Category: Florida

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.

Palm Beach/West Palm Beach, Florida

A- Overview:
Established in 1894 by railroad tycoon Henry Flagler, West Palm Beach is at the northern end of Florida’s “Gold Coast” which also includes Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach. To the east lies Palm Beach and the Atlantic Ocean; to the west Loxahatchee Wildlife Preserve and Everglades National Park.

West Palm Beach is the largest municipality in one of the fastest growing areas in the United States. The Port of Palm Beach, Palm Beach International Airport, The Florida Turnpike, US Highway 1, and I-95 are the sea, air and highway ports of entry to this city of blue skies and sunshine.

Over the past decade, the city of West Palm Beach has succeeded in restoring and revitalizing its downtown area, and has recently opened an amazing 55 acre shopping, living, and entertainment center known as CityPlace. CityPlace does not replace downtown, but is a natural extension of downtown. Free parking for 3200 cars, and replicas of vintage trolleys make transportation a “no problem” situation.

CityPlace adjoins the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, a 2200 seat glass, marble, and copper showcase which has additional parking to accommodate its guests. The 250 seat Rinker Playhouse on premises includes a space for children’s programming, family productions and other special events. The Palm Beach Opera stages four performances at the Kravis Center each winter. There are performances by the Palm Beach Philharmonic Orchestra as well.

Along beautifully landscaped Clematis Street are boutiques and restaurants in authentically restored buildings, a very popular fountain, and the center of area nightlife. There is a free downtown shuttle by day and free on-street parking at night and on weekends. For those who wish to enjoy a night or afternoon of gaming, there are daily casino cruises departing from the Port of Palm Beach for nearby international waters. On land , there is the Greyhound track and Club.

Golf, polo, and the full spectrum of water sports including snorkeling, diving, swimming, surfing, boating and fishing are all available year round. Museums and galleries provide exceptional collections, and there are many activities of interest to families with children. Among these are the 22 acre Dreher Park Zoo with its creature friendly natural habitats, the South Florida Science Museum, Aquarium and Planetarium, and Lion Country Safari. The latter is a 500 acre preserve which contains species – appropriate habitats in which 1300 wild animals roam and are protected. Residents of the preserve include lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, antelopes, chimpanzees, ostriches, and water buffalo. Visitors drive through on 8 miles of paved roads accompanied by an excellent self guided tour on cassette tape.

Across the Flagler Bridge is the exclusive island community of Palm Beach. Its world renowned trademark is Worth Avenue with countless designer boutiques. A few short blocks from downtown, along County Road and Ocean Boulevard (the shore road, also designated as Route A1A), are Palm Beach’s mansions and the well tended beaches leading down to the glorious expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.

South of Palm Beach, along Route A1A, are Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, and Delray Beach, which offer more shopping, dining, and recreation options. North of West Palm Beach are Singer Island, Juno and Jupiter with their miles of inviting beaches and parks. The phenomenon of the migration, nest building, and hatching of sea turtles takes place annually in that area, and outshines any human – engineered attraction. The 221 square mile Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge, a part of the incomparable Everglades, is located in the surrounding area. Beyond are sugar cane fields and the road to Lake Okeechobee.

Whether you are seeking relaxation, entertainment, shopping, or a variety of land and water sports, you will find that your vacation dreams are sure to come true in this popular vacation destination.

B- City Information:
Population:
67,000 in the city and 700,000 visitors annually

Location:
On the southeast coast of Florida bordering Lake Worth.

Elevation:
21 feet

Time Zone:
West Palm Beach is in the eastern time zone.

Weather:
Average Temperatures (In Fahrenheit):
High Low
January – March 79 56
April – June 88 65
July – September 90 74
October – December 84 58

The Atlantic Gulf Stream approaches the Palm Beach County coast closer than anywhere in the nation, bringing warm waters from the south. Palm Beach County’s moderate climate allows for outdoor activities throughout the year and very good flying weather. Summer temperatures are tempered by ocean breezes.

Hurricanes:
The most likely time for hurricanes to occur is from August-October. Hurricane alerts are issued within 36-48 hours of the arrival of a storm.

