Northeast Tampa, home to the main campus of the University of South Florida, offers a handful of motels for visitors who would like to stay close to USF. The selection is varied enough to include accommodations that suit virtually any taste or pocketbook. Visitors who stay in this part of the Florida city find themselves within a short drive of Busch Gardens, one of Tampa’s most popular tourist attractions.
Embassy Suites Tampa-USF/Near Busch Gardens
Located on the USF campus and within walking distance of the USF Research Park, this eight-story, all-suites motel is a good choice for family groups or visitors who plan an extended stay. Special family packages are available. Each of the motel’s 246 two-room suites features a separate bedroom and living room, as well as a wet bar, full-size refrigerator and microwave oven. All suites also have high-speed Internet access. Recreational facilities include a fitness center and outdoor swimming pool. The motel provides a complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast each morning and hosts an evening reception with free beverages. The Mangroves Grille, tucked into a corner of the hotel’s towering seven-story atrium, serves lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Holiday Inn & Suites Tampa at Busch Gardens-USF
This family-friendly, all-suites motel lies less than a mile from the USF campus, Busch Gardens and Adventure Island. The Holiday Inn offers a number of special family packages that combine accommodations and passes to area theme parks. It also provides discounts for USF students and families, as well as families of patients at the nearby Moffitt Cancer Center and James A. Haley Veteran’s Hospital. Each of the motel’s 127 two-room suites includes a wet bar, microwave oven, refrigerator and dining area. Guests work out in the on-site fitness center or relax in the free-form outdoor swimming pool. The Courtyard Cafe serves breakfast and dinner daily.
La Quinta Inn & Suites USF (Near Busch Gardens)
If you’re traveling with a pet, this is the place for you. Management welcomes well-behaved pets and charges no additional fee for this service. Recreational facilities include an outdoor swimming pool and 24-hour fitness center. There is no on-site restaurant, but the motel provides a complimentary breakfast each morning. Within two miles of the motel, guests find a number of restaurants, including TGI Friday’s, Anthony’s, Chili’s, Carrabba’s and Olive Garden.
Wingate by Wyndham Tampa
Just across the street from the USF campus and a short drive from Busch Gardens and Adventure Island, this four-story, 85-unit motel provides complimentary shuttle service to USF, as well as the two theme parks. Discounts are available for USF students and their family members. Guests can take a dip in the motel’s free-form outdoor pool, soak up the rays on the adjoining sun deck, relax in the indoor hot tub or work out in the fitness center. The Wingate provides a hot breakfast buffet each morning but has no on-site restaurant. Nearby eateries include La Cucina Latin Cafe, Ichiban, Jason’s Deli, Pho Quyen and Taj.
- african elephants at busch gardens image by Bo Widerberg from Fotolia.com