Lush tropical vegetation of the Gulf Coast near Tampa.

Essentials

in Tampa

Tampa Bay keeps outdoing itself. Although a great deal calmer than the erratic southern tip of Florida, Tampa has quite the dynamic personality. From the Dali Museum to rustic Ybor City, you’ll be entranced by the events and culture here. Romantic, award-winning beaches and some of the best shopping areas prove that Tampa isn’t losing its luster anytime soon. With an array of lively possibilities, let Hyatt hotels show you how to experience the stylish Gulf Coast.

Events in Tampa

Gasparilla Pirate Fest

January

Tampa, FL

An absolute blast of a celebration for all of Tampa Bay, and we aren't referring to cannons on the fully equipped 18th century pirate ship that greets downtown. Eat, drink, and revel in elation with hundreds of costumed pirates.

Florida State Fair

February

4800 U.S. 301 North

Tampa, FL

+1 813 621 7821

This 12-day festivity is the South's largest full-on State Fair.  It's a goldmine of food (try the deep fried fudge), thrilling carnival rides, and even livestock shows like alligator wrestling.  And yes, there's a Ferris wheel.

Florida Strawberry Festival

March

303 North Lemon Street

Plant City, FL

+1 813 752 9194

The only thing that tops the overabundance of strawberry dishes you'll discover at this harvest fest are the country music stars like Taylor Swift, bringing their savory tunes to the crowd.

Ybor Festival of the Moving Image

April

2112 North 15th Street

Tampa, FL

+1 813 253 7674

Unequivocally pushing the envelope for independent film in the Tampa area, this weekend fest incorporates the zany with the traditional.  This year's theme centers on challenging political notions.

Mainsail Arts Festival

April

St. Petersburg, FL

+1 727 892 5885

Already a creative hotbed, downtown St. Petersburg gets a big dash of local and international art each April.  Savvy collectors mingle with inspiration hungry amateurs, while entertainers enhance the waterfront event even further.

Clearwater Jazz Holiday

October

Clearwater, FL

+1 727 461 5200

With crowds growing larger by the year, this Coachman Park festival began in the back of a truck 30 years ago.  Well-known talent is featured in front of a mesmerizing Clearwater sunset.

Guavaween

Halloween

Tampa, FL

+1 813 242 4828

An annual Halloween party in the streets of Ybor, stimulated in a Cuban influence, this is a must if you're in town.  No costumes required, but prepare for the surprising sights walking past.

Essentials

A medley of sun-soaked white beaches, international culture, and unique entertainment, the Tampa area is Florida in a nutshell.  The Gulf shore lies beneath 350 days of sunshine, which attracts flocks of visitors every year. You’ll find many other reasons why people love paying a visit here, after taking a visit to the blissful coastline.

It’s hard to believe an area with such an assortment of character could be so modest.  The Tampa area is home to nearly three million humble residents. During the warm days, there are a slew of curious activities in Tampa to fill your agenda, from visiting hundreds of animals at Busch Gardens to visiting the gorgeous Chihuly sculpted glass. You can even taste a fresh-rolled Cuban style cigar in Ybor City.  At the end of the day, the locals invite you to head to the Saint Petersburg Pier, where the sunset looks positively sublime.  If it’s sports you crave, Tampa has the antidote.  Pro baseball, football, and, surprisingly, hockey have a major presence here. 

Whatever your interest, from the allure of city lights and the arts scene to the sprawling beaches in Tampa, it’s a refreshing departure from the ordinary. This classic Florida coastline city has a flavor for any palette, so don’t be afraid to take a taste.

Resources

Creative Loafing
One of the best alternative news, entertainment, restaurant, and art publications anywhere, this is a must read for anyone visiting.

Arts Tampa Bay
With a focus on visual arts, museums, and sports, this is a wide-ranging source for Tampa area entertainment.

ArtSqueeze
Perfect for any and everything you’d want to find out about the Tampa area art scene.

Travel Ape
A good source for scoring local tickets to theater, learning about nightlife, and gaining access to local attractions around the Tampa Bay area.

10 Best Tampa
Learn all you’d want to know about Tampa area cultural events, shopping, and insider news at this search-friendly site.

Getting Around Tampa

Tampa International Airport (TPA)
Located six miles from the Tampa central business district, this Gulf coast hub will soon be adding 40 nonstop destinations.

St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE)
Much smaller than its neighbor (TPA), this airport services low-cost carriers and charter services, primarily from Canadians looking to warm up.

HARTLine Regional Transit
Scheduled bus service is inexpensive between downtown Tampa and the surrounding destinations ($1.75 one-way fare).

Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority
Daily unlimited GO cards are $4.50, servicing anywhere you’d want to go in St. Petersburg or Clearwater.

Uptown-Downtown Connector Trolley
A convenient, free option every 10 minutes around downtown running north-south between the North Terminal bus station and Harbor Island.

TECO Line Street Car System
With a recent extension opening, this is an easy on-the-go option around the area. A family can ride all day for $12.50.

Taxi Services
Fares are $2 at flag fall, plus $2.25 for each mile. Drivers aren’t usually searching for passengers unless you’re at public transit areas like the airport, where the maximum rate to downtown runs $25.

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