Business Hours:
Most banks are open from 10 to 4 Monday through Friday. Many are open for several hours on Saturday. Most businesses in are open Monday through Saturday, from 9 or 10 AM to 6 or 9 PM. Many others, including shopping centers, are also open Sunday from noon to 5 or later.
Most museums in Palm Beach and West Palm Beach are open Tuesday through Sunday. A few are also open on Monday. Major attractions are open daily.

Customs and Duties:
Arriving in the United States:
Contact the U.S. Customs Service (inquiries, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20229, 202/927-6724; complaints, Office of Regulations and Rulings, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20229; registration of equipment, Resource Management, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20229, 202/927-0540).

Electricity:
The U.S. electrical standard is 110 volts/60 cycles AC. Visitors from other countries traveling with dual-voltage appliances will not need a converter, but they will need a plug adapter. The standard U.S. electrical outlet takes a plug of two flat pins set parallel to one another.

Emergencies:
Dial 911 for police, fire department, or ambulance.

Hospital Emergency Rooms:
The following hospitals have 24-hour emergency rooms: Good Samaritan Hospital (Flagler Dr. and Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., West Palm Beach, 655-5511; 650-6240 physician referral), JFK Medical Center (5301 S. Congress Ave., Atlantis, 965-7300; 642-3628 physician referral), Columbia Medical Center (2201 45th St., West Palm Beach, 694-7124; 881-2661 physician referral), Palm Beach Regional Hospital (2829 10th Ave. N, Lake Worth, 967-7800), and St. Mary’s Hospital (901 45th St., West Palm Beach, 844-6300; 881-2929 physician referral).

Money:
ATMs:
For the most favorable rates, change money through banks. Although fees charged for ATM transactions may be higher abroad than at home, Cirrus and Plus exchange rates are based on wholesale rates offered only by major banks. You won’t do as well at exchange booths in airports or rail and bus stations, in hotels, in restaurants, or in stores, although you may find their hours more convenient. To avoid lines at airport exchange booths, get a bit of local currency before you leave home.

In general, U.S. banks will not cash a personal check unless you have an account at that bank (it doesn’t have to be at that branch). Therefore, it is best to rely on credit cards, ATM machines, and traveler’s checks to handle expenses while traveling.

Taxes:
The sales tax in Florida is 6%.

Tipping:
At restaurants, a 15% tip is standard for waiters; up to 20% may be expected at more expensive establishments.

Telephones:
The country code for the United States is 1. The area code for The Palm Beaches is 561.
All U.S. telephone numbers consist of 10 digits:the three-digit area code, followed by a seven-digit local number. If you’re calling a number from another area-code region, dial “1” then all 10 digits. If you are calling from a distance but within the same area code, dial “1” then the last seven digits. For calls within the same local calling area, just dial the seven-digit number. A map of U.S. area codes is printed in the front of most local telephone directories.

Calling-card phones, are increasingly common. Grocery stores, newsstands, post offices, and other establishments sell the disposable phone cards, available in varying amounts from $5 and up. To activate the card, dial the code number and follow the instructions printed on the card.

The weather is best from November-May, but facilities are more crowded and prices somewhat higher. Summer brings heat and humidity which sometimes limits the time visitors wish to be outdoors away from air conditioning. Afternoon showers are warm, but frequent, in the month of June. No matter when you visit, bring insect repellent if you plan outdoor activities.

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.
Smoking Each year smoking laws become stricter. Under the Florida Clean Air Act, smoking is prohibited in most public areas, in restaurants and bars, and increasingly, within 50 feet of the entrance to public buildings. Hotels are also offering more nonsmoking rooms.

Arriving and Departing:

By Air:
Palm Beach International Airport (PBIA) is the major airport serving Palm Beach County. It is located 3 miles southwest of the West Palm Beach central Business District and is easily accessible from I-95. PBIA is one of the largest medium hub airports in the United States with a total of 24 airlines serving the airport. About 205 flights arrive and depart daily from PBIA with more than 5.8 million passengers going through the airport each year.
In addition, PBIA offers many other services including Customs Port of Entry, Immigration, private aircraft maintenance, air cargo and international air. For general airport information, call 471-7420 More Info

There are also three local executive airports serving the Palm Beaches. They are:
Boca Raton Airport – A 5,200-foot runway in South Palm Beach County with easy access to I-95.
Lantana Airport – A 3,500-foot runway in Central Palm Beach County.
North County Airport – A 4,300-foot runway in the northwest section of Palm Beach County.
Flying time to Palm Beach is 2 3/4 hours from New York City and 2 3/4 hours from Chicago.

