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

Should you visit Destin or Tampa?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Destin and Tampa can help you decide which place is right for you.

Destin

Destin is a family-friendly, beautiful, and relaxing beach town. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. It's also popular because of the shopping, food, and beaches.

Tampa

Tampa is a low-key, laid-back, and easy-going city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. It's also known for beaches.

Destin and Tampa: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
Cons
  • Less popular with couples


How is Destin different from Tampa?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Destin or Tampa Better for Food?

Destin
Tampa

Local dishes at restaurants are fun to try in both Destin and Tampa.

Destin offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. The area has great seafood including crab chowder, seafood gumbo, and fried fish.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Tampa. Some favorite dishes include fresh caught seafood, Grouper sandwiches, and Cuban sandwiches.


Is Destin or Tampa Better for Nightlife?

Destin
Tampa

Evening events are similar in both Destin and Tampa.

People don't go to Destin for the nightlife. The region is more popular as a family-friendly beach destination than it is for it's nightlife. Head to the Harbor area for the most lively nightlife.

Those looking for nightlife will find a few places to hang out in Tampa. The city has some good nightclubs, sports bars, and other spots where locals enjoy spending the evening.

Is Destin or Tampa Better for Beaches?

Destin
Tampa

Destin and Tampa are good choices for a beach vacation.

Destin is a very popular place to visit for its beaches. This area is famous for its powdery white sand, beautiful blue waters, and calm waves.

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.

Is Destin or Tampa Better for Families?

Destin
Tampa

You'll find kid-friendly activities in either Destin or Tampa.

Destin is a very family-friendly place to visit. The area has beautiful sandy beaches, calm waters, and plenty of activities like Big Kahuna's Water Park.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Tampa is very family-friendly. 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 Destin or Tampa Better for Couples?

Destin
Tampa

Both Destin and Tampa are good destinations to visit as a couple.

Destin is a nice destination for couples. For a relaxing beach vacation, this is a nice option for couples. A lot of the accommodation is in the form of condos, so it may not have the romantic resort vibe you're going for though.

Most people don't think of Tampa as a couple's destination. The area does have great restaurants and some fun places to explore.


Is Destin or Tampa Better for Public Transit?

Destin
Tampa

Both Destin and Tampa offer public transit options.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Destin.

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

Is Destin or Tampa a more walkable city?

Destin
Tampa

Destin and Tampa both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Destin is not a walkable beach town. The area is very spread out so you'll need a car to access restaurants and most forms of entertainment.

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

Should I spend more time in Tampa or Destin?

How long in Destin or Tampa?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Destin and Tampa. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Destin than Tampa.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Destin is 5-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Tampa is 2-3 days.


  • How many days in Destin or Tampa? Ideal Length of Stay
    Destin 5-7 
    Tampa 2-3

One day in Destin or Tampa?

In Destin, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this peaceful destination offers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. This beach town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

Many travelers enjoy the when visiting the destination of Tampa. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Destin or Tampa?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Destin. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. 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. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


Five days in Destin or Tampa?

Destin is a fun place to experience. In Destin, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this destination offers. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Tampa. Most people come for the beaches. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Destin or Tampa?

In Destin, many people enjoy the shopping and food that this relaxing destination offers. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.

Travelers enjoy the when visiting the low-key destination of Tampa. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Which city is cheaper, Tampa or Destin?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Destin is $153, while the average daily cost in Tampa is $136. 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Destin and Tampa in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Destin $89
    Tampa $68
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Destin $178
    Tampa $136
Compare Hotels in Destin and Tampa

Looking for a hotel in Destin 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 Destin


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: Destin Hotel Prices and Tampa Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Destin $40
    Tampa $58

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tampa

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

  • Private Departure Transfer - to Tampa Airport (TPA): $28
  • Private Arrival Transfer - from Tampa Airport (TPA): $32
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Tampa to Tampa International Airport (TPA): $44
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Land O' Lakes Florida: $60
  • Private Airport Transfer: Tampa International Airport (TPA) to Tampa: $61
  • Transfer from Tampa International Airport to Tampa: $75
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to Tampa hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $82
  • Tampa hotel or address to Tampa Airport (TPA) - Departure Private Transfer: $82
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to St Petersburg hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $83
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to Clearwater Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $83
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Bradenton: $110
  • Private Tampa Transfer: Cruise Port to Airport or Hotel: $113

Is it cheaper to fly into Destin or Tampa?

