Tampa/Clearwater

Tampa is a city on Tampa Bay, along Florida’s Gulf Coast. A major business center, it’s also known for its museums and other cultural offerings. Busch Gardens is an African-themed amusement park with thrill rides and animal-viewing areas. Major-league sports teams are football’s Buccaneers and hockey’s Lightning (baseball’s Rays are based in nearby St. Petersburg). Popular nearby beaches include Clearwater Beach, Treasure Island Beach and those at Caladesi Island State Park, which are reachable by boat.

Clearwater is a city in Florida's Tampa Bay area known for sunny weather and gulf coast beaches. Clearwater Beach, on a barrier island, is a 3-mile stretch of white sand backed by hotels and restaurants. Injured dolphins and sea turtles are rehabilitated at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. At the city's Spectrum Field, the Phillies pro baseball team plays spring training games.

WHEN TO VISIT

Tampa/ Clearwater has mild winters (Dec–Feb) and hot, rainy summers (Jun–Sep). Popular months for visitors are Dec–Jan, Mar–May and Jul. The city's signature event is the Gasparilla Pirate Festival (Jan/Feb), featuring an elaborate mock pirate invasion from the sea and a raucous parade downtown. In Feb, the Florida State Fair attracts families with carnival rides and attractions, livestock exhibitions and food stalls.

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