Where to Stay in Tampa Before a Cruise in 2024

Best Places to Stay in Tampa Florida

Where to Stay in Tampa for Cruise

Where to Stay in Tampa for Cruise

Posted by Stefan DP – Last Updated on December 30, 2023

Tampa is one of the biggest cities located in Florida, with the city becoming one of the most visited tourist locations. Its geolocation gives it a scenic view of the Gulf coast.

As the sandy beaches and the ocean at the Gulf that surrounds Tampa Bay, it offers tourists a fantastic places to stay before or after a Caribbean cruise, as it is one of the largest port in Florida.

Additionally, Tampa is fused with different cultures from the Cuban to Spanish. It gives it the right blend in the cuisines, the historical museum and architecture.

Nonetheless, it is among the beautiful cities with urban parks that are surrounded by restaurants where you can dine and enjoy a luscious meal. As you may want to explore different places in the town, the business district gives you a chance to enjoy your shopping spree.

However, this should not be the end of your adventure; you can go ahead and enjoy a cruise from the numerous yachts that marina on the Tampa Bay. Therefore, you should always be ready to have a cozy place to rest after your non-ending fun day. Several Tampa hotels provide a free port transfer.

Here are the best areas you can enjoy the night when you are in Tampa at the beginning or end of your cruise vacation.

Read also: What are the Best Hotels near Tampa Cruise Port


1. Downtown Channel Side & Channel District

The Downtown Channel is the host of this renowned city. The town is the home of the major cruise lines and is the harboring point for most commercial freighters. Additionally, the Channel District being the home to the Port of Tampa is developed massively with new technologies such as the streetcar system that runs from Downtown Channel side to Tampa and Ybor City, which is free and takes approximately 15 minutes for each ride.

The Downtown Channel side is a beautiful place to stay in when you need to enjoy the city, with its proximity to the Florida Aquarium. The Florida aquarium is filled with indigenous species ranging from animals, plants to sharks, and penguins. In the aquarium, you can capture the awe-inspiring moments that you enjoyed during your visit. To top up on that, you can get to enjoy the mega-entertainment, which is impeccable as it is the main activity that goes down in the District.

Moreover, with the District being located close to the port, you can quickly get to enjoy and study the Tampa Bay history center that is filled with ancient cultures. The site is an excellent educational and tourist site, thus family-friendly. Nonetheless, the history center gives you detailed information on the chronicles of the city and in-depth understanding of the aboriginal founders of the Tampa city.

If you are in the Downtown Channel, you need to visit the restaurants which have the best exotic cuisines which are filled with scrumptious delicacies. As the Channel district offers a fantastic neighborhood to the Columbia Café, you will experience and enjoy all the tangy Spanish foods.

About the Area

When you are in Channel District, you cannot miss places where you can stay after a day filled with fun and laughter. There is an array of condos, residential apartments, and hotels such as;

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Tampa Marriot Water Street – The hotel is located in Tampa and is in the prime location, just next to the waterfront. The Tampa Marriott water hotel is a magnificent beauty with perfectly fit interior designs, which gives the rooms a perfect chromatic fusion. The rooms are fully furnished with beds and furniture that complement the design of the room. Moreover, its proximity to the Florida Aquarium and the convention center makes it the perfect place to relish the vacation. It is quite affordable and has a family setup in the room selection; as a result, making it easier to have a memorable moment with your family.
  • Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Downtown Convention Center – The hotel gives you a vibrant view of the city from your window during the day, and breathtaking city lights view in the evening. nonetheless you can get a glimpse of the port of Tampa from your room. The furnished room gives you cozy and calm hues when you check-in. As the hotel is in the middle of the town, you can get a glimpse of the busy roads with the sight of the Tampa beach. The location of the hotel allows you to practice photography by taking shots of the panoramic places.

# See more hotels in Downtown Channel Side & Channel District

2. Downtown Central, Tampa Riverwalk (5 to 10 minutes from Cruise Port)

Tampa downtown at the Riverwalk

The Downtown Central is the focal CBD of Tampa City. It is located right in the middle of the city, with its neighborhood being the busy business district with different commercial services. However, when you are on vacation, apart from using the banks, in case you need an exchange of currencies, you get to explore the appealing sceneries that are hosted by the town. Downtown central has qualified to be one of the attractive places with the Tampa Riverwalk, which is located in the Central District.

The Tampa Riverwalk gives you a relaxed ambiance where you can ease and rejuvenate. The river walk has an array of activities that you can partake. First, its location along the Hillsborough River and Garrison Channel gives it a great platform to participate in festivals annually. The serenity of the waterfront makes it exceptional in hosting dinner events that are to be cherished.

Other activities that you can engage in when you are at the Tampa Riverwalk is the ride on the river with a kayak. Different companies offer these services, where you will get to enjoy the downtown Tampa Skyline which is magnificent. If you are aquaphobic, you can substitute the kayaking with bike riding or the scooter riding. It will serve almost a similar purpose and allows you to ride along the Riverwalk to downtown Tampa.

