Hotel at a Glance: Wingate by Wyndham Tampa
This Tampa hotel has some pretty famous neighbors: the University of South Florida, Busch Gardens, and Adventure Island are all within 2 miles. The hotel offers free shuttle services to these and other spots, making it an ideal home base for leisure seekers or those visiting USF.
- Breakfast any way you want: The hotel’s complimentary hot breakfast buffet features a whopping 40 items, including everything from sausage links to belgian waffles.
- Family fun: Busch Gardens, just around the corner, entertains families with a variety of thrill rides, animals, and live performances.
- Float around in the outdoor pool while watching roller coasters crest their arcs in the distance.
- Campus life: The University of South Florida campus is right across the street.
Tampa, Florida: Sunny Days, Beaches, and Busch Gardens
Given that Tampa has more than 15 white-sand beaches and nearly 250 sunny days a year, it should come as no surprise that Forbes magazine ranked it the fifth best city in America for enjoying the outdoors. Set on the Gulf Coast, about 90 miles southwest of Orlando, the city offers abundant green spaces as well as year-round opportunities for fishing, surfing, and golfing on waterfront courses.
Roller coasters and exotic animals share real estate at Busch Gardens Tampa, a theme park designed to evoke the thrills of an African safari. Like a big cat sprinting after its prey, Cheetah Hunt—one of the park’s newer thrill rides—reaches speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. Back on solid ground, you can get up close and personal with more than 2,000 animals living in detailed replicas of their natural habitats.
The nearby Courtney Campbell Causeway provides easy access to Clearwater Beach and St. Petersburg, picturesque towns located on the peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. They’re known for their festive seafood restaurants, as well as outdoor attractions such as dolphin-watching cruises and nature preserves. For shopping, head to Tampa’s International Plaza and Bay Street, home to luxury retailers such as Burberry and Tory Burch.