The Sunshine State boasts more than just Disney World and Miami Beach; Tampa, Florida, is a favorite value vacation spot for families. Filled with theme parks, sports (it’s a big Spring Training destination), restaurants, the arts and plenty more, it is a great place to spend a little time away from home. So if you’re going to enjoy all that this fun city has to offer families and children, be sure to check out this list of bargain, kid-friendly hotels that are close to some of the city’s hottest attractions. Also, be sure to check out the Family Travel Forum’s Guide to Tampa’s most kid-friendly activities.
Contact the Tampa Convention and Visitors Bureau (813/223-1111; 800/44-TAMPA) for more travel and tourism information.
Kid Friendly Hotels and Resorts of Tampa, Florida
Tampa Marriott Waterside
700 South Florida Avenue
Tampa, FL, 33602
Although our recent stay at this huge, harborfront Marriott was for a conference, it turned out to be a convenient, pleasant place for a family. Accommodations are spacious, staff is excellent, the waterfront promenade is a fun place to watch the cruise ships moor, and the large 3rd floor pool and sundeck (fitness room too) are a good place to let off steam. Room rates are much more reasonable than the restaurant, so you may want to take the kids to the lobby Starbucks or fancier Oxford Exchange for breakfast. (See our video of the hotel at the bottom of this article.)
Sheraton Hotel Riverwalk Tampa
200 N. Ashley Drive 33602
813/223-2222 or 888/201-1718
The Sheraton Riverwalk Hotel Tampa neaby is also located two blocks from the Tampa Convention Center and a short walk from the Tampa Aquarium. Ybor City, Tampa’s historic Spanish district and its center of nightlife if you’re traveling with teens, is one mile from the hotel. For daytime fun, Busch Garden Tampa is only 10 minutes away. Shuttle service is available to and from Tampa International Airport on a 24-hour basis, and ask about Coast Bike Share where you can pick up a bike for rides along the waterfront.
DoubleTree Guest Suites Tampa North
11310 North 30th Street 33607
This Spanish Mission-styled, all-suite hotel is just one mile from the famous Busch Gardens and Adventure Island theme parks, 15 miles from the Airport, and nine miles from downtown Tampa. The 1-BR suites includes a wealth of amenities including a microwave, refrigerator, two televisions, coffee makers, and much more. Inquire about connecting rooms if you’re traveling with a large family. Attraction tickets can be arranged for guests.
Embassy Suites USF
3705 Spectrum Boulevard 33612
Embassy Suites’ 247 suites, located on the University of South Florida Campus, encircle an eight-story atrium, with waterfalls and brooks. The spacious rooms with a bedroom and sofabed, and the free perks such as a cooked-to-order breakfast and complimentary drinks and snacks during the Evening Receptions, make it a great choice with teens. The hotel is near both Busch Gardens and Adventure Island theme parks, and offers a free shuttle ride to the former. With Tampa’s major highways nearby, guests can easily take trips to Orlando and the sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. Attraction tickets are available from the hotel as well as advice from their concierge.
Tampa Marriott Waterside Resort video:
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