Tampa International Airport, just 11 km far from the homonymous town in Florida, is one of the most important airports in the country from tourist point of view, with many airlines, both American and international, taking off and arriving here. Among these, we can mention the Southwest Airlines, the biggest “low-cost” company in the United States and in the world, the AirTrain Airways, the Delta, the American Airlines and the British Airways.
The airport is equipped with a series of parking areas, shops and dining areas. About 20 million passengers transit through this airport every year and it is considered one of the best airports in the USA for its terminals.
Tampa: points of interest
Once landed at Tampa International Airport and picked your rental car up, previously booked on RentalUp, tourists can quickly reach the city and start your tour visiting the many points of interest that it proposes.
Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa, one of the pearls of the “Sunshine State”, offers more than its crystal-clear sea and its beautiful beaches, so that it has received important rewards over the years, such as in 2008, when it was ranked fifth by the magazine Forbes among the best cities for outdoors in the United States, or in 2015, when it was elected best big city among the ones in the south-eastern states by Money Magazine.
Tampa, as well as many other cities in the USA, is an urban agglomeration and so it is subdivided in various districts. One of the most important of these is Downtown, the city centre, where you can admire a series of very high skyscrapers, among which the highest one is the Am South Building, within which there is also a bank.
Still in this district the architectures of the Town Hall, built in Renaissance style, and of the historic theatre of the city, the Tampa Theatre, within which concerts and events are held in the pretty Mediterranean courtyard, stand out.
Tampa is also the ideal city for those who love walking and jogging, since it has the promenade of Riverwalk, alongside the Hillsborough River, where you can also experience bike tours. Either on foot or by bike, this itinerary will allow you to admire many monuments and works of art, besides small and big natural parks.
The oldest heart of the city is certainly Tampa Heights, a district on the eastern shore of the river, with the possibility of admiring important monuments such as the Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church and the Sacred Heart Catholic Church with its typical Romanic style. On the same shore of the river, there is Channel District, where you can find many bars and shops, besides outdoor areas where music events are held all year round.
A stage you cannot miss is the S.S. American Victory, a ship that was used by the USA Marine during the Second World War, upon which there is a very rich historiographical museum. Still in this district, twice a year, you can attend a tour that offers music and show.
Ybor City is the district of “nightlife”, founded many years ago by he cigars’ manufacturers and that in the first decades of the last century was inhabited mainly by the workers of the tobacco’s industry, of Latin origin. After a period of depopulation, when the mechanisation of the operations reduced the number of workers needed, this district has come out on top thanks to the nightlife.
Tampa: art and culture
Despite in this city in Florida is very pleasant to stay outdoor, Tampa offers also some very interesting museums, easily reachable thanks to the car rental at Tampa Airport.
Among these, the most important one is the Museum of Art in Gasparilla Plaza, within a modern building overlooking the Hillsborough and that proposes very suggestive sceneries by night, when it is lit up with LED lights. Within the museum, you can admire many objects of the ancient classical age, such as the Greek and Roman ones, in addition to various temporary exhibitions about the most varied themes.
The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, where you can admire photographic works of high level in a permanent exhibition and other ones in temporary exhibitions, is very interesting, too.
Taking advantage of the car rental service at Tampa Airport, you can visit the Tampa Bay History Center, in Channel District, that preserves a series of works belonging to the culture of the Native Americans and of the Spanish conquistadores; within it there is also a very interesting well-done reproduction of a cigars’ shop dating back to the 1920s.
Exploiting the car rental from Tampa Airport, you can reach also other minor museums, that however deserve to be visited, such as the Mosi, Museum of Science and Industry, where you can experience interactive activities about science and technology, and the Henry B. Plant Museum.