Airport guide

Airports in Tampa

When you step off your flight to Tampa, you get something other than the typical glitz and glam of Florida's southern cities. Just add a few more golf courses and a laid-back lifestyle and you've found yourself in Tampa. Great beaches, sunny skies and lots and lots of golf await travelers on Tampa flights. And there's something for the kids, too! Tampa is home to Busch Gardens -- a wildlife metropolis where endangered animals and eager humans mingle among the masses. Board the whole family on a flight to Tampa for an unforgettable trip.

Cuban immigrants originally founded Tampa's Ybor City cigar industry in the 1880s and put Tampa on the map. People booking Tampa flights in search of the hottest destination points for nightlife and parties head straight to Ybor City. Thanks to the millions of travelers booking flights to Tampa for conventions and business expos, the city continues to thrive on the tourist dollar.

Most vacationers booking Tampa flights are heading westward to Florida's Gulf Coast. However, it's worth staying in Tampa a few days before you head out to the coast. Visitors to Tampa enjoy top attractions including Busch Gardens, the Gonzalez y Martinez Cigar Factory, and a night dining and people watching in Ybor City.

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Tampa climate

Tampa can get very hot and humid during the summer months. The good news is that Tampa flights and accommodations are usually cheaper during this season and there's always a deal to be found. Hurricane season falls from early summer through November.December to May is the most pleasant time of year with average temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and much less rain. January is the coolest month, when the temperature range is 50s to low 70s.

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Best Time to Fly to Tampa

Tampa flights and hotels book up fast during the peak travel season, but in the off-season, travelers looking for cheap hotels and airfare deals to Tampa are likely to get lucky.

Peak Season:

Most visitors prefer October through April. The hotels, bars, discos, restaurants, shops, and attractions are all crowded, and the performance arts are in full season.

Off Season:

Budget-minded visitors have discovered that along Tampa's coast, ocean breezes make the summer quite bearable and many west coast hotels lower their prices considerably. Tampa flights may be cheaper at this time.

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Getting downtown Tampa

The airport is seven miles west of downtown Tampa. Passengers arriving on Tampa flights are steps away from on-site rental cars, limousines, off-site car rental shuttles, buses, and taxis.

HARTline

(Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority) public transportation provides direct service from the airport to the downtown Marion Transit Center and Tampa Union Station (Amtrak rail). The

Limo/SuperShuttle

operates van services between the airport and hotels throughout the Tampa Bay area.

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Getting around Tampa

There are many ways to get around downtown Tampa and Ybor City. You can walk, but the rest of the city has a network of buses, trolleys and historic electric streetcars to get you around. To get to the airport, Ybor City, Busch Gardens or the Museum of Science and Industry, hop on one of the HART line buses. If you’re traveling at the end or beginning of winter months, you’ll notice extra traffic on the weekends. Many northerners come to Florida to escape the snow, and north-south routes can quickly become clogged.

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Tampa Travel Information

  • Catch a live performance or a first-run or classic film the Tampa Theater. This is a vintage theater, opened in 1926 and decorated with a star-spangled ceiling, mythological statues, and a very large Wurlitzer.
  • A free attraction are the manatees at the Tampa Electric Company. The water in the Electric Company's canal is at least 68 degrees, which is just right for a manatee. When the temperature of Tampa Bay drops below 68, there can be upwards of 300 manatees in the canal. You can come see the manatees November 1 to April 15.
  • Florida was producing wine before California was discovered. Eden Vineyards and Winery, the southernmost federally licensed winery and vineyards in the U.S., is just over an hour’s drive south of Tampa Bay. Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards is Florida’s largest winery and also about a hour’s drive south of Tampa.
  • For up-to-date listings of what’s going on while you’re in town, the free Weekly Planet has listings as does the Thursday Tampa Tribune.
  • Tampa is the largest city on Florida’s west coast and boasts the attractions, entertainment, culture, and fine arts of a large city. The Tampa Museum of Art has exhibits of old masters, twentieth-century American art, sculpture, and works by emerging Florida artists. The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center is the largest performing arts center in the southeastern U.S. with five separate theaters and a performing arts conservatory. The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) deals with health, environment, and outer space through hands-on activities and shows. The Channelside entertainment complex is the center of the downtown waterfront with shops, art galleries, dining options, a 3D IMAX Theater, nightclubs, and sporting events.

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Tampa airports

It's easy to book flights to Tampa, but for travelers visiting surrounding cities, flying to Tampa is often cheaper and easier.

Airports in Tampa:
Tampa International Airport (TPA)

Alternative airports (distances in miles):
Sarasota (39); Orlando (80); Fort Myers Southwest International (105)

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Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.
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    Approx flight times

    La Guardia to Tampa International:
    2 hr 52 mins
    John F. Kennedy International to Tampa International:
    2 hr 53 mins
    Newark International to Tampa International:
    2 hr 56 mins

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