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Tampa, FL, hotel recommendation

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Feb 22nd, 2013, 12:09 PM
  #1
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Tampa, FL, hotel recommendation

We would like to spend two nights in the Tampa area before a cruise. We would like to visit the Dali museum in St. Petersburg (a must do for us), see around and enjoy some time at the beach. Is there a nice beach hotel you could recommend? We are a family with two kids, ages 11 and 15. Our ship leaves Tampa at 4 pm, so we don't have to spend the night in Tampa but we can't be too far either. Thanks a lot in advance.
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Feb 22nd, 2013, 05:19 PM
  #3
 
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I like the Marriott Residence Inn on Treasure Island Beach. Plenty of room for you and your family if you get a 1 or 2 bedroom unit. The studio option might be a bit crowded for 4 of you.

I also like the Marriott Suites on Sand Key (just south of Clearwater Beach).

As far as getting to see the Dali (may I also suggest you visit the St Petersburg Pier, a landmark that is going to be torn down soon) the Residence Inn is quite a bit closer to these sights than is the Marriott Suites on Sand Key. Close to the Residence Inn is a place called John's Pass. A big tourist spot along the beach, with souvenir shopping and restaurants and boat rides. The kids might like this.

I have stayed at the suggested Beachcomber on St Pete Beach, and it is OK as well. Another St Pete Beach option would be the Dolphin Beach Resort. Basic, but clean, and right on the beach. One of the few places left where you can book a first floor beach front room that lets you step directly into the sand and out to the beach from your small patio. Most beach locations are now hi-rise, with no first floor rooms.

Getting to the cruise dock will take you a good 45 minutes, to maybe an hour (depending on traffic) from either hotel on St Pete Beach. Not bad, since your cruise leaves Tampa at 4pm and checkout times are usually 11am or noon. Residence Inn Treasure Island location adds another 10-15 minutes to the drive because it is a bit more difficult to get onto Interstate 275 from there. From the Clearwater location (Sand Key) the quickest route would be across the Courtney Campbell Causeway, and not on route 275.

You don't say if you have a price point for your hotel stay. Marriott Suites is the most expensive of the four places I've frequented, then Residence Inn, and the other two on St Pete Beach are priced about the same, and less than the Marriott properties.

I love the St Pete/Treasure Island locations and spend time there every year in February. I just got back from FLA a week ago!

Enjoy your trip. I'll bet the cruise out of Tampa and underneath the FABULOUS Sunshine Skyway Bridge (another worthy thing to travel across) is really super! I've done a number of cruises, but never out of Tampa. Sunshine Skyway is my favorite highway bridge anywhere!!
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Feb 22nd, 2013, 08:04 PM
  #4
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Thanks so much to both of you. Never have been to the area so it's hard to imagine where is the right place to be. I have heard about the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Looking forward to it.
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Feb 23rd, 2013, 01:51 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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They are tearing down the St Pete pier? Why?
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Feb 23rd, 2013, 04:57 AM
  #6
 
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They are tearing down the pier to build some "new/better" boardwalk, if I understand correctly. It's a shame! I always enjoy the pier, and the boatride from there was always nice on a warm February day. I'll miss it. Seems the business owners have to be out by May??? Don't quote me on that tho....

Gina_07, the Skyway costs $1.25 to drive across (in each direction) and there are rest stops at either end of the drive. I'd try to work it in the schedule, if at all possible.
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Feb 23rd, 2013, 06:23 PM
  #7
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I for one will miss the old pier. Allegedly, it would cost almost as much to repair the aging structure as to replace it. Hmmmm.... The old structure has an element of kitsch to it. I enjoy the retro look, and funky Cha-Cha Coconuts and Columbia. Neighborhood signs have sprouted around St Pete...'"Stop the Lens", but sadly, I doubt that will happen.

http://www.stpete.org/TheLens/. This has already been modified with a link in that article to changes. There was a bit of a reality check on the original plans. Sad, the whole thing.
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