Transfers Between the Airport and Town:
By Bus:
Route 10 of Tri-Rail Commuter Bus Service ( 800/874-7245) runs from the airport to Tri-Rail’s nearby Palm Beach airport station daily.
CoTran Route 4-S operates from the airport to downtown West Palm Beach every two hours at 35 minutes after the hour from 7:35 until 5:35.
Taxi and Airport shuttle are the most reliable ways to travel from the airport to one’s destination in the Palm Beaches.

By Car:
A car is essential for traveling around the vast area. Public transportation outside the city center is limited. Amtrak and Greyhound offer service in and out of West Palm Beach, and Tri-Rail, the local commuter line, stops near towns and airports between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. The Tri-Rail tracks parallel Interstate highway 95, which takes the train considerably east or west (depending on the destination) of the city centers.
A shuttle bus system is necessary to transport riders from the train to the populated areas.
I-95 runs north-south, linking West Palm Beach with Miami and Fort Lauderdale to the south, and with Daytona, Jacksonville, and the rest of the Atlantic coast to the north. To get to central Palm Beach, exit at Southern Boulevard or Okeechobee Boulevard. Florida’s Turnpike runs from Miami through the far western part of West Palm Beach before angling northwest to Orlando.

Major Highways:
Interstate 95 is a six lane, busy highway that always seems to be undergoing major construction. An alternate route is the Florida Turnpike which runs west of the population centers. The advantage of this toll road, is that it is far less crowded and is usually less cluttered by construction. Route 1 was the main (two lane) highway in the early days. It is slow going now on Route 1, though it has been widened. Route A1A runs along the ocean, but has limited access and a strict 30 mph sped limit in most places.

By Taxi:
Palm Beach Transportation 689-4222 provides taxi and limousine service from PBIA. Reserve at least a day in advance for a limousine. Wheelchair-accessible vehicles are available.

Tri Rail:
Tri-County Commuter Rail Authority (Tri-Rail) serves Palm Beach, Dade and Broward counties with north and south bound train service seven days a week. The trains make 18 stops between Mangonia Park and Miami. Tri-Rail stations are served by dedicated shuttle buses, interconnecting county transit buses or Metrorail.
Tri-Rail is an enjoyable way to travel to many popular attractions and destinations in all three counties.
In addition to providing a commuter rail system, Tri-Rail offers service to all three county airports and supplies service to many special events, such as the Superbowl and the Coconut Grove Art Festival. With numerous festivals and sporting events throughout South Florida, Tri-Rail offers safe, comfortable and economical transportation to many of these events. For details, schedule information and rates, call 1-800-TRI-RAIL

Bus:
Palm Tran, a countywide bus system, runs from Boca Raton to Palm Beach Gardens and into the Western Communities and the Glades. The pink and aqua colored buses provide residents and visitors with an affordable mode of transportation. For more information on specific routes and time schedules, call Palm Tran at 233-4BUS in the north county and 930-4BUS in the south county.
Palm Tran’s downtown Shuttle Loop System offers free transportation between office buildings, restaurants, businesses and parking facilities located within downtown West Palm Beach. The shuttle runs Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. along Clematis Street. Palm Tran makes numerous stops in downtown West Palm Beach with a vehicle scheduled to stop every 10 minutes.
The Downtown Transfer Facility (Banyan Blvd. and Clearlake Dr., West Palm Beach), off Australian Avenue at the west entrance to downtown, links the downtown shuttle, Amtrak, Tri-Rail (the commuter line of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties), CoTran (the county bus system), Greyhound, and taxis. For more information, call the Downtown Development Authority at 833-8873.

