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.
Headed to Tampa? Maybe you are getting in a last-minute summer fling with Florida or coming in for the big Republican convention. Here is a guided tour to what’s hot in the sun.
Follow the peaks of cruise liners from in between the buildings of downtown and you will discover the area we call Channel Side. It’s a hub where you can see live entertainment and grab a bite while watching huge ships port and pick up vacationers. It features an IMAX theater and the awesomely retro Spitsville — bowling alley, restaurant, bar and club. You will pass Wet Willie’s (and notice the mixed-drink slushie wall.) Then go around the corner to Stumps — try the grouper sandwich or chicken and waffles. This isn’t half the list of things to see. Channel Side can entertain all day — and night!
Traveling with kids? The Florida Aquarium is a short walk away with its fun outdoor water play area. It’s a great way to cool off. Don’t miss the wild dolphin cruise that leaves on the hour!
A short drive from Tampa airport is our International Plaza — a mall boasting more than 200 stores and eateries. Tampa has many choices for fun in the sun, but air conditioning is nice too! If you do not have a Texas de Brazil back home, this is your chance to experience all-you-can-eat top sirloin, prime rib, bacon-wrapped chicken, rosemary smoked pork and a 60-item side bar. Located just outside the International Plaza.
Another hot spot for food and nightlife. By day, ride the trolley through town or take a historic walking tour and stop at Fresh Mouth for an incredible burger. By night check out the historic Improv Comedy Theatre or sip sake at Samurai Blue.
It would be seriously unfortunate to visit Tampa and not get your toes in the white Gulf of Mexico sand. Like people-watching? Try Saint Pete Beach. Want to take the kids to the beach playground? Try Clearwater Beach. Want to see the most beautiful beach in the contential USA? Tampa is less than two hours from famous Siesta Key. Want to play “stranded on a tropical island”? Catch the ferry to Caladasi Island. Want to see a hidden jem and get the flavor of the Gulf? Anna Maria Island is for you.
Whatever it is you get into during your stay, every day in Tampa is a vacation!