Days Inn Tampa State Fairground

9942 Adamo Drive (Highway 60), Tampa, Florida, 33619, United States

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Beachfront Hotels near Tampa, and advice in general

by static1

Hello All!

We're planning a trip to the Tampa area in late October (2 adults/2 kids). We're planning on a day or two at Busch Gardens, then wanted to relax on a beach somewhere (or vice versa). Can anyone recommend some reasonably priced hotels on or near a beach close to Tampa (let's say within an hour or so)?

Any other advise or recommendations regarding the area would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!


Re: Beachfront Hotels near Tampa, and advice in general

by Agraichen

Have fun at's always a blast. For my money I think I'd head across the Causeway and check out Clearwater for my beach hotel. I just IM'd a colleage in St. Petersburg. He'll be sending some Clearwater recommendations.

Re: Beachfront Hotels near Tampa, and advice in general

by toemayn

Re: Beachfront Hotels near Tampa, and advice in general

by static1

Thanks for the info. I can always count on VT for good advice!


Travel Tips for Tampa

You have to check out Busch...

by Moondusted

You have to check out Busch Gardens/Adventure Island, MOSI (The Museum Of Science & Industry) and the beaches! Just stay away from any beach on The Courtney Campbell Causeway. I also like the Lowry Park Zoo. I have so many fond memories, they're just too many to list.

Bring Something Warm if You Go in the Winter

by emilienoelle

Although southern Florida tends to be very warm even in the winter time, it is still possible for the temps. to drop into the 60's or even the 50's at times. This happened on the last day of our stay and I was really glad that I had a sweatshirt. Like I always say, it's better to have it and not need than to need it and not have it. Suncreen is a must any time of year, especially on the face! If you are pale like I am you'll need at least a 30 SPF.

Tarpon Springs

by tampa_shawn

I take everyone who visits me in Tampa to Tarpon Springs. It’s a Greek colony settled just North of Tampa to harvest sponges.

Tarpon Springs is absolutely picturesque. It is the place to get the best Greek food in Florida and a great place to sight see. Once you get to the water front area park your car and walk around. There are a plethora of Greek restaurants, small museums, Greek merchandise shops and even the normal tacky tourist shops.

I always get here in time for lunch and stay for dinner to get two chances at the great Greek food. Be sure to try the flaming cheese appetizer and at least one fish dish.

By the dock you can also purchase dolphin sight seeing tours, sponge diving tours, gambling cruises. The free sponge museum is a bit run down is still very well done and heck its free!

The main street area has all sorts of museum shops and also host some wonderful bed and breakfasts.

The city of Tarpon Springs (between the water and US19) has quite a few art galleries and antique shops that are also worth visiting.

Tarpon Springs is a waterfront community north of Tampa just off of US19

Weeki Wachee Springs - An hour north of Tampa

by tampa_shawn

Weeki Wachee Springs is an historic Florida attraction – in fact, 2007 marks its 60th Anniversary!

The spring itself is beautiful but the main attraction is its mermaid shows. Shows run every 2 hours or so – I’d advise checking the website for show times on the days you are their and timing your visit to catch at least 2 shows (try for 3). Children will love the shows but adults will find it just as fascinating – I spent most of the time wondering at the training involved in being a mermaid – the mermaids breath through tubes but hold their breath for minutes between breaths they also can eat, drink and sing underwater – amazing. Since the mermaids swim in a natural spring the mermaids are among fish and turtles – watching the turtles following the mermaids around is quite fun too.

The park is worth visiting year around but during the winter the water park is closed. I enjoy visiting during the winter though – prices are cheaper and crowds are smaller.

There are also several nature shows and there is a boat ride down to the lower spring that is nice. The spring also offers scuba diving. The water in the spring is crystal clear and emits over 170 million gallons of clear, fresh 72-degree water.

In 2007 Buccaneer Bay Waterpark reopens March 17! This is Florida's ONLY spring-fed waterpark. Swim in the 72-degree, crystal clear spring with white sandy beaches, picnic areas, beach volleyball, etc!

Directions: Head North on 19 or take Vetrans Hwy North about an hour

Daily Admission through March 16
Adult ~ $13.95 Plus Tax
Child (Ages 3-10) ~ $10.95 Plus Tax

Daily Admission beginning March 17
Adult ~ $22.95 Plus Tax
Child (Ages 3-10) ~ $15.95 Plus Tax
Admission includes both Weeki Wachee & Buccaneer Bay!

Ghetto Superstar

by sarahjayn about University Mall

Okay, so International Mall is probably Tampa's classiest Mall. University Mall is the most ghetto. When I was in high school, someone was shot in University Mall. The violence has gone down, but the completely ghetto vibe hasn't. I'm not complaining, though.
First of all, there's Steve and Barry's - - also known as the "everything is $7.98" store. They sell clothes from parkas to gym shorts. The best deal is their college sweat shirts. They have really nice, embrordered ones for . . . . you guessed it - $7.98!
Then, there's the "probably stolen / fell off a truck / has a slightly altered name from the brand name" toy store, Toyopia. Everything in the store is supposedly 75% off, but really the employees seem to make up prices based on how poor you, the customer, look. Dress down.
This mall does have regular stores, too, but they don't have nearly as much flavor as these or other gems such as Anna's Linnen Mart and the like. It's ghetto fabulous. Some people I know buy the 7.98 sweat shirts and sell them on ebay for a lot more.


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