A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Tampa vs. Lancaster for Families, Couples, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Tampa or Lancaster?

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

Should I visit Tampa or Lancaster? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

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.

Lancaster

Lancaster is a picturesque, scenic, and traditional town. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the museums, food, and shopping.

Tampa and Lancaster: Pros and Cons

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


Is there more to do in Tampa or Lancaster?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Tampa than Lancaster. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Tampa is very popular for its scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and big city activities, while Lancaster attracts visitors for its museums, shopping, and impressive beauty. Lancaster is more touristy than Tampa and is known for its history and long running Amish community. 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 Tampa different from Lancaster?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Tampa or Lancaster?

Tampa
Lancaster

Lancaster is an excellent place to visit for its museums and history. However, Tampa does not have museums and landmarks.

Lancaster offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Filled with history and local culture, there are many educational opportunities in the area where you can learn about Amish traditions. The Amish Village has tours and unique experiences. The town also has James Buchanan's Wheatland, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, the National Toy Train Museum, the Ephrata Cloister, and the National Watch & Clock Museum, among many others.

Tampa does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Tampa
Lancaster

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Tampa and Lancaster can be difficult as they are each nice in their own way.

Tampa is becoming an appealing option for foodies. 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.

Lancaster offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. You can sample authentic Pennsylvania Dutch dishes at one of the Amish restaurants in the area. Many places serve food family-style and dishes include chicken pot pie, ham balls, and pork and sauerkraut. Whoopie pies also originated in the area.

Is Tampa or Lancaster Better for Nightlife?

Tampa
Lancaster

Both Tampa and Lancaster have reasonable vibes after the sun sets.

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.

Lancaster is generally a quiet destination but there are options around. It's a small town, but you'll still find local pubs and cozy bars where you can enjoy a drink in a laid back atmosphere.

Is Tampa or Lancaster Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Tampa
Lancaster

Tampa is adequate for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Lancaster 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.

Lancaster is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.


Is Tampa or Lancaster Better for Beaches?

Tampa
Lancaster

Tampa is a great city for the beach. However, Lancaster is not a beach destination.

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.

Lancaster is not a beach destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Tampa or Lancaster?

Tampa
Lancaster

Lancaster is an excellent place to visit for its shopping areas. However, Tampa is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Lancaster. Many visitors pick up hand-crafted Amish items while they're in town. Furniture and Amish quilts are particularly popular. Farmers markets and antique shopping are both unique in the area and there are also art galleries and several outlet stores that you can visit.

Tampa is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Tampa or Lancaster Better for Families?

Tampa
Lancaster

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Tampa or Lancaster.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Tampa. 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.

Lancaster is a very family-friendly place to visit. In you area you'll find farms and petting zoos, amusement parks, and train rides. They can learn about a unique lifestyle at the Amish Experience or soak up the local beauty and farmland in the surrounding countryside.


Is Tampa or Lancaster Better for Couples?

Tampa
Lancaster

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

Lancaster makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. This region is known for it's local beauty and serene farmland, making it a relaxing and peaceful destination for couples. There are walking trails, outdoor activities, buggy rides, and a variety of dining experiences. You can also stay at a bed and breakfast or local inn.

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

Tampa
Lancaster

Lancaster is a decent place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Tampa is lacking in options for its public transit.

Public transit is mostly limited in Lancaster. The city has buses and several transportation options, but once you're outside of the urban core, your options are limited.

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 Tampa or Lancaster a more walkable city?

Tampa
Lancaster

Tampa and Lancaster are reasonable when it comes to 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.

Lancaster is generally not very walkable. While the city itself has walkable areas, most visitors want to get out and explore the countryside, which requires a car.


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

Should I spend more time in Lancaster or Tampa?

How long in Tampa or Lancaster?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Tampa and Lancaster. In our opinion, Lancaster has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Lancaster than Tampa. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Lancaster 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 Lancaster.


  • How many days in Tampa or Lancaster? Ideal Length of Stay
    Tampa 2-3 
    Lancaster 2-3

One day in Tampa or Lancaster?

You'll find food around the city of Tampa. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

In Lancaster, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this traditional destination offers. This 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.

A weekend in Tampa or Lancaster?

You'll find food around the low-key destination of Tampa. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Lancaster. 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.

Five days in Tampa or Lancaster?

Travelers enjoy the food when visiting the easy-going city of Tampa. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. It's also a great beach destination, too. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

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


A week in Tampa or Lancaster?

Tampa is a popular choice for travelers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. 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. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

You'll find food and shopping around the traditional destination of Lancaster. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in United States of America, The Best 2-Week Tours in United States of America, The Best 3-Week Tours in United States of America, and Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Lancaster or Tampa?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tampa is $179, while the average daily cost in Lancaster is $183. 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 Tampa and Lancaster in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tampa $85
    Lancaster $91
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tampa $170
    Lancaster $182
Compare Hotels in Tampa and Lancaster

Looking for a hotel in Tampa or Lancaster? 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 Tampa


Hotels in Lancaster


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 and Lancaster Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tampa $69
    Lancaster $69

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: $302
  • Tampa Airport (TPA): Transfer tо Tampa Bay Cruise Port: $302
  • Tampa Airport (TPA): Private Transfer to Tampa hotel/address: $203
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport TPA to Lakeland/Winter Haven: $187
  • Private Transfer from TPA to Tampa / St Petersburg / Clearwater Beach : $187
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport (TPA) to Tampa hotel or address : $187
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport (TPA) to St Petersburg Accommodation: $187
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport (TPA) to Clearwater Beach: $187
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to St Petersburg - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $174
  • Private Transfer from TPA to Lakeland and Winter Haven: $157
  • Private transfer Tampa airport To Ruskin, FL: $135
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Clearwater: $120

Is it cheaper to fly into Tampa or Lancaster?

Prices for flights to both Lancaster and Tampa 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
    Tampa $53
    Lancaster $53

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tampa

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

  • Ybor City Food Tour On Sundays: $89

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lancaster

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

  • Red Rose Walking Food Tour in Lancaster: $69
  • International Food Tour Lancaster, Pennsylvania: $75

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tampa $20
    Lancaster $19

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: $24
  • 1.5-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise from Tampa: $31
  • 2 Hour Guided Segway Tour: $69
  • 2 Hour Private Floating Tiki Boat Tour in Tampa: $59
  • Adventure Island Water Park Ticket: $58
  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Admission Ticket: $78
  • Christmas Lights Wonderland Deluxe Golf Cart Guided Tour in Tampa: $49
  • Discover Tampa with Local Stories from a Virtual Tour: $30
  • Escape to Paradise: Private Island Boat Adventure in Tampa: $630
  • Ghost Hunters Paranormal Ghost Tour: $39
  • Ghost Investigation Tour Interactive Paranormal Experience 18Plus: $35
  • Ghost Investigation Tours with Interactive Paranormal Experience: $35

Tours and Activities in Lancaster

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

  • 45-Minute Private Guided Historic Walking Tour in Lititz: $12
  • Amish Experience SuperSaver Package: $47
  • Authentic Tour & Meal with the Amish!: $89
  • From Philadelphia: Lancaster County Amish Community Tour: $179
  • Guided Ghost Tour of Lititz: $12
  • Guided Tour of the 1792 Johannes Mueller House: $12
  • Historic Lancaster Photo Shoot Tour: $100
  • Lancaster County: Amish Farmlands, Museum Tour, Farm Visit: $36
  • Lancaster County: Tour and Meal with an Amish Family: $79
  • Lancaster Electric Bicycle Tour: $130
  • Lancaster History and Breakfast Walking Tour: $60
  • Lancaster Puzzling Adventure: $35

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tampa $26
    Lancaster $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Tampa

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

  • Tampa Terrors: Boos & Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Tampa Bar Crawl on a 2023 Street Legal Golf Cart: $40
  • Haunted Pub Crawl: $40
  • Ybor City Private Brewery Tour by Custom Golf Cart: $180
  • Tampa's Top Dive Bar Tour Experience by Golf Cart: $234

Sample the Local Flavors in Lancaster

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

  • Guided Brewery Walking Tour in Lancaster City: $79
  • Lancaster City: The Ultimate Walking Craft Brewery Tour: $79


When comparing the travel costs between Tampa and Lancaster, we can see that Lancaster 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.

