Beautiful Tampa and Tampa Bay are located on the west coast of Florida and about an hour and a half from Orlando. If you’re looking for things to do in Tampa, you won’t be disappointed on that front either. Everyone knows Tampa is home to the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This city takes their team VERY seriously, you can take a pirate ship cruise on any night of the week and there are as many pirate flags as there are stars and stripe flying around the city, all in good fun mind you.
Every time we go over there I discover something new and different, this time it was Channelside and the Port of Tampa. Of course the Tampa Port Authority is there and cruise or cargo ships can be seen coming and going at various times. There is a really great aquarium with several exhibits showing the different kinds of Florida water ways and what lives in them. They have a great little ‘water park’ area for the kids that has giant moray eels for kids to battle with water guns and a pirate ship they can explore. Channelside itself is an entertainment complex that has great nightlife, shopping, dinning and a movie theater. The Towers of Channelside are brand new, just completed in 2007, they are twin 30 story upscale condos, not a bad place to live if you like a lot of action.
Ybor City is also a place I’ve always wanted to go and got the chance to visit this time. It’s a great little section of the city that steeped in tradition of old world Europe. Ybor City was founded in the 1880’s by Vicente Martinez. Here you’ll find spectacular buildings, quaint shops, fabulous food, delicious coffee and hand rolled cigars and the nightlife? Don’t get me started. There are clubs every few feet, along with several entertainment venues, it’s a great place to spend a day walking around and a night dancing and parting with friends. There is a place for everyone to party no matter what you’re into. Coyote Ugly is a place where you can dance on the bar and chat up the lady bar keeps, they always have something to say. Club Prana has five different levels with different dance club styles on each for maximum nighttime enjoyment.
Another popular reason to visit Tampa is the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. They have many gaming tables and slot machines the décor itself is worth the trip. Downtown Tampa is a beautiful place itself; the buildings alone are great works of architecture. They have many fine hotels with conference centers for corporate meetings and an international airport which makes it convenient for out of country guests to visit.
Florida is a great place to take a vacation, so to see where to go and what to do, view our pictures of Central Florida, with many of Orlando’s popular destinations and a few off the beaten path.