Greyhound/Trailways
The Greyhound terminal in West Palm Beach is located in the Seaboard Train Station at 201 South Tamarind Avenue. The station provides convenient access to passengers and easy connection with other modes of travel, including Amtrak, local public transit and Tri-Rail.
Greyhound offers approximately 25 schedules a day to destinations such as Orlando, New York City, Atlanta and other cities nationwide.
For schedule and route information, contact Greyhound at (800) 231-2222, or click here for More Info

Rail:
Amtrak departs from the historic Seaboard Train Station at 201 S. Tamarind Avenue, in downtown West Palm Beach, to destinations throughout the United States. For further information, call 832-6169 or 1-800-USA-RAIL. More Info
CSX Freight Lines and FEC, provide daily service to the Palm Beaches. CSX Freight Lines and FEC were Palm Beach County’s first method of mass transportation. FEC is Florida’s East Coast Railroad system.

Roads:
There are several major highways that provide direct access through the Palm Beaches. The Florida Turnpike, U.S. Highway 1, Military Trail, State Road 7 and I-95 are heavily traveled, especially during peak traffic hours morning and evening.

Water:
The Port of Palm Beach ranks fourth among Florida’s deep water ports in container import and export activity. Docking facilities include 25 berths along 5,160 feet of bulkheading, two slips, four wharves and six Ro/Ro ramps. For more information, call 842-4201.

Trolley:
The city offers free trolley rides between Clematis Street and CityPlace. The three trolleys are encircled with brass rails. Each seats 26 passengers on two benches facing outward. The trolleys were designed without sides so that pedestrians can jump on and off without making the trolleys stop. In November, 2000, its first month of operation, ridership numbers recorded by drivers of the trolleys was: 31,730 passengers. The trolleys have continued to increase in popularity.

By Bus:
Palmtran ( 233-4287) buses require exact change. Service operates from 5:25 AM to 8:55 PM. Call for schedules, routes, and rates for multiple-ride punch cards.

By Car:
U.S. 1 threads north-south along the coast, connecting most coastal communities, while the more scenic Route A1A ventures out onto the barrier islands. The interstate, I-95, runs parallel to U.S. 1 but a bit farther inland.
A four-lane route, Okeechobee Boulevard carries traffic from west of downtown West Palm Beach, near the Amtrak station in the airport district, directly to the Flagler Memorial Bridge and into Palm Beach.
The best way to get to Lake Okeechobee from West Palm is to drive west on Southern Boulevard from I-95 past the cutoff road to Lion Country Safari. From there the boulevard is designated U.S. 98/441.

Rules of the Road:
Speed limits are 70 mph on interstate highways and 55 mph within city limits. Child safety seats for children under age 5, seatbelts, and motorcycle helmets are all mandatory. Right turns on red lights are permitted unless a sign prohibits it. Rules are strict on not being in an intersection when the light turns red, and traffic tickets are freely given.
Palm Beach Transportation 689-4222 has a single number serving several cab companies.

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Phipps Ocean Park

2145 S. Ocean Blvd

(561) 832-0731

Tours are given weekday mornings.

Free.

A beautiful beach, some picnic tables, and grills, plus a Palm Beach County landmark in the Little Red Schoolhouse. Dating from 1886, it was the first schoolhouse in what was then Dade County.

Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens

253 Barcelona Rd.

(561) 832-5328.

Wed.-Sun. 11-4 (call ahead; schedule is not always observed) or by appointment. This monument to the late American sculptor Ann Weaver Norton, second wife of Norton Museum founder Ralph H. Norton, consists of charming 3-acre grounds displaying seven granite figures and six brick megaliths. The plantings were designed by Norton, an environmentalist, to attract native bird life.

John D. Macarthur Beach State Park

Almost 2 miles of beach, good fishing and shelling, and one of the finest examples of subtropical coastal habitat remaining in southeast Florida can be found here. Guided walk is available to a mangrove estuary along the upper reaches of Lake Worth.

William T. Kirby Nature Center

Open Wednesday-Monday from 9 to 5and features exhibits on the coastal environment.

10900 Rte. A1A, North Palm Beach

(561) 624-6950

Lion Country Safari

Southern Blvd. West

(561) 793-1084

Van rentals available

Daily 9:30-5:30 last vehicle in by 4:30.

