22:27 PM

5 reasons to visit Tampa Bay, FL this Fall or Winter

Surrounded by America's best beaches, palm tree-lined streets and a nearly bottomless list of outdoor activities, Tampa Bay, Florida has long been known as a top vacation spot. 

Now, more than ever, it tops the charts for Fall and Winter getaway destinations with beautiful weather and the opportunity to escape from reality for however long you need.

Here are five top reasons to visit the Tampa Bay region.

1. 35 miles of white sand beaches

With 2 of Tripadvisor's top U.S. beaches, vacationers don't have to go far to find paradise after landing in Tampa. Clearwater Beach, named the #1 beach in the U.S. in 2016, 2018 and 2019, boasts white sand, clear shallow waters, and is the perfect spot for families to lay down their towels and chairs. Just steps away from the beach, dozens of restaurants and shops line the strip, which makes finding delicious beach snacks or frozen drinks convenient and easy. St. Pete and Treasure Island beaches closely compete, offering more laid back atmospheres and less commercial beaches. Learn more about Tampa Bay's beaches here. 

2. Sunshine and warm weather

Need we say more? Even in the Fall, Tampa Bay averages temps in the high 70's and low 80's, making it an ideal getaway spot for those of you about to rake the leaves and shovel snow. And the water is warm, too - averaging temps in the 70s through the fall. With nearly 250 days of sunshine, bring your sunscreen, flip flops and a hat (yes, even in October and November!)

3. Outdoor dining

The Tampa Bay region is gaining national attention for its up-and-coming food scene, which features everything from high-end seafood and steak houses to beach-side bites. For those of you not quite comfortable with the indoor dining scene, there are plenty of delicious outdoor dining options to choose from throughout the region. A few local favorites include Columbia, the oldest restaurant in Florida, and Bern's Steak House, which is home to one of the largest wine collections in the world. For those wanting to get your toes sandy, check out waterside spots like Whiskey Joes or Frenchy's Rockaway Grill. 

4. Parks, places to go and things to see

From trails, parks, playgrounds and piers, Tampa Bay has countless ways to enjoy the outdoors. Tampa is home to the Tampa Riverwalk, a beautiful 2.6-mile stretch of river-side walkway on the outskirt of Tampa's Downtown. The walkway connects some of the best restaurants in the area to the Glazer Museum, Straz Center and Curtis Hixon Park. Favored by locals, the Riverwalk won 'Greatest Place in America: People's Choice Award' by the American Planning Association in 2019. 

On the other side of the Bay lies the new St. Pete Pier with more than half a mile breathtaking scenery, unique artwork, restaurants and fishing spots. The Pier is the perfect spot for a walk, jog, bike ride or sightseeing the beautiful skyline and waters of St. Pete.

Interested in some more nature-y spots? Check out Weedon Island Preserve or Honeymoon Island State Park. 

5. Watersports and fishing

Tampa Bay has plenty to offer when it comes to water sports. Kayaks, paddle boards, boats, jet skis and pretty much anything else that floats on water can be rented and enjoyed on the waters of Tampa Bay, St. Pete or Clearwater. Into fishing? There are plenty of beautiful, relaxing spots to grab a pole and some bait, or rent a charter for the day. Whichever you choose, you won't find a lack of options here. 

Check out a few great options: