A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Cape Canaveral vs. Tampa for Families, Beaches, Couples, and Food

Should you visit Cape Canaveral or Tampa?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Cape Canaveral or Tampa, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Cape Canaveral

Cape Canaveral is a wonder-filled, unique, and iconic town. It's also popular because of the beaches, shopping, and museums.

Tampa

Tampa is a easy-going, low-key, and laid-back city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the food and beaches.

Cape Canaveral and Tampa: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
Pros
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with couples


Is there more to do in Cape Canaveral or Tampa?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Tampa. Although Cape Canaveral and Tampa are popular destinations, Tampa has more sights and attractions for tourists. Tampa is very popular for its scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and big city activities, while Cape Canaveral attracts visitors for its museums, resorts, and shopping. Cape Canaveral is more touristy than Tampa and is known for being the location of the Kennedy Space Center and at the heart of space exploration in the United States. Tampa is famous for its amusement parks, wildlife parks, and popularity as a cruise ship port. It is also well known for Busch Gardens.

How is Cape Canaveral different from Tampa?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Tampa and Cape Canaveral. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Cape Canaveral or Tampa?

Cape Canaveral
Tampa

Cape Canaveral is an amazing town to visit for its museums and history. However, Tampa does not have museums and landmarks.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Cape Canaveral has many famous sights for visitors. The area has become synonymous with the Kennedy Space Center. Visitors head to the Space Coast to see the museums, learn about the space program, or possibly even see a rocket launch. The attractions are world class and offer a truly unique glimpse into the evolution of space travel.

Tampa does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Cape Canaveral or Tampa? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Cape Canaveral
Tampa

Dining out at restaurants in both Cape Canaveral and Tampa can be an enjoyable experience.

Cape Canaveral is becoming an appealing option for foodies. It's a small town but there's no shortage of excellent seafood in the area. Many restaurants have outdoor seating and patios that let you take advantage of the Florida sunshine. You'll find crab, mussels, shrimp, and clams on many menus around town.

Tampa offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. There are a surprising number of great local restaurants around town as well as a good food truck scene. Some favorite dishes include fresh caught seafood, Grouper sandwiches, and Cuban sandwiches.

Is Cape Canaveral or Tampa Better for Nightlife?

Cape Canaveral
Tampa

If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find reasonable options in both Cape Canaveral and Tampa.

Cape Canaveral doesn't have the most active nightlife scene. The area isn't known for its nightlife scene, but there are enough places that you can go out for a good meal and drink.

Most people don't head to Tampa specifically for the nightlife scene, but you can find a few options. The city has some good nightclubs, sports bars, and other spots where locals enjoy spending the evening.

Is Cape Canaveral or Tampa Better for Resorts?

Cape Canaveral
Tampa

Cape Canaveral is a popular place for its luxury resorts. However, Tampa is not a resort destination.

Cape Canaveral has a few great resort options. There are a number of resorts in the area that attract visitors. Some of the most popular are the Holiday Inn Club Vacations Resort and the Radisson Resort.

Tampa is not a resort destination.


Is Cape Canaveral or Tampa Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Cape Canaveral
Tampa

Tampa is adequate for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Cape Canaveral is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

There are few places where you can go snorkeling in Tampa. While the water isn't always the clearest, there are some nice snorkeling and diving spots in the area. Options include Shell Key and Egmont Key, Crystal River, and Fort De Soto.

Cape Canaveral is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Cape Canaveral or Tampa Better for Beaches?

Cape Canaveral
Tampa

Tampa is a great city for the beach. Also, Cape Canaveral is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its beaches.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Tampa. Popular beaches near Tampa include Ben T. Davis Beach, Fred Howard Park, and Indian Rocks Beach.

Plenty of visitors enjoy relaxing on the beach in Cape Canaveral. You'll likely want to head to the Cocoa Beach area for the best beaches. Jetty Park Beach and Pier is one of the most popular nearby areas for fishing and camping, but visitors must purchase a pass. Other popular beaches include Playalinda Beach and Cherie Down Park.

Is the Shopping Better in Cape Canaveral or Tampa?

