Tampa hosts the 2012 Republican National Convention from Aug. 27-30. In a nod to city pride, Yahoo! asked city residents to boast about the best places, people, features and things to do in Tampa. Here are highlights from one resident.
Tampa is the town where you can literally live the dream — every day is another day in paradise. Here are a few suggestions to have a magical time in our town. Start with a sunrise jog, walk or bike ride along the balustrade on beautiful Bayshore Boulevard — the longest uninterrupted sidewalk in the world . You can also walk your stand-up paddle board down the steps and swim alongside the playful Bay dolphins. As the sun gleams on the waves of the Bay, look up at the sunny skies painted a different scene daily by the Universe.
Next, head over to one of Tampa’s locally owned coffee shops to enjoy a delicious homemade healthy brew and some of Tampa’s eclectic art scene. At Kahwa Espresso Bar at the Element downtown, enjoy a chai latte and a pastry while looking at the art of the local artist featured there that month. At Jet City Espresso, visit local artist and musician Jessica Glover at the coffee shop she runs out of her Hyde Park bungalow. Have a homemade all-natural fruit smoothie as you listen to Jessica play the flute and jam with other local musicians.
Tampanians spend a lot of time in bathing suits, so we like to stay healthy. In the afternoon, head over to one of Tampa’s inspiring yoga studios, Bella Prana Yoga and Meditation, the Lotus Pond, Yogani or try outdoor yoga at St. Petersburg’s Dali Museum. Tampa’s fit community offers a variety of other challenging workouts from outdoor bootcamps such as the well-known BodyBash Bootcamp to mud run preparation at the Facility, a speciality gym owned by local super-athlete “Vinny Partydontstop Disko” in South Tampa.
Hungry after all that exercise and fresh air? Tampa has fantastic restaurants. Hit Ocean Prime for a an amazingly refreshing pre-dinner cucumber gimlet. For world-class steak, go to famed Bern’s Steak House, for high quality sushi, try Sakana, and for more casual fare, you can’t miss with the scrumptious food and cool community scene at Daily Eats or many of the other restaurants along Howard Avenue.
The stay-cation is very popular here because of the wide variety of fun things for families to do, including a day at world renowned theme park Busch Gardens, Parents’ Magazine #1 rated zoo, Lowry Park Zoo, animal encounters at the Florida Aquarium, Kids in Charge at the Museum of Science and Industry, the Glazer Children’s Museum and attending Rays, Buccaneer and Lightning games.
All this, and Tampa is only thirty minutes away from the beautiful beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. Head to Indian Rocks Beach for the day and don’t miss eating delicious tacos and creamy ice cream barefoot at local hole-in-the-wall, the Kooky Coconut and candy at Pinky’s Ice Cream and Candy Shop . End your day sitting on the soft sand with a glass of wine watching the orange and yellow sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. This is what we call life as usual in our tropical city.