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Many thousands of holidaymakers jet off to the Sunshine State every year, with fun-loving families making up a habitually large contingent; and for good reason(s). Florida has a deserved reputation for accommodating the touristic needs of anyone and everyone, thanks to a notably expansive selection of things to do, see and throw yourselves head long into, with oodles of action and adventure served up in equal measure. Acknowledged as Florida’s third-largest conurbation, Tampa hasn’t always been held in the same holidaymaking esteem as its more glamorous and instantly recognisable counterparts, yet all that has changed in recent years as the diverse city now finds itself gaining plaudits left, right and centre for its range of visitor attractions, tourist facilities and all round appeal. In (a significant) part thanks to the state’s North Gulf Coast beaches, which offer those looking to escape the throng of the region’s sprawling metropolises the perfect escape clause. So now really is as good a time as any to discover just what all the fuss is about, and why Tampa is the Floridian name on everyone’s lips this summer 2021.
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Why book Tampa holidays
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, The Florida Aquarium, Adventure Island & more!
Museum of Science & Industry, Henry B. Plant Museum and the Tampa Museum of Art
The best theme parks
Tampa is an hour away from Walt Disney World Resort Orlando!
Your guide to Tampa holidays
In terms of the what, where, which, when, why and how, let us give you the low-down on some of Tampa’s stand-out attractions which should all figure prominently on the tourist’s checklist. For a start there’s the city’s aquarium and the animal-tastic Lowry Park Zoo, for those who love to take a walk on the wild side while enjoying their hols. Staying on the topic of stretching your legs, were you aware that Tampa was home to what its proud denizens claim to be the world’s longest sidewalk!? (pavement, for those of you without an American-to-English dictionary to hand ) Yup, Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard – we know, very French sounding – is the strip of sidewalk in question here, where you’ll also find (at least, in easy striking distance) that other hugely popular fairweather sport, er, ice-skating. Believe it or not, ice rinks are big business in Tampa, and there’s a number of examples within driving distance including the Tampa Bay Skating Academy in the Oldsmar district. Oh, and have we mentioned Busch Gardens yet? No? Then you best carry on reading.
After LA’s Venice Beach and Santa Monica’s muscle beach, you might think that the west coast of America had it pretty much sewn up for sandy places to be seen. But you’d be wrong, as those heading for a Tampa holiday anytime soon will discover for themselves. Only therein is the positive rub. Less is always more, and once again if you’re wanting to distance yourselves from the more posturing hordes, then Tampa’s surrounding beaches could just be the answer. Although Tampa itself doesn’t actually have any of its own beaches per se (and admittedly even the alternatives get busy), that being said a short journey in a couple of directions will land you in a number of other sandy destinations. Like for example the seemingly endless and stunningly beautiful stretch found at nearby Clearwater (45 mins away). Or perhaps the beach USA Today recently crowned ‘Best Family Beach’, namely Fort De Soto Park. Likewise, Caladesi Island State Park boasts a three-mile beach (albeit via a short ferry ride) which forms part and parcel of a pristine barrier island, which itself was awarded the accolade of ‘America’s Number 1 Beach’ back in 2008.
Your Tampa questions answered
September - December is a great time to visit Tampa. Temperatures will be warm and prices will most likely be cheaper than the peak times of the year. However, May - August continue to be popular times of the year to head to Tampa too.
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Prices last checked at 15:06 6 March 2021