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If you’re looking for fun, sun, and maybe a place for your travel partner to ride shotgun, a last-minute getaway to Tampa will really fit the bill. When you hop into your car rental in Tampa, you’ll be ready to explore every inch of the area—and on your schedule. You don’t have time to waste on public transit and you want to keep the “fun” in your funds, so ride shares are outta here. Thanks to your Hotwire Hot Rate car rental deal, you can keep some cash and do this city up right.

Now, what to do while you’re here? Well, while lightning might not strike twice, you’ll find the good times strike often in the Lightning Capital of North America. So get rolling on the Tampa deep-dive with this leave-no-stone-unturned checklist.

Sunshine State of Mind

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhoods: The Tampa Bay area is full of unique places to explore in your rental without even having to fill up your tank. Historic Ybor City is responsible for Tampa’s nickname of “Cigar City” because cigar manufacturers have produced billions of stogies in the neighborhood for well over 100 years. It’s also home to some fantastic restaurants and potentially wild nightlife. High-end moments can be had in the Hyde Park neighborhood, supplemented by bumping bars and late-night flights of fancy in the nearby SoHo area. Or cross the bridge to Clearwater to hit the beach or visit downtown St. Petersburg for charming and eclectic vibes.

A Day Trip in the Whip: Sure, there’s a lot to see in the Tampa Bay area, but one of the best parts of scoring a Florida car rental is being able to explore everything within driving distance. And buckle in, because there’s a ton. Head south for a couple of hours and you’ll hit Naples, a fancy-schmancy beach town known for its unreal sunsets. If you keep going for another hour and a half, you can get gator-y in the swampy Everglades or keep driving for another 45 minutes to the sizzling beaches of Miami. Or if you’re looking to get amused by every park in the state, a quick hour-and-a-half drive east will have you in Orlando sporting mouse ears in no time.

The Flip Side: Looking for something around town that’s a little more unusual? If being a looky-loo is your thing, put your peepers to use at the most interesting museums in Central Florida—the Ringling Museum for everything circus, and the Dali Museum, for, well, Salvador Dali’s art. If the dark arts are more your thing, The Castle, a club in Ybor City known as a “goth mecca,” has been around for nearly 30 years and offers a much different atmosphere than other nightlife options in town, including different theme nights. Or if you really want to getting rolling, take it to the halfpipes at the Skatepark of Tampa, featured in the video game Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2X.

Go on a Tasty Tour: All this trippin’ giving you hunger pangs? Steer your rental wheels to some of the best spots for local cuisine. Keep it casual and grab one of the best Cuban sandwiches in town at either The Columbia or West Tampa Sandwich Shop. Or do it up fancy style at the world-famous Bern’s Steak House (it has an extra-special Dessert Room) or fine dining done trendy at Rooster & The Till. And if you’re just looking for some easy, breezy, Tampa fun, stop at Nebraska Mini-Mart for burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, fries, and a side of an adult playground—ping pong, shuffleboard, and bocce ball are all fair game here.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tampa

How to get last-minute hotel deals in Tampa?

After you’ve got that Hotwire Hot Rate car rental in Tampa, FL locked down, you’ll be ready to take on the town. But before you can truly high dive into a great time, you have to snag last-minute hotels in Tampa for your trip. Tight on funds and short on time? Don’t worry. When you book Hotwire Hot Rate hotel deals, you could save up to 60% versus booking a listed rate two weeks earlier. So scooping up a fancy-pants 4-star hotel room at a 2-star price is no biggie, even at the last minute.

How to get cheap car rental in Tampa?

When you’re looking for a car rental in Tampa, Florida, you’ve probably got your eye on the prize—a really good deal. But that doesn’t mean you should just snatch any ol’ car rental deal in Tampa and ride off into the sunset. When you reserve your sun-lovin’ wheels with Hotwire Hot Rates, you can get way more than you imagined. Like sweet rides as low as $16 kind of deals.

Where can I find car rentals in Tampa?

Whether you’re looking to pick up your weekly car rental at the Tampa airport or somewhere else around town, you’ll find Tampa car rental locations all around the Tampa Bay area. Even if you need to pick up or drop off on the other side of the bridge, in St. Pete or Clearwater, there are plenty of convenient locations to steer your sweet ‘n’ cheap car rental in Tampa.

Is it safe to travel to Tampa during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis?

With ongoing COVID-19 closures and reopenings, you may be wondering is it safe to travel to Tampa right now. When booking a last-minute getaway to Tampa, make sure you take a look at the most recent safety measures, closures, and important guidance on traveling during the coronavirus.