Vacation in Tampa, a full-fledged city, with a high-rise skyline and highways jammed with traffic. Across the bay lies the peninsula that contains Clearwater and St. Petersburg. The compact St. Petersburg downtown, which has interesting attractions including restaurants, shops, and museums, is on the southeast side of the peninsula, facing Tampa.
Inland is largely classic American suburbia. The peninsula’s western periphery is rimmed by barrier islands with beaches, quiet parks, and little, laid-back beach towns. To the north of Tampa are communities that celebrate their ethnic heritage — such as Tarpon Springs, settled by Greek sponge-divers — and, farther north, mostly undeveloped land dotted with crystal-clear rivers, springs, and nature preserves.
Find the Glazer Children’s Museum and Tampa Museum of Art near downtown’s waterfront park. In the nearby Channelside district, dine, shop or touch stingrays at the Florida Aquarium.
Board the trolley for cobblestones Ybor City and a lesson on Tampa’s Spanish and Italian heritage. Order a café con leche and stay for the nightlife.
Encounter roller coasters and exotic animals at Busch Gardens theme park. Adventure Island water park and Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo pack more thrills. Serious shoppers mustn’t miss International Plaza mall or open-air Hyde Park Village.
Bridges connect Tampa to Clearwater and St. Petersburg. Clearwater promises a bustling beach vibe and the chance to eat a grouper sandwich while feeling sand between your toes. Some of the nation’s most acclaimed beaches are easily reached by car or ferry.
St. Petersburg’s downtown sets chic shops, restaurants and the Salvador Dali Museum against green space and glittering Tampa Bay.
Visit the Tampa Tourism site for more information