Tampa, located on the west coast of Florida, is probably one of the top five most name recognized cities in Florida. One of the main attractions in Tampa is Busch Gardens. This theme park combines different zoo like sections with thrill rides and roller coasters, making it a major tourist attraction. If you're a sports enthusiast, you already know Tampa for the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This city takes their team VERY seriously; there are as many pirate flags as there are stars and stripes flying around the city. While in the area, you can also make plans to also visit nearby Clearwater and St. Petersburg.
If you are looking for places to gamble in Florida, visit the Seminole Hard Rock Casino; along with the gaming tables and slot machines, the décor itself is worth the trip. Downtown Tampa is a beautiful urban place, as 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.
Bridges are needed to get around this city because of it being built around Tampa Bay, which also adds to its beauty. Many cruise and cargo ships can be seen coming or going from the Port of Tampa, along with a fishing fleet that brings wonderful fresh seafood to the local restaurants. Ybor city, another famous part of Tampa, is known for its fine food, hand rolled cigars, great music and fabulous nightlife.
Channelside is an entertainment complex, just southeast of downtown Tampa; it is bordered by Ybor Channel on the east, and the Garrison Channel on the south. Some of the attractions in the area include the Florida Aquarium, American Victory Museum, an IMAX Theater and the Channelside Entertainment Complex for the nightlife. There are also a number of high rise condominiums in the area; the twin 30-story upscale condos Towers of Channelside were completed in 2007, which would be a great place to live if you like a lot of activity.
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Ybor City is an exotic blend of aromas, flavors, sights and sounds. If you walk the brick lined streets in the morning, you get the scent of roasting Cuban coffee, but you can also stay all day and hear the rhythms of Latin music late into the night. When you get hungry, stop and enjoy authentic tapas and a pitcher of Spanish sangria in a café atmosphere, reminiscent of a Mediterranean village. Let's not forget, there is also Cuban, Italian, Greek and French cuisine to choose from and enjoy around the city as well. There are art galleries, a museum and many eclectic shops to browse. One thing is a must: you have to stop to see a famous "hand-rolled" cigar being made; Ybor City is known all over for them.
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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is the ultimate family adventure park offering an array of fascinating attractions based on exotic encounters with the African continent. A unique blend of thrilling rides, one of the country's premier zoos featuring more than 2,000 animals, live shows, restaurants, shops and games, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay provides unrivaled excitement for guests of every age.
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Places to Stay in Tampa
If you’re planning a trip to Tampa and would like a great harbor view book a few night at the Westin Harbor Island it’s across Garrison Channel from downtown Tampa and in the same neighborhood as the Florida Aquarium. The hotel has an on-site restaurant, athletic club and a pool bar. If you’re planning a trip to Busch Gardens in Tampa there’s a Red Roof Inn and Best Western nearby. The Intercontinental Hotel Tampa is located in the heart of Tampa just a mile from the Tampa International Plaza and convenient to various Tampa attractions. This beautiful hotel features two dramatic 11-story atriums surrounded by an oasis of tropical foliage they also offer panoramic views of Tampa Bay. Guests can relax and enjoy Shula's No Name Lounge for drinks and Shula's Steakhouse for dinner, there is also a Caffe Coffee Lounge, a heated pool, event catering and 17,000 square feet of meeting space. If golfing is your thing Saddlebrook Resort and Spa in nearby Wesley Chapel is the place for you. The resort is a mile from Saddlebrook Golf Course and a little over three miles from Quail Hollow Golf and Country Club. The Saddlebrook Resort and Spa itself features a full service health spa. So plan your trip Tampa has many great places to stay, close to many fun things to do at prices to fit any budget.
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By Beverly Martinez-Collins – PlacesAroundFlorida.com