The Central area has the best to offer, primarily if you reside in it for your vacation. Subsequently, the affluent historic neighborhood allows you to be in awe of the cultures, making you appreciate your original roots. In Central Tampa, several hotels are very affordable, which can serve you during your vacation.

3. Ybor Historic District (5 to 10 minutes from Cruise Port)

A neighborhood in Tampa

As we have mentioned about the historical cultures, arts, and museums that are prominent in Tampa, Ybor Historic District is the place to be. The Historic District is surrounded by around 960 historic buildings which are infused with the Cuban and Spanish culture. The Spanish-Cuban beliefs have manifested the town. This is from the architecture of the premises to businesses such as the cigar factory.

Nonetheless, Ybor Historic District moderate temperatures have facilitated the growing cigar market, which is now the primary culture of the residents. If you are a cigar lover, you will love the unending variety of cigars that are available in the town.

When you stay in the Historic District, you should explore the central Ybor, which has restaurants that give you mouth-watering delicacies. Additionally, as it is engraved in culture, museums are the go-to thing at Ybor. The Ybor City Museum gives you unbelievable scenery of the Tampa Baseball Museum and the Al Lopez House, which celebrate the baseball history.

The Ybor District City come to life after a long day of having a cruise, you can unwind in the clubs while enjoying your favourite drink. You can go ahead and blow off some steam by enjoying the fine cigars available.

After an array of activities that you took part, you can enjoy your stay by checking in to a hotel or motel.

4. Tampa Airport (15 to 20 minutes from Cruise Port)

Airplane landing in Florida

When you are visiting Tampa for a cruise vacation, it is imperative to identify the mode of transport to use. The Tampa Airport is located around 15 minutes away from Downtown Tampa in Florida and the different cruise terminals. The airport is cream in architectural design and how it is landscaped. Additionally, the geolocation of the airport makes it flexible to reach one’s residence. Moreover, the availability of car rentals allows you to navigate your way through.

Tampa airport sleek designs make it among the busiest with 20 key airlines, where they have global flights. At the airport, some hotels and cafes can serve you while you wait to move to your desired area of choice. Nonetheless, its proximity to Downtown Tampa makes it easy to arrive.

A hotel that you can book when you arrive at the Tampa airport include;

marker Tampa Airport Marriot

In case you are flying into Florida, the Tampa Airport Marriot hotel is suitable for you because of the open window views that allow you to enjoy the night lights of the airport. Despite its proximity to the airport, you can hardly hear the aeroplane noises. It enables you to have a nice evening sleep. In case you landed on a late-night flight or you have an early flight to catch out of Tampa, this is one of the best places for you.

5. Bush Gardens / Temple Terrace Area

Bush Gardens in Tampa Florida

When you are staying in Tampa for your cruise vacation, visiting the Bush Gardens should be in your to-do list. The bush garden is an amusement park that is filled with endless activities such as the visit to Adventure Island Tampa. The area is suitable for both adults and kids as the hotels are very affordable, and their rates are inclusive of the park admission and offer to various entries. Nonetheless, there are available packages that are suitable for families, couples, or even a joint getaway with your friends.

As the hotels are located around the park, it gives you easy access to the amenities, and you can relax and enjoy your day. Nonetheless, it gives you an exploration of new activities that are more exciting than cruising all day long.

Temple Terrace has an epic geographical position. The area is located strategically from the airport, Orlando and Sarasota beach. The temple terrace is located north-eastern of Tampa bay and is easily accessible in a short drive. The Temple terrace is a warm and welcoming neighborhood with one of the best parks that neighbors the Bush Gardens. Additionally, the Hillsborough river gives it a majestic scenery; hence one can kayak or use the water skiers. In the surrounding gives it a welcoming environment that allows one to cycle through the pine and cypress trees, on a perfect sunny day.

Some of the available hotels are the;

marker Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Tampa-USF-Busch Gardens, an IHG Hotel

It is geographically located 0.5 miles from the Busch Gardens and 13.2 miles from the Tampa International airport. Nonetheless, the ambiance of the hotel makes it family-friendly with the rooms which have plushy furnishings and warm colors that light up the room. It is an ideal hotel due to the rates which are quite affordable. When you are in Busch Gardens, you can drop by and enjoy your stay.

The Temple terrace is surrounded by very affordable hotels, such as;

marker Hilton Garden Inn Tampa North

The Hilton Garden Inn is located north of Tampa. The hotel is approximately a few miles away from the Bush Gardens. It eases the movement when you need to visit the area. Additionally, the hotel is surrounded by nature, giving it a tranquil and peaceful ambiance. With a calm environment, the region is family-friendly and is an excellent getaway place for you. The hotel has a fantastic offer on their services and provides good value accommodation when you are in Tampa.


(Latest update December 30th 2023)

Please contact us if any information is incorrect or not up-to-date.

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