Cape Canaveral
Tampa

Cape Canaveral is a popular place for its shopping areas. However, Tampa is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Cape Canaveral has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. There are some nice local shopping areas around town. For a little retail therapy, head to Banana River Square, White Rose Shopping Center, or Belair Courtyard.

Tampa is not a noteworthy shopping destination.


Is Cape Canaveral or Tampa Better for Families?

Cape Canaveral
Tampa

Cape Canaveral is an amazing town to visit for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Tampa is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Cape Canaveral is a very family-friendly destination. What sets this area apart is the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. There are many kid-friendly activities that outer space enthusiasts will love. Planet Play is a highlight, and if your timing is right, you might even see a rocket launch. In addition to the Kennedy Space Center, the area is a quintessential beach town. There are parks and outdoor areas as well as places where kids can interact with animals.

Tampa is a very family-friendly place to visit. The city has a number of kid-oriented attractions including Busch Gardens Amusement Park, several kid-friendly museums, and a number of animal centers, aquariums, and wildlife rescue facilities.

Is Cape Canaveral or Tampa Better for Couples?

Cape Canaveral
Tampa

Cape Canaveral is an excellent place to visit for couples. However, Tampa is lacking in options for romance.

Cape Canaveral makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The beautiful Florida beaches, combined with the unique opportunity to visit the Kennedy Space Center, make this a fascinating couple's destination. There are also many nice restaurants and great places to relax and enjoy the Florida sunshine.

Tampa is not the best destination for a couple to visit. The area does have great restaurants and some fun places to explore, but the downtown area has room for improvement and much of the city is suburban.

Is Cape Canaveral or Tampa Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Cape Canaveral
Tampa

Neither Cape Canaveral or Tampa offer decent public transit.

Public transit is quite limited in Cape Canaveral. There are very limited public transportation options, but there are a few shuttle buses and SCAT (the Space Coast Area Transit). Route 9 travels from Cocoa to Port Canaveral with service available Monday through Saturday.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Tampa. There is the street car that runs from downtown Tampa to Ybor City and stops at 11 stations.


Is Cape Canaveral or Tampa a more walkable city?

Cape Canaveral
Tampa

Tampa is adequate for its ease of walking around. However, Cape Canaveral is not known for its walkability.

Tampa is generally not a very walkable city. While there are some neighborhoods that are considered walkable, you really need a car if you hope to explore Tampa in depth.

Cape Canaveral is not a walkable town. It's not a walkable area, which can be particularly challenging if you're arriving by cruise ship.

For even more information, also check out Is Cape Canaveral Worth Visiting? and Is Tampa Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Tampa or Cape Canaveral?

How long in Cape Canaveral or Tampa?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Cape Canaveral and Tampa. In our opinion, Cape Canaveral has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Cape Canaveral than Tampa. In general, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Cape Canaveral, and 2-3 days is enough time in Tampa.

Families should spend more time in Cape Canaveral than Tampa. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Cape Canaveral, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Cape Canaveral than Tampa. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Cape Canaveral that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Cape Canaveral than Tampa if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Cape Canaveral.


  • How many days in Cape Canaveral or Tampa? Ideal Length of Stay
    Cape Canaveral 1-3 
    Tampa 2-3

One day in Cape Canaveral or Tampa?

In Cape Canaveral, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this unique destination offers. Lots of people come for the museums. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here.

In Tampa, you'll find food. Most people come for the beaches. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Cape Canaveral or Tampa?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Cape Canaveral. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Tampa is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Because of this, a weekend is usually enough time for a trip here.


Five days in Cape Canaveral or Tampa?

Cape Canaveral is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the museums and food when visiting the destination of Cape Canaveral. Lots of people come for the museums. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Tampa. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. It offers something for everyone. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

A week in Cape Canaveral or Tampa?

You'll find food and shopping around the iconic destination of Cape Canaveral. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Lots of people come for the museums. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Travelers enjoy the food when visiting the city of Tampa. It's also a great beach destination, too. Your budget might influence how long you stay. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.


