Tampa hosts the 2012 Republican National Convention. 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 has long stood out among other Florida cities as a unique blend of city life and quaint coastal culture with deep historical roots that panders to a wide range of residents and visitors. The year-round warm climate, and sea breezes aside, Tampa has more to offer than just a pretty view. Here are five examples:
The fine arts, culture
It’s no wonder Tampa Bay was recently awarded “Top Arts Destination” by American Style Magazine. The city is simply teeming with a collection of museums most of which are clustered around the Hillsborough river in downtown Tampa, such as the Dali Museum, MOSI, the Tampa Bay History Center, or the Tampa Museum of Art. Yet, even with its impressive collection of museums, the cultural significance of Tampa doesn’t stop there. The city has also found a niche with its foreign and independent films combined with its critically acclaimed Broadway productions and orchestra found at the David A Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.
The sports scene
If the museums and Broadway productions don’t catch your interest, Tampa bay is also the home of three major sports franchises. The Tampa Bay Rays, whose home is the beautiful Tropicana Field, just a stone’s throw away from downtown located on the edge of St. Petersburg is Tampa’s own Major League Baseball team. Closer to downtown Tampa, lies Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whose boasting rights include the 2003 Super Bowl championship. Finally, for those hockey fans, there’s the 2004 Stanley cup winners, the Tampa Bay Lightning located right downtown at the St. Pete Times Forum.
Tampa also hosts an eclectic venue of family oriented activities in the way of attractions. Not only having the unique location of being an hour down the road from major theme parks such as Disney, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios, Tampa also houses a variety of attractions itself. Looking for excitement? Busch Gardens, open year-round, and its water park Adventure Island (located right across the street) are one of the largest roller coaster theme parks in Florida. For those in seek of milder, or more educational fun there is also the beautiful Lowry Park Zoo, Big Cat Rescue, and The Florida Aquarium.
Out of Florida’s 825 miles of beaches, Tampa has some of the highest rated in the state. For gulf side access, try visiting the Clearwater beach with miles of sparkling white sand and calm blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Stroll along the pier to view the wildlife in actions. Or, try out Davis Island, located within Tampa Bay.
Considered to be one of the best malls in Florida, The International Mall, conveniently located near the Tampa International Airport features a collection of stores perfect for a high end shopping, or dining experience. Looking for a more eclectic style? Ybor City and Channelside offer several independent and large retail merchants to choose from in the more historical setting of downtown Tampa.