Month: August 2010

Savannah, Georgia

A- Overview:
Located four hours southeast of Atlanta, but a world away from that bustling, modern metropolis, Savannah offers an enchanting stroll back in time. Savannah is widely renowned for its historical features which stand as an open invitation for visitors to uncover its hidden charms. Luscious peach trees, Civil War history, delicious cuisine, and ethnic festivals are part of the Savannah experience. Elegant old mansions and centuries-old cemeteries add to Savannah’s rich and colorful history.
Savannah’s old world grace and Southern hospitality give the city a unique flavor found nowhere else in the world. The meticulous preservation of its historic treasures extends to buildings, parks, and other properties and draws tourists from all over the country.

Established in 1733, the city cherishes its reputation as the nation’s largest urban landmark – a tribute earned by the city’s active role in all facets of American history.

While visiting Savannah, be sure to take advantage of all that the city has to offer. The city proudly showcases many fine restaurants,shops, boutiques, and quality museums. Savannah’s historic district, beautiful beaches and majestic scenery combine to make any visit to the Hostess City of the South an unforgettable experience. Visitors can relax and enjoy each day of their visit in what is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in America.

B- City Information:
Population: 131,370

Elevation: 42 feet above sea level

Land Area: 74.7 square miles

Location: Savannah is situated at the mouth of the Savannah River, which forms the border between Georgia and South Carolina. The Intracoastal Waterway runs along the east coast, much of which is comprised of ecologically vital marshes.

Time Zone: Savannah is located in the Eastern Time zone (when it’s noon in Savannah, it’s 11am in Chicago and 9am in Los Angeles). Savannah observes Daylight Savings Time from April – October

Weather:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Average temp. (°F)
49.1
52.2
59.0
65.1
72.7
78.7
82.0
80.7
76.6
67.1
58.6
51.3

High temperature (°F)
60.2
63.7
70.6
77.3
83.9
89.1
91.9
89.9
85.7
77.9
70.2
62.3

Low temperature (°F)
38.0
40.7
47.3
52.9
61.5
68.3
71.9
71.4
67.4
56.3
47.0
40.1

Precipitation (in)
4.0
3.0
3.6
3.3
3.5
5.4
6.0
7.2
5.1
3.2
2.4
2.9

Climate:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Days with precipitation
9
8
9
7
8
12
13
13
10
6
7
8

Wind speed (mph)
8.2
8.6
9.1
8.6
7.6
7.4
6.9
6.7
7.2
7.3
7.2
7.6

Morning humidity (%)
83
82
84
84
86
88
89
91
91
89
87
84

Afternoon humidity (%)
55
51
49
46
51
56
58
60
60
54
53
55

Sunshine (%)
54
57
62
71
68
65
64
62
58
63
61
55

Days clear of clouds
9
8
9
11
9
7
6
6
7
12
11
9

Partly cloudy days
6
6
9
9
10
11
14
14
10
8
7
7

Cloudy days
16
14
13
11
12
12
12
12
13
11
12
15

Snowfall (in)
0.1
0.2
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.1

Local Seasons:

Due to its year round moderate climate, great golf, shopping and dining, any time of year is great for a visit. Winter daytime temperatures can get into the 70s F but usually average in the mid 60s F, allowing visitors to enjoy many of the cities sites and attractions. While a dusting of snow is possible, it rarely sticks. Spring and fall are slightly warmer but offer the same opportunities to travelers. Summers are busy and the weather can be very warm and humid. With the nearby beaches, it’s a great time to work on that perfect tan. Naturally, golf is always close at hand and available year round.

How to Get There:

By Car

I-95 is the major north/south interstate from New England to Miami and is just 10 miles from Savannah’s Historic District. I-16 is the major east/west interstate from Savannah to Atlanta.

By Air

Savannah International Airport (SAV/KSAV)

400 Airways Avenue

Savannah, GA 31408

912-964-0514

Serving the Greater Savannah Region of the Colonial Coast of Georgia and the Low Country of South Carolina. The airport is served by many of the regional carriers.

Ground Transportation:

Taxi, rental cars, and limousine service are available at the airport

By Train:

Amtrak

2611 Seaboard Coastline Drive
Savannah, GA 31401

800-USA-RAIL

By Bus

Greyhound Bus Lines
610 Oglethorpe Ave.

Savannah, GA 31401
912-232-2135
Savannah is a regular stop on Greyhound routes, both for passengers and next-day Florida-Georgia package service.

Getting Around:

Chatham Area Transit (CAT)
900 East Gwinnett St.

Savannah, GA 31401
912-233-5767
CAT offers fixed bus routes in Savannah and Chatham County.

Scooters
Coastal Scooters
418 W. Broughton Street
Savannah, GA 31401
912-232-5513

Belles Ferry
912-447-4000
Getting to Hutchinson from Downtown is easier than ever. The Belles Ferry leaves the ferry landings on River Street and Hutchinson Island at regular intervals.

The Cat Shuttle
912-233-5767
This free and convenient shuttle has 32 stops throughout the Historic District including shops, attractions, hotels and more.

National Holidays:

New Year’s Day, January 1

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the third Monday in January

President’ Day, the third Monday in February

Memorial Day, the last Monday in May

Independence Day, July 4

Labor Day, the first Monday in September

Thanksgiving Day, the fourth Thursday in November

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, December 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve, December 31

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Oatland Island Education Center
711 Sandtown Road
Savannah GA 31410
912-987-3773
Oatland Island Education Center is an environmental project operated by the public school system. Nature trails are offered over this 175 acre area. Visitors can observe the ten habitats housing animals indigenous to coastal Georgia. A marsh walkway, marine monitoring station, compass trails and observatories offer a diverse look at nature. Great for a day of exploration!

Tybee Mountain Water Park/Mini Golf
1508 Butler Avenue
Tybee Island GA 31328
912-786-5552
Tybee Mountain Water Park/Mini Golf features a 50 foot tower. Families can enjoy the many features of the park including the olympic size swimming pool, bath house, video arcade, beach shop, concessions and 19 holes of miniature golf.

Hauntings Tour
Chippewa Sq
Savannah, GA
912-234-3571
A unique candelight stroll through the dark mysterious streets of Savannah.

Skidaway Marine Science Complex
Mcwhorter Drive
Skidaway Island GA 31411
912-356-2496
Skidaway Marine Science Complex is an oceanographic center located in historic Modena Plantation on Skidaway River. Exhibits include 12-panel, 12,000 gallon aquarium containing flora and fauna of the Atlantic Continental Shelf. The Complex consists of Marine Extension Service and Skidaway Institute of Oceanography.

Savannah Science Museum
4405 Paulsen Street
Savannah GA 31405
912-355-6705
Bring the family for a day of exploration and discovery at the Savannah Science Museum. The museum features special exhibits geared towards children.

Old Fort Jackson-Coastal
1 Fort Jackson Rd
Savannah, GA
912-232-3945

Owens-Thomas House Museum
124 Abercorn St
Savannah, GA
912-233-9743
Designed by the renowned English architect William Jay. The Owens-Thomas House Mueum is the first Regency mansion in Savannah. Originally built in 1816-1819, the house was built from to stand as an English home. The interior of the house is adorned with Greek-inspired ornamental molding, half-moon arches, stained-glass panels, and Duncan Phyfe furniture.

Savannah History Museum
303 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Savannah, GA
912-238-1779
The museum is currently housed in a restored railway station.Exhibits range from old locomotives to a tribute to Savannah-born songwriter Johnny Mercer. The museum is situated on top of the site of the Siege of Savannah.

Ships Of The Sea
41 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Savannah, GA
912-232-1511
Savannah’s only maritime museum. ship models are on display, including steamships, a nuclear-powered ship (the Savannah), China clippers with their sails unfurled, and Columbus’s ships. Open to the public 10 am to 5 pm

Colonial Park Cementary
Oglethorpe and Abercorn Sts.
The park is the final resting place for Savannahians from 1750 to 1853. Shaded pathways lace through the cemetery, and you may want to stroll through and read some of the old inscriptions. There are several historical plaques to look at, one of which marks the grave of Button Gwinnett, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Green-Meldrim House
14 W. Macon St.
912-233-3845
Designed by New York architect John Norris and built in 1850 for cotton merchant Charles Green, this splendid Gothic Revival mansion cost $90,000 to build–a princely sum back then. The house was bought in 1892 by Judge Peter Meldrim, whose heirs sold it to St. John’s Episcopal Church, for itsparish house. General Sherman lived here after taking the city in 1864. Sitting on the mansion’s Gothic features include a crenellated roof, oriels, and an external gallery with filigreed ironwork. Inside are mantels of Carrara marble, carved black-walnut woodwork, and doorknobs and hinges of either silver plate or porcelain. The house is furnished with donated 16th-, 17th-, and 18th-century antiques, although some original pieces have recently been reacquired.

