5 Tips for the Best Family Trip to Tampa

With its year-round sunny weather, kid-friendly attractions, and jam-packed social calendar, Tampa is the perfect place for a family vacation. Keep the following tips in mind to make the most of your stay.
Visit in Fall

Visiting in fall is a great way to save money while still enjoying your Tampa vacation. Summer is Tampa’s peak tourist period. Once sun-seekers return home, Tampa hotels and airlines servicing the city reduce their rates to attract travelers to Florida. Wait until at least September and you’ll enjoy big savings. You won’t lose out on the weather, either. With most days sitting in the high 70s to mid-80s, it’s still warm enough for swimming.

Stay Outside the City
Tampa is mostly a residential city and business hub. While it has hotels, restaurants, and other facilities for tourists, most travelers prefer accommodation outside the city limits.

Indian Rocks Beach, around 27 miles from downtown, is an excellent option. It’s less congested than the city, so you won’t spend most of your vacation stuck in traffic. It’s also one of the few local areas with free beach-access parking. Tampa hotels don’t usually have as many kid-friendly facilities, like on-site restaurants, swimming pools, and game rooms, that resort-style Indian Rocks Beach hotels do.

Soak Up the Culture
Tampa was once named one of the most diverse, integrated cities in the United States by the U.S. Census Bureau, so it’s a great place for experiencing different cultures without ever leaving the country. High numbers of Spanish, Italian, Irish, Cuban, and German immigrants give Tampa one of the most eclectic restaurant scenes you’ll ever find. Encourage your children to try foods outside their comfort zone at the city’s many ethnic eateries.

Local cultural celebrations are also prime opportunities for family fun and learning. Tampa hosts Festa Italian in spring, the ViVa Tampa Bay Hispanic Festival in October, and India Festival in November, to name just a few great local events. Time your visit to coincide with these festivals to expose your kids to exciting new cultures.

Enjoy Free Activities
While some of Tampa’s best kid-friendly attractions cost money, like Busch Gardens, ZooTampa, and Adventure Island, there are plenty of free activities as well. It costs nothing to swim in the ocean or make sandcastles on Tampa’s beaches, play in the splash zones at All Person’s Rotary Park and Ballast Point Park, or learn more about America’s past at the Historical Monument Trail along the Riverwalk. Take advantage of these free activities to reduce your vacation expenses while having fun.

Prepare to Indulge
Tampa has some superb dessert spots, so make sure you all indulge while you’re in the city. Visit Chocolate Pi for macarons, Paciugo Gelato and Caffe for Italy’s own ice cream, and Hellas Bakery for authentic Greek desserts. The kids might be bouncing off the walls with the sugar rush, but we promise it’ll all be worthwhile.

With these insider tips, your Tampa vacation will be one you and your children remember fondly. Make sure you savor every moment to create memories that will last a lifetime.

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