Pardon us while we blow our own horn for a moment: Tampa Bay is riding high as one of the top destinations in the world for everything from Pride celebrations to airport dining. Unlock Tampa Bay and find your own favorite thing about the hip, urban heart of Florida's Gulf coast.
MSN: Cities That Are Amazing Getaways
"More often than not, most tourists disregard Florida cities and head right to the sunny coastlines—but this culture haven and palm tree paradise should not be overlooked. Tampa boasts all kinds of fun for the family, like amusement parks, beaches, museums, and local shops and restaurants." So go beyond the sugar sand beaches and discover the treasures in the hip, urban heart of Florida's Gulf coast.
Travel + Leisure: Top 10 Domestic Airports
With billions in recent and ongoing improvements, including a new rental car facility and sleek people mover, Tampa International Airport continually ranks among the best airports in the US and the world . This year, TPA was the only US airport added to the Airports Council International's Roll of Excellence based on travelers' reviews. Conde Naste ranked TPA first in the US for the efficiency of its TSA workers.
WalletHub: Best Staycations
Sometimes the fun you're looking for is right outside your door. As Florida's most diverse destination, Tampa Bay has a mix of experiences to keep you and your family busy for days without wandering far from home. Our combination of family fun, fantastic food, craft breweries and Cuban culture puts us in the Top 10 staycation destinations overall and No. 2 nationally for good old "Rest & Relaxation."
Jupiter Magazine: Worth the Road Trip
Jupiter magazine has a simple message for its South Florida audience: there's a lot more to Florida than the Miami Metroplex. So put the top down, crank the tunes up and hit the road for a trip to Tampa Bay. Stock your humidor back home with authentic hand-made cigars from Ybor City, the former Cigar Capital of the World. Watch the sunset over a dinner of fresh pompano on the lawn at Ulele, then stroll hand-in-hand back to your hotel along the Tampa Riverwalk while the lights of downtown twinkle to on the surface of the Hillsborough River.
MoveHub: World's Hippest Places
Vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores -- in the math of MoveHub, these things add up to hipster culture and Tampa Bay is in the Top 20 hippest places in the world. While we have plenty of places that meet MoveHub's hipster ideal, Tampa Bay's hipster cred goes far beyond those five parameters. We'd add cutting edge chefs, a dynamic youth culture, and white-hot entrepreneurial spirit.
Home To Go: Trending for Pride
A culture of openness and tolerance helped land Tampa Bay a spot among the world's top destinations for celebrating LGBT pride. As the home of the first Pride parade of the year (in March), we are proud of growing our reputation as a gay-friendly destination, with hotels, culture, and nightlife tailored to the community.
USA Today: Best Aquariums
The votes are in, and The Florida Aquarium has earned a spot on the list of the nation's best aquariums. With more than 20,000 specimens and an enormous Caribbean reef showcase, The Florida Aquarium takes visitors on a self-guided tour through Florida's delicate aquatic ecosystem: from freshwater springs to coral reefs. Along the way, families can come finger-to-fin with stingrays, dash through a kid-friendly splash pad, and even go on a quest for wild dolphins aboard the Bay Spirit II.
Homes.com: Best Airports in the U.S.
It's only fitting that the birthplace of commercial aviation ranks among the top airports in the country. With the quickest TSA lines in the nation, Tampa International Airport (TPA) takes the stress out of flying. The airport's multi-billion-dollar expansion recently added a new rental-car facility and sleek SkyConnect train to make getting around that much easier. TPA is also home to Florida's top airport restaurant: the Columbia Restaurant.
Open Table: Best Al Fresco Dining
The fun of Florida: we can eat outside every day at places like Ulele. Perched above the Hillsborough River at the northern end of the Tampa Riverwalk, Ulele brings local history to life through meals built around ingredients enjoyed by Native Americans and early Spanish explorers. Oysters, seafood, locally raised meat and vegetables (including the fabled okra fries) -- wash them down with a pint from the in-house craft brewery while you enjoy Tampa Bay's best sunset spot.
MarketWatch: Stunning Historic Theaters
Catch a classic film, an indie flick or a concert beyond the glittering marquee of Tampa Bay's 1926 Tampa Theatre. Architect John Eberson's ornate "atmospheric" creation is a feast for the senses, with loads of details to excite the eye and the booming 1,400-piece Might Wurlitzer pipe organ -- installed as the theatre was built at the end of the silent-movie era -- to indulge the ear. With trick-of-the-eye clouds passing overhead, you'll feel like you're sitting in an Old World piazza even while you much popcorn on the balcony.
Trips to Discover: Florida's Best Business Hotels
Of the 12 hotels on the list, Tampa Bay scores two spots -- the waterfront Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay in the West Shore district, and the stylish Epicurean Hotel in fashionable Hyde Park. With dynamic young entrepreneurs creating new experiences, and billions of dollars in investment flowing into the region with an eye on the future, business travel looking to be a booming business in Tampa Bay for years to come.