By Valerie Moloney
With the calendar creeping into May, many of us are in full-on summer vacation planning mode. In previous years, cheap Orlando hotels lured us to Disney World, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal Studios, but a cheap Florida vacation doesn’t have to involve one more trip to see Belle and Jasmine.
Call it the Tampa secret.
Just an hour from Orlando off I-4, Tampa is equal parts familiar and unexpected, pretty and gritty. Pass the bank of strip malls and strip clubs – yes, there’s no glossing over it – to find neighborhoods dotted by Spanish-style bungalows, sprawling homes on Bayshore Boulevard and fairly recently, the mega mansion built by one very famous New York Yankee.
If you’re not willing to commit to more than a day or two at Disney, a stay at cheap Tampa hotels could be the low-key vacation that you’ve been pining for. Consider these 5 free things to do in Tampa for real local experiences instead of waiting in lines. (more…)