This booming heart of Tampa is a Downtown with a difference, successfully mixing old and new with a southern panache. Quaint streetcars trundle along the newly developed riverfront, lined with museums, art galleries, and an aquarium. The warm tropical waters surrounding Downtown add a twist to riverfront walks—dolphins and manta rays are a far from rare sighting when strolling along Downtown's embankments. And as the warm night falls, the nighttime buzz rises, especially in Channelside with its upmarket restaurants and bars.
Hotels in Downtown Tampa
Most of the hotels in Downtown Tampa are found along its western side, where the Hillsborough River curls through town before entering the Bay. These are hotels that reflect the bold, positive mood of Downtown, being large, modern and luxurious. The Hilton Tampa Downtown is a case in point, its mirror-glass front hiding a plethora of facilities for business travelers and tourists alike. Just across the bridge in Harbor Island is the Westin Tampa Harbour Island, which counts a marina and business center among its amenities.
Things to see in Downtown Tampa
As well as being the financial heart of Tampa, Downtown is home to numerous attractions for the general visitor. In the northwest quarter you'll find the Tampa Museum of Art, which revels in exhibitions of bold contrasts. It has strong collections of modern and contemporary art, as well as wonderful displays of Roman and Greek antiquities. Next door is the Glazer Children's Museum, dedicated to an interactive exploration of childhood through its hands-on exhibits. Completing this quarter's trio of cultural attractions is the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. Housed in the intriguing Cube building by the river, it is known for works by Harold Edgerton and photographs that focus on turning points in American History. Less high-brow attractions are found along the Garrison Channel to the south. Here you could catch a pro-hockey game at the Amelie Arena, or take a chance to Dive with Sharks at the Florida Aquarium.
Good for business and general travelers
As the central business district of booming Tampa, this neighborhood makes a great base for those travelers coming here on business. Accommodation in Downtown Tampa is both conveniently located and business-friendly, with hotels laying on specific services to support the traveling business person. The airport is close by, as are the main road networks connecting to the wider Tampa Bay region. But Downtown also works well for general tourists, with its mix of cultural and fun attractions. And for those planning to cruise the Gulf or Caribbean, the hotels in Downtown Tampa are ideally situated close to the Port Tampa Cruise Terminals.
How to get to Downtown Tampa
For those flying into the city, Tampa International Airport has the best connections and is less than 10 miles from downtown. You can catch a cab into central Tampa, or take the 30 bus, which leaves every half-hour and only takes 45 minutes to travel to Downtown Tampa. There are regular modern trolleys between the main sights in the neighborhood, part of the In-Town Trolley service. But for a journey with a difference, try taking one of the heritage TECO Line Streetcars. These run from Whiting and Franklin Streets, following the Garrison Channel all the way to Ybor City, Tampa's famed Latin Quarter.
It's a thrill ride park. It's a zoo. It's two parks in one! And it doesn't skimp on either the thrills or the animals. See the unique park, including its world-class coasters and its up-close views of wild and exotic animals.
The entrance to the park looks like an African village, complete with market stalls.