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


Which is Bigger, Tampa or Lancaster?

Tampa has a larger population, and is about 6 times larger than the population of Lancaster. When comparing the sizes of Tampa and Lancaster, 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 Tampa or Lancaster?

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 Tampa or Lancaster in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Tampa and Lancaster. Many travelers come to Tampa for the beaches, snorkeling, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Lancaster in the summer for the family-friendly experiences.

Tampa is a little warmer than Lancaster in the summer. The daily temperature in Tampa averages around 82°F (28°C) in July, and Lancaster fluctuates around 77°F (25°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Lancaster this time of the year. In Tampa, it's very sunny this time of the year. Tampa usually receives less sunshine than Lancaster during summer. Tampa gets 265 hours of sunny skies, while Lancaster receives 310 hours of full sun in the summer.

Tampa gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Tampa usually receives more rain than Lancaster. Tampa gets 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain, while Lancaster receives 3.6 inches (91 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Tampa 82°F (28°C) 
    Lancaster 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Tampa or Lancaster in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Tampa as well as Lancaster. Many visitors come to Tampa in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions. Also, most visitors come to Lancaster for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In the autumn, Tampa is much warmer than Lancaster. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Tampa in October average around 75°F (24°C), and Lancaster averages at about 56°F (13°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Tampa this time of the year. In the autumn, Tampa often gets more sunshine than Lancaster. Tampa gets 234 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lancaster receives 194 hours of full sun.

Tampa usually gets less rain in October than Lancaster. Tampa gets 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain, while Lancaster receives 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Tampa 75°F (24°C) 
    Lancaster 56°F (13°C)

Should I visit Tampa or Lancaster in the Winter?

Both Lancaster and Tampa are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Tampa for the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Lancaster because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Lancaster can be very cold. In January, Tampa is generally much warmer than Lancaster. Daily temperatures in Tampa average around 60°F (15°C), and Lancaster fluctuates around 30°F (-1°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Tampa. Tampa usually receives more sunshine than Lancaster during winter. Tampa gets 200 hours of sunny skies, while Lancaster receives 153 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Tampa usually receives less rain than Lancaster. Tampa gets 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain, while Lancaster receives 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Tampa 60°F (15°C) 
    Lancaster 30°F (-1°C)

Should I visit Tampa or Lancaster in the Spring?

Both Lancaster and Tampa during the spring are popular places to visit. The spring months attract visitors to Tampa because of the beaches and the activities around the city. Furthermore, the natural beauty are the main draw to Lancaster this time of year.

Tampa is much warmer than Lancaster in the spring. The daily temperature in Tampa averages around 71°F (22°C) in April, and Lancaster fluctuates around 53°F (12°C).

In Lancaster, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Tampa. In the spring, Tampa often gets more sunshine than Lancaster. Tampa gets 299 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lancaster receives 237 hours of full sun.

Tampa usually gets less rain in April than Lancaster. Tampa gets 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain, while Lancaster receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Tampa 71°F (22°C) 
    Lancaster 53°F (12°C)

Typical Weather for Lancaster and Tampa

Tampa Lancaster
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 60°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Feb 61°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 33°F (0°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm)
Mar 67°F (19°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 42°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Apr 71°F (22°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 63°F (17°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Oct 75°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm)
Nov 68°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm) 46°F (8°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Dec 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 35°F (2°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)