Where to Stay in the Tampa Bay Area

Where you stay can make or break your vacation. The Tampa Bay Region is a large and has a wide variety of lodgings to choose from. We’ve narrowed down the options for you here.

Know Before You Go

All of the options listed are LGBTQ friendly. Also, Tampa Bay is home to several TAG Approved properties. This means management has met standards centered-around inclusion and safety for workers and guests alike. These include enforcing non-discrimination regarding sexual orientation, LGBTQ diversity and sensitivity training, and they employ diverse staff. They also give back to their community. These are noted as TAG Approved below.

Unless otherwise indicated, children are welcome. Pets are welcome at many, but not all properties. Please verify when reserving.

Check out some of our favorite places to stay:

Hotels, Resorts and Inns

Don CeSar, St Pete Beach

Tampa’s Don CeSar  – also known as the Pink Palace – has been one of the top resorts on Florida’s Gulf Coast since 1928. Many famous figures have stayed here over the years…and why not? This luxurious hotel is right on the beach. Each of its rooms and suites has a Gulf view.

Bask in the sun in your own cabana. Stretch out in beach chair. Relax on a luxury queen-sized beach bed. Get moving on a wave runner, kayak or paddle board.

After your fun in the sun, relax in the full-service spa. Or enjoy food and drink at one of the six restaurants and bars.

Planning an extended stay? You can opt for one of the Beach House Suites by The Don Cesar. If you’re looking for the ultimate in luxury accommodations and service, this is the place for you!

Vinoy Renaissance, Downtown St. Petersburg

The glamorous Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club is located on the bayfront. This are is bustling with restaurants, bars, museums, and upscale shops. Enjoy people watching from a rocking chair by the veranda bar, or down in the garden by the fire pits.

See why St. Pete is known as the “Sunshine City.” Charter a boat at the hotel’s private marina or hit the links at the Vinoy Golf Club. Guests can also enjoy the fitness center, or lounge poolside.

Rooms are spacious and gracefully appointed. Many feature private balconies or terraces.

The Vinoy’s historic ballrooms and contemporary conference center can accommodate groups of any size.

The Hollander Hotel, St. Petersburg

The Hollander Hotel in the center of Downtown St. Petersburg is popular with visitors and locals alike. This charming historic property is within walking distance all that St. Pete has to offer.

Rooms and suites are modern and comfortable yet retain their vintage charm. Parking and wifi are included.

The hotel’s Tap Room Bar & Grill offers friendly service, a full bar, and a diverse menu. You can drink or dine indoors, on the street side terrace, or by the pool. For a quick cup of coffee or decadent baked goods, including vegan options, check out the lobby’s Common Grounds coffee shop.

The pool is a destination in itself. Float the day away, rent a cabana for the day, or just lounge on the sundeck.

For the ultimate in relaxation, book a treatment at the property’s full-service Harmony Eco Spa.

The Avalon, St. Petersburg

Just next door to the Hollander is its sister hotel, The Avalon. This boutique property puts the “mod” in modern. This historic Art Deco property offers style and comfort in its standard rooms and apartment-style suites.

Avalon guests just need to walk next door to enjoy all the Hollander’s amenities.

Postcard Inn, St. Pete Beach – TAG Approved

The Postcard Inn has been a beachfront destination for generations of travelers. The 196 rooms pay homage to the gulf, surfers, and sun worshippers through unique artwork.

There’s plenty of ways for you to worship the sun here too. Take a dip in the pool, swim in the Gulf, or rent a waterfront cabana or chair. Active visitors can enjoy volleyball or bike rentals. The hotel’s library is stocked with books and board games if you need a break from the sun.

The hotel has a coffee shop, lobby bar and restaurant, and a beach bar and snack shack. Live music and entertainment on the weekends draw guests and locals alike.

The Bilmar Beach Resort, Treasure Island

The Bilmar Beach Resort, located right on the water in Treasure Island, will take your vacation to a whole new level of enjoyment. Start with a delicious breakfast served on the outdoor patio at the Bilmar Beach Cafe while enjoying a beautiful view of the Gulf, spend some time in the sun on the private beach or the rooftop sun deck, take a jog along the mile-long beach fitness/jogging trail or work out in the fitness center.

After a dip in one of the two heated pools, enjoy lunch at Famous Sloppy Joe’s on the beach, followed by a soak in the whirlpool spa, or rent a paddleboard or kayak for the afternoon. Then retreat to your well-appointed guest room or studio for a nap in your pillowtop bed. It’s as close to a perfect day as you can get.

If you’re looking to hold a wedding or other celebration, this is the place for you, with its beautiful beach as a backdrop, amazing ballrooms and catering options and group rates for your guests.

