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Old 12-02-2008, 11:01 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
184 posts, read 436,208 times
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So I have one full day to spend in Tampa along with two half-days as I will be conducting business. What is the best way to spend that day? I have been recommended to check out Busch Gardens? is it worth it this time of year?

As for nightlife, I was told Ybor City has got it all. Any particular bars or clubs worth checking there?

With so many things I want to do, I havent even booked the hotel yet. where can I find hotels in close proximity to everything I would like to see? Id prefer one closer to downtown than one stranded on a highway.
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:40 AM
 
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Unfortunately busch gardens, ybor, and downtown are not very close to one another.
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Old 12-03-2008, 06:12 AM
 
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What days and how close to Christmas?

I would recommend staying in the Westshore district. Lots of restaurants and not too far from Ybor or Hyde Park.

Busch Gardens if you have never been is OK, if you like roller coasters and wild animals. I enjoy going there but have always had kids with me. Not sure how crowded it will be right now but it shouldn't be too bad. The closer it is to Christmas holidays the more crowded.
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
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Ybor is close to downtown. Busch Gardens isn't that far away either! Are you talking walking distance or driving distance? LOL Driving you can get from Ybor to downtown in about 10-15 minutes and get to Busch from there in about 25...it's just a straight shot up 275 to Busch..that's pretty easy, IMO.
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:15 AM
 
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Why would you go to an amusement park on the day you want to see and discover a city? There has to be more to Tampa during the daytime isn't there? I can see giving you that suggestion if you had kids with you, but alone? Night life is more than just Ybor in Tampa. South Howard area near Hyde Park is excellent with lots of restaurants and bars. Hyde Park Cafe is pretty fun in that area.
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Old 12-03-2008, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
840 posts, read 2,645,591 times
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I'd have to agree. Don't waste a whole day at Busch Gardens, unless you're with kids or unless you are just a roller coaster junkie. It's small and it's not even worth the trouble.
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Old 12-03-2008, 04:35 PM
 
13,772 posts, read 35,178,231 times
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If you have a car you might want to check out the beaches. Sarasota has Long Boat Key which is a beautiful beach, Passa Grille is an out of the way beach near Don Cesar hotel or any of the beaches north. Tarpon Springs is a Greek Community where you can go out on a boat where they dive for sponges.

There are so many great beach places to visit and even if it is too chilly to walk on the beach you can't beat the views
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:47 PM
 
Location: South Tampa - Bayside West Neighborhood
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Im heading to Busch Gardens tomorrow...always have my Silver Annual Pass, and thoroughly enjoy walking around the Gardens, seeing all the animal exhibits, trying a few new Anheiser Busch brews(2 complimentary)...oh, and some of the BEST rollar coasters in the country(Sheikra, Montu, Kumba, Gwazi), and people watching!!

Stay downtown(Marriott Waterside, Hyatt Regency, Sheraton Riverwalk, Embassy Suites Conv Center)...Busch Gardens is about 15 minutes north and you are about a mile streetcar ride from Historic Ybor City, excellent restaurants(Laughing Cat for Italian; Acropolis For Greek; EL Puerto for Argentian, Columbia for Spanish are a few), and alot nightlife is centered here(I enjoy places like Green Iguana, New World Brewery, Crowbar, Gaspars Grotto, James Joyce Pub, Czar....) Hyde Park/SOHO is about a mile to the west of downtown and has Hyde Park Village with some good eats(Cafe BT, Wine Exchange), and then there is Howard Avenue in Hyde Park eateries(like 717 South, Mangroves, Bern's, Side Bern's, Ceviche) and drinkeries(like MacDintons, Dubliner, Mangroves Late, SOHO Pub, Corner Bar, Cheap, Hyde Park Cafe, Lime, The Rack.....)

If the Lightning are playing, catch a hockey game downtown at the Forum, then go out in Channelside also downtown. Some good eats directly downtown are FLy Bar, Malio's, Cafe Dufrain, Hattricks. Check out Tampa Theater too, also downtown on Franklin St. The Riverwalk is completed from the USF Park at Brorein St, all the way to Channelside(about a mile).
I hope this Helps!
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
184 posts, read 436,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich67 View Post
I'd have to agree. Don't waste a whole day at Busch Gardens, unless you're with kids or unless you are just a roller coaster junkie. It's small and it's not even worth the trouble.
Good point you guys make, its just that I don't fancy having to drive from one spot to the next especially since I am doing all this by myself. Just last week I was exploring Houston and it was like that. Id rather spend the day in one area and just enjoy it. If it was beach weather, I might have had other options but I still feel like Busch gardens is my best bet.
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
840 posts, read 2,645,591 times
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Well, I just don't think the best way to truly see a city is by going to a commercialized amusement park and hanging out there all day...but to each his own. You can drive down to the nearby beaches off 60, eat at a handful of fine Cuban places in Ybor, and maybe even check out some of the downtown sites, but to each his own. When I travel to other cities, I like to drive around and get lost (phone GPS rocks) and as long as it isn't at 1 a.m. in a seedy section of town, I can truly have a good time and say I saw the city- not just a sliver of it.
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