Depart From Tampa, Enjoy Your First Port Of Call

Tampa Bay, Florida is known for it’s sunshine, beaches and variety. Comprised of Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg, this area is one you can’t miss. Here’s a few things to add to your itinerary.

Catch a Tampa Bay Rays game at Tropicana Field
Located in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, Tropicana Field is one of MLB’s few all-indoor stadiums. Kept at a balmy 72 degrees, “the Trop” is a great place to grab a few beers and see the Tampa Bay Rays.

Visit historic Downtown Dunedin
Dunedin looks like something out of an old time movie. With it’s Main Street lined with shops, bars and restaurants, downtown Dunedin is the place to be. Try to visit on Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day or their semi-annual Pub Crawl. On most holidays they shut off the streets and have vendors and live bands playing. It’s a great way to meet people and to have a good time on a slow night.

Go out on the town to Channelside
Channelside is located within Downtown Tampa and is across the street from the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Grab a bite to eat from one of their many restaurants before a hockey game or concert and then bowl a round at Splitsville. Another can’t miss spot in Channelside-Wet Willie’s. The entire bar is lined with frozen drink concoctions sure to blow your mind.

Catch a concert at Vinoy Park
Vinoy Park is located right up against the water in Downtown St. Petersburg and across the street from the world famous Vinoy Hotel. Vinoy Park holds events almost weekly; whether it be a concert or RibFest, a showcase of all things barbeque, Vinoy Park is a fantastic way to spend your day.

Witness the world famous sunsets from Sunset Beach or Treasure Island
Located in the middle of Pinellas County, Treasure Island offers unparalleled views of the amazing Gulf of Mexico sunsets. You can access the beach through any of the public access points of your hotel may have it’s own private beach.

Soak up some sun on Clearwater Beach
Clearwater Beach’s pristine white sand is perfect for a sunny day. And since Florida has sunny days 95% of the year, Clearwater Beach is fun all year. Be sure to get there early though as parking can get hectic. Be prepared to pay either by the hour or a lump sum for your spot and it can run as high as $20/day. But, look for free lots. There are plenty, they’re just usually hiding.

Stroll through the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks
In the Northernmost part of Pinellas County, Tarpon Springs used to be home to one of the world’s largest reserves of sponges. Today, it doesn’t have quite as many sponges but the town still boasts its previous splendor. There are a multitude of Greek restaurants lining the docks and sponge shops on almost every corner. Although it can be quite kitschy, it’s still a great place to visit.

Hit some clubs in Ybor
Once famous for it’s Cigars, Ybor is now a bustling hub for clubs, restaurants and bars. Best seen at night, Ybor hosts some of the hottest events within it’s clubs. Be prepared to dress to the nines and enjoy the sights and sounds of Ybor.

Partake in First Friday in Downtown St. Petersburg
The first Friday of every month, Downtown St. Petersburg hosts it’s own First Friday. Central Avenue is closed down starting at noon while live bands and street vendors line the sidewalks. Open containers aren’t a problem here and the party lasts until 3am. Word of advice; get there at 8pm when the day crowd is starting to thin but the night crowd hasn’t quite arrived to get the best seats.

Pay a visit to Winter the dolphin at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Portrayed in the recent movie, Winter is a dolphin that lost her tail and was given a prosthetic one instead. Now residing in a brand new tank, Winter attracts visitors of all ages. Located over the bridge from Clearwater Beach, the entire Clearwater Marine Aquarium has received a makeover due to it’s new found success. Enjoy tours daily and then head to the beach to see the animals up close and personal.

Tampa Bay hosts many events, shows and attractions but it’s best to explore this area on your own. Leave your days free and just wander, it’s a fun place to get lost in.

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