Top Five Destinations of Tampa

As far as places in Florida go, I?ve visited the Tampa/St. Petersburg area the most often. First came a spring break trip to see some baseball and the location where my friend had a hookup for free tickets happened to be in Tampa. The second time, a friend lived there. Having been to Florida a grand total of three times, that means that Tampa takes the cake.


Besides some of the cool things I saw (that I?ll detail later), the things that I remember the most about Tampa are the drivers. They are so, so, so, slow. I know a lot of retirees live there, but I didn?t think they died behind the wheel. (Rim shot, please.) If you drove a little faster you wouldn?t have to leave the house at 2 pm to make your dinner at 4. (Tip your waitresses. Seriously, old people don?t tip.)But, if you give yourself plenty of time in traffic and go out after 6 pm at night, you can still see some pretty cool things. Maybe the best thing to do first would be to just avoid the road.

Take a Speedboat Tour

At first I thought, yeah right, just like the rest of the city, you won?t be able to go very fast. Then I watched the video on the Speedboat Adventures site, and it looks like you can get going a bit. Anything that can get me off the road is a good thing and adding in a little sightseeing and some nature watching and that sounds like a great two hours.

Get Surreal at the Dali Museum

I tend to like my art in two ways ? ultra-realistic or veering away from reality into the abstract. The Dali Museum represents some of the best examples of the latter. You?ve heard about and seen examples of the melting clocks, but the ?Dali?s Grotesque Carnival? sounds like a great way to check out some of Dali?s rarely displayed work.

Visit the Site of Babe Ruth?s Longest Home Run

Since there?s no real reason to go to Tropicana Field (your hotel room and its TV will probably have more character) if you want to work in a little baseball, head to the University of Tampa. In front of the business college building, you?ll find a marker for Babe Ruth?s Longest Home Run. On the back of the marker, you?ll see a commemoration of the first time someone accused an athlete of using performance-enhancing drugs.

Enjoy a beer at Cigar City Brewing

As I explored the beers of Cigar City Brewing, I came across the Guava Grove Farmhouse Ale. I can?t say that I have had a beer that used guava as an ingredient and I became immediately intrigued. You can tour the brewery to check out this beer and others Wednesday through Sunday. The tasting room opens every day and though the current list does not include the Guava Grove, there is an intriguing chocolate raspberry beer to try.

End the day with a Ghost Tour

Every city in the U.S. probably lays claim to some haunted history, but the Ghost Tour of Tampa gets to also tell stories of pirates. Add in a walk through a cemetery on the tour, and your lady will be in your arms for the rest of the night.

Any suggestions for things that I missed? Any additional recommendations for the area? Just let me know in the comments.

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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."

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