Isaiah Davenport House
324 E. State St.
912-236-8097
This residence was the historic Savannah structure that prompted citizens to focus on restoring the historic area within Savannah’s downtown. Master builder Isaiah Davenport built began building his home in 1815 and completing it five years later in1820. The interior of the house contains an impressive array of semicircular stairs with wrought-iron trim, polished hardwood floors, fine woodwork and plasterwork, and a soaring elliptical staircase.

Telfair Mansion and Art Museum
121 Barnard St.
912-232-1177
Featured as the oldest public art museum in the Southeast, this structure was designed by William Jay in 1819. The mansion was built for Alexander Telfair and sits across the street from Telfair Square. Contains a vast and impressive collection of artwork and furndshings.More Info

City Market
Jefferson at W St Julian St
912-232-4903
City Market is a four-block courtyard featuring 9 restaurants, 15 shops, 8 art galleries, 23 artists studios, historic tours and 250 years of history.

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
222 E. Harris St.
912-233-4709
Soaring like a hymn over the city, stand the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. The design mimics the French Gothic-style cathedrals, with the characteristic pointed arches and free-flowing traceries. The cathedral retain’s a very international influence, for it was constructed in 1799 by the French, and most of the cathedral’s stained-glass windows were in Austria, and the high altar is made of Italian marble, and the stations of the cross were imported from Munich.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Savannah History Museum
303 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Savannah, GA
912-238-1779
The museum is currently housed in a restored railway station.Exhibits range from old locomotives to a tribute to Savannah-born songwriter Johnny Mercer. The museum is situated on top of the site of the Siege of Savannah.

Ships Of The Sea
41 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Savannah, GA
912-232-1511
Savannah’s only maritime museum. ship models are on display, including steamships, a nuclear-powered ship (the Savannah), China clippers with their sails unfurled, and Columbus’s ships. Open to the public 10 am to 5 pm

Oatland Island Education Center
711 Sandtown Road
Savannah GA 31410
912-987-3773
Oatland Island Education Center is an environmental project operated by the public school system. Nature trails are offered over this 175 acre area. Visitors can observe the ten habitats housing animals indigenous to coastal Georgia. A marsh walkway, marine monitoring station, compass trails and observatories offer a diverse look at nature. Great for a day of exploration!

Tybee Mountain Water Park/Mini Golf
1508 Butler Avenue
Tybee Island GA 31328
912-786-5552
Tybee Mountain Water Park/Mini Golf features a 50 foot tower. Families can enjoy the many features of the park including the olympic size swimming pool, bath house, video arcade, beach shop, concessions and 19 holes of miniature golf.

Skidaway Marine Science Complex
Mcwhorter Drive
Skidaway Island GA 31411
912-356-2496
Skidaway Marine Science Complex is an oceanographic center located in historic Modena Plantation on Skidaway River. Exhibits include 12-panel, 12,000 gallon aquarium containing flora and fauna of the Atlantic Continental Shelf. The Complex consists of Marine Extension Service and Skidaway Institute of Oceanography.

Savannah Science Museum
4405 Paulsen Street
Savannah GA 31405
912-355-6705
Bring the family for a day of exploration and discovery at the Savannah Science Museum. The museum features special exhibits geared towards children.

E- Events & Entertainment:
Events

January

Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Observance Day Celebration

Held the third weekend of January

912-236-4898

Call for location and additional information
Savannah celebrates the life and times of this Civil Rights pioneer.

Taste of Savannah

912-232-1223

Call for exact location and dates
Tempt your taste buds! Restaurants and caterers serve samples of their best menu items that are representative of Savannah. Writers and editors from national food magazines judge the culinary and decoration competition while guests select the Guest Choice Award.

February

Georgia Heritage Celebration’s Colonial Faire and Muster

912-651-2125

Call for exact location and dates
The celebration of the founding of the Colony of Georgia in Savannah on February 12, 1733 by James Edward Oglethorpe has been a tradition among Georgians since 1734. The Celebration encourages a better understanding of, and appreciation for, Georgia history. Various events seek to promote the study and preservation of the state’s rich history and the historical sites, documents, and other materials which offer a window on that past.

Black Heritage Festival

912-236-4898

Call for exact location and dates
Cultural and intellectual activities including dance performances, musical concerts, lectures, art exhibits and more.

March

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

Held March 17

Location: Savannah Historic District

912-232-3448

Call for exact locations and times
It isn’t easy being green – unless you’re Savannah. How do you manage more than 250,000 weekend guests? You throw the South’s most famous and the southeast’s largest St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. The Savannah Historic District marks its St. Patrick’s Day’s Celebration with festivities along the waterfront and a parade on March 17 where the streets are lined with revelers in green, and cocktails and grits are dyed to match.

Savannah Music Festival

Held in late March

Location: Downtown Savannah

912-234-3378
This captivating celebration of the cultural arts is held in the Historic District of Savannah featuring world-class music in downtown venues. This festival lasts for 15 days and includes numerous international talents including blues, classical, jazz and world.

Annual Tour of Homes & Gardens

Location: Historic District

912-234-8054
This annual spring event offers self-guided walking tours through private homes and gardens in Savannah’s National Landmark Historic District.

April

International Festival

912-525-5050
Call for location and exact dates
The annual international festival celebrates the college’s international art community and shares it with the entire Savannah community. Highlights of the event include international cuisine at “Cuisine from Around the World,” dance demonstrations, music, a global fashion show and art and cultural displays.

N.O.G.S. Tour of Hidden Gardens

912-961-4805
Call for locations and exact dates

Admission Charged
This walking tour includes eight walled gardens plus the award-winning Massie School Garden, one of the Garden Club’s community projects. Different private gardens are selected each year for their excellence of design, historical interest and beauty.

Sidewalk Art Festival

Location: Downtown Savannah

912-525-5050

Call for exact dates

Admission Free
This annual event draws thousands of people to watch SCAD students create chalk masterpieces on historic Forsyth Park squares along with a student and faculty art exhibition, fair, food and children’s and youth areas for young artists.

Savannah Garden Expo

912-236-4795

Call for location and dates
The enchanting garden show features an open-air market, exhibition gardens, workshops, demonstrations, seminars and lectures.

Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, PGA Champions Tour

Location: The Club at Savannah Harbor

912-236-1333

Call for exact dates

Admission Charged
Come and enjoy some of golf’s all time greatest players as they tee up at the home of the PGA Tour of Champions, Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf; experience Troon Golf and The Club at Savannah Harbor.

Blues & BBQ Festival

Location: Roundhouse Railroad Museum

912-651-6823

Call for exact date
The Roundhouse Railroad Museum is filled with the sounds of great blues and the smell of slow-cooked barbeque as the annual Night in Old Savannah Blues & BBQ Festival gets underway. Great music, food, drinks, trains and more!

Spring Fling Art and Music Festival

912-786-4431

Call for exact location and date
Art and music festival featuring more than 50 artists from the southeast along with local musicians.

May

Savannah Seafood Festival

912-234-0295

Call for exact location and dates
Surfin’ on the Savannah River with sensational seafood, live entertainment, daily beach party bash and much more.

Savannah Shakespeare Festival

912-234-9860

Call for exact location and dates
City Lights Theatre performs live Shakespeare classics, dance performances, Kids for Kids Theatre and more.

Scottish Games Festival

912-232-3945
Call for exact location and dates
Traditional style Scottish Games Festival featuring competitions, clan displays and booths, food and drink, music of the bagpipes and other Scottish music.

Tybee Island Beach Bum Parade

Held Memorial Day weekend

Location: Tybee Island Beach

912-786-5444
Celebrate the arrival of summer with a huge water fight. Parade of fellow water warriors enhances this family friendly experience.

SCAD Sands Arts Festival

912-525-5225

Call for exact location and dates
This annual event invites sand-loving SCAD students to create forms in the sand on the beaches of Tybee Island. Four contests are available for viewing: sand castle, sand sculpture, sand relief and wind sculpture.

June

First Saturday on the River

Held on the first Saturday of the month

Location: River Street

912-234-0295
This event, held on the fist Saturday of June and features local art, crafts, entertainment and food on beautiful historic River Street.

Savannah Asian Festival

912-651-6417

Call for exact location and dates
Volunteers from many Asian organizations, including Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Indian, Korean, Thai, and Pakistani, plan this public festival to showcase the talents of the Asian community in Savannah. The festival features activities such as food booths selling Asian delicacies, cultural booths with demonstrations, art and educational hands-on workshops in Chinese Calligraphy and Painting, Henna Skin Decoration, Korean Games, and Filipino Bamboo Pole Dancing; and fascinating performances of Asian dance, music and martial arts.

July

Fourth of July on the Waterfront

Held on the fourth of July

Location: On the Waterfront

912-234-0295
Fantastic fourth celebration featuring artists from around the region, food, fun and fabulous fireworks over the Savannah River.

Fourth of July Fireworks on the Beach

Held on the fourth of July

Location: At the beach

800-868-2322
Tybee Island’s Independence Day celebration with fireworks on the beach.

August

First Saturday on the River

Held on the first Saturday in August

Location: River Street

912-234-0295
This event held on the first Saturday of August and features local art, crafts, entertainment and food on beautiful historic River Street.

Seafood & Music Festival

912-786-5444

Call for exact location and dates
This two day event features local and national music acts and island cuisine.

September

Savannah Jazz Festival

912-232-2222

Call for exact location and dates
A wonderful week long celebration of blues and jazz that promotes, preserves and perpetuates this exquisite art form through performances by great musicians throughout the coastal empire.

October

Oktoberfest

912-234-0295

Call for exact location and dates
It’s an oompah stomping, dachshund dashing, bratwurst tasting and beverage toasting weekend with your friends on the river. Featuring arts and crafts, live entertainment, oompah bands, wiener dog races, fabulous food and much more!

Savannah Greek Festival

912-236-8256

Call for exact location and dates
The three-day Greek Festival includes authentic Greek foods and pastries, merchandise, grocery products and live music.

Savannah Film Festival

912-525-5050

Call for exact location and dates
The festival features the best in independent, innovative and influential films and videos from around the world, as well as panel discussions and presentations by visiting artists.

Jewish Food Festival – Hard Lox Café

Location: Hard Lox Café

912-233-1547

Call for exact date
Experience a taste of Savannah’s Jewish soul food. Experience the tastes of Hard Lox Cafe sweets with all the flavors of Jewish heritage.

November

Savannah Harbor Boat Parade of Lights

912-201-2201

Location: On the waterfront

Call for exact dates
Bring the family to enjoy the kick-off of the Savannah Harbor Holiday Series on the waterfront. Over 60 festively decorated yachts and sailboats parade along the Savannah River followed by a fireworks extravaganza.

December

Christmas on the River

912-234-0295

Call for exact location and dates
Dash your way to River Street for a merry holiday. View a Christmas parade with carolers, bells, and Santa; also featured are displays of arts and crafts.

Holiday Tour of Homes

912-236-8362

Location: Historic District

Call for exact dates
Enjoy a self-guided walking tour of homes in Savannah’s lovely Historic District. Private residences representing the full range of Savannah’s historic downtown neighborhood are open to the public during the special season. Each tour includes a holiday tea.

Arts & Entertainment

Trustees Theatre

216 E Broughton St.

Savannah, GA 31401

912-525-5050

Call for performance schedule

The theater hosts a variety of performances, concerts and lectures for the college and community. By restoring the theater to its former Art Modern splendor and by attracting major performers, it has contributed to the revival of the Savannah theater district.

Ballet

Savannah Ballet

6709 Waters Ave
Savannah, GA 31406
912-352-7487

Founded July 2003, Ballet Savannah is a new era of professional ballet in Savannah.

Sports

Savannah SandGnats Professional Baseball

Class A affiliate of the Expos
1401 E. Victory Dr.
Savannah, GA 31404

912-351-9150

Season runs April – November

Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida

A- Overview:
Florida’s west coast provides an array of outdoor activities in a beautiful, natural setting. There are rolling, pine covered plains as well as white sand beaches and barrier islands. Camping, fishing, swimming, boating, and snorkeling are always available. The Gulf Coast has calm, warm waters and endless white sand beaches with memorable sunsets. The crystal clear springs further inland have drawn visitors for many years. The resort towns to the south, including Sarasota, are equally popular with seasonal visitors and permanent residents.
The city of Tampa is a well developed metropolis, with attractions for visitors of all ages. The area has recently seen the addition of a world-class art museum dedicated to the work of the surrealist painter Salvador Dali. The Tampa Museum of Art boasts its own collection from around the world. Nearly 7,000 objects of art are displayed in its many galleries. The $84 million Florida Aquarium is a dazzling landmark which is drawing an increasing number of visitors to Tampa. In addition to cultural and educational offerings, Tampa has a vibrsnt nightlife with many restaurants and clubs from which to choose.

The Ybor District is Tampa’s own Little Havana. The wrought iron gates and cobblestone streets lend charm to the area. Of course, no visit to Tampa would be complete without a visit to Busch Gardens, the amusement park and zoo built by the famous brewery. It is a popular family attraction to which visitors return year after year.

Tampa has many more museums and attractions that await those who visit the Florida Gulf Coast. Here, a day’s itinerary might include breakfast at a waterside cafe, time at Busch Gardens and the Florida Aquarium, a streetcar ride to Channelside for shopping, and a Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Devil Rays, or Lightning game. The Tampa Bay area is a vacation paradise where life is sunny and warm, with a distinct (though temperate) change of seasons and hours of enjoyment for the whole family!

B- City Information:
Population: 303,447

Elevation: 48 feet above sea level

Land Area: 112.1 square miles

Location: Located in the central western part of Florida, 60 miles southwest of Orlando, near I-4 from the east, and I-75 from the north and south

Time Zone: Eastern Time Zone (when it’s noon in Tampa, it’s 11:00am in Chicago and 9:00am in Los Angeles)

Weather:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Average temp. (°F)
61.3
62.7
67.4
71.5
77.6
81.5
82.5
82.7
81.6
75.8
69.3
63.3

High temperature (°F)
70.1
71.6
76.3
80.6
86.3
89.0
89.8
90.0
89.0
84.0
77.9
72.0

Low temperature (°F)
52.4
53.8
58.4
62.4
68.9
73.9
75.3
75.4
74.3
67.6
60.7
54.7

Precipitation (in)
2.4
2.7
2.9
1.8
2.9
5.7
6.5
7.7
6.6
2.3
1.7
2.4

Climate:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Days with precip.
7
7
7
5
6
12
16
16
13
7
5
6

Wind speed (mph)
8.6
9.1
9.4
9.2
8.6
7.9
7.1
6.9
7.6
8.3
8.2
8.3

Morning humidity (%)
87
86
87
86
85
86
87
90
91
89
88
88

Afternoon humidity (%)
60
57
55
52
53
60
64
65
63
58
58
60

Sunshine (%)
63
65
71
75
75
67
62
61
61
65
64
61

Days clear of clouds
10
9
11
11
11
6
3
3
5
11
12
10

Partly cloudy days
10
9
10
11
13
14
16
17
14
10
10
10

Cloudy days
12
10
10
8
8
10
12
11
11
9
9
11

Snowfall (in)
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0

Local Seasons:

As a major business location, Tampa tends to busy year round. Considering its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and numerous local attractions (as well as those in nearby Orlando), summers can be quite busy. With mild temperatures year round, this city is a paradise for anyone enjoying the out of doors. Winters are quite pleasant. With high temperatures rarely above 75 F and lows rarely under 60 F, it’s a perfect time for taking part in any of the many outdoor activities, whether it’s attending a professional sports game, fishing, visiting one of the many attractions, or just reading a book by the pool. Spring and fall afford great opportunities for sunshine with temperatures being quite comfortable for any activity. Summer can be hot and humid so be sure to drink plenty of water and dress accordingly.

Getting There:

By Air

Tampa International Airport

813-870-8770

Conveniently located only 5 miles northwest of downtown Tampa, the airport is served by most of the major airlines and many of the regional carriers as well.

Clearwater – St. Petersburg Airport

727-535-7600

Approximately 30 minutes west of Tampa, the airport is served by a limited number of airlines.

By Car

Major routes into Tampa are I-75 from the north (Atlanta) and south (Miami and Sarasota), and I-4 from the east (Orlando).

By Train

Amtrak
601 Nebraska Avenue North

Tampa, FL 33602
813-221-7600 or 800-872-7245

Tampa’s Amtrak Station offers strong north-south connections as well as links to nationwide rail travel. Amtrak’s AutoTrain offers daily service to passengers and vehicles traveling between Washington, D.C. and Orlando and a major highway delivers drivers directly to Tampa in just over an hour’s time.

By Bus:

Greyhound
Greyhound Lines, Inc. is located in Tampa at 610 Polk Street (near the corner of Pierce Street)
610 Polk Street

Tampa, FL 33602
813-229-2174 or 800-231-2222

Getting Around:

By far, the easiest way to get around the city is by car, either personal or rental. Most of the rental car companies have facilities both at the airport and throughout the city. Taxi cabs are another alternative.

