Downtown Tampa's core is the central business district where Bank of America, Suntrust, and Verizon have major offices. This area is home to the Tampa Convention Center, historic Tampa Theater, the University of Tampa, and the old City Hall. The tallest buildings are the AmSouth Building and the Bank of America Tower, both at 42 stories and 577 feet tall. This downtown area has good trolley and bus transportation, as well as several small parks, a handful of restaurants, bars, and clubs. Channelside is considered part of downtown and it includes the The St Pete Forum, the Aquarium, and numerous shops and restaurants. There are plans to create a "riverwalk" to connect the Waterworks, Cultural, Downtown, Gateway, and Channelside Districts
Some General Tips
Light colors, shorts, t-shirts during the summer months. During the winter months you can get away with t-shirts during the day for the most part but at night you may want a sweater or long sleeve t-shirt. The temp in the winter is very inconsistant so be ready to change what you plan on wearing from day to day. There are several good camping sites in Tampa. Make sure you have plenty of bug repelant during the summer months (wet season) because the mosquitos can become relentless. If you are going to be outdoors for a long period of time during the summer or even some days during the winter you want to make sure you have plenty of sunscreen. Its not just for the beaches. If you are going to a park or just walking around for a length of time you may be subject to sunburn. Again, I stress that this can still occur during the winter months.
SeaWorld is in Orlando, about a 1 1/2 hour drive from Tampa (about 90 miles) and is worth the drive if you have the time. This is the home of the famous Shamu killer whale show as well as home to many dolphins, birds, fish, and other neat marine life. One of my favorite things here was the pearl divers. You pay $15 and a diver will go down into a huge tank and retrieve an oyster which is then opened for you. All of the oysters contain beautiful jewel-grade pearls.
Parking is $8 US and admission is about $ 50 US for adults and $ 35 US for kids. If you go, go very early because there is alot to see!
Billie Swamp Safari
Swamp buggy eco-tours and airboart rides operate daily in this 2200 wild acres. Also has the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum which has the nations largest display of the life and culture of the Seminole Indians. Reptile and Alligator exhibits and shows, a café, store and even native-style chickees (thatched huts) for overnight stays.
The swamp buggy is hard to picture this thing is huge and riding it is quite the experience
Remember in the summer the everglades is VERY hot and there are a lot of misquotes (especially at dusk) .
If you have a choice do this in the winter. The weather is beautiful then and there doesn't seem to be any misquotes!
I would recommend wearing both misquote repellent and sunscreen year around. In the summer I'd recommend covering your skin with long pants and sleeves.
Located between Ft Lauderdale and Naples
I 75 South to exit 49 then 19 miles North to Park Entrance
Most visit this when they are going between West and East Florida on what is called Alligator Alley. This way you only have to go 19 x2 miles out of your way to visit. You'll see the signs its north on 833. When your getting off the exit from 75 there is a gas station that has $2 discount coupons by the cashier.
While you are at the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation take time to visit
the largest display of life and culture of the Florida seminals
there is also an RV resort here
and a motor cross
Amazing Book Store
Said to be the largest new and used book store in Florida. I am not sure if that is true but their selection of travel, history etc books is amazing (they of course have a full range of books)
There prices are also much better than your traditional bookstores and the service is excellent
Has been in Tampa for over 60 yeas and has 30,000 square feet with over 300,000 books.
Monday - Saturday, 10 am to 6:30 pm BOOKS, books on tape, anything involving reading Less than traditional corporate bookstores