Opinion

Top Tampa Attractions for Visiting Parents

By Sam Ryan

samantha.ryan@spartans.ut.edu

Hosting and entertaining people can be stressful at times. You want your guests to have a good time, especially if they’re your family. When your parents come to visit for the weekend, you want to show them the beauty of where you moved from home. Having parents who visit frequently, I have so many recommendations that will keep all of you busy and happy to be with one another.

Whether you have access to a car, or not, there are so many things to do right in walking distance of campus.

Hyde Park lies along South Howard Avenue and is known for its dining, shopping, and nightlife. There are so many attractions that can keep you and your family busy all day. There are diners, steak houses, chain stores and boutiques. Whether you want to treat yourselves or keep the cost a little lower for the day, there is something to do for every budget. The beautiful Tampa weather allows window shopping to be a nice activity as well.

Not only does Hyde Park offer these attractions, but the beauty of just walking around Hyde Park Village is a fun activity. It is filled with extraordinary and unique homes that bring the feeling of family into your college experience. Seeing the neighborhoods and kids playing brings warmth and joy, especially when you are sharing those moments with your own loved ones.

Many visitors come to Florida for one reason, the beach, of course. Tampa is known for its cities and businesses, but it also has beautiful beach attractions close by. A great attraction to bring your family to is St. Petersburg. Though it is about a 30-minute drive away, UT offers zip cars for students and uber is also a safe and convenient option.

A St. Pete beach favorite of mine is Pass-A-Grille, which is extremely family friendly and has beautiful views. There is a restaurant right on the beach to grab some fish and chips to eat while you tan or walk around the vendors that are occasionally set up. There are also more formal dining options in walking distance of the beach and little surf shops close by as well. This is a great way to spend the day relaxing on the beach with your family and soaking up the sun.

Another popular attraction that St. Pete has to offer is the new St. Pete pier. The pier stretches 26 acres that combine the blue water of Tampa and a perfect place to stroll, bike, dine, shop, or just take in the sights. Along the pier are children’s playgrounds, bars and dining, entertainment, and so much more. There is even a restaurant at the very end of the pier that has a view of the city of Tampa across the water. The Museum of Fine Arts is only a two-minute walk away from the pier so you can see everything in one trip.

Tampa is a beautiful place to be able to spend your college years, and your parents want to see what makes this place a home away from home. It’s exciting and a pleasure to show your loved ones the amazing places that are just at our fingertips.

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