Which place is cheaper, Tampa or Cape Canaveral?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Cape Canaveral is $220, while the average daily cost in Tampa is $179. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Cape Canaveral and Tampa in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cape Canaveral $155
    Tampa $85
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cape Canaveral $310
    Tampa $170
Compare Hotels in Cape Canaveral and Tampa

Looking for a hotel in Cape Canaveral or Tampa? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Cape Canaveral


Hotels in Tampa


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Tampa Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cape Canaveral $35
    Tampa $69

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cape Canaveral

Also for Cape Canaveral, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Round Trip NASA Space Center/Port Canaveral Private Transfer: $67
  • Round Trip MCO Orlando Airport/Port Canaveral Private Transfer: $170
  • Private Transfer: Port Canaveral to Orlando Airport MCO in Luxury SUV: $120
  • Private Transfer from Port Canaveral to Windermere: $272
  • Private Transfer from Port Canaveral to Vistana Centre Drive: $242
  • Private Transfer from Port Canaveral to Vista Cay: $234
  • Private Transfer from Port Canaveral to SeaWorld: $242
  • Private Transfer from Port Canaveral to Sand Lake: $242
  • Private Transfer from Port Canaveral to Reunion: $272
  • Private Transfer from Port Canaveral to Pointe Orlando: $234
  • Private Transfer from Port Canaveral to Orlando Airport: $285
  • Private Transfer from Port Canaveral to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $285

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tampa

Also for Tampa, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Tampa Bay Cruise Port: Private Transfer to Tampa hotels: $305
  • Tampa Airport (TPA): Transfer tо Tampa Bay Cruise Port: $305
  • Tampa Airport (TPA): Private Transfer to Tampa hotel/address: $206
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport TPA to Lakeland/Winter Haven: $189
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport (TPA) to Clearwater Beach: $189
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport (TPA) to St Petersburg Accommodation: $189
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport (TPA) to Tampa hotel or address : $189
  • Private Transfer from TPA to Lakeland and Winter Haven: $158
  • Private transfer from Tampa airport To Zephyrhills, FL: $150
  • Private Transfer from TPA to Tampa / St Petersburg / Clearwater Beach : $121
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Clearwater: $120
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Land O' Lakes Florida: $120

Is it cheaper to fly into Cape Canaveral or Tampa?

Prices for flights to both Tampa and Cape Canaveral change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Cape Canaveral $43
    Tampa $53

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tampa

For Tampa, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Cooking Class near Disney in Tampa Florida: $88
  • Ybor City Food Tour On Sundays: $89

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cape Canaveral $17
    Tampa $20

Tours and Activities in Cape Canaveral

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Cape Canaveral.

  • Cape Canaveral Private Surf Lesson with Experienced Instructor: $70
  • Wizard of Oz Museum Entry Ticket: $32
  • Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures ticket: $58
  • Cocoa Beach Night Time Bioluminescence Kayak Tour: $79
  • Dolphin & Manatee Kayaking Tour in Orlando Area: $65
  • Full Day Orlando Art Museum Hopper Tour - From Port Canaveral: $189
  • Full Day Patron of Winter Park Historic Tour from Port Canaveral: $189
  • Full Day Space Coast Cocoa Beach Tour - From Port Canaveral: $189
  • Fully Guided Kayaking Backwater Manatee and Dolphin Tour: $75
  • SUP Paddleboard Lesson and Tour - Port Canaveral & Cocoa Beach: $95
  • Self-Guided Kayaking Manatee and Dolphin Tour: $55
  • Two Hour Bioluminescence Kayak Tour Near Orlando: $60

Tours and Activities in Tampa

For Tampa, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Tampa Terrors Ghost Tour By US Ghost Adventures: $30
  • 1.5-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise from Tampa: $31
  • 2 Hour Private Floating Tiki Boat Tour in Tampa: $59
  • Adventure Island Water Park Ticket: $219
  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Admission Ticket: $172
  • Christmas Lights Wonderland Deluxe Golf Cart Guided Tour in Tampa: $49
  • Discover Tampa with Local Stories from a Virtual Tour: $30
  • Downtown Tampa Historic Walking Tour: $30
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Tampa with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • Ghost Hunters Paranormal Ghost Tour: $39
  • Ghost Investigation Tour Interactive Paranormal Experience 18Plus: $35
  • Ghost Investigation Tours with Interactive Paranormal Experience: $35

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cape Canaveral $13
    Tampa $26

Sample the Local Flavors in Tampa

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Tampa:

