The Tampa Riverwalk meanders through downtown Tampa, following the course of the Hillsborough River. This scenic path is lined with restaurants, high-end boutiques, and family attractions, including the Florida Aquarium and a steamship from WWII that’s open to the public seven days a week. Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel sits right along this stretch, providing easy access to waterfront dining and entertainment.
Must-see nearby: Thousands of species of marine life call the Florida Aquarium home, including sand tiger sharks and the goliath grouper, which can weigh more than 300 pounds.
Go swimming: The hotel’s outdoor pool and pool deck have great views of the Hillsborough River.
Onsite dining: The riverfront outdoor patio at Ashley Street Grille is a nice spot to enjoy blue-crab-stuffed grouper and filet mignon.
Social hour: On Wednesday and Friday nights, guests can sample wines rated 90+ by Wine Spectator for just $5.
Recommended beaches: Head across the harbor to the neighboring town of Clearwater Beach for miles of white-sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico.
Tampa, Florida: Sunny Days, Beaches, and Busch Gardens
Ranked America’s No. 5 best city for the outdoors by Forbes, Tampa is often unfairly overlooked by vacationers headed to Florida. Located 90 miles southwest of Orlando, Tampa enjoys sunny days two-thirds of the year. Locals make the most of the weather by hanging out in more than 165 city parks and on beaches that span some 2,200 acres. Roller coasters and exotic animals share real estate at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, a 335-acre theme park in northeast Tampa designed to evoke the thrills of an African safari. Like a big cat sprinting after its prey, Cheetah Hunt—the park’s newest roller coaster—can reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.
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