Hotels near Busch Gardens

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Hotels in Tampa near Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Introduction

A cross between a zoo and a theme park, Busch Gardens Tampa has an African theme with attractions such as the Tanganyika Tidal Wave, Stanley Falls and Serengeti Railway. Opened in 1959, it is one of America’s biggest zoos with 335 acres and more than 2,700 animals, and is also renowned for its stunning scenery. It has a selection of adrenaline white-knuckle rides, as well as a variety of shows with ice skating, magic, birds, dolphins and other performances. It is next to Adventure Island water park, which features thrill rides, a wave pool and a lazy river.

Hotels near Busch Gardens

The zoo and theme park is well served by a selection of straightforward hotels close by, most of which feature free breakfast and Wi-Fi access. Many of these hotels also have pools, as well as the essential in-room amenities such as microwaves, minifridges and coffeemakers, plus cable TV. There is a another cluster of low-key 2-star and 3-star hotels just to the east, off Interstate 75. For competitive deals on hotel room rates, the best months are from September to December, but avoiding Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is still pleasantly warm in the fall but tourist numbers are lower.

Where to stay near Busch Gardens

Just to the east of the park is Temple Terrace, which has been affectionately referred to as Tampa’s most beautiful suburb, with parkland, a river and picturesque historical mansions. North Florida takes in Busch Gardens and the attractive campus at the University of Florida, and there’s a good selection of hotels. Downtown Tampa has some lovely waterside hotels, as well as its cultural centers, trendy restaurants and lively bars. Look out for the vast selection of local craft beers in the city center bars. Another good spot for bars and nightlife is Ybor City, to the northeast of Downtown.

Things to see near Busch Gardens

The Florida Aquarium in Downtown doesn’t just have the usual selection of marine life such as stingrays, moray eels, sea horses and sharks. It also has an Artic / Antarctic theme with resident penguins and polar bears. The 1926-built Tampa Theatre features a 900-pipe Wurlitzer organ and is worth a visit for its architecture alone. Within the vast Florida State Fairgrounds, you can find a recreated 1890s rural Florida town at Cracker County. If you're visiting with children you can head to the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), which has hands-on exhibits and an IMAX dome.

How to get to Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens is easily reached from Downtown by bus on the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) system. The 18 and 5 buses stop on either side of the park in North 30th Street and McKinley Drive respectively; it's just under 10 miles to Downtown Tampa. By car, the park is a short drive from 3 major routes: Interstates 275, 4 and 75. The main train terminal in Tampa, Union Station, is 8.2 miles away, and connects to the Silver Star network for services to Miami and New York. Tampa International Airport is 16 miles away via Interstate 275.

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