Drive (with car windows closed; no convertibles or pets) on 8 miles of paved roads through a 500-acre cageless zoo where 1,300 wild animals roam. Lions, elephants, white rhinoceroses, giraffes, zebras, antelopes, chimpanzees, and ostriches are among those in residence. Special exhibits include the Kalahari Bushvelt, designed after a South African plateau and containing water buffalo and Nilgai (the largest type of Asian antelope), and the Gir Forest, modeled after a game forest in India and showcasing a pride of lions. Excellent CD narration of each area. Borrow and return the CD at admission center. Following the safari, spend the day at the Lion Country Park. Rides, food, animal exhibits, and a ptting zoo. Enjoy a ride on the Safari Queen cruise. A full day of fun for the whole family.

Norton Museum Of Art

1451 S. Olive Ave.

(561) 832-5194.

Mon.-Sat. 10-5, Sun. 1-5

Constructed in 1941 by steel magnate Ralph H. Norton, this museum boasts an extensive permanent collection of 19th- and 20th-century American and European paintings with special emphasis on 19th-century French Impressionists. There are also Chinese bronze and jade sculptures, a sublime outdoor patio with sculptures on display in a tropical garden, and a library housing more than 3,000 art books and periodicals. Nine galleries showcase traveling exhibits as well as art from the permanent collection.

Palm Beach Zoo At Dreher Park

1301 Summit Blvd.

(561) 533-0887 or (561) 547-9453.

Daily 9-5 (until 7 on spring and summer weekends).

This excellent zoo is a 23-acre complex with more than 500 animals representing more than 100 species, including Florida panthers, red kangaroos, and Bengal tigers. Tropics of America, has six acres of tropical rain forest plus Mayan ruins, an Amazon river village, and an aviary. Also of note are a nature trail, an Australian Outback exhibit, and a children’s zoo.

Loggerhead Park Marine Life Center

1200 U.S. 1 (entrance on west side of park), Juno Beach, 627-8280. Donation welcome. Tues.-Sat. 10-4, Sun. noon-3.

Established by Eleanor N. Fletcher, “the turtle lady of Juno Beach,” the center just south of Jupiter focuses on the natural history of sea turtles. Also on view are displays of coastal natural history, sharks, whales, and shells.

Lake Worth Municipal Park

Rte. A1A at end of Lake Worth Bridge

(561) 533-7367.

Pool. Daily 9-5.

This recreation area on the Atlantic Ocean has a beach, Olympic-size swimming pool, fishing pier, picnic areas, shuffleboard, restaurants, and shops.

Arthur R. Marshall-Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge

10119 Lee Rd., off U.S. 441 between Boynton Beach Blvd. (Rte. 804) and Atlantic Ave. (Rte. 806), west of Boynton Beach

(561) 734-8303

Daily 6 AM-sunset; visitor center weekdays 9-4, weekends 9-4:30

Entrance fees apply.

The refuge, established in 1951, is the last remnant of land in the northern Everglades in South Florida. It was acquired in an effort to protect migratory birds, endangered species and the remaining 147,368 acres of northern Everglades habitat. Celebrate Florida’s National Wildlife Refuges. Discover the uniqueness of the Florida Everglades as you participate in a variety of programs offered free of charge. Be sure to bring a camera and binoculars to explore the nature trails or canoe trail. Look closely for anhingas, fulvous whistling ducks, smooth-billed anis, egrets, herons, alligators and turtles. Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is full of surprises.

Morikami Museum And Japanese Gardens

4000 Morikami Park Rd

(561) 495-0233.

Park and museum Fee charged except free Sun. 10-noon. Park daily sunrise-sunset; museum Tues.-Sun. 10-5; café Tues.-Sun. 10-5.

At this 200-acre cultural and recreational facility, there is a beautiful Japanese imperial-style villa with a display that recalls the Yamato Colony, an agricultural community of Japanese settlers who came to Florida in 1905. Gardens include the only known collection of bonsai Florida plants. There are also programs and exhibits in a lakeside museum and theater, as well as a nature trail, picnic pavilions, a library and audiovisual center, and a snack bar. Café serves light Asian fare.

Boca Raton Museum of Art

Mizner Park, Boca Raton

Designed by Fort Lauderdale architect Donald Singer, the museum is on a sliver of land at the north end of Mizner Park. It is a two-story, 44,000-square-foot facility.