Prices for flights to both Tampa and Destin 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
    Destin $41
    Tampa $34

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Destin $14
    Tampa $15
Typical Entertainment prices in Destin

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Destin are as follows:


  • 1 Day Rental Umbrella and Chairs
    $40

Tours and Activities in Destin

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Destin are as follows:

  • 4 Hour Fishing Trip on a Catamaran with an Experienced Captain: $799
  • Crab Island Sandbar Adventure: $82
  • Harbor Lights Tiki Cruise through Destin Harbor: $50
  • Private Banana Boat Tour: $53
  • Seas The Day 1.5 Hour Segway Tour 11 am daily: $49
  • Small Boat Sunset Cruise in Destin: $45
  • Summer Breeze 1 Hour Segway Tour 2:30 pm Daily: $38
  • Tiki Harbor Sightseeing Cruise: $50
  • Tiki Sunset Cruise: $61

Tours and Activities in Tampa

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

  • 1 Hour Haunted History Walking Tour: $23
  • Skip the Line: The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay Ticket: $26
  • Tampa Celebrity Homes Boat Tour: $30
  • 1.5-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise from Tampa: $31
  • Tampa History Cruise: $31
  • VIP Ghost Hunters Tour Semi Private: $35
  • Skip the Line: ZooTampa at Lowry Park Admission Ticket: $45
  • Historic Ybor City Food and Drink Walking Tour: $59
  • 2-hour Tiki Boat BYOB Cruise in Tampa: $60
  • Adventure Island Water Park Ticket: $63
  • Tampa Indoor Skydiving Experience with 2 Flights & Personalized Certificate: $70
  • ZooQuarium 1-Day Ticket: $79

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Destin $39
    Tampa $20

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
  • Haunted Tampa Ghost and Pub Walking Tour - Ybor City: $26
  • Private Tampa Brewery Tour - Party Bus: $600


When comparing the travel costs between Destin and Tampa, we can see that Destin is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.


When is the best time to visit Destin or Tampa?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Destin or Tampa in the Summer?

Both Tampa and Destin during the summer are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Destin for the beaches and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Tampa because of the beaches, snorkeling, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Destin is generally around the same temperature as Tampa. Temperatures in Destin average around 82°F (28°C), and Tampa stays around 82°F (28°C).

Tampa gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Destin. Destin usually gets less rain in July than Tampa. Destin gets 7.4 inches (189 mm) of rain, while Tampa receives 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Destin 82°F (28°C) 
    Tampa 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Destin or Tampa in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Destin and Tampa. The autumn months attract visitors to Destin because of the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Also, the city's sights and attractions are the main draw to Tampa this time of year.

Destin is cooler than Tampa in the autumn. The temperature in Destin is usually 69°F (21°C) in October, and Tampa stays around 75°F (24°C).

Destin gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Destin usually receives more rain than Tampa. Destin gets 4.2 inches (107 mm) of rain, while Tampa receives 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Destin 69°F (21°C) 
    Tampa 75°F (24°C)

Should I visit Destin or Tampa in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Destin as well as Tampa. The shopping scene and the cuisine are the main draw to Destin this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Tampa for the cuisine.

In the winter, Destin is much colder than Tampa. Typically, the winter temperatures in Destin in January are around 50°F (10°C), and Tampa is about 60°F (15°C).

Destin receives a lot of rain in the winter. Destin usually gets more rain in January than Tampa. Destin gets 4.6 inches (117 mm) of rain, while Tampa receives 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Destin 50°F (10°C) 
    Tampa 60°F (15°C)

Should I visit Destin or Tampa in the Spring?

Both Tampa and Destin are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Destin for the beaches and the natural beauty. Also, many visitors come to Tampa in the spring for the beaches and the activities around the city.

In April, Destin is generally around the same temperature as Tampa. Temperatures in Destin average around 68°F (20°C), and Tampa stays around 71°F (22°C).

In April, Destin usually receives more rain than Tampa. Destin gets 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain, while Tampa receives 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Destin 68°F (20°C) 
    Tampa 71°F (22°C)

Typical Weather for Tampa and Destin

Destin Tampa
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 50°F (10°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm) 60°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm)
Feb 54°F (12°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 61°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Mar 60°F (16°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 67°F (19°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Apr 68°F (20°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 71°F (22°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm)
May 74°F (23°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm) 77°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
Jun 80°F (27°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 7.4 inches (189 mm) 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 7.4 inches (188 mm) 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm)
Sep 79°F (26°C) 5.3 inches (135 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm)
Oct 69°F (21°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm) 75°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm)
Nov 61°F (16°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm) 68°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm)
Dec 54°F (12°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm) 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)


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Destin vs. Tampa Travel Comparison

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