We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Need help planning trip to Tampa for Feb

Andover,MA
Level Contributor
58 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
Need help planning trip to Tampa for Feb

I am taking my two teenage daughters to Tampa for 5 days in Feb and know nothing about the place and how far things are. Want to go to Busch Gardens(how many days do you need here?), Maybe the zoo (is this worth it?) and the beach at Clearwater (what will the weather be like?) Can you recommend anything else that would be a must see/do in Tampa. Should we plan to stay a couple nights in Tampa and then move to the beach? Doesn't sound like we should drive the 50minutes each way from Clearwater to Tampa for two days. Any advice is welcome.

Tampa, FL
Level Contributor
2,117 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Need help planning trip to Tampa for Feb

Busch Gardens – One day is enough; although I could see doing 2 easily if the girls like roller coasters.

Lowry Park Zoo – it depends on if the girls are animal lovers. If they are, then I would say it’s worth it.

Weather in February – the high could be 75 or it could be 54 the way it is today. It is just impossible to tell at this point. The water however will still be really cold and probably too cold to swim.

You can easily stay in Clearwater and do BG and LP Zoo from there. I wouldn’t bother switching places unless there are more things you want to do/see in Tampa, and even then, Tampa is very spread out, no place will be close to everything.

The other things I would consider doing are Channelside and The Florida Aquarium.

I hope this helps! :O)

Edited: 13 January 2011, 13:05
Milwaukee
Destination Expert
for Milwaukee
Level Contributor
10,626 posts
62 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Need help planning trip to Tampa for Feb

I agree with Murphy that I would not switch hotels for a Tampa area vacation as long as you will have a rental car.

I would decide based on how much time you want to spend on the beach compared to other activities. If you only want to visit a beach for 1 or 2 of your days then you could consider staying in Tampa and driving to Clearwater or some other beach.

Many people center their vacation around the beach and drive to Tampa and elsewhere for other amusement.

There is a separate forum for Clearwater with lots of ideas for water activities, boat tours, etc.

Andover,MA
Level Contributor
58 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Need help planning trip to Tampa for Feb

Thank you very much for your advice. I think we will stay in Clearwater and plan a day trip to Tampa. We are animal lovers so will probably do the zoo. What is Channelside? Have heard it mentioned but not familiar with it.

Tampa, FL
Level Contributor
2,117 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Need help planning trip to Tampa for Feb

Basically it's a place where there are some restaurants, a bowling alley, and a movie theater all grouped together, and the aquarium is right around the corner from there also. So, if you're considering doing the aquarium, you may want to have lunch or dinner at Channelside and then take in a movie or go bowling, :O) Here is their website:

http://channelsidebayplaza.com/

UK
Destination Expert
for Florida
Level Contributor
47,552 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Need help planning trip to Tampa for Feb

I too would suggest you base yourself at the beach, but would suggest St pete and the beach towns in between St P and Clearwater as alternatives esp if you don't want to be in a high rise high life atmosphere.

CW is perfectly nice of you want a big built up buzz feel ( I have certainly wanted that a time or 2)- but I do feel that commuting between CW and Tampa airport/DT and other places is hampered by the heavy local traffic and I think St pete offers a faster commute between beach and town than CW beach which is a lot of stop and go traffic.

Tampa, FL
Level Contributor
2,117 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Need help planning trip to Tampa for Feb

Honestly it just depends on the time of day whether St Pete or Clearwater would be better. Some days the traffic over the Howard Franklin is way worse than the traffic over the Courtney Campbell at rush hour. At all other times of the day, I would say Clearwater does have a little more (in town) traffic, but I still think it's a much better beach. During the middle of the day, I can get from my office in East Tampa to St. Pete in about 40 mins, but I can also get to Clearwater in the same amount of time. I don't think it's that big of a difference. It's just my opinion though........... :O)

7. Re: Need help planning trip to Tampa for Feb

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 16 January 2012, 09:14