In 1999, two children passed a paper cup around Mizner Park, collecting $4 in change toward a proposed new museum. They proudly presented their gift to the Museum which at that time was in crowded, temporary quarters and able to only display 3 percent of its extensive collection. From that important beginning, it took only three years to raise $13.3 million in cash and pledges, which was over and above the project’s original $10 million goal. The result is a stunning museum complex. The building has an outdoor sculpture garden, an auditorium, children’s education center, and library.

American Orchid Society

(561) 487-6552.

Once housed in a Palm Beach mansion, the Orchid Society recently opened at its new headquarters on the grounds of the Morikami Museum

Featured are hundreds of breeds of orchids, the most common of which is the traditional prom corsage orchid, and the decorative dendrobium, a long stalk ranging from 4-18 inches with multiple flowers.

Christopher’s Christmas Shoppe

North Palm Beach

(561) 848-4500

Visit the elaborate indoor/outdoor holiday displays, caroling by local choirs, surprise visits by Santa Claus for youngsters. A 13,000-square-foot building features quaint year-round Christmas Shoppe. Travel back in time with genuine antique Christmas ornaments and decorations.

Gumbo Limbo Nature Center

1801 N. Ocean Blvd.

(561) 338-1473

Donation welcome; turtle tours extra (tickets must be obtained in advance). Mon.-Sat. 9-4, Sun. noon-4; turtle tours late May-mid-July, Mon.-Thurs. 9 PM-midnight.

Children enjoy are the four huge saltwater sea tanks containing an abundance of sealife — from coral to stingrays. A long boardwalk winds through dense forest to a 50-ft tower you can climb to overlook the tree canopy. In the spring and early summer, staff members lead nighttime turtle walks to see nesting females come ashore and lay their eggs.

Herbert Hoover Dike

115 East Main Street, Pahokee, Florida

(561) 924-5579

Named after the late president, it was built after the devastating hurricane of 1928 when various man-made dikes failed to control the high waters of Lake Okeechobee. The Dike is surrounded by the beautiful Lake Okeechobee, the second largest lake in the United States, with 730 sq. miles of shoreline. Picnic area and campground available.

Historical Society of Palm Beach County

400 North Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, (561) 832-4164

Located in downtown West Palm Beach, the Historical Society is primarily an archive and research facility. It is dedicated toward collecting and preserving all materials, especially primary source materials, pertaining to the history of Florida and in particular Palm Beach County. The Society’s collection is diverse, including letters, diaries and journals, periodicals, photographs, scrapbooks, postcards, maps and one of Florida’s largest collection of architectural drawings. There is a winter lecture series. Stop in, visit and see Florida in the past. Hours 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Tuesday- Friday. Membership available.

Hoffman’s Chocolate Shoppe & Gardens

5190 Lake Worth Road

Greenacres

(561) 967-2213

For generations, the Hoffman family has been creating melt-in-your-mouth chocolate masterpieces using only the finest ingredients. Each year more than 150,000 visitors are received at the Hoffman’s Bavarian-style Tudor factory to watch the creations being made and to tantalize their senses with more than 80 varieties of confections. Located just in the back of our chocolate factory are the lush tropical gardens through which visitors stroll alongside colorful foliage, stopping to view the waterfall, fish pond, and a G-scale train village with 500 feet of track, while enjoying a chocolate treat. From Thanksgiving through the New Year, Hoffman’s transforms the gardens into a Winter Wonderland with over 200,000 lights and brilliant displays. Visitors from near and far arrive at Hoffman’s to view and enjoy this free event.

Jupiter Lighthouse

U.S. Highway 1 and Highway A1A, Jupiter, (561) 747-8380

The oldest existing structure in Palm Beach County and one of the most photographed structures in South Florida. Open Sunday – Wednesday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Last tour begins 3:15 p.m.) weather permitting. It is a strenuous climb. Visitors must be in good health and at least 48 inches tall. For your safety, please wear shoes fastened in the back.