National Holidays:

New Year’s Day, January 1

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the third Monday in January

President’ Day, the third Monday in February

Memorial Day, the last Monday in May

Independence Day, July 4

Labor Day, the first Monday in September

Thanksgiving Day, the fourth Thursday in November

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, December 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve, December 31

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
1010 N. MacInnes Place
Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: (813) 222-1000
The largest performing arts complex in the southeast, the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center has four performing halls. The Center features everything from Broadway shows
and symphonic concerts and select popular musicians.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
3000 E. Busch Blvd.. (at McKinley Dr./N. 40thSt.).
Phone: (813) 987-5283
Some 2,700 animals roam the habitats of Busch Gardens. Special exhibit areas feature a distinct venue of animals. So, come and enjoy exhibits such as the gorillas and Edge of Africa safari experience. For the adventurous spirit, Busch Gardens offers an array of fast-wheeling roller coasters twist, and turns.

Florida Aquarium
701 Channelside Dr.
Phone: (813) 273-4000
The Florida Aquarium features 5,300 aquatic animals and plants. Visit a mangrove forest in the Bays and Beaches Gallery, and stand amazed at the Coral Reefs. The 43-foot-wide, 14-foot-tall panoramic window with schools of fish and lots of sharks and stingrays is quite impressive.

Lowry Park Zoo
7530 North Blvd.
Tampa, FL
Phone: (813) 932-0245
Visitors can watch the 2,000-pound manatees, the komodo dragons, and the rare red
Pandas. This 24-acre zoo displays animals in settings similar to their natural
habitats, its greenery, bubbling brooks, and cascading waterfalls. Other major exhibits include a Florida wildlife display, an Asian Domain, a Primate World, an Aquatic Center, a free-flight aviary with a birds-of-prey show, a children’s petting zoo and hands-on Discovery Center, and an endangered-species carrousel ride.

Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary
18328 Gulf Boulevard
Indian Shores, FL 33701
Phone: 727-391-6211
This beachfront non-profit sanctuary rescues, repairs, and releases all sorts of avian wildlife. Visitors can encounter 600 birds of all descriptions at the Sanctuary. Here’s an
amazing fact: injured birds will often just show up at the Sanctuary, even when it means that they had to walk a long way down the beach to get there.

Tampa Museum of Art
600 North Ashley Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 274-8130
It is a reflection of this culturally diverse city – full of priceless treasures. The museum features a 4,500 pieces ranging from Greek and Roman antiquities.

Ybor City
1800 East 9th Avenue
Ybor City Chamber of Commerce
Tampa, FL 33605
Phone: (813) 248-3712
Come and discover Cuban culture. Enjoy the ethnic food, boutique shopping, and Latin music in Tampa’s Cuban district. This is a historic district that features old-world charm.

Salvador Dali Museum
1000 Third Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 823-3767
The world’s largest collection of Dali art. Follow the artist through his impressionist and
surrealists phases to his maturity.

Auburndale Speedway
5640 State Road 542 West
Auburndale, FL 33823
(941) 965-7223
This speedway offers visitors a racing good time. Featuring limited Late Model, Street Stoick, Modified Mini Stock, Pure Stock V-8 and Pure Stock 4-cylinder divisions all attract lively competition.

Florida Power Park
230 South 1st Street
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: (727) 894-7490
This is the location where the Tampa Bay Devil Rays prepare for the season. Florida Power Park is a renovated ballpark with a view of the bay itself.

The Museum of Fine Arts
255 Beach Drive
The Museum of Fine Arts features a superlative collection ranging from pre-Columbian art through Asian and African to European Old Masters. It displays exhibitions from renowned museums all over the world.

Adventure Island
4545 Bougenvilla Ave
Tampa, FL 33612
Phone: (813) 987-5660
Adventure Island is the place to visit if you want to feel the sand beneath your feet, and enjoy the tropical breezes of the bay. Although far from a natural beach, 25-acre Adventure Island, is a water theme park located close to Busch Gardens. Be prepared for some fun in the sun, because the parks towering slides, plummeting rafts, and tubes offer visitors an exhilarating water adventure. The Spike Zone, Adventure Island’s 11-court outdoor volleyball venue, offers visitors a glimpse of profession volleyball matches.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium
249 Windward Passage
Clearwater, FL 33767
Phone: (727) 441-1790
The Clear Water Marine Aquarium allows visitors to explore a tank of stingrays and starfish or dive in the water with scientists. The aquarium provides visitors with an in-depth look at loggerhead sea turtles, sharks, and river otters.

Canoe Escape
9335 E Fowler Avenue
Thonotosassa, FL 33592
Phone: (813) 986-2067
Grab hold of a paddle and a canoe, and escape into one of Central Florida’s wildest nature preserves. The water current is home to many gators, turtles, and great blue herons. Find peace and discover natural Florida in this 16,000-acre oasis.

Gasparilla Pirate Fest
400 N. Tampa Street
Suite 1010
Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: (813) 223-1111 ext. 44
The Gasparilla Pirate Fest begins when Jose Gasparilla and his pirate crew dock in downtown Tampa. They are known for throwing a daylong party. The crewmen are in full costume; displaying scars, mock bullet wounds, and outlandish wigs.

Museum of Science & Industry
4801 Fowler Avenue
50th Street
Tampa, FL 33617
Phone: (813) 987-6100
Fax: (813) 987-6310
This museum features numerous exhibits on natural phenomena. It also contains a one of a kind IMAX Dome Theatre. This theatre displays its images on a 82-foot high screen. With over 450 interactive exhibits, visitors should be prepared to experience the unexpected, even hurricane winds at the Museum of Science & Industry.

Tarpon Springs Aquarium
850 Dodecanese Boulevard
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
Phone: (727) 938-5378
Fax: (727) 942-5708
Tarpon Springs Aquarium features the colorful creatures and tropical plants. Come and experience the local marine life. Visitors can touch the animals in the tidal touch-pool

The Pier
800 Second Avenue NE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: (727) 821-6164
Visit downtown St. Petersburg and view the unique upside-down, five-story-high pyramid. The boardwalk is full with bikers, bladders, and families. Observe the clear blue waters from the observation deck.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Adventure Island
4545 Bougenvilla Ave
Tampa, FL 33612
Phone: (813) 987-5660
Adventure Island is the place to visit if you want to feel the sand beneath your feet, and enjoy the tropical breezes of the bay. Although far from a natural beach, 25-acre Adventure Island, is a water theme park located close to Busch Gardens. Be prepared for some fun in the sun, because the parks towering slides, plummeting rafts, and tubes offer visitors an exhilarating water adventure. The Spike Zone, Adventure Island’s 11-court outdoor volleyball venue, offers visitors a glimpse of profession volleyball matches.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
3000 E. Busch Blvd (at McKinley Dr./N. 40th St)
Phone: (813) 987-5283
Some 2,700 animals roam the habitats of Busch Gardens. Special exhibit areas feature a distinct venue of animals. So, come and enjoy exhibits such as the gorillas and Edge of Africa safari experience. For the adventurous spirit, Busch Gardens offers an array of fast-wheeling roller coasters twist, and turns.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium
249 Windward Passage
Clearwater, FL 33767
Phone: (727) 441-1790
The Clear Water Marine Aquarium allows visitors to explore a tank of stingrays and starfish or dive in the water with scientists. The aquarium provides visitors with an in-depth look at loggerhead sea turtles, sharks, and river otters.

Canoe Escape
9335 E Fowler Avenue
Thonotosassa, FL 33592
Phone: (813) 986-2067
Grab hold of a paddle and a canoe, and escape into one of Central Florida’s wildest nature preserves. The water current is home to many gators, turtles, and great blue herons. Find peace and discover natural Florida in this 16,000-acre oasis.

Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise
25 Causeway Boulevard
Slip #3
Tampa, FL 33767
Phone: (727) 446-2587
Fax: (727) 447-3033
Stowaway on the Pirate’s Ransom and become part of a pirate adventure. The pirate ship cruises the waterfront with a pirate crew in full costume. Almost anything goes with this boisterous crowd, even water gun fights.

Dinosaur World
5145 Harvey Tew Rd.
Plant City, FL
Phone: (813) 717-9865
Dinosaur World is known as one of the largest dinosaur attraction in the world. Kids,as well as adults will enjoy an adventure walk through the parks grounds. Replicas of the dinosaurs are nestled along the path. The museum exhibits an extensive fossil display and dogs are welcome, as long as they’re kept on a leash.

Gasparilla Pirate Fest
400 N. Tampa Street
Suite 1010
Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: (813) 223-1111 ext. 44
The Gasparilla Pirate Fest begins when Jose Gasparilla and his pirate crew dock in downtown Tampa. They are known for throwing a daylong party. The crewmen are in full costume; displaying scars, mock bullet wounds, and outlandish wigs.

Great Explorations–The Hands-On Museum
800 Second Avenue NE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: (727) 821-8885
Fax: (727) 823-7287
This museum is great for hands on activities, where kids can immerse themselves in the displays and exhibits. The museum features a 90-foot-long Touch Tunnel winding through the Pier’s Great Explorations Museum. Hands-on exhibits focus on the mind and body and feature tasks such as artistically altering light, manipulating sound.

