The economic center of Florida West, Tampa is a great place for all kinds of travelers. While Downtown Tampa is dotted with office buildings, the city is also rich in history that can be witnessed around the quarters of Old Hyde Park and Ybor City. Tampa also has tons of family attractions and one of the most significant ones is the 335-acre, African-themed adventure park and entertainment venue, Busch Gardens that features thrill rides, a wide range of wildlife in their natural settings, and live music and performances. Other important places here include Museum of Science and Industry, Tampa Zoo, and Big Cat Rescue.
If you are in the city to spend your holiday, you must spend the time exploring this brilliant weekend destinations from Tampa:
Palm Beach is one of the classiest vacation spots in the entire country. It’s a budding urban center with many cultural treasure troves, myriad of superlative restaurants, and a striking city center where people get together to experience one-of-a-kind stores, exceptional dining, and incalculable entertainment choices. With easy access to 47 miles of some of the best beaches in the United States, Palm Beach is only a stone’s throw away from the Atlantic Ocean. Considered one of the top attractions in South Florida, Rosemary Square, once known as City Place, is a thrilling Mediterranean-themed retail and entertainment center where you can be for an entire day and night. Nature lovers would love sites such as the Manatee Lagoon, Panther Ridge Conservation Center, and Lion Country Safari & Palm Beach Zoo.
Best Time to Visit: The most preferred times to visit the Palm Beach area at the end of spring which is from April to May and the beginning of fall which is September to October.
How to Reach: The two fastest and convenient ways to travel between Tampa and Palm Beach is either to drive your car or take a direct train to West Palm Beach Amtrak Station. Both options take slightly over three and a half hours and while cars take $20 to $30 in fuel, trains cost $35 to $50.
Located in southern Florida’s Collier County, Naples is one of Florida’s most charming and historic cities. Popular for a laidback pace compared to its many big-city neighbors, the city is close to Cape Coral in the north and Marco Island in the south. Naples Botanical Gardens houses more than a thousand species of flora and fauna. Another remarkable attraction, Naples Pier expands over 1,000 feet out into the Gulf of Mexico and is the picture-perfect location for a rejuvenating stroll. Stretched over 150 acres, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park is recognized for its white sandy beaches and clear waters that are impeccable for swimming and snorkeling. Dotted with quirky souvenir shops selling everything from arts, crafts, and collectibles, Tin City is the perfect place to pick up a few mementos to take back home.
Best Time to Visit: The months between March to May are the most recommended times to visit the city.
How to Reach: A direct RedCoach bus from Downtown Tampa to Naples takes under three hours and costs between $20 to $50.
St. Petersburg, popularly known as St. Pete, is a city located between Tampa Bay and Boca Ciega Bay and is famous for its perpetual sunshine. Visitors here enjoy a variety of things to do, such as fascinating museums, tranquil boat tours, and refreshing hikes and walks in one of the many parks and wildlife areas surrounding the town. One of the primary attractions, the Salvador Dali Museum is home to a wide-ranging collection of over 2,000 artworks and paintings by this legendary master. Another one-of-a-kind attraction, five different keys comprise the 1,136-acre Fort DeSoto Park which houses endless nature and recreation trails that provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as swimming, hiking, biking, and rollerblading. Clearwater Beach, Sand Key Park, and Sunshine Skyway Bridge are a few more attractions you can visit here.
Best Time to Visit: The most suggested months to visit St. Petersburg is from the months between March and May when the weather is warm and pleasant, and an abundance of outdoor events and activities make the city come alive.
How to Reach: There are direct buses twice daily from Tampa to St. Petersburg-Clearwater Amtrak Station that take around 40-45 minutes.
The oldest continually habited European settlement in the country, St. Augustine was founded in 1565. Here, you can visit attractions from different periods in history. Castillo de San Marcos, which took 27 years to build, was used as a prison during the American Revolution as well as for Native Americans in the late 19th century. In 1924, it was categorized as a National Monument and is the oldest masonry fort in the continental US. Lightner Museum is home to the finest collections of 19th century decorative and fine arts. Constructed in 1888 by Henry Flagler, the displays here include sculptures, paintings, mechanical musical instruments, as well as bizarre human hair artworks.
Best Time to Visit: To enjoy lesser crowds, pleasant weather, and affordable pricing around town, March to May are the most accurate months to visit St. Augustine.
How to Reach: The most convenient public transportation method to get from Tampa to St. Augustine is to take a Greyhound bus to Orlando and then another to the destination. The total journey takes around five hours and a few minutes and costs between $30 to $50.
Regarded as the ‘Gateway to Ten Thousand Islands’, Everglades City is among the most picturesque locations to explore around Miami. Everglades National Park is among the largest national parks in the United States of America, and unless you decide to go on a boat tour, you can only ever see a fraction of it. Listed as a World Heritage Site, the third-largest national park in the country is home to American crocodiles, manatees, panthers, and a large number of bird species. The Anhinga Trail is a 0.8-mile paved boardwalk across a small wetland that is your best chance to spot the namesake birds as well as alligators. If you are a foodie and seafood lover, try to time your visit in February which is usually when the city holds the Everglades Seafood Festival.
Best Time to Visit: The months between December to April are the most comfortable time of year to visit the Everglades. Low humidity and the lack of heavy, constant rainfall also make the dry season a pleasant time to visit South Florida.
How to Reach: To get to Everglades, take a bus from Tampa to Naples that takes slightly under three hours and costs between $20 to $60. From here, Everglades is about an hour away.
A city often described as tailor-made for those who love the nature and its many creations, mainly animal species, Tampa offers you to explore some of the most exotic creatures on earth through its various aquariums, zoos, and animal rescue centers. The city is also rich in history as well as culinary delights, primarily Cuban cuisines in Ybor City. To make the most out of your vacation and to have a wonderful time with your family, don’t forget to pay a visit to the weekend destinations from Tampa.