Know Before You Go: Tips for Travel to Tampa Bay, Home of DI Annual 2024

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<span>Know Before You Go: Tips for Travel to Tampa Bay, Home of DI Annual 2024</span>
Bottom Line:

Consider this a primer to all things Tampa Bay if you’re heading to the region for Destinations International’s 2024 Annual Convention.

Welcome to Tampa! Visiting Tampa Bay for Destination International’s 2024 Annual Convention? Visit Tampa Bay has compiled this resource to assist you in navigating the region during the exciting summer season. For more trip planning tips and destination insights, head to

Stay Cool & Comfortable

Let’s get started with the reason why so many people come here in the summer – the sunshine and the water. It gets hot in Florida in the summer (if you enjoy showers, this week will be nirvana for you) but it won’t be oppressive like last year’s conference.

There are a few things you need to know about navigating Tampa Bay in summer. Consider these friendly suggestions to maximize your enjoyment.  First, if you plan to spend any time outside at all during peak sun hours, apply sunscreen. Trust us, you don’t want to be that obvious tourist walking around with red skin and raccoon eyes tan lines from your sunglasses after one day in the sun without protection.

Wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing. Remember, lighter colors reflect sunlight; darker colors absorb, so leave your trendy black tees in the closet. Cool sunglasses are a must. The sun can be very bright during the day, and squinting for any amount of time is no fun.

If you’re venturing outside in the afternoon, you’ll probably want to bring an umbrella. It rains somewhere in Tampa Bay practically every day in the summer, usually during the evening commute. Just be careful holding that metal stick in the air. We are known as the lightning capital of North America for a reason – and not necessarily because of our three-time Stanley Cup-winning hockey team (Go Bolts!).

Also, strong air conditioning is a staple indoors. Live it. Love it. Relish it. But you might want to pack a long-sleeve layer in case it gets a little chilly during those important breakout sessions.

Savor Local Flavors

Now that you’re properly educated on the inconveniences, let’s get to the fun stuff.

You’re staying in a world-class travel destination with countless options for dining, drinks and fun. Within a short, five-minute Uber ride from the Tampa Convention Center, there are dozens of MICHELIN-recommended restaurants and five with stars. And you’re walking distance from food choices aplenty, whether it’s a takeaway treat from a shipping container-turned kitchen at Sparkman Wharf, the new Craft fine dining ship or high-end restaurants in Water Street, Tampa’s newest downtown district. Whatever you’re in the mood for, we’ve got you covered, and you can use our restaurant guide to plan your meals ahead.

Perhaps you’re looking for a watering hole after a long day of listening and learning? The Tampa Bay craft beer scene is one of the most robust in the country. We are Florida’s craft beer capital. Wherever you’re located in Tampa Bay, you’re likely just a short walk from a tasty, handcrafted brew made by an independent purveyor. There are so many, it can be a bit overwhelming, in a good way. That’s why we’ve done a lot of the leg work for you and listed them all here along with descriptions of each, maps, and, if you’re feeling particularly frisky, a link to our Bay Crafted Pass where you can earn prizes by checking into participating breweries and distilleries.

Explore Can’t Miss Attractions

What else should you do with your free time? Fortunately, you’re steps away from the Tampa Riverwalk, a 2.6-mile pedestrian trail along the Hillsborough River and Garrison Channel that connects several of the city’s best attractions, including Heights Public Market at Armature Works, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, The Florida Aquarium, the Tampa Museum of Art, and so much more. Plus, the Riverwalk is one of Tampa Bay’s favorite exercise spots and a great place to run, walk, bike, or just people watch.

If you think you’ll hit up multiple stops on the Riverwalk during your stay, you might want to pick up our Tampa Riverwalk Attraction Pass, which allows access to seven unique attractions for one low price. Included in the pass is the Pirate Water Taxi, a fleet of pirate-themed boats that ferry passengers along the Tampa Riverwalk, Channel District, downtown, and Davis Islands and offers a unique vantage point of our city along with a welcome respite from walking in the heat.  

Tampa’s cultural home can be found in Ybor City.  Founded by Cuban, Italian, German and Spanish immigrants, Ybor City is the Cigar City of the world.  You’ll have the chance to see some of the area during the closing party, but it’s worth checking out yourself. From the JC Newman cigar museum to The Columbia (the largest and oldest Spanish restaurant in America) there’s tons of things to do and you have to try the Cuban Sandwich and Deviled Crabs – here’s a quick sample.

There’s so much to do in Tampa Bay it’s impossible to list it all in this blog, so check out our website for everything the area has to offer.

Otherwise, if you need recommendations, just ask. Tampaños love showing off their city and sharing their favorite spots with visitors. And you’ll find their hospitality just as warm as the temps.

Enjoy your stay!

About the Author

Bryan Burns

Public Relations Manager, Visit Tampa Bay

Bryan is the Public Relations Manager at Visit Tampa Bay, overseeing the organization’s content creation and robust social media platforms. He has spent the last 19 years in the Tampa Bay area, previously working as the Communications Manager and Beat Writer for the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning and as a Staff Writer and Correspondent for the Tampa Bay Times. He is a graduate of the University of Miami and lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, with his wife Jess, daughter Amara, and two dogs Lola and Mr. Fox. 

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