Museum of Science & Industry
4801 Fowler Avenue
50th Street
Tampa, FL 33617
Phone: (813) 987-6100
Fax: (813) 987-6310
This museum features numerous exhibits on natural phenomena. It also contains a one of a kind IMAX Dome Theatre. This theatre displays its images on a 82-foot high screen. With over 450 interactive exhibits, visitors should be prepared to experience the unexpected, even hurricane winds at the Museum of Science & Industry.

Tarpon Springs Aquarium
850 Dodecanese Boulevard
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
Phone: (727) 938-5378
Fax: (727) 942-5708
Tarpon Springs Aquarium features the colorful creatures and tropical plants. Come and experience the local marine life. Visitors can touch the animals in the tidal touch-pool

The Pier
800 Second Avenue NE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: (727) 821-6164
Visit downtown St. Petersburg and view the unique upside-down, five-story-high pyramid. The boardwalk is full with bikers, bladders, and families. Observe the clear blue waters from the observation deck.

E- Events & Entertainment:
Events

January

Outback Bowl

January 1

Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa FL

813-874-BOWL

Admission Charged

Tampa kicks off the first bowl game on New Year’s Day–The Outback Bowl. The teams are matched from the Big Ten Conference and the Southeastern Conference, for post-season college football competition. The game is played at Raymond James Stadium and broadcast live by ESPN. There’s a lot of action both on and off the field. Spectators can participate in a variety of special events and sports activities prior to the game.

Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival

Usually held early – mid-January

Location: University of South Florida, Tampa Campus

888-224-1733

Admission Free

The seven-day event takes over downtown with vendors selling art, artifacts, collectibles, clothing, crafts, food and more. In addition, multiple stages are set up for live local and national entertainment.

Florida RV Supershow

Usually held in mid-January

Location: Florida State Fairgrounds

813-684-7882 or 800-330-7882

Admission Charged

More than 1200 RVs are spread over the 319 acre site. Every building and even the barns on the fairgrounds are used to house this enormous event. All entertainment at the SuperShow is “roaming” style.

The Gasparilla “Piratechnic” Extravaganza & Children’s Parade

Usually held on the third Saturday of January

Location: Bayshore Boulevard, Show Center at Bay to Bay

813-353-8108

Admission Free

This alcohol-free, family event is held annually on the Saturday before the Invasion and Parade, and features the Children’s Gasparilla Parade and one of the largest fireworks presentations in the country! The Children’s Gasparilla Parade has been a part of Tampa’s Gasparilla celebration since 1947.

The Gasparilla Pirate Fest

Usually held on a Saturday in late January

Location: Downtown Tampa and Bayshore Boulevard

813-353-8108

Admission Free, charge for reserved parade seats

For 100 years pirates have invaded Tampa Bay. The unruly plunderers take over the city in honor of the mythical legendary pirate Jose Gaspar. The festival –“Gasparilla Pirate Fest,” is one of the country’s largest and most unique outdoor celebrations. It begins when the world’s only fully-rigged pirate ship sails into the heart of downtown Tampa. Flanked by hundreds of pleasure craft and vessels of all shapes and sizes, the invasion is a formidable sight. Built entirely of steel, the black-hulled Jose Gasparilla measures 165 feet in length and is topped by three masts that tower 100 feet above deck. Tugboats tow the craft and its crew of 700 pirates with flags flying and cannons booming as the vessel makes its way up Hillsborough Bay and into downtown Tampa.

February

The Gasparilla Distance Classic

Usually held the first weekend of February

Location: Downtown Tampa

813-229-RUNN

Admission Charged

The Bank of America Annual Gasparilla Distance Classic attracts world class athletes who compete in 5K , 15K, marathon and half marathon events on foot as well as the 15K course in wheelchairs. Consistently voted the best race in Florida by Florida Running Magazine and ranked among the Top Ten Races in the United States by Runner’s World, the Bank of America Gasparilla Distance Classic has become one of the largest running events in Florida. The primary purpose of the race is to funds for local youth charities and education foundations.

Gasparilla Festival of the Arts

Usually held in early February

Location: Franklin Street in Downtown Tampa

813-876-1747

Admission Free

Hundreds of painters, artisans, photographers, sculptors, jewelers and artists from around the world display their work at the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts. The first show began in 1971 and featured 130 artists. With over 300 exhibitors, the festival attracts more than 300,000 art enthusiasts, making it one of the largest art shows in the Southeast.

The Florida State Fair

Usually held for 10 days in mid-February

Location: Florida State Fairgrounds at the crossroads of I-4 and Highway 301

813-621-7821 or 800-345-FAIR

Admission Charged

The Florida State Fair features the best arts, crafts, livestock, entertainment and food found in Florida. It is the only “state” fair in Florida and one of the largest major fairs in the Southeast and features one of the largest midways in the country.
More than 200 rides, games and attractions are spread over the 319 acre site. Entertainment acts such as LeAnn Rimes, Ashanti, Bill Cosby and Loretta Lynn have graced the stages at the fair. All headline entertainment shows are in Entertainment Hall, a 5,000-seat, climate controlled building. Visitors come from all 67 Florida counties, all 50 states and more than one dozen foreign countries. The fair has been named “One of the Top 100 Tourist Destinations on the North American Continent” by the American Bus Association.

Sant’Yago Knight Parade

Usually held in mid-February

Location: Ybor City/Downtown

813-248-3088

Admission Free for general, charge for reserved seats

The streets of downtown Tampa and Ybor City come ablaze when hundreds of floats masked with lights and loaded with bands and pirates fill the streets for the Sant’Yago Knight Parade. It’s the city’s biggest night parade and named for the Krewe of the Knights of Sant’Yago, a 250 member group that has its roots in the ninth-century Spanish Brotherhood of the Royal Order of St. James. The krewe designed the parade as a way to enhance and perpetuate Tampa’s strong Latin heritage.

March

The Florida Strawberry Festival

Usually held for 11 days in early March

Location: Festival Grounds, Plant City, Florida

813-759-6363

Admission Charged

The Florida Strawberry Festival is a celebration of strawberries that dates back to 1930. It began when members of the Plant City Lions Club decided to celebrate the area’s bountiful harvest of strawberries. The 11 day festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world. The “Winter Strawberry Capital of the World”, Plant City, is located about 24 miles east of Tampa.
The festival features daily entertainment by some of music’s biggest stars. Events and exhibits of the popular festival include agriculture shows, commerce, education, industry, livestock, a baby contest, and the Midway featuring over 60 rides. Competitions range from cook-offs and clogging to diaper decorating and strawberry shortcake eating contests. The festival features two country music shows each evening on the main stage. Limited free seating is available on a first come, first served basis.

Apollo Beach Manatee Arts Festival

Usually held in mid-March

Location: Apollo Beach on Highway 41; just south of Big Bend Road

813-645-1366

Admission Charged

The Annual Apollo Beach Manatee Arts Festival is a major arts and crafts show that promotes visual and performing arts as well as awareness and preservation of the endangered Florida manatee. The event features artists and craftsmen from across the nation displaying their work in addition to “Young At Art” children’s art show, a children’s creativity center, live entertainment, beer garden and wide variety of food and beverage vendors.

Best of Tampa Bay

Usually held in mid-March

Location: The Performing Arts Center

813-229-STAR

Admission Charged

Best of Tampa Bay combines fine food and entertainment with the ambience of the cultural surroundings of The Performing Arts Center and the adjacent riverwalk on a spring evening. From haute cuisine to sizzling steaks, Best of Tampa Bay tantalizes taste buds with various entrée samplings, luscious desserts, specialty coffees, fine wines and imported beers. Over fifty of Tampa Bay’s best restaurants, caterers and vendors will be participating. Guests are entertained by a variety of Florida artists showcased throughout the event on four separate stages.

April

Bern’s Winefest

Usually held in mid or late April

Location: Side Bern’s

813-253-0358

Admission Charged

Legendary Tampa restaurant, Bern’s Steak House, with Side Bern’s and Bern’s Fine Wines & Spirits, holds its annual Winefest. At this four-day event, guests have the opportunity to experience extraordinary food and wine tastings, educational seminars and winemaker dinners. Join Bern’s experts and special guests for classes about wine and food.

May

Ruskin Tomato Festival

Usually held in early May

Location: E.G. Simmons Park

813-645-3808

Admission Charged

All of Tampa Bay is seeing red during the Tomato and Heritage Festival at E.G. Simmons Park in Ruskin, a small historic coastal community south of Tampa. The delicious Ruskin tomato is undoubtedly the star of the festival and highlights include “The Great Tomato Cook-off,” the crowning of the “Ruskin Tomato Festival Queen” and the all-you-can-eat sliced tomatoes. Live entertainment, a farmer’s market and a Street Rod Show are also featured.

