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Old 10-27-2011, 02:50 PM   #1
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Where to stay in Tampa Bay?

I'm going to spend a few weeks en Florida (mostly Fort Lauderdale where I will take a course). But I figured I could land in Tampa and stay a few days to visit (never been there so why not). Since I know nothing of the place, I want to avoid booking a hotel in a boring part of town. I would like to know where is the "touristy" area. I mostly want to be able to walk around in a nice part of town and maybe close to the ocean where I could go to a beach or a marina to look at boats.
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Old 10-27-2011, 03:31 PM   #2
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RE: Where to stay in Tampa Bay?

Quote:
Fotoman wrote:
I'm going to spend a few weeks en Florida (mostly Fort Lauderdale where I will take a course). But I figured I could land in Tampa and stay a few days to visit (never been there so why not). Since I know nothing of the place, I want to avoid booking a hotel in a boring part of town. I would like to know where is the "touristy" area. I mostly want to be able to walk around in a nice part of town and maybe close to the ocean where I could go to a beach or a marina to look at boats.
Can't help you but that's usually what i want to know when i visit a new (seacoast) area. Maybe we should start a "sticky" thread with local knowledge providing local knowledge.
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:30 PM   #3
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RE: Where to stay in Tampa Bay?

In '09 we spent a couple of days exploring the downtown of old Ybor City, hub of the American cigar manufacturing industry in Tampa in the late 1800's & early 1900's until mecanical rollers replaced humans. Ybor has a handful of very good Cuban restaurants. Ybor, Pas a Grille, Tarpon City & old Tampa were my Mom's haunts during the summer as a teenager.

An afternoon in Tarpon City with its sponge diving history is also interesting.

We go to the city marina in Clearwater for boats.

Mango Mama is down at Bradenton, 30 miles S, in a very nice marina with lots of boats.
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:35 PM   #4
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RE: Where to stay in Tampa Bay?

The city of Tampa is quite a distance from the Gulf, nearby Clearwater beach is right on the Gulf, and St. Petersburg is not far, both have large municipal marinas with a lot of pleasure boat activity including trawlers.
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:14 PM   #5
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Where to stay in Tampa Bay?

Willy T,

You didn't mention budget, but here's one guaranteed not to be boring.

http://www.roomstays.com/hotel/685458

Great location in downtown St. Pete.* Walking distance to marinas full of boats.* If you are a yacht club member SPYC is on the waterfront.* Great restaurants.* There's eveb a West Marine Express in walking distance.* I love to stay in the harbor in St. Pete

By the way, don't miss this while in St. Pete.* A totally wierd dude, but interesting.

http://thedali.org/




-- Edited by Moonstruck on Thursday 27th of October 2011 06:39:18 PM
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:18 PM   #6
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RE: Where to stay in Tampa Bay?

I recommend Driving out of Tampa over the Howard Franklin bridge to downtown St. Pete. Go down to the city pier and find a little hotel on the waterfront(bay). Lots of clubs,restaurants(dont miss the Columbia) on the pier. Tons of boats, Its lots of fun. BB
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:47 AM   #7
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RE: Where to stay in Tampa Bay?

I would stay in downtown St. Pete possibly at the Vinoy. Tampa doesn't have much.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:49 AM   #8
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RE: Where to stay in Tampa Bay?

Would second going to St. Pete over staying in Tampa. Many restaurants, museums and the Pier which juts into Tampa Bay with great views from the rooftop. St. Pete municipal marina is a place to go to get your boat viewing fix. As said before St. Pete yacht club is right on the waterfront, too. Vinoy basin, opposite the Vinoy Hotel usually has lots of boats at anchor as well. If you prefer the beach, then Clearwater Beach is another place to visit. Again the municipal marina is opposite the beach, Frenchy's restaurant is an institution down here, and there is the Clearwater Marine Aquarium with Winter the dolphin (the star of the movie Dolphin Tales) in residence.
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:47 AM   #9
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RE: Where to stay in Tampa Bay?

St. Pete and the Vinoy is very nice. Note that the municipal marina is gated though so you will only be able to look at boats from afar.
Treasure Island has some very nice beaches straight down central avenue out of downtown St. Pete. We spend a ton of time down there as our family has a place on TI.
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:45 PM   #10
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RE: Where to stay in Tampa Bay?

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Harbourside in Indian Rocks Beach while bringing the boat back around from Mississippi. It's waterfront on the ICW and NICE rooms. Beach is right across the road. I don't know your budget but it was a little more expensive than we usu. spend on a room for the night.($150ish I think).
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:06 AM   #11
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RE: Where to stay in Tampa Bay?

Thanks for all the great info guys! I'll let you kow how I like it.
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:21 PM   #12
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RE: Where to stay in Tampa Bay?

St Pete is nice on Tampa Bay but try taking a look to some of the coastal islands like Madeira Beach. Madeira Beach has a very nice municipal marina that is very close to the beach and within walking distance to grocery, West Marine and many nice restaurants. It is also within a few hours ride up the intracoastal to Clearwater. Take a look at the website -

http://www.madeirabeachfl.gov/Pages/...L_Marina/index
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:23 AM   #13
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RE: Where to stay in Tampa Bay?

As others have said Tampa is not on the Gulf but on Tampa Bay. Big difference.*

That being said there are some nice places to visit in Tampa.* You didn't mention if you will be solo or with a friend.* Being solo there are places you can go to that may be different than if your wife or someone else's wife is with you.* In Tampa there are two places to*dine that*in my mind require a partner to have the best time.

http://www.bernssteakhouse.com/

Berns Steak House is an outstanding place to eat and two hours well spent.* The wine list is beyond compare as well as the service and the food.

http://www.columbiarestaurant.com/ybor.asp

Second is the "Columbia" in Ybor City (Tampa).* This is the original Columbia.* Again with a friend is the best way.* Solo not so much.* There is a Columbia on St Armand's Circle in Sarasota that is wonderful as well but there is nothing like "home" as they say.

I would suggest on your way to Ft. Lauderdale to stay over in Sarasota at least one night if not two.* I lived there for 9 years and it is a great town.* Don't miss Marina Jacks for a*side show.* You can't tell the players without a score card here and that will get you all set for what is happening in Ft. Lauderdale*where that is even more so.

If you remember the traveling Circus a day at the Ringling Home in Sarasota is worth the time.* The Home, and the two Museums are out standing.* The art collection is great as well as the Circus paraphernalia.

Have fun no matter where you go.
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