Hotel Ranola, Sarasota

If you want to be near the action, try Hotel Ranola, the original boutique hotel in the heart of Downtown Sarasota. It was built in 1926 as an apartment/hotel, specifically for snowbirds, but is now revived as a small, contemporary hotel with 14 beautiful units. Hotel Ranola is for adults only and offers spacious rooms with full kitchens, Keurig coffee maker, private baths, a sitting area, walk-in closets, plush mattresses, free WiFi, luxury linens and more. They also offer free parking, complimentary downtown shuttle service, daily housekeeping, and nearby convenience store, fitness center, and dry cleaners.

Coconut Inn, Pass-A-Grille

Coconut Inn is in Pass-A-Grille, a charming guest house located less than 200 feet from the white sands beach of the Gulf of Mexico. All 10 rooms have a view of the pool, garden, or beach.  Each one is different from the rest.

There’s a 2-bedroom garden apartment, two 1-bedroom suites, three studios and four large rooms. All units have fully equipped kitchens, daily maid service, flat screen TVs, and free high-speed wireless Internet service. There’s also an outdoor kitchen with gas grill for everyone’s use. Beach cruiser bikes, beach chairs and towels are also complimentary.

Bed & Breakfasts

Mernova B&B, Dunedin

Meranova B&B in Dunedin is the romantic bed and breakfast you’ve been looking for. Each of the eight apartments and suites are unique, but they all have private entrances and bathrooms to help you feel more at home. All rooms are fully furnished with king or queen beds featuring memory foam mattresses and 500+ Turkish cotton sheets, bathrooms are stocked with Turkish cotton bath towels and robes. And every unit has a kitchen, ranging from efficiency to full-size, stocked with the basic essentials.

No need to cook if you don’t wish to – you can enjoy the daily gourmet brunch delivered to your room, served poolside or in the garden. It’s the only B&B in Downtown Dunedin, so you can easily enjoy a variety of restaurants, bars and shops all less than a 5-minute walk away.

Looking for something to do or a special place to eat? Just stop at the 5-Star Concierge Service desk for ideas and directions.

Sea Breeze Manor Inn, Gulfport

The Sea Breeze Manor Inn is a B&B in Gulfport with deluxe accommodations that provide all the comforts of home…and then some. You can choose from four deluxe, fully furnished suites with king or queen beds, private baths, private entrances, lush towels, soft linens, and a sitting area just for relaxing. Or, if you’re looking for even more space to enjoy, you can stay in one of two cottages that have spectacular views of the tropical garden and water, enjoy the complimentary cold beverages, and sit in chairs on your private patio.

All rooms have flat screen TVs, Internet access, complimentary beverages and snacks, a complimentary continental breakfast or, for an additional fee, a full, multi-course hot breakfast, served in the dining or patio room. The Inn is located just a few steps away from bars, shops, casino events and the great nightlife of Gulfport. You can also choose to go exploring on the local bus that picks up directly in front of the inn or use the GetGo free golf car pickup and drop off service anywhere in town.

Beach Drive Inn, St. Petersburg

Beach Drive Inn, built in 1910 and originally known as the Vinoy House, is in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg with just a 20-minute drive to the Gulf beaches. You can relax on the veranda while you enjoy the waterfront view, take a short walk to the Museum of Fine Arts, Vinoy Park or the Salvador Dali Museum, or jump on the free Looper Trolley just around the corner to see the highlights of St. Pete.

Choose from four deluxe rooms and two suites, all with plush king or queen beds, private baths, WiFi, cable TV and DVD players, and plush bathrobes for your use. Your stay includes a delicious continental breakfast and free parking.

Clothing Optional Guest Houses

Gay St Pete House, St. Petersburg

This lovely old building, Gay StPete House, was built in 1929 and is located in the center of St. Petersburg, making it convenient to beaches, museums and the LGBT-friendly Grand Central District. It’s designed to create a feel of the old Key West and has a laid back, friendly atmosphere.

This popular gay resort property has six guest rooms, each with its own unique character. All rooms have a private entrance, private bath and TV with DVD player. Four of the rooms have a mini refrigerator and microwave. The other two can accommodate up to four people and, with their full kitchen and eating area, are ideal for extended stays.

The area around the large, heated, saltwater pool is clothing optional and serves as the property’s main gathering area. The free continental breakfast and happy hour are served poolside, where you can also watch TV and movies.

Want to relax even more? Enjoy a soak in the 6-person hot tub with canopy or have a poolside massage from one of the Licensed Massage Therapists. Other amenities include free parking, WiFi, and a pet-friendly atmosphere.

Casa Puente Guest House, Tampa

Casa Puente Guest House is a beautiful oasis in the midst of a large city. It’s located on over 1.5 acres of land that includes a running stream with a wooden bridge (Puente). There are nature trails along the water that you can explore or take a dip in the private pool and spa.

