Tampa Bay holidays

Tampa Bay holidays

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Visit Tampa Bay with a deposit of £1pp*

Dive into sunny watersports, savour cuisine from restaurants showcased in the prestigious MICHELIN Guide to Florida, sip award-winning local craft beer and spirits — plus feel the rush of world-class rides. It’s where chill meets thrill, creating what’s known as The Tampa Bay Effect.

Tampa Bay is on Florida’s west coast. A modern waterside city with bags of history. The downtown area is home to a mix of culture, entertainment and dining hot spots, many of which are clustered along the Tampa Riverwalk. The waterfront promenade can be explored on foot, by bike, or, if you don’t mind getting your hair wet, by kayak, paddleboard or jet ski. What's more, some of the world's finest shorelines are right on Tampa Bay’s doorstep.

Things to do

Tampa Bay holidays are a great alternative to Orlando if you’re jetting off as a family. Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay certainly gives Walt Disney World a run for its money with its combination of thrilling coasters and exotic wild animals. Housing 300 different species, kids will love watching zebras and giraffes roam through the park’s expansive habitats. And for more wildlife encounters, there’s The Florida Aquarium, Tampa Electric's Manatee Viewing Center and ZooTampa all vying for your attention.

Whether you choose to walk, bike or run it, the Tampa Riverwalk is a hub of activity that connects you to some of the area’s award-winning restaurants, shops and attractions. And when you’re not enjoying idle days alongside the water, there’s plenty of fun to be had on it. Take a gentle canoe ride down the Hillsborough River or a catamaran across the Gulf for some dolphin spotting. 

As the sun goes down, the fun keeps on coming with a Bay Crafted Beer Pass collecting 21 breweries into one easy to use digital pass. Unlock prizes by checking in at local breweries and distilleries around Tampa Bay. There are craft beer stops all over the area, but one of its most famous spots is located in Ybor City. This historic redbrick neighbourhood is famous for its once booming cigar industry and cultural diversity. And if that’s not reason enough to pay a visit, it’s also home to Florida’s oldest restaurant where you can enjoy an original Cuban sandwich.

More Travel Guides

We also have travel guides available for destinations, including: California | Chicago | Crystal River | Daytona Beach | FloridaFlorida Keys and Key West | Fort Lauderdale | Fort Myers and SanibelHawaii | KissimmeeLas Vegas | Los Angeles | Miami | New England | New York City | New York State | North East Corridor | Oregon State | OrlandoSan Francisco | St Pete & ClearwaterTexas | The Deep South | Utah State | Washingston State

*Terms and Conditions.

19 - 31℃

Tampa Bay has a humid, subtropical climate so it never feels too cold, even in the winter. Rainfall is common in the hottest months (June to August) with just over 50 inches each year.

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Approximately 9 hours

Tampa International Airport (TPA) is just six miles from the centre and is the fourth busiest in Florida.

Tampa Bay is best for...

Picture-perfect outings day and night: Tampa Bay’s sunny days, mild weather and easy-to- reach hotspots make it the perfect place to get out and explore. A must-see is the Tampa Riverwalk, a 2.6-mile walk that follows downtown’s most popular destinations. This scenic stroll or bike ride connects unique shopping, dining, entertainment and parks for visitors of all ages.
 
Foodies: Tampa Bay’s gastronomic scene is famous for its fresh seafood, aged steaks, Cuban sandwiches and cutting-edge creations from celebrated chefs. The prestigious MICHELIN Guide to Florida recognized Tampa Bay restaurants with its coveted MICHELIN Star status. Plus, Tampa Bay offers two hip, Instagram-worthy food halls within strolling distance of each other. The first, Heights Public Market at Armature Works, offers everything from empanadas to fresh seafood and sushi with views of boats passing by. And Sparkman Wharf sits along the waterfront, with open-air dining and plenty of entertainment.
 
Unleashing your wild side: Whether you want to feel the rush of world-class thrill rides or make exotic new friends, Tampa Bay has you covered.  Busch Gardens®  is your chance to fly high on epic roller coasters and family-friendly thrill rides, like the Iron Gwazi 91-degree drop. You can feed rhinos in ZooTampa. Or see stingrays and learn about the amazing conservation in The Florida Aquarium.

Fast facts for Tampa Bay

Language: The official language of Florida is English, which is spoken by the majority of Tampa Bay’s residents. However, as the state’s third-largest city, you’ll also hear plenty of Spanish. Greatly influenced by Latin America, it’s a great place to experience a different culture with restaurants, nightlife and festivals all celebrating its Hispanic community.

Currency: The currency used in Tampa Bay is the US Dollar ($).

Local time: Tampa Bay is 5 hours behind GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Tampa International Airport (TPA), which is located on Florida’s Gulf Coast and within easy reach of Downtown Tampa.

Flight time from UK: The flight time to Tampa Bay is around 9 hours.

Tourist information: Further tourist information can be found at Tampa Bay’s official tourism website.

Visa and health: Before you travel, check the latest advice from The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

Holiday destinations related to Tampa Bay

Getting around Tampa Bay

By hire car: Hiring a car is a great way to discover the city and its surroundings, especially along the Gulf Coast, which is home to some of the area’s most scenic routes. It’s also a good option if you don’t want to rely on public transport. Plus, it’s even easier when you book your car hire in advance as your vehicle will be ready for you as soon as you land.

By bike: This bike-friendly city is full of cycle lanes - 137 miles of them to be exact. Plus, you’ll find stations all over the city where you can rent one for just one dollar and then 15 cents per minute after that! 

By water taxi: The Pirate Water Taxi is a fun and efficient mode of transport, and little ones will love the pirate theme. All you have to do is buy a ticket and you can hop on and off as you please. This is also a great way to squeeze in the city’s top sights with 14 stops taking you to major attractions.

Events in Tampa Bay

Gasparilla Pirate Fest: This pirate-themed event takes place every January and is named after José Gaspar, who invaded the waters of west Florida in the 18th century. Wearing their best high sea attire, locals gather to watch boat shows and parades while drinking the rum-laced pirate punch.

Florida State Fair: This is your chance to visit a traditional American fair. Dating back to 1904, this 11-day event is held each February and attracts a crowd of fun-loving locals and tourists. Pig out on sweet treats from the many food stalls, catch one of the free shows, or make your way through the long list of rides, which includes a portable ferris wheel.

Tampa Bay safety and security

For up-to-date advice on travelling to Tampa Bay, please visit the FCDO website.

Tampa Bay weather

Temperature: Average temperatures range from 19 - 31 (°C)

You’ll experience the warmest temperatures between May and October with daily highs hovering above 30°C. July is the wettest month with around 25 days of rainfall and frequent thunderstorms. However, these showers tend to be fast-moving.

The area is also known for its extreme weather conditions during hurricane season which begins in early June and lasts until the end of November. But August through to October tend to be the peak storm months.

With one of the warmest winter climates in the US, temperatures can still reach a pleasant 24°C from December through to February - and you’ll benefit from the lower rainfall.

 

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