  • Tampa Bar Hunt: Tampa Takeover Bar Crawl: $12
  • Tampa Bar Crawl on a 2023 Street Legal Golf Cart: $40
  • Ybor City Private Brewery Tour by Custom Golf Cart: $170
  • Tampa Heights Private Brewery Tour by Custom Golf Cart: $191


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cape Canaveral and Tampa, we can see that Cape Canaveral is more expensive. And not only is Tampa much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Tampa would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Tampa and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Cape Canaveral would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Cape Canaveral than you might in Tampa.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Cape Canaveral Expensive? and Is Tampa Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Cape Canaveral or Tampa?

Tampa has a larger population, and is about 30 times larger than the population of Cape Canaveral. When comparing the sizes of Cape Canaveral and Tampa, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Cape Canaveral or Tampa?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Cape Canaveral or Tampa in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Cape Canaveral and Tampa. Many visitors come to Cape Canaveral in the summer for the beaches and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, most visitors come to Tampa for the beaches, snorkeling, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

Cape Canaveral is around the same temperature as Tampa in the summer. The daily temperature in Cape Canaveral averages around 80°F (27°C) in July, and Tampa fluctuates around 82°F (28°C).

Tampa receives a lot of rain in the summer. Cape Canaveral gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Cape Canaveral usually receives around the same amount of rain as Tampa. Cape Canaveral gets 8.3 inches (211 mm) of rain, while Tampa receives 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Cape Canaveral 80°F (27°C) 
    Tampa 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Cape Canaveral or Tampa in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Cape Canaveral as well as Tampa. Most visitors come to Cape Canaveral for the shopping scene during these months. Additionally, the autumn months attract visitors to Tampa because of the city's sights and attractions.

In the autumn, Cape Canaveral is around the same temperature as Tampa. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Cape Canaveral in October average around 74°F (24°C), and Tampa averages at about 75°F (24°C).

Cape Canaveral receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Cape Canaveral usually gets more rain in October than Tampa. Cape Canaveral gets 4.1 inches (103 mm) of rain, while Tampa receives 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain this time of the year. Also, the hurricane season in Cape Canaveral is June to November.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Cape Canaveral 74°F (24°C) 
    Tampa 75°F (24°C)

Should I visit Cape Canaveral or Tampa in the Winter?

Both Tampa and Cape Canaveral are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The winter months attract visitors to Cape Canaveral because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, the cuisine are the main draw to Tampa this time of year.

In January, Cape Canaveral is generally around the same temperature as Tampa. Daily temperatures in Cape Canaveral average around 60°F (15°C), and Tampa fluctuates around 60°F (15°C).

In January, Cape Canaveral usually receives around the same amount of rain as Tampa. Cape Canaveral gets 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain, while Tampa receives 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Cape Canaveral 60°F (15°C) 
    Tampa 60°F (15°C)

Should I visit Cape Canaveral or Tampa in the Spring?

Both Tampa and Cape Canaveral during the spring are popular places to visit. The beaches are the main draw to Cape Canaveral this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Tampa for the beaches and the activities around the city.

Cape Canaveral is around the same temperature as Tampa in the spring. The daily temperature in Cape Canaveral averages around 70°F (21°C) in April, and Tampa fluctuates around 71°F (22°C).

Cape Canaveral usually gets more rain in April than Tampa. Cape Canaveral gets 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain, while Tampa receives 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain this time of the year. Keep in mind that June to November is the hurricane season in Cape Canaveral.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Cape Canaveral 70°F (21°C) 
    Tampa 71°F (22°C)

Typical Weather for Tampa and Cape Canaveral

Cape Canaveral Tampa
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 60°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 60°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm)
Feb 59°F (15°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 61°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Mar 65°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 67°F (19°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Apr 70°F (21°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 71°F (22°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm)
May 74°F (24°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 77°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
Jun 78°F (26°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm)
Jul 80°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm)
Aug 80°F (27°C) 6.7 inches (171 mm) 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm)
Sep 79°F (26°C) 7.2 inches (183 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm)
Oct 74°F (24°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm) 75°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm)
Nov 64°F (18°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm) 68°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm)
Dec 62°F (16°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)