You can even enjoy a day or evening cruise on their 39-foot Sea Ray Express yacht. There are three rooms available in the main house: a 500-square foot studio apartment with kitchen, private bath, desk work area, large-screen TV with cable, DVD and WiFi, and king or twin beds (breakfast is optional).

Two smaller guest rooms in the house have private baths, cable TV, DVD, WiFi, accommodate two people and include breakfast. Or you can choose to stay in their Apex Camper or sleep on the yacht. The pool area and yacht can be clothing optional upon request.

Vacation Rentals

The Pickett Fence, Tampa

The Pickett Fence AirBnB in Tampa is a Cape Cod-style home built in the 1920’s that is recognized as a #1 Historic Hospitality Winner by AirBnB. The owners of The Pickett Fence, Jason and Todd, welcome you to enjoy one of their three private bedrooms and 2.5 baths in this sparkling clean house. It’s located in the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa, within walking distance to pubs, restaurants, shopping, and more.

The hosts live in the connected mother-in-law quarters, so they’re always available, but allow their guests to enjoy complete privacy during their stay. Guests will receive a complimentary breakfast, access to the kitchen and laundry, free parking, and a laptop-friendly workspace. The guest house is also available for long-term stays.

Blue Turtle Cottage, Anna Maria Island

Blue Turtle Cottage in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island is an adorable turquoise cottage located less than 100 yards from the beautiful white sand beach. Walk out the front door and you can smell the ocean; take a few steps and there’s sand as far as the eye can see. The house has been renovated and has three tropically decorated bedrooms, each with its own TV, one bathroom, a beautiful kitchen with everything you need to create a gourmet meal, a roomy living room and free WiFi.

There’s a private, landscaped back yard with a pool and plenty of chairs for lounging around. There’s even a grill for your outdoor cooking pleasure.

When you’re ready to hit the beach, there are towels, beach toys and chairs to take with you, too. The location is close to groceries, restaurants, pharmacies, and you can hop on the free trolley to get to Bradenton Beach or Anna Maria Island City.

Palm Isle Village, Anna Marie Island

Palm Isle Village is the newest condominium complex on Anna Maria Island, with plenty of units for rent, from the smallest that has room for two people, up to the largest units that accommodate eight. All locations are beautifully decorated with floor plans that maximize the view of the water. They have a heated pool for your swimming enjoyment and you’re just a short distance from the beautiful white sand beach.

Campgrounds & RV Parks

Fort DeSoto Campground, Pinellas County

Fort DeSoto Campground, part of the Pinellas County Park of the same name, has a large camping area with 85 locations for tents, vans, or small trailers, and over 150 sites for RVs. Each site has water and electric (30/50 amp), a picnic table and charcoal grill. There’s also a camp store, dump stations and modern restrooms with showers and laundry. WiFi is available at the camp store and office. Pets are permitted in only one area of the campground; no alcoholic beverages are allowed.

KOA, Madeira Brach

If you prefer something more along the lines of “glamping,” you’ll love the St. Petersburg/Madeira Beach KOA. This is a KOA Holiday campground, which means it’s a little more like a resort and has lots of the amenities you want. They can accommodate RVs up to 60’ length, have up to 50-amp electric, WiFi and laundry.

There’s also a heated pool that’s open year-round, two hot tubs, a sauna, mini golf, fishing, bicycle rentals, bocce, shuffleboard, Winter activities and it’s pet friendly. Since the site is popular with snowbirds, so be sure to book it early.

Sun n Fun RV Resort, Sarasota

Sun n Fun is considered one of the premier luxury RV resorts in all of Florida. This large, well-maintained campground has all the amenities you expect in a resort – an indoor fitness pool, an Olympic-size heated outdoor pool, two dog parks, WiFi, cable TV, mini golf, pickle ball, bocci, a poolside bar and grill – and many that may surprise you: a fitness center, archery range, crafts rooms (stained glass, woodworking), a mega slide and splash park, two hot tubs, restaurants, a wellness center and so much more. All sites have full hook-ups with 30/50 amp electric and grassy or crushed shell pads; many sites have concrete patios and can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet. If you don’t have an RV, they have 1- and 2-bedroom vacation rental homes that can sleep up to six people.

For more information on exploring Tampa Bay, click here.

Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).

Written by Marsha Adelson

Marsha AdelsonMarsha is a retired Federal Employee, having spent 32+ years as a cartographer creating aeronautical navigation maps. After retiring, she started a second career as a Certified Tour Manager and Tour Guide. Although she focuses on guiding visitors to the Washington, DC area, she has escorted groups to many other places in the mid-Atlantic region. She’s had a lot of experience taking groups to museums, galleries, concerts, and staying in a wide variety of hotels and inns. In addition, she and her partner have traveled cross-country in a motorhome from Maryland to Fairbanks, Alaska and back, visiting many National Parks along the way.


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