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Tampa, Florida, is a vacationer's paradise. But it's not just the weather that tourists enjoy. The year-round attractions mean that a good time is always guaranteed. While Tampa's three public beaches may get most of the attention, there's plenty to do indoors. The Museum of Science and Industry lets you brave simulated hurricane winds, while the Tampa Bay History Center brings to life some of the oldest recorded history in the U.S. Arts aficionados will enjoy the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts and University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum. Golf and fishing are popular activities, and there are several courses within the city and chartered boats are easy to find. Those who prefer spectator sports can cheer on the city's professional teams, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Tampa Bay Storm. The Tampa Bay Rays play in nearby St. Petersburg. Animal lovers can get wild at Busch Gardens' Serengeti Safari or watch tigers and cougars being fed at Big Cat Rescue. The Florida Aquarium features the state's natural habitats and fauna, including wetlands alligators, while the Lowry Park Zoo allows visitors to pet and feed rhinoceroses. For a different kind of hunt, visit WestShore Plaza and International Plaza for high-end shopping or stroll Old Hyde Park Village, an open-air mall with designer boutiques and local shops. Ybor City, Tampa's historic Latin Quarter, features specialty goods and art galleries and is the center of Tampa nightlife. Tampa International Airport serves about 18 million passengers each year, so finding flights to Tampa should be easy.

When To Go

With its warm weather and outdoor activities, Tampa attracts visitors throughout the year. The most popular time to visit is January, when people from the North escape the cold temperatures and several major festivals take place. The spring is also a favorable visiting time due to mild weather and major events. The fall brings cooler temperatures and big Halloween celebrations. Summers see fewer crowds, warmer temperatures, and lower prices.

high season: January to April
low season: June to September, December
shoulder season: May, October to November

Weather Information

Tampa experiences a humid subtropical climate, with temperatures averaging 90 degrees in the summer and 71 degrees in the winter. The average rainfall for the year is 45 inches. The most favorable time to visit is in the spring, because of cool evenings and pleasant daytime temperatures. Fall is also a cooler time to visit, but sees fewest visitors.

Crowd Information

Winter tends to be a very busy time, with the annual Outback Bowl football game in January and the Gasparilla Pirate Fest in February. Other winter festivals also attract crowds, including the Florida State Fair in February, the Florida Strawberry Festival in late February, and the Apollo Beach Manatee Arts Festival in March. In October, thousands dressed in their finest Halloween costumes visit Ybor (Eee-bore) City to celebrate Guavaween.

Closure Information

Most hotels, shops, and attractions remain open throughout the year, but the Adventure Island water park closes for the winter season and reopens in March.

When to Save

Summer is the least expensive time to visit, while prices peak in the winter high season.

Information provided by the Tampa Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau