In recent days, you may have heard five of the sweetest winter words known to humankind – “Pitchers and Catchers reporting in….”
This month’s Memorable City focuses on what has long been known as a baseball spring training haven – Tampa, Florida. Known as a treasure on Florida's west central coastline, Tampa boasts a heritage steep in Spanish explorers, cigar manufacturing, great food – and warm winter weather.
Following is a list of some of the “must see” things to do when visiting Tampa on business or pleasure . . .
Busch Gardens Africa
A rival to any of the Orlando parks, Busch Gardens is fun for kids of all ages. From roller coasters, to the Serengeti Plain, to the Brew Masters Club, there is definitely something for everyone at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
Address: 1001 N. McKinley Drive, Tampa, FL 33612
The Channelside entertainment district near downtown Tampa is a great place to spend an evening. Filled with restaurants featuring various cuisines, an upscale bowling alley, a 10-screen movie theater with an IMAX screen, nightclubs, and specialty retail shops, there is always something to entertain at Channelside. The area caters to families during the day, but after dark is popular with a 30+ bar crowd.
Address: 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa, FL 33602
Located just northeast of downtown Tampa, Ybor City is a very historic area. The hub of Tampa's pre-Depression cigar trade, portions of the old neighborhood have been designated as a National Historic Landmark District, and several buildings in the area are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, Ybor City is primarily known as an entertainment district. With restaurants, nightclubs, and specialty retail shops, Ybor City is a must-see for any visitor to Tampa. And a great place to grab a really good cigar…
When in Florida, most people love a visit to an aquarium. With interactive exhibits such as swimming with the fish (for children ages 6 years and up who are comfortable in the water) or the Penguin Encounter, the Florida Aquarium is sure to delight. And since you’re in the Channelside area, plan on having a great lunch or dinner just down the street.
Address: 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: (813) 273-4000
Where's the Beach?
Now, some of you may be asking, "Where's the sandy beach we see in the ads?" Well, there really aren’t any great beaches in Tampa. However, salty water and sand between your toes is roughly 15 minutes away in Clearwater Beach. For those who want a quieter, clear water experience and nature as it was intended, hop on a ferry to beautiful Caladesi Island State Park. Myaka State Park is located near Sarasota for those who want to experience Florida the way it was 60 years ago.