Tampa Skyline Aerial View

Florida city guide: Tampa

Down on the West Coast, by the Gulf of Mexico, you’ll find the thriving city of Tampa. With its recently revitalised Riverwalk along the glittering Hillsborough River, and the historic yet bustling Ybor City, couples, solo travellers and families alike will find plenty to do during their stay.

 

When to visit

The state of Florida is blessed with warm temperatures all year round, and even in the heart of winter the state rarely sees temperatures drop below 15 degrees C.

 

If you have flexibility and are looking for cheaper prices, September through to December is the perfect time to visit. During autumn, hotel prices drop (and even more so in January and February) but the temperature still continues to soar. October regularly sees highs of 29 degrees C, and even in December temperatures still reach the twenties.

 

May to August is Tampa’s busy season and, of course, it’s often booming with families and exciting events, though if you are planning a visit during this time, don’t forget to bring a rain mac! Tampa has a humid, subtropical climate and even though temperatures can hit 32 degrees C, almost two thirds of the annual rainfall drop over a few months! July tends to be the hottest, while August is known for being the wettest.

 

Events not to miss

There’s always something going on in Tampa, no matter what time of year it is, and if you’re planning a trip, you might want to consider paying a visit to coincide with some of Tampa’s biggest annual events.

 

Gasparilla Pirate Festival

When: January

Think Mardi Gras – with pirates.  Arriving by boat, the city of Tampa is invaded and the victorious pirates parade through the streets, entertaining the entire city. Live music, performances and plenty of food follows, and families will love the Gasparilla Children’s Parade, which is usually held the Saturday before the main event.

 

Florida State Fair

When: February

Since 1904, Tampa has played host to Florida’s State Fair and today, the fair runs over 12 days, welcoming up to 500,000 visitors. You’ll find incredible rides, tasty food, music and exhibits, and don’t forget to visit the many crafts and agricultural competitions to gain an insight into Florida’s heritage.

 

Tampa Caribbean Carnival

When: April

Infused with colour, the Tampa Caribbean Carnival celebrates the Caribbean American heritage through music, art, crafts and food. You’ll find steel bands, fantastic DJs and extravagant, lively parades bringing the streets alive.

 

Must-see attractions

Whether you’re in Tampa for 24 hours or 2 weeks, there are some things every visitor simply has to see.

 

Ybor City

With the famous 7th Avenue, voted one of the 10 greatest streets in America by the American Planning Association, Ybor City is a must for any visitor to Tampa. Recognised as a National Historic Landmark District, the neighbourhood is known for its fantastic nightlife, rich history and Latin culture.

 

Busch Gardens

An absolute must for thrill-seekers and animal-lovers, Busch Gardens is the world-famous theme park that is home over 12,000 wild animals and even wilder rides.

 

Tampa Theatre

One of the most magical theatres in America, a visit to Tampa Theatre is like taking a step back in time. A beautiful piece of history, you’ll be entertained before the movie even starts by the fantastic architecture.

 

Immersed in history and excitement, no visit to Florida is complete without a trip to the wonderful city of Tampa. With beautiful scenery and a bustling nightlife that never fades, the city thrives all year long!

 

 

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