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Tampa Bay, FL; Trip Adivce

PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:47 am
by Crosshairs007
Hello everybody. My friend and I has decided to go to Tampa Bay, Florida sometime in September. We mainly are going to Busch Gardens Tampa and other places. We need some advice's for our trip. Thank you in advance.

EDIT: Which one is the better option, flying on the plane or driving?

Re: Tampa Bay, FL; Trip Adivce

PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:51 am
by djcoastermark
That's a loaded question. What are you looking to do ? Beaches, dining, nightlife ? We live in St Pete and can answer a lot of those questions.

Re: Tampa Bay, FL; Trip Adivce

PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:56 am
by Crosshairs007
djcoastermark wrote:That's a loaded question. What are you looking to do ? Beaches, dining, nightlife ? We live in St Pete and can answer a lot of those questions.


Were planing on mainly going to Busch Gardens and the beach. Do you have any other places you could recommend?

Re: Tampa Bay, FL; Trip Adivce

PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:28 am
by bert425
here's my TR from 2016: we hit: "5 days of BGT, Weeki Wachee, Hard Rock Tampa & Seaworld"

that might help :)

https://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1720899#p1720899


we flew in and rented a car.

Re: Tampa Bay, FL; Trip Adivce

PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:30 am
by A.J.
Where would you be driving from?

Re: Tampa Bay, FL; Trip Adivce

PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:51 am
by jedimaster1227
Well let's start with some qualifying questions...

Where are you traveling from? What are the dates you are targeting or how long do you plan to be in the area? Have you been to or are you interested in experiencing any of the Orlando parks while you're in Central Florida?

Tampa has Busch Gardens and Adventure Island going for it along with Hard Rock Casino if that's your kind of thing. St. Petersburg has lots of artsier options like the Dali Museum and the Chihuly Collection. If you're willing to venture outside of Tampa area, you have access to the rest of the Central Florida attractions including Disney (four parks, two water parks, Disney Springs), Universal (two parks, a water park and CityWalk), SeaWorld (one park, one water park and an all-inclusive style experience park that is unique), Fun Spot (not my top recommendation but the coasters at each location are solid enough that it may be worth a try), International Drive and a ton more... Your horizons will definitely be broadened if you go beyond Tampa.

Even further, you could visit Kennedy Space Center in only a 2.5 hour drive, which seeing the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit is worth the drive alone.

If you were to stick to Tampa, then I recommend considering one of Busch Gardens' animal tours... The Serengeti Safari is something I highly recommend!

Depending on the time you're planning to be in town, Howl-O-Scream could be taking place at Busch Gardens, but again if you're willing to step out of Tampa, there's Halloween Horror Nights, the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party just a short drive away!

Re: Tampa Bay, FL; Trip Adivce

PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:46 pm
by Crosshairs007
A.J. wrote:Where would you be driving from?


We would be driving from Hague, Virginia.

jedimaster1227 wrote:Well let's start with some qualifying questions...

Where are you traveling from? What are the dates you are targeting or how long do you plan to be in the area? Have you been to or are you interested in experiencing any of the Orlando parks while you're in Central Florida?

Tampa has Busch Gardens and Adventure Island going for it along with Hard Rock Casino if that's your kind of thing. St. Petersburg has lots of artsier options like the Dali Museum and the Chihuly Collection. If you're willing to venture outside of Tampa area, you have access to the rest of the Central Florida attractions including Disney (four parks, two water parks, Disney Springs), Universal (two parks, a water park and CityWalk), SeaWorld (one park, one water park and an all-inclusive style experience park that is unique), Fun Spot (not my top recommendation but the coasters at each location are solid enough that it may be worth a try), International Drive and a ton more... Your horizons will definitely be broadened if you go beyond Tampa.

Even further, you could visit Kennedy Space Center in only a 2.5 hour drive, which seeing the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit is worth the drive alone.

If you were to stick to Tampa, then I recommend considering one of Busch Gardens' animal tours... The Serengeti Safari is something I highly recommend!

Depending on the time you're planning to be in town, Howl-O-Scream could be taking place at Busch Gardens, but again if you're willing to step out of Tampa, there's Halloween Horror Nights, the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party just a short drive away!


Traveling from Hague, Virginia. We will be planning on staying from Thursday - Sunday. I have been to Orlando before.

Re: Tampa Bay, FL; Trip Adivce

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:13 pm
by djcoastermark
If you are going to stay on the beaches, I would opt for the southern end of Pinellas county, either Treasure Island or St Pete Beach. Both are less crowded than Clearwater. There is less traffic and parking is cheaper and less of a hassle.Trust me, traffic and parking can be a nightmare at times into Clearwater.
Some places to stay on TI are the Bilmar and the Thunderbird. On St Pete beach, the Sirata, Tradewinds or the fancy Don Ceasar. There are also lots of cheaper mom and pop places which in September, you should be able to find some good off season room rates. From Treasure Island it is a straight shot to downtown St Pete, a great foodie town and good museums. The Dali, The James museum of Western Art, The Imagination Museum, and many more.
If you want a more deserted beach, Fort Desoto is a great one. Miles of uncrowded beaches, biking trails, and even a campground. LInk. https://www.pinellascounty.org/park/05_ft_desoto.htm '
If you want even more uncrowded, take the ferry from Ft Desoto to Egmont Key.
For cheap eats check out Eat cheap. A site broken down by b'fast lunch, happy hour, dinner, late night and by day of the week. It features mostly local places, no fast food or big chain places and mostly in the Downtown St Pete corridor of Central Ave and Beach Blvd. We use it all the time to find great food and drink options. link, https://eatcheap.app/stpetersburg_fl_us_city/tues/hh .
Hours are shorter in Sept for Busch so get there early. Allow extra time for morning rush hour traffic in Tampa, it can be a royal pain. Tampa has some of the worst traffic in the US. The bridges (there's only 3) into Tampa can have up to a half hour jam on them.
Have fun while you're here. Any more questions, just ask.

Re: Tampa Bay, FL; Trip Adivce

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:17 pm
by Crosshairs007
UPDATE

My friend and I has decided on what day were doing the trip. It's gonna be from Friday, October 18th - Sunday, October 20th. We are thinking about staying at the Hampton Inn near the park. Also, we have decided to get on the plane for this trip. This is gonna be my first time riding on the plane. I'm going to need your airport advice's. For this trip, we have decided to just focus on the park. I'm going to need park advice as well. Thank you.

Re: Tampa Bay, FL; Trip Adivce

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:29 am
by ILikeRollerCoasters
It depends on where from. If it is a short distance trip, definitely drive. If long, fly.