Seeing all that Florida has to offer in a short amount of time is nearly impossible – there is so much happening in this paradise. But,with the right amount of planning and a convenienthotel location, you might just be able to squeeze a weekend’s worth of fun into just one day.
There are two citiesI recommend stopping in during a layover in Florida: Tampa and Miami.
Whether you are hitting the beach or the shops or enjoying a delicious meal, both cities are known to be a melting pot of cultures catering to visitors of all ages and tastes.
Let´s start by mentioning something wonderful and entirely free about both cities: their great weather.
Miami is the type of city that attracts very different crowds for many different reasons. Because it has something to offer everyone, it is a very popular vacation destination in the United States, especially among celebrities and chances of running into a famous actor, singer, designer, etc. are high. Coupled with the allure of year-round sunshine, this multifaceted metropolis can be quite posh. In popular spots like Ocean drive and Miami beach, you can experience a more glamorous side to the shopping, dining and nightlife scene of Miami.
If your aim is to just relax, Miami Beach or South Beach are a must-do after a long plane trip. Even if you only walk the strip and just take in the ambiance it would be time well spent, especially if you have a long trip still ahead of you.
Onceyou are done at the beach, paying a visit to Miami’s well-known malls of different architectural designs is another option.Within a 20-minute drive from the airport you can get your last-minute shopping done at several locations, and perhaps even take advantage of that 6% sales tax drop on select items during special sales periods.
Now if you are getting hungry, Miami has a plethora of restaurants from all corners of the world and you can have a delicious meal pretty much anywhere in the city in the restaurant of your preference, for a decent price.
Miami alsohas a very interesting nightlife scene.So, if you are in the mood to listen to some music or dance a little, Calle Ochoin Little Havana isa very popular street among locals to enjoy some lounge music, get after dinner-drinks or go dancing. Since Miami hassuch alarge Latin community, the city also offers some of the nation’s best Salsa clubs, which are worth visiting if that is more your scene.
Lastly, to cap a layover trip, I suggest you opt for convenient accommodation in Miami. I recommend staying at the Radisson RED Miami Airportbecause it is within arm’s reach of your next flight and it is easy to find suitable transportation for visiting all the top locations at a moment’s notice.
Also, if instead of hopping around the city on your own, you simply wish to spend your day seeing Miami’s most popular sights, you can easily book a hop-on-hop-off air-con bus tour. These companies generally offer the service of picking you up and dropping you off at your hotel so you can sit back and tour around most tourist hot spots, so to speak. Advantage? You can get down only at the stops that catch your interest or be whisked off to the next one. The trip will take around 5 hours of your day and then you can wrap it up in the comfort of your hotel and enjoy its many amenities.
Like Miami, Tampa is a very popular destination in Florida. It is the right mix between modern and historic. Its Cuban and Spanish influence makes Tampa a vibrant and welcoming place to be for residents and visitors alike.
One of the things Tampa is most known for is Tampa Bay. The urban heart of Florida’s Gulf Coast where you canfind sunshine and white-sand beaches,enjoy Florida’s local culinary diversity, and visit both museumsand amusementparks. In downtown Tampa, you will also find the Tampa Riverwalk, a popular waterfront promenade full ofinnovative architecture and a line-up of restaurants well-worth visiting. Much like Miami, Tampa’s food scene and nightlife are both exciting and versatile, and you can pretty much find anything you are looking for at a decent price.
Activities around Tampa are endless even for just a peek: for sports lovers, for instance, a visit to a golf course or golf club, to the New York Yankees baseball field and Raymond James Stadium, house of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
That being said, ifyou only have a day to spend in the city and you only want to fill your day with rides, shows and other activities, I suggest you spend your day either atBusch Gardens or Adventure Island water park, and cap off your night with a nice cocktail and some music and dancing at Ybor City, a renovatedCuban cigar-rolling industrial site from the 1800’s.
Last but not least, with regards to accommodation in Tampa, the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Tampa Airport North, FL is an ideal place to stay for a brief layover trip not only for its amazing amenities but also for its outstanding location. These visits can all easily be fit within this layover period and you will still have time to come back to relax in the comfort of your room at the Country Inn and Suites by Radisson. The next day you will ready to go to the airport using the free airport shuttle provided by the hotel.