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place/area to stay?

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ca
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place/area to stay?

Hi,

We'll be in the Tampa area late July for a 3 nights. Please recommend a place to stay. We're a family of 5 - 3 kids (5,3,1). Doesn't have to be right in Tampa. Can be near. I've heard of some local beach areas that would be nice to stay. Ideally, would love to find a vacation rental. Just need to be convenient to drive into the city one day for a conference. Otherwise, will be hitting the beaches, maybe Busch for a day.

And while I'm asking...we're on a 10 day road trip in Florida. After Tampa area, thinking of heading to Sarasota or Fort Myers or Naples for a couple of nights. Which would you pick and any recs on places to stay (and eat)?

After that, we're headed to the Keys for a couple of nights and then to FLL for a couple of nights before we fly out. Any recs on places to stay and eat would be great for all areas?

Thanks in advance.

Tampa, Florida
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1. Re: place/area to stay?

If you want to be on the beach, look at Clearwater or St. Pete beaches. They are about 45 minutes from Tampa - depending on where in Tampa you are going.

I love Sarasota. We stay at the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota. It is not on the beach, but has a beach club that you can use and also a shuttle to the beach club.

Tampa, Florida
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2. Re: place/area to stay?

After Tampa go to Lido Key (one of the barrier islands off of Sarasota). It is a relatively small area and easy to get around on foot to the quaint shopping area called St. Armands Circle. There's a Holiday Inn about a quarter mile from the Circle and the public beach is right across the street from the Holiday Inn and there are no buildings blocking the view of the Gulf from the rooms.

If you prefer to be right on the beach check out the Lido Beach Resort.

Tampa, Florida
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3. Re: place/area to stay?

<v=Ideally, would love to find a vacation rental.>

Check out the Pass-A-Grille, it's just south of Saint Pete Beach. I did quick search on VRBO.com and found many listings. From this area to Tampa, it is about 45 minutes drive.

Florida, USA
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4. Re: place/area to stay?

Clearwater Beach may be a good choice with small kids. They have a nightly event for families, Sunsets at Pier 60: http://www.sunsetsatpier60.com/

You may want to check vacation rentals in Clearwater, Indian Rocks Beach, St Pete Beach or Madeira Beach under VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner). They are all within 45 minutes - 1 hour of Tampa. There are many nice 2-3 bedroom beach condos available which would be nice for a family with children and would give you more room than a regular hotel room.

In addition to Busch Gardens, some other choices for families while you are in Tampa:

Lowry Park Zoo (Top ranked in the nation)

Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)

And, I would pick Naples over Ft Myers, especially Naples beaches. I've heard the Naples Zoo is very nice as well.

ca
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5. Re: place/area to stay?

Thanks everyone for your great feedback. I will do some more research and come back with questions. The hotel that the conference is in is the Marriott Waterfront. Should I just stay here for a few nights and then find a nice place near the beach near Tampa or Sarasota? Otherwise, if my conference is from 8-4pm, will I hit any traffic coming and going from that time? Will it still be 45m-1hour?

Thanks.

Tampa, Florida
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6. Re: place/area to stay?

Yes, lots of traffic if you stay over in Clearwater beach and try to attend the conference at the Marriott Waterside. You'll be in traffic coming and going. I would say at least an hour but likely more. But for one day ... well it's up to you.

Tampa, Florida
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7. Re: place/area to stay?

The Marriott Waterside is a very nice hotel. They do have a pool. It's also quite close to the Florida Aquarium and Glazer Children's Museum. Could also ride the trolley to Ybor City for lunch one day.

Tampa, Florida
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8. Re: place/area to stay?

Along that same trolley route is an area near to the Aquarium called Channelside which has a bowling alley in the restaurant/bar called Splitsville. There are also many shops and restaurants in Channelside. It is a little over a mile from the Marriott to Channelside.

If the oldest kid is into ice hockey the Tampa Times Forum where the Tampa Bay Rays play is in "spitting" distance to the Marriott.

9. Re: place/area to stay?

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