Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Busch Gardens is one of Tampa’s most popular attractions, and for good reason. It’s not your average amusement park – not only does it offer thrill rides like roller coasters, but it features animal sanctuaries, an African-themed safari and a wide range of animal encounters that the whole family can enjoy. The key for taking advantage of it all may be to base yourself nearby, with some great hotel options for just about every budget within a 15-minute drive, and most can be reached in just five.
YOU'RE ALL SET!
Look out for our newsletters in your inbox soon.
Located in the heart of the city less than a 15-minute drive from Busch Gardens, Le Meridian Tampa sits within the former Federal Courthouse, blending European heritage with contemporary culture to create a beautiful boutique hotel. At this top-rated boutique hotel in Tampa, guests can even spend the night in a famous courtroom, a very comfy holding cell or a judge’s private office. Each room is distinct with a unique character of its own. The property hosts a pool in an area that was once the place where paddy wagons pulled up, along with a 24-hour fitness center and a lobby shop for picking up items you might have forgotten along with snacks and drinks. Enjoy dining onsite at the bistro Bizou Brasserie featuring French flavors and handcrafted cocktails at Latitude Bar. Guests can also rent bicycles to explore the region on two wheels when not spending time at the theme park.
You can enjoy a convenient location just five minutes from Busch Gardens, along with affordable rooms and 5-star experiences at the West Wing Boutique Hotel. With modern suites that include complimentary robotic butler service, a sumptuous breakfast and amenities like refrigerators and Keurig coffeemakers, it just might be the best value around. Guests can also take advantage of early check-ins and late check-outs as well as the marketplace in the lobby with a variety of snacks, refreshments, candy and various sundry items like sunscreen.
La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham USF
Located right behind Busch Gardens, it doesn’t get much more convenient than La Quinta Inn & Suites USF for those whose primary focus is enjoying the park. The comfortable guestrooms are ideal for families with various sizes and layouts, all including a mini-fridge, coffeemaker and microwave. You’ll get a full complimentary breakfast to fuel up for a day of play, and afterward, access to the outdoor swimming pool for a refreshing dip and a hot tub, ideal for soothing sore muscles. If you didn’t get enough of a workout, there’s a 24/7 fitness center too.
Just steps away from Busch Gardens, Holiday Inn Express Inn & Suites Tampa is also popular with families looking to play at the park while offering a host of amenities to enjoy in between. There’s a heated outdoor pool, putting green and a well-equipped fitness center while the comfy rooms include flat-screen TVs with cable channels, work desks with ergonomic chairs, microwaves, coffeemakers and mini-fridges. A free breakfast buffet is provided daily and there are a number of dining options nearby as well as delivery service.
Only two miles from the park, Hyatt Place Tampa Busch Gardens offers extra-spacious rooms with separate sitting areas that have sofa beds, ideal for families, along with swiveling flat-screen TVs, and separate nooks holding desks with ergonomic chairs, and wet bars with sinks, mini-fridges and coffeemakers. Guests can enjoy a free daily breakfast with both cold grab-and-go items and hot dishes like pancakes, scrambled eggs and sausage, as well as an outdoor pool and a well-equipped gym. The hotel bar serves Starbucks coffee along with beer and wine, and in the lobby you can purchase salads, ready-made sandwiches and soft drinks 24 hours a day.
Located just one street south of the University of South Florida and less than two miles from Busch Gardens, Embassy Suites Tampa USF is an all-suite property. It offers two-room accommodations that are ideal for families who want plenty of space to stretch out and perhaps enjoy a little privacy, complete with flat-screen TVs and living spaces. Beds all have a comfortable pillow-top mattress, while upgraded rooms also add microwaves, coffeemakers and mini-fridges. Some come with whirlpool tubs as well. A free breakfast buffet is provided to help you get your morning going quicker, along with a complimentary evening reception with drinks and snacks. There’s a small convenience store, a heated swimming pool with a sun deck, a video arcade and a fitness room too.
The Holiday Inn & Suites Tampa North is only a 5-minute drive from Busch Gardens and guests can take advantage of both exclusively priced tickets and complimentary shuttle transportation to all the major attractions within a 5-mile radius. It’s easy to get out the door with the hotel’s Start Fresh breakfast menu and there are numerous amenities on-site too, such as big-screen TVs for watching the game and a full-service lounge with happy hour specials, while the Burger Theory Restaurant and a 24-Hour business center are added perks. In the landscaped courtyard area, there’s an outdoor pool and koi pond surrounded with tropical plants, ideal for relaxing after a long day at the park.
Aloft Tampa Downtown is about a 15-minute drive away from Busch Gardens but it’s a great option for those looking for a trendier, boutique-like ambiance overlooking the Hillsborough River. Perfect for a weekend getaway in Tampa, you can look forward to fun after dark at the WXYZ Bar which serves signature cocktails with music, while Re:fuel by Aloft serves sweet and savory treats along with grab-and-go food options. There’s a beautiful outdoor pool, ideal for lounging around when you aren’t out at the park, while modern rooms come with ultra-comfy Aloft beds, flat-screen TVs, complimentary Bliss spa amenities, coffee and bottled water. Some suites offer views of the city or the river too.