October

Guavaween (Latin Style Halloween Street Celebration)

Usually held the last Saturday in October

Locations: Ybor City

Admission Charged

The annual zany celebration features the mythical Mama Guava, who has sworn to take the “bore” out of Ybor (Ee-bore) City, and a parade of her devoted followers. Guavaween is a New Orleans style Halloween celebration based on Tampa’s nickname, “The Big Guava.” Costumed revelers pack Ybor City for the huge street party. The festival includes a night parade and street party featuring multiple stages of entertainment. Guavaween has expanded into an all day event, with a Family FunFest offering activities for the entire family.

November

Tampa Cigar Heritage Festival

Usually held in early November

Location: Centennial Park, Ybor City

813-247-1434

Admission Free

The Ybor City Museum Society hosts the Annual Tampa Cigar Heritage Festival. The one-time “cigar capital of the world,” Ybor City is one of only three National Historic Landmark Districts in Florida. A celebration of Ybor City and Tampa’s cigar past and present, the Cigar Heritage Festival features hundreds of cigar vendors and retailers showcasing premier cigars and cigar related items, cigar rolling, food and wine demonstrations, interactive cultural activities, ethnic food and entertainment and lots of fun for the whole family. There is also Latin musical entertainment performing live at the festival

December

Victorian Christmas Stroll

Usually held early December – just before Christmas

Henry B. Plant Museum

813-258-7302

Admission Charged

Experience the extravagance and grandeur of a Victorian Christmas at the former 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel during the Henry B. Plant Museum’s Victorian Christmas Stroll. It is a time-honored tradition delighting visitors with a glimpse of Christmas past. The Victorian Christmas Stroll provides museum guests with an opportunity to see magnificent rooms adorned with authentic Victorian-style decorations, elaborately trimmed trees, lush greenery, antique toys and imaginative ornaments. Enchanting renditions of traditional Christmas carols featuring flute, harp, mandolin, bells and heavenly vocals resonate throughout the museum creating a relaxing and magical atmosphere.

Entertainment

Arts

Gorilla Theatre

4419 N. Hubert Ave
Tampa, FL 33614
813-879-2914

Hours: Thurs 7pm, Fri-Sat 8pm, Sun 3pm when shows are running. Closed July and August

Admission Charged

Living theatre for thinking minds. With only 76 seats, the intimate, Equity theatre presents an eclectic season of original works & classics and sponsors live jazz events and young playwrights’ projects.

Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center

1010 North W.C. MacInnes Place
Tampa, FL 33602
813-229-7827

Hours: Ticket Office: Mon-Sat noon – 8 pm; Sun noon – 6 pm., call for performance schedule

Admission Charged

One of the largest performing arts centers in the southeast, the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center offers one of the nation’s leading Broadway series and is widely recognized for its grand opera, plays, educational programs and concerts.

Tampa Theatre

711 Franklin Street
Tampa, FL 33602
813-274-8981

Hours: Call for additional information

Admission Charged

Built in 1926, Tampa Theatre is one of America’s best examples of grand movie palace architecture and hosts films, concerts, special events and tours. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a Tampa City Landmark.

Opera Tampa
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
1010 North W.C. MacInnes Place
Tampa, Florida 33602

813- 222-1072

Hours: Call for performance schedule

Admission Charged

Opera Tampa is the resident opera company of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Opera Tampa’s mission is to bring to the Tampa Bay area the highest possible caliber of grand opera, featuring international performers and a live orchestra.

Tampa Bay Symphony Orchestra

The Symphony performs at the Bay Areas three leading concert halls, Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, and Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Tampa

727-319-8383

Hours: Call for performance schedule

Admission Charged

The goals of the orchestra are to promote interest and education in music of high standards, to provide musicians of all ages an opportunity to perform in a symphony orchestra and, thus, to enhance the cultural and artistic life of members of the community. There is an annual “Young Artist Competition” in which students compete to perform with the orchestra. Any profits go toward providing scholarships for the winners. The first winner of this competition is now an assistant professor of music at a major university.

Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Professional Football

One Buccaneer Place
Tampa, FL 33607
813-879-2827

Season is September – February

Admission Charged

The Bucs compete in the NFC South Division.

Tampa Bay Lightning

National Hockey League

401 Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
813-301-6500

Season is October – April

Admission Charged

National Hockey League team plays all home games in the spectacular St. Pete Times Forum in downtown Tampa.

Tampa Bay Storm

Professional Arena Football

401 Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
813-276-7300

Season February – June

Admission Charged

Arena Football Team playing home games at the Ice Palace in downtown Tampa.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Professional Baseball

One Tropicana Drive
St. Petersburg, FL 33705
727-825-3137

Season March – October

Admission Charged

The Devil Rays play at Tropicana Field.

Sarasota, Florida

A- Overview:
It may not be a big-name Florida city like Miami, Tampa, St. Petersburg or Orlando, but Sarasota, on Florida’s southwest coast, is the place to go for all the conveniences of a big city in a small package.

Located about 40 miles south of the Tampa Bay area, Sarasota has a variety of attractions and events that attract the arts-minded tourist who’s interested in more than just riding some gussied-up roller coasters.

Sarasota is known as the “Circus Town.” The city was once the winter quarters of the “Greatest Show on Earth,” hence, the moniker.The work and contributions of John Ringling, of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, have made the city a cultural capital. John and his wife Mable built a mansion on Sarasota Bay and set out to collect art by Peter Paul Reubens and other Flemish and Italian masters of the 17th century. That collection today is called the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Ringling’s name is also immortalized as an avenue in downtown Sarasota.

Downtown Sarasota is in the midst of a building boom, with condos, office buildings and shopping either in place, under construction or planned. In addition, urban renewal projects are working to make a better life for the city’s less-fortunate citizens. As befits a cultural capital, it’s the small galleries by artists in various media that make the arts scene vibrant. Galleries are scattered throughout the city and surrounding area, and even amateur artists take their crafts seriously.

Other Sarasota attractions include the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, the Pelican Man Sanctuary, Selby Gardens and Jungle Gardens. Arts and cultural events are presented at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Asolo Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre and Sarasota Opera House. The city hosts an annual book fair and film festival, too.

To the east, Myakka River State Park offers one of Florida’s largest and most diverse natural areas. It was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1934 and some of the original buildings are still in use. It offers a scenic drive, dirt roads, hiking trails and more.

When you’ve had enough exploring in Sarasota, it’s time to hit the beaches. Sarasota features 35 miles of sand and several beautiful keys on the Gulf of Mexico that are well-known to sun-and-fun lovers, including St. Armands Key, Longboat Key, Lido Key, Bird Key, Siesta Key (considered by some to have the whitest and finest sand in the world), Casey Key, Venice Beach, Anna Maria Island and Bradenton Beach.

Sarasota’s weather is mild, especially compared to some other places in the winter. Sarasota is well-connected to the northern parts of West and Central Florida by Interstate 75 and Interstate 275. Traveling south, Interstate 75 offers a reasonably fast ride, but U.S. 41 (the legendary Tamiami Trail of years gone by) is presently used only for local travel due to road construction, congestion and its many traffic lights.

State Road 70 provides access to the eastern part of the state. The road is a two-lane divided highway across Florida, and there are several areas now under construction, which can cause delays. Some who visit Sarasota fly to Tampa International Airport and then drive south, but Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport has service from Delta Air Lines, mainly to and from Atlanta for connections; ATA Airlines, which is establishing a code-sharing arrangement with Southwest for flights to Chicago-Midway; and AirTran Airways, which offers direct service to and from Baltimore, Chicago-Midway and Atlanta, and has connections to other cities.

There is so much to see and do in Sarasota that more than one visit may be required!

B- City Information:
Population: 52,715

Elevation: 27 feet above sea level

Land Area: 14.9 square miles

Location: Located on Florida’s west coast, on the Gulf of Mexico, between Tampa to the north and Ft. Myers to the south.

Time Zone: Eastern Time Zone (when it’s noon in Sarasota, it’s 11am in Chicago and 9am in Los Angeles). Sarasota observes Daylight Savings Time from April – October

Weather:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Average temp. (°F)
61.8
63.2
67.4
70.9
76.6
80.7
82.0
82.2
80.9
75.2
69.3
63.7

High temperature (°F)
72.6
74.0
78.0
82.2
87.7
90.5
91.5
91.4
90.0
85.4
79.9
74.4

Low temperature (°F)
50.9
52.4
56.8
59.6
65.5
70.8
72.5
72.9
71.8
64.9
58.7
52.9

Precipitation (in)
2.9
2.6
3.4
1.9
2.8
7.5
8.6
9.3
7.4
2.9
2.3
2.4

Climate:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Days with precipitation
7
7
7
5
6
13
16
16
14
7
5
6

Wind speed (mph)
8.6
9.1
9.4
9.1
8.5
7.8
7.0
6.9
7.6
8.3
8.2
8.2

Morning humidity (%)
87
86
87
86
86
87
88
90
91
89
88
88

Afternoon humidity (%)
59
56
54
51
52
60
63
64
63
58
58
59

Sunshine (%)
63
65
71
75
75
67
62
61
61
65
64
61

Local Seasons:

Sarasota is beautiful at any time of year. The seasons change on Florida’s west coast. In the winter, there are a few days when the heat goes on in the house, but outdoors the sun and cloudless blue sky more than compensate for the slight chill in the air. Visitors from the north are accustomed to 70F water temperatures for their summer swimming, and have no hesitation in plunging into the Gulf for a winter swim. The locals smile at these brave tourists and wait for spring and summer to swim in water that reaches the mid-80s.

