Summer is almost here and the cabin fever is real. Halfway through 2021, many Tampa Bay area families are tired of staycations and yearning for the real thing while still wanting to stay close to home during these still-uncertain times.
Need some ideas? Here’s a list of five cities all less than a 3-hour nonstop flight from Tampa International Airport with beautiful weather and lots to do—and yes, you can bring the kids!
Charleston, South Carolina on Silver Airways
Named a “Top City in the U.S.” for the last 10 years in a row by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Award, Charleston is known for its southern charm and prime location. The city is surrounded by water and located just miles from no fewer than five beautiful Atlantic Ocean beaches, so pack the floaties and towels. Forgot your sunscreen? Visit the Children’s Museum of the LowCountry or the Charleston Aquarium instead. Picky eaters, fear not! This city is filled with an eclectic blend of cuisine from crawfish and crab for mom and dad to juicy fried chicken and mac ‘n cheese for the little ones.
Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina on Delta, JetBlue or Southwest
Home to the Videri Chocolate Factory, Frankie’s Fun Park and the Marbles Kid’s Museum, Raleigh, North Carolina makes the perfect destination for family vacation. This city is ground-zero for museum lovers with the Museum of Art, Museum of Natural Sciences and the Museum of History all within city limits. Each of these is open and accepting visitors. Just bring your mask for some educational fun.
San Antonio, Texas on Southwest Airlines
With attractions like Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Sea World, LEGOLAND and the San Antonio Zoo, this Texas destination is fun for the whole fam. The city also happens to be stunning, thanks to the many botanical gardens and the Natural Bridge Caverns that offer caves, fossil mining and zip-lining. The San Antonio River Walk makes the perfect spot for an afternoon stroll or trolley ride alongside colorful shops, restaurants and big Texas culture.
San Juan, Puerto Rico on JetBlue, Southwest or Spirit
If you’re looking for beautiful beaches, resorts and a history lesson or two, book your next flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico, a city is bustling with culture, art and historic architecture like 17th-century fortresses and castillos from the 1500s! Any animal lovers in your crew? Visit one of the many animal sanctuaries just outside of the city or stop by El Yunque National Forest – Puerto Rico’s famous tropical rainforest. Don’t forget to enjoy some delicacies like mofongo or a tripleta (kinda like a Cuban, but dare we say better?).
Savannah, Georgia on Silver Airways
Last but not least, Savannah, Georgia, is small but mighty with plenty to enjoy and lots to eat. Ice cream-lovers will thrive in this city as this frozen treat can be found on every corner like Starbucks in Manhattan. Check out Leopold’s Ice Cream shop, known for its “award-winning, homemade super-premium ice cream” or have a scoop of vanilla atop some warm, finger-licking peach cobbler from the famous Sisters of the New South. Walk off those vacation calories by strolling on cobblestone along some of Savannah’s 22 squares or take the kids to Tybee Island for 5-miles of sandy beach lined with historic forts.
The only thing standing between you and your next real vacation is a quick and easy flight. Be sure to check with the local health department and your airline on any requirements or regulations before flying.
Photo provided by Tampa International Airport