for budding scientists, who can lose themselves in the state’s biggest scientific playground. See the stars as you’ve never seen them before at the museum’s Planetarium, touch lightning, and challenge your fears on the 10-meter-high Sky Ropes Trail.
Whether you’re a sports fan, a music lover or a comedy nut, you’re never far from entertainment venues when you stay at hotels in Tampa. The Amalie Arena is top of the entertainment centers, and caters for families and groups all year round. It’s an enormous arena that puts on sports matches, big bands, and top comedy acts. Catch a game of hockey, experience the high drama of WWE wrestling, or experience the thrill of seeing your favorite artists and comedians at work.