Tampa Transportation – The local lowdown


Tampa Transportation – the local lowdown

Tampa Transportation - The local lowdown Erehwon Retreat

A great joy of vacation travel is getting around like a local and Tampa’s memorable local transportation makes it easy. Here’s our guide to getting around Tampa like a Floridian.

Tampa Transportation - The local lowdown Erehwon RetreatElectric streetcars – Tampa transportation that doesn’t break the bank

Back in 1892, Tampa had a novelty, electric streetcars with smartly uniformed conductors, which conveyed travelers round Ybor City, Ballast Point, Hyde Park and Sulphur Springs.  Streetcars took workers to the cigar factories of west Tampa, and on Sundays to local parks like DeSoto and Macfarlane. They were the circulatory system of the region until 1946, making Tampa among the last cities to surrender its historical streetcar system.

The TECO Line Streetcar system has returned to Tampa, Downtown, Channelside and Ybor City, bringing cruise ship passengers to the city. Unsurprisingly, it also transports workers as the original streetcars did. Effortlessly linking Franklin and Whiting Streets and the Fort Brooke parking garage, TECO unifies downtown and brings parking within easy reach of all. Best of all, it’s free to travel!


Coast Bike Share – vacation transport on two wheels

Tampa Transportation - The local lowdown Erehwon Retreat

Coast Bike Share makes bicycle rental easy – simply register and enter your pin to unlock a bike from any convenient station. Afterwards, return it to any other station in the system, ideal for picnics or sightseeing trips.


The Cross-Bay Ferry – Tampa transportation with added romance

Tampa Transportation - The local lowdown Erehwon Retreat

Travelling between St. Petersburg and Tampa has never been more enjoyable. The Cross-Bay Ferry returns each November, happily cruising between the cities twice daily for foot passengers. The $8 one-way ticket (children under four travel free) buys you an hour crossing the Bay, giving tourists and locals a fantastic chance to enjoy a great meal and some sightseeing. Lucky travellers may see dolphins ridingthe bow waves of cruise liners out of Tampa Bay. Both the river walks and trolley cars connect well with the ferry service.


Pirate Water Taxi – explore Tampa from the water

Staying at Erehwon Retreat, and want a rollicking day out in Tampa – try the pirate water taxi system! A single payment allows all day travel through  the Tampa Riverwalk, Harbour Island and  Channelside Districts.  With over fifteen stops, this yellow water taxi therefore drops you close to museums, shops, restaurants and Lowry Park Zoo.

Tampa Transportation - The local lowdown Erehwon Retreat

Hillsborough Area Regional Transit – take the HART around Tampa

Finally, since 1980, the HART system has been serving Tampa, fortunately the HART #1 bus is a half-block away; making it a quick and easy route to the best destinations downtown.

Florida Vacations – Start yours at Tampa International Airport

Florida vacations – start yours at Tampa International Airport

For those who think all airports are the same, think again! Tampa International Airport (TIA) has been voted one of the top five layover airports in the world by Huffington Post, because of its simple hub and spoke design, pay per use lounges, free Wi-Fi, 24-hour food options and friendly staff. That’s not the only reason that a Florida vacation that begins at TIA starts well – the airport is committed to providing a great experience for all travelers, today and into the future.

Florida Vacations - Start yours at Tampa International Airport Erehwon Retreat Florida Vacations - Start yours at Tampa International Airport Erehwon Retreat

Tampa International Airport – the future of vacation travel

TIA is located at 4100 George J Bean Pkwy, Tampa, FL 33607, USA, a vast airport site that gives the city many imaginative options when planning how to meet the needs of its millions of vacation travelers.

Back in 2011, the airport team began to update the master plan that manages the use of the 3,300-acre site. Three phases of expansion have been planned to accommodate a further 17 million passengers every year, bringing the total vacation rental and holiday trade to over 35 million annually.

What makes the TIA process fascinating is that the airport has chosen a ‘build as required’ approach, so that minimum disruption to current passengers is balanced by the needs of this ever-growing tourist center. So, for example, Tampa International Airport car rental is being made easier by creating a 2.6 million square foot purpose built rental center at the airport entrance, alongside new airport parking.


Florida Vacations - Start yours at Tampa International Airport Erehwon RetreatHistorical Tampa – from the air

In 1928 Tampa City built Drew Field, six miles west of downtown Tampa. Beginning in 1938 Drew was a military airfield, used as a training center for 120,000 combat air crews in the European and Pacific theaters. In addition, locally based antisubmarine patrols flew from the field until that duty was taken over by US Navy and Coastguard. Aircraft flying out of Tampa included the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Douglas C-47 Skytrain, North American AT-6 and North American B-25 Mitchell. Tampa reverted to commercial flights after the war ended becoming a popular destination for travelers from around the world.


Florida Vacations - Start yours at Tampa International Airport Erehwon Retreat

Traveling through Tampa International Airport

For those who are fascinated by air travel, there is an excellent master plan to the airport alterations that gives every detail that an airport buff could require. For less enthusiastic visitors, a simple Tampa International Airport map shows why this airport is beloved by the jet-lagged – the wheel shaped layout makes it so easy to find your way around, no matter how long your flight has taken.

Cigar City Brewing, as mentioned in our Top Ten post, Colombia Restaurant – the oldest continually owned restaurant in the hands of the same family – and Goody Goody, a ‘50s themed hamburger restaurant which is a local favorite, can also be found on the airport site.

TIA recently became the first airport in Florida to receive the StormReady designation, certifying that they have met an extensive list of criteria set by the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) in ensuring the airport is prepared and ready to respond quickly to any severe weather heading our way.

Just six miles from downtown Tampa, this international airport has one other great benefit for long-haul passengers – it’s a hop and a skip from the city center and onward travel to vacation rentals like ErehwonRetreat. With five stars for cleanliness, and four stars for seating and queuing times on the Kytra site, Tampa is highly considered as a friendly, clean and swift to navigate airport, great marks, particularly given its international status.


Florida Vacations - Start yours at Tampa International Airport Erehwon RetreatFlorida vacations begin here

A record-breaking 60.7 million tourists visited Florida in the first half of 2017 – a 4.1% increase on travelers over the same six months the previous year. The breakdown is 53.2 million domestic visitors, alongside 2.2 million Canadians and 5.3 million other overseas vacation travelers.

Tampa International Airport parking just got easier too … alongside the new parking center, there are three rideshare companies now authorized to pick up fares: Uber, Lyft and Wingz. These three alternatives to the classic airport taxi will help reduce congestion around the airport and give visitors more choice on how to get to their vacation destination outside the airport. Whether you’re flying from within the USA, or traveling long-haul from the other side of the world, there can’t be a better way to start your Florida break than at Tampa International Airport.

Winter Weather

Winter Weather Vacations in Florida

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a winter snow warning on October 29, 2011.  It says travel conditions may be hazardous as an unseasonable snowstorm hits the East Coast.

Winter Storm Watch means severe winter conditions, such as heavy snow and/or ice, may affect your area, but its occurrence, location and timing are still uncertain. … A Winter Weather Advisory informs you that winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences that may be hazardous.

Winter weather marks the winter booking season for everyone except Snowbirds.  They make their reservations for the following winter between April and August. 

Beginning a week after Labor Day we see the number of website views and visitors rise.  It’s when the length of time on site doubles that reservation planning kicks into gear.  But once the snow flies, suddenly its time to finalize winter getaway plans—particularly from Illinois,  Michigan,  Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the Canadian Maritime Provinces.