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TampaGood Times and Sunshine

Flights to Tampa with a touch of Iceland

Orlando's not the only Florida destination for theme-park holidays! Tampa has family-friendly parks too, not to mention some stunning beaches in the vicinity - plus that same reliable Florida sunshine.

Icelandair offers twice-weekly cheap flights to Tampa from Europe and the UK for peachy beach days, Busch Gardens roller coasters, and excellent wildlife encounters (from spotting manatees to feeding a rhinoceros).

Before you hit the parks and beaches, fancy a soak at the Blue Lagoon, a water park with a difference? When you book flights to Tampa with Icelandair you have the opportunity to add a stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare.

Tampa

United States
Population: 3 million (2016)Area: 453.9 km²Transportation: The TECO Line Streetcar connects Downtown and Channelside with the historic Ybor City district, and over 200 buses service the Tampa Bay area.Currency: US DollarTrendy Neighborhoods: Downtown St Petersburg - Ybor City - Seminole Heights - SoHo/Hyde Park - Channel District

Theme parks and animal encounters

The big Tampa drawcards are Busch Gardens, a theme park with an African flavor and killer roller coasters, and the neighboring Adventure Island waterpark, full of pools and slides. That's not the only option for swimming fun, however - close to Tampa are the excellent Gulf Coast beaches of Clearwater and St Pete.

Once you’ve filled up on adventure, turn your attention to the many museums and exhibitions in the Tampa area. The Florida Aquarium is a tropical stunner, and it organizes dolphin-spotting cruises. The Tampa Zoo is another local spot rich in animal interactions. The Riverwalk is a great place for a stroll; the Museum of Art houses pieces that will inspire conversation; and the interactive Glazer Children’s Museum makes playtime fun and educational.

Cigar heritage and hipster haunts

The Ybor City district (northeast of downtown) is a historic neighborhood that was built on cigar manufacturing, drawing thousands of immigrants, many from Cuba, Spain and Italy. Today the district is home to lots of eating and nightlife options - head here for some Cuban flavors and after-dark fun.

Other good options include Hyde Park Village and SoHo (South Howard Avenue). SoHo has come to be known as Tampa's 'restaurant row' thanks to its dozens of eateries. The cool kids hang in hipster Seminole Heights, a neighborhood full of good coffee and craft brews. If you're hitting the theme parks, there's no shortage of cafes and fast food options.

Souvenirs, markets and malls

There's no shortage of shopping and souvenir opportunities at Busch Gardens. For cigar connoisseurs, there are some bona-fide cigars on offer in Ybor City, along with some fun stores to browse. Every Saturday, there's a good market in shady Centennial Park in Ybor City, selling food and crafts.

Mall rats should make a beeline for International Plaza, by the airport, for more than 200 stores plus an open-air village of restaurants. Hyde Park Village in South Tampa offers a quaint and charming shopping experience - here, the fountains and manicured gardens set a very pretty backdrop for upmarket retail therapy, with some fine cafes for refueling.