How to Get There

By Air

Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (code SRQ)
6000 Airport Cir.
Sarasota, FL 34243
941-359-2770
SRQ is the closest international airport to the Gulf Islands resort area. Located on the Manatee and Sarasota county line, the airport is three miles to downtown Sarasota and is served by some of the nationally recognized airlines as well as certain local and regional carriers.

Tampa International Airport

5503 West Spruce Street
Tampa, Florida 33607

813-870-8794

Located approximate 70 miles north of Sarasota, the airport is served by many of the national and international airlines as well as certain local and regional carriers.

Ground Transportation:

Most of the major car rental companies as well as taxi, limousine, and shuttle bus services are available at the airports.

By Car

The city is easily accessible via Interstate Highway 75 from both the north and south.

By Train

Amtrak

1993 Main Street
US 301 and Main the East Bound Side
Sarasota, FL 34231

800-USA-RAIL

Call for additional information

By Bus

Greyhound

575 N Washington Blvd.
Sarasota, FL 34236

941-955-5735

How to Get Around:

With so many sites to see and things to do both in Sarasota as well as throughout the entire area, the best way to get around is by either personal or rental car. Bus transportation (SCAT) is available and quite convenient in reaching downtown attractions and entertainment.

National Holidays:

New Year’s Day: Jan. 1

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day: 3rd Mon. in Jan.

President’s Day: 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Memorial Day: last Mon. in May

Independence Day: July 4

Labor Day: 1st Mon. in Sept.

Thanksgiving Day: 4th Thurs. in Nov.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day: Dec. 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve: Dec. 31

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
The Sarasota Trolley travels around downtown Sarasota and a scenic route out to attractions such as St. Armands Circle, Lido Beach, Mote Marine and the Pelican Man’s Bird Sanctuary on City Island. The Trolley runs Monday – Saturday with both a Main Street route and the scenic route.

G Wiz (Gulf Coast Wonder & Imagination Zone)
1001 Boulevard of the Arts
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-309-4949

This is a hands-on science and technology center downtown on Sarasota’s beautiful bay front. However, it is not simply a museum! It offers an array of interactive, hands-on exhibits, as well as educational programs for the community. It is a place filled with new ideas and experiences, a world where science comes alive.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
811 South Palm Ave
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-366-5731

Explore the world’s most spectacular display of rare orchids and bromeliads in this 8.5 acre tropical oasis on the shores of Sarasota Bay. Selby Gardens is best known for its living collection of more than 6,000 orchids. Selby’s 11 bay-front acres are an open-air and under-glass museum of more than 20,000 colorful plants, many collected in the wild on nearly 100 scientific expeditions to tropical rainforests by the Selby Gardens’ research staff.

Mote Aquarium
1600 Ken Thompson Parkway
Sarasota, FL 34232
941-388-2451

Explore the soner of Mote Aquarium, 135,000 gallon shark exhibit, touch pools and much more.

Myakka River State Park
13207 State Road 72
Sarasota, FL 34241
941-365-0100

Florida’s unspoiled wilderness is yours to enjoy aboard Myakka Wildlife Tours special Tram Safari.

Pelican Man’s Bird Sanctuary
1708 Ken Thompson Parkway
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-388-4444

Florida’s largest wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center. Walking tours are available.

Ringling Museum of Art
5401 Bay Shore Rd
Sarasota, FL 34243
941-358-3180

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is home to three spectacular attractions. Overlooking the beautiful waters of Sarasota Bay, the 66-acre estate is the legacy of John Ringling.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens
3701 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, FL 34234
941-355-5305

Sarasota Jungle Gardens attractions include: Bird and Reptile Shows, Jungle Animals, Kiddie Jungle, Gardens of Christ, Shell Museum and a Gift Shop. Also, acres of beautiful gardens and nature trails.

South Florida Museum
201 10th St. West
Bradenton, FL 34205
941-746-4131

The South Florida Museum is dedicated to educating the community and visitors of all ages about the past, present and future of South Florida.

Art Center Sarasota

707 N. Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL
941-365-2032

Arts education programs and exhibitions in the visual arts are the primary functions of Art Center Sarasota. The Exhibition Committee, composed 100 percent of practicing artists, plans an annual program of exhibits that will both meet our members’ needs as well as have broad appeal to the general community. Our goal is to increase awareness and appreciation of art in all its forms. Artists featured in our exhibits are from the local community as well as from outside the area. Exhibition jurors are selected for their scope of knowledge and experience in the art world

The Lieberman Gallery
1991 Main Street, Suite 244
Sarasota, FL
388-1530
The Lieberman Gallery is a non-profit art “viewing” center dedicated to exhibiting contemporary and challenging works by artists living and working in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Don’t miss the monthly artists’ receptions, which are known to be fun and informative. Lieberman Gallery hours: 9AM to 9PM daily. Free

Beaches

Lido Key

Lido Beach
Lido Beach is located on Lido Key, one half mile southwest of St. Armand’s Circle, on Ben Franklin Drive.

South Lido Park is located on Ben Franklin Drive at the southern tip of Lido Key. The park is bordered by four bodies of water; The Gulf of Mexico, Big Pass, Sarasota Bay, and Brushy Bayou. At a separate facility at the north end of the park, visitors can enjoy a nature trail which includes scenic overlooks and boardwalks.
The southern beach portion of the park offers views of the skyline of downtown Sarasota and the Gulf. It features a picnic area shaded by Australian Pines. Lido Beach also provides special needs visitors help via these free beach “wheelchairs.” Be sure to look for one near the main guard tower.

Siesta Key

Siesta Beach

Sarasota’s Siesta Key beach is known for having the whitest and finest sand in the world. Click on any of the local beaches in the map or the list on the right for more information.

Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach has no lifeguards, but there is free parking, picnic tables, playground, showers and restrooms. It’s not as popular as Siesta Beach, but the locals know that if you can’t find a parking space at Siesta Beach, Turtle Beach will have plenty of space available.
Boaters can launch their boats into the lagoon and park their trailers while they enjoy a day on the water.

Palmer Point Beach
Palmer Point Beach begins at the southern tip of Siesta Key and continues onto the north end of Casey Key. The northern part of the beach was the former home of Mote Marine Laboratory. Since the closing of Midnight Pass in 1984, the beach allows uninterrupted walking all the way down Casey Key. The beach is a popular spot for boaters and people who walk there from Turtle Beach seeking some privacy. There are no lifeguards and no facilities.

Longboat Key

Longboat Key has no public beach. However, if you are staying at one of the resorts on the Key, you can enjoy soft white sand and shelling.

Spring Training

941-954-4464

Ed Smith Stadium

Although not in downtown, Ed Smith Stadium is just a short ride from any downtown location.. The minor league Boston Red Sox team plays summer baseball at Ed Smith Stadium as the Sarasota Red Sox.

Baseball is a Sarasota tradition dating back to 1924, when the New York Giants arrived. They were followed by the Red Sox and then the White Sox. Now, the Cincinnati Reds take the field annually with games at Sarasota’s Ed Smith Stadium. Pitchers and catchers report to the City of Sarasota Sports Complex in February. The Reds take on the Devil Rays for their Grapefruit League home opener March 4. Other highlights of the home schedule include visits by the Red Sox, Indians, and Yankees.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
G Wiz (Gulf Coast Wonder & Imagination Zone)
1001 Boulevard of the Arts
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-309-4949

This is a hands-on science and technology center downtown on Sarasota’s beautiful bay front. However, it is not simply a museum! It offers an array of interactive, hands-on exhibits, as well as educational programs for the community. It is a place filled with new ideas and experiences, a world where science comes alive.

Mote Aquarium
1600 Ken Thompson Parkway
Sarasota, FL 34232
941-388-2451

Explore the sonar of Mote Aquarium, 135,000 gallon shark exhibit, touch pools and much more.

Myakka River State Park
13207 State Road 72
Sarasota, FL 34241
941-365-0100

Florida’s unspoiled wilderness is yours to enjoy aboard Myakka Wildlife Tours special Tram Safari.

