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Navigating the US: Getting Around in Tampa, Florida

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Tampa is a small, but upbeat city boasting impressive cultural diversity. Tampa is known for its exciting nightlife, unique restaurants, and some of Florida’s most popular attractions.

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Recommended Modes of Transportation

Car rentals are the most convenient way to get around Tampa. Be sure to check into local rental car companies, which offer better prices, and sometimes more convenient return policies and times. Getting around Tampa’s downtown is easy with a map or navigation system for anyone unfamiliar with the city.

Major Highways and Roadways to Know

The main freeways in Tampa are Interstate 275, Interstate 4, the Veterans Expressway, and the Leroy Selmon Crosstown Expressway.

Some of the main east-west roads through town are Kennedy Boulevard, Gandy Boulevard, Hillsborough Avenue, and Fowler Avenue. The major north-south roads are Dale Mabry Highway and Florida/Nebraska Avenue.

Traffic is especially bad during normal rush hours. In particular, try to avoid I-275, as this section runs by downtown and is in the process of being rebuilt.

Tampa Traffic

Photo: Kathy

Alternative Ways of Seeing the City

Tampa is home to a useful street car and trolley system. The TECO Line Streetcar, which runs from Whiting and Franklin Streets downtown to Centennial Park in Ybor City has nine stops along the way, and runs by many local shops, restaurants, and attractions including the Tampa Bay Times Forum, Channelside, the Florida Aquarium, and through Ybor City.

The Hart In-Town Trolley (a small diesel bus styled to look like a streetcar), offers transportation in the Central Business District. The In-Town Trolley runs through downtown to the northern end of Harbor Island from north to south.

Best Places to Park

Tampa boasts over 22,000 parking spots in their downtown area, making it fairly easy to find parking, whether it be street-side, in a garage, or in a parking lot. Find out everything you need to know about parking at

Airports and Car Rentals

Tampa International Airport serves the Tampa Bay area, with flights to and from cities across the country. Located near the waters of Tampa Bay along I-275, the airport will welcome you to Tampa with striking views. The airport is undergoing a $1 billion expansion project, so be prepared for some construction.

Stop by ground transportation for access to a number of rental car agencies. Ground transportation is also home to a number of other public transportation options that will get you to downtown Tampa.

Hotels and Attractions

Tampa is home to some of Florida’s most-visited attractions. A variety of nightclubs, restaurants, shops, museums, and art facilities, there is something for everyone.

Here is a list of some of our favorite must-see attractions:

 For more information on everything Tampa has to offer, check out the following websites for even more tools to plan your trip to Tampa, Florida.

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