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Trip Report

5 Day Central Florida Adventure: Beaches and Natural Springs

5 days exploring the Tampa Bay area including its beautiful natural wonders

by bonvoyagejackieAbout Me:Hi, I'm Jackie, creator of the blog Bon Voyage Jackie. I created my blog in 2018 to share my experience balancing working as a full-time professional with my love of travel. I work remotely, but keep a home-base in Baton Rouge, LA. My f... read more

North AmericaUnited States5 days / May 2021

Highs & Lows

Swimming with manatees in Crystal River!

An afternoon thunderstorm put a damper on my plans to visit Silver Springs.

Q & A

  • Anything go wrong during the trip?

    Nothing is worse during a beach trip than stormy weather. Luckily, downtown St. Pete has a multitude of museums to offer. Get artsy and spend the day in the Dali Museum and Chihuly Collection.

  • How was the food?

    There is an amazing array of different cuisines in the Tampa area! For Cuban food, check out the Ybor City area in Tampa. The Columbia Restaurant and La Segunda Bakery are two famous spots for traditional Cuban dishes. Downtown St. Pete has some amazing Italian restaurants. BellaBrava has delicious wood fired pizzas and stunning views of the marina. For traditional family style dishes, Gratzzi Italian Grille is a great spot to visit with a group.

  • What tips would you give a friend?

    If you plan on visiting in winter, you can still enjoy the beach. I’ve visited Tampa in January, and while the beach was a little too cold to swim in for my liking, I did notice several people sunbathing and enjoying the water. Temperatures in the winter months are typically in the low to mid 70s. On that trip, I still enjoyed the beach but took beach walks rather than swimming.

  • Transportation Tips?

    A rental car is a necessity for taking day trips in the area, however, when you’re exploring downtown St. Pete, I’d recommend walking or taking a taxi or rideshare. Finding parking downtown can be a challenge, but the city is very pedestrian friendly. Leave the car at your hotel and enjoy a stroll!

  • Booking details?

    I contacted the Hollander Hotel directly to book with the best possible rate.


  • Hollander Hotel: Great location close to many bars and restaurants downtown. The pool area is a welcome retreat on a warm afternoon, and it's got a great bar!