Pelican Man’s Bird Sanctuary
1708 Ken Thompson Parkway
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-388-4444

Florida’s largest wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center. Walking tours are available.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens
3701 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, FL 34234
941-355-5305

Sarasota Jungle Gardens attractions include: Bird and Reptile Shows, Jungle Animals, Kiddie Jungle, Gardens of Christ, Shell Museum and a Gift Shop. Also, acres of beautiful gardens and nature trails.

South Florida Museum
201 10th St. West
Bradenton, FL 34205
941-746-4131

The South Florida Museum is dedicated to educating the community and visitors of all ages about the past, present and future of South Florida.

Beaches

Lido Key

Lido Beach
Lido Beach is located on Lido Key, one half mile southwest of St. Armand’s Circle, on Ben Franklin Drive.

South Lido Park is located on Ben Franklin Drive at the southern tip of Lido Key. The park is bordered by four bodies of water; The Gulf of Mexico, Big Pass, Sarasota Bay, and Brushy Bayou. At a separate facility at the north end of the park, visitors can enjoy a nature trail which includes scenic overlooks and boardwalks.
The southern beach portion of the park offers views of the skyline of downtown Sarasota and the Gulf. It features a picnic area shaded by Australian Pines. Lido Beach also provides special needs visitors help via these free beach “wheelchairs.” Be sure to look for one near the main guard tower.

Siesta Key

Siesta Beach

Sarasota’s Siesta Key beach is known for having the whitest and finest sand in the world. Click on any of the local beaches in the map or the list on the right for more information.

Spring Training

941-954-4464

Ed Smith Stadium

Although not in downtown, Ed Smith Stadium is just a short ride from any downtown location.. The minor league Boston Red Sox team plays summer baseball at Ed Smith Stadium as the Sarasota Red Sox.

Baseball is a Sarasota tradition dating back to 1924, when the New York Giants arrived. They were followed by the Red Sox and then the White Sox. Now, the Cincinnati Reds take the field annually with games at Sarasota’s Ed Smith Stadium. Pitchers and catchers report to the City of Sarasota Sports Complex in February. The Reds take on the Devil Rays for their Grapefruit League home opener March 4. Other highlights of the home schedule include visits by the Red Sox, Indians, and Yankees.

E- Events & Entertainment:
Events & Entertainment

January

West Florida Spring Home & Garden Show

Held in late January

Sarasota Bradenton Int’l Convention Center

941-355-9161

Call for additional information

March

Annual Sarasota Jazz Festival

Held in late March

Location: Varies in Sarasota

941-316-9207

Featuring a variety of performances

Italian American Music Festival

Held in mid March

Location: Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

941-953-3368

Call for additional information

April

Florida Winefest & Auction

Held in late April

Location: Ritz-Carlton Sarasota

941-952-1109

Call for additional information

Exceptional four day celebration that combines wine and food aficionados, premier chefs, vintners and world-class winemakers.

May

Classic Corvette Show

Held in early May

Location: St. Armands Circle
941-388-1554

Call for additional information
Stroll through the fantastic cars on display while enjoying the shops and restaurants of St. Armands.

June

Annual Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix Boat Race

Held in late June – early July

Location: Victory Circle in Van Wezel Parking Lot

941-371-2827

Call for additional information

Boat races and festival

Craft Festival and Sidewalk Sale

Held in mid June

Location: Downtown Sarasota

941-388-1554

Call for additional information

Popular festival and summer sidewalk sale with live entertainment.

Sarasota Music Festival

Held in early – mid June

Location: Holley Hall and Van Wezel

941-953-4252

Call for additional information

Annual music festival

July

Annual Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix Boat Race

Held in late June – early July

Location: Victory Circle in Van Wezel Parking Lot

941-371-2827

Call for additional information

Boat races and festival

Fireworks Celebration

Held on July 4

Location: Downtown Sarasota

941-954-4102

Call for additional information

August

Ringling Bridge Run

Held in late August

Location: Van Wezel Performing Arts Center

941-952-9533

Call for additional information

Back to School Bash

Held in late August

Location: Jungle Gardens

941-355 5305

Call for additional information
Annual Back-to-School Bash – be a champion – medals & ribbons to all participants – cash giveaways – free hotdogs & popsicles to all kids.

Christmas in August

Held in early August

Location: Sarasota Bradenton International Convention Center

386-860-0092

Call for additional information
Art & Craft Fair with nationwide exhibitors in air conditioned comfort.

October

Annual Morton’s Firehouse Chili Cook-Off

Held in mid October

Location: Osprey Ave between Hyde Park St and Hillview Ave.
941-954-0609

Call for additional information

Over a dozen of Sarasota Fire Houses compete. Food, educational booths.

Downtown Sarasota Fall Festival

Held in mid October

Location: Downtown Sarasota
941-366-5969
Call for additional information

Octoberfest Suncoast

Held in early October

Location: Sarasota Fairgrounds

941-708-3456

Call for additional information

Experience the flavor & fun of Germany on Florida’s West Coast. Continuous live entertainment, authentic German food, imported beer, children’s activities, antique Volkswagen auto show, cooking demonstrations.

Oktoberfest – Ringling Museum

Held in late October

Location: Museum Estate

941-358-3180

Call for additional information

Celebrate the culture and heritage of the Ringling family’s native country – Germany. This festival is fun for the entire family with a variety of activities for all ages, German food, and German inspired entertainment.

Sarasota Folk Music Festival

Held in early October

Location: Crowley Museum & Nature Center

941-322-1000

Call for additional information
Sarasota Folk Club with 20+ of the area’s most celebrated folk and acoustic musicians on 2 stages.

St. Armands Art Festival & Annual Fall Sidewalk Festival

Held in mid October

Location: St. Armands Circle

941-388-1554
Call for additional information

Over 170 artists’ booths with original works of art.

Annual Stone Crab Seafood & Wine Festival

Held in late October

Location: The Colony Beach & Tennis Resort, Longboat Key

941-383-6464

Call for additional information

Celebrate the start of the stone crab season at this acclaimed culinary event! Don’t miss out on the fun and epicurean excitement at the Tasting on the Beach or the Chef’s Collaboration Gala.

November

Annual Sound Advice Sarasota Blues Festival

Held in early November

Location: Sarasota Fairgrounds

941-377-3279

Call for additional information

Art Fest – Venice

Held in early November

Location: The Island Avenues in downtown Venice

964-472-3755
Art and craft show

Sarasota Reading Festival

Held in early November

Location: Five Points Park, Downtown Sarasota

941-957-5109

Call for additional information

A free event for the whole family featuring great authors, storytellers, booksellers, book signings, free books for kids, food and more!

Super Surreal Family Festival

Held in mid November

Location: Museum Estate

941-358-3180

Call for additional information
The whole family gets into the act when images of fanciful critters, dreamy landscapes, and morphing portraits spark everyone’s imagination.

Entertainment:

Asola Theatre Company

5555 N Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34243

941-351-8000

Call for performance schedule and additional information

The Players Theatre

838 N. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34236

941-365-2494

Call for performance schedule and additional information

Banyon Theatre

636 Indian Beach Lane

Sarasota, FL 34234

941-358-5330

Call for performance schedule and additional information

The Banyan Theater Company’s mission is to produce theater in the summer. This venue showcases outstanding actors performing in plays of high literary merit. Works by playwrights such as G.B. Shaw, Chekhov, Ibsen, Pinter and Stoppard are featured to provide the community with a unique theater experience.

Florida Studio Theatre

1241 North Palm Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236

941- 366-9000

Call for additional information

FST produces world premieres and contemporary works which have been produced on or off-Broadway within the last five years. By focusing on the works of contemporary writers, FST has been able to offer plays to its audiences that are not normally produced by other area theatres. FST is comprised of five main programs: Keating Mainstage, Cabaret, Touring (In the schools), Education and New play development.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

777 North Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, Florida 34236

941-953-3368

Call for performance schedule and additional information

Set along Sarasota’s beautiful bayfront, the landmark Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall has been entertaining audiences with a variety of music, dance, theater and comedy for generations.

Soulspeak – Sarasota Poetry Theatre

535 Columbia Court

Sarasota, FL 34236

941-966-3416

Call for reading schedule and additional information

Soulspeak/Sarasota Poetry Theatre was founded in 1992 for the purpose of promoting expression through all forms of poetry and making contemporary poetry more accessible to the public. It features both local and nationally known poets, singers and musicians, and presents poetry in the form of highly original collaborations.

Sarasota Opera

61 North Pineapple Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-366-8450

Call for performance schedule and additional information

Sarasota Ballet of Florida

5555 N Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34243

941-552-1032

Call for performance schedule and additional information

The Ballet has the unique distinction of being voted Sarasota’s Best Performing Arts Group for consecutive years and has gained in stature and regional prominence over the course of its long history.