Kravis Center for the Performing Arts

701 Okeechobee Blvd. West Palm Beach, FL

(561) 832-7469

West Palm Beach’s premier concert theater. The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts houses three theaters: Dreyfoos Hall, Gosman Amphitheater, and Rinker Playhouse. The facilities include the Eunice and Julian Cohen pavilion, which houses a public restaurant, a meeting and banquet area, and a five floor parking garage.

Last Galleon

Jupiter, (561) 747-7700

The only facility in the U.S. where the public is invited to watch the archeological process on artifacts being recovered from what is believed to be the oldest Spanish Galleon found in Florida waters. Please call in advance.

Roger Dean Stadium

4751 Main Street

Abacoa, FL (Jupiter)

(561) 775-1818

The $28 million Spring Training Complex/Stadium was specially designed to hold two baseball teams at one time. Spring Training is held at this state of the art facility in February and March for the Florida Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals. The Jupiter Hammerheads and Palm Beach Cardinals are at home in the stadium from April-August.

Loxahatchee Everglades Tour

Boca Raton

(561) 482-0313

Enjoy air boat tours, and see Florida the way it used to be. Loxahatchee Everglades Tours are open to the public.. Guided tours are available every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A one-hour environmental tour is available for reservations of parties 15 or more.

Manatee Queen

Behind The Crab House, Jupiter Island, (561) 744-2191

Sightseeing Tours 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily. Sunset cruise 5-6:30 p.m. Enjoy the evening along the Intracoastal Waterway.

Mariah Sailing Catamaran

Located at the North Palm Beach Marina, east of U.S. Highway 1, east of the North Palm Beach Country Club.

(561) 844-3297 Reservations

(561) 329-4122 Cellular

Mariah is a 49-passenger sailing catamaran offering 3 1/2 hour sailing adventures on the Atlantic Ocean and the protected waters of the Lake Worth Lagoon. Scheduled sails: Thursday 10 a.m.; Friday 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.; Sunday 1 p.m.; Private group charters anytime. Snorkeling trips available.

Marinelife Center of Juno Beach

14200 U.S. Highway 1 at Loggerhead Park, Juno Beach, (561) 627-8280, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday; and noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday. No admission charge. Donations Appreciated.

Visit endangered sea turtles in a rehabilitation facility. Aquariums & marine life exhibits help visitors understand the fragile environment.

Mounts Botanical Gardens

531 North Military Trail, West Palm Beach

(561) 233-1749

Tour a collection of tropical and subtropical plants, including fruits, citrus, rose garden, hibiscus, herb garden, xeriscape, a rain forest and more. 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday.

Okeeheelee Nature Center

Forest Hill Boulevard

West Palm Beach

(561) 233-1400

Walk along the nature trails that wind through 100 acres of native pine flatwoods and wetlands. The center’s 2.5 miles of trails include paved trails designed to be accessible to strollers and the handicapped. They feature soft surface trails leading into more remote areas of the sanctuary. The spacious visitor center offers hands-on exhibits and the gift shop offers items related to natural history

Palm Beach Polo and Country Club

South Shore Boulevard, Wellington

(561) 930-POLO.

Home to world-class polo. During the season, from January through mid-April, as many as 6,000 horses may be on the grounds. Polo riders and horses are brought in by team-owner patrons from throughout the world to participate in the oldest sport on horseback. Palm Beach Polo continues to host the U.S. Open Polo Championships. Matches are held every Sunday afternoon during season. Special matches are often held, featuring well-known celebrities.

Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club

Pierson Road, Wellington, (561) 793-JUMP

Home of Stadium Jumping, Inc. and International Equestrian events such as the Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival. The annual stadium jumping event draws the elite during its run from January to March and is a proving ground for our United States Equestrian Team in the sport of Show Jumping and Dressage. Call for event schedules.

Palm Beach Princess

Port of Palm Beach

(561) 845-SHIP (from Jupiter to Boynton Beach)

or toll free (800) 841-7447

Offering day and evening coastal cruises, the ship travels to international waters where passengers may enjoy gaming, entertainment and a world class buffet. Sailing from the Port of Palm Beach.

Palm Beach Water Taxi

Based out of Sailfish Marina & Resort, Singer Island.

(561) 683-TAXI

Offers daily narrated Sightseeing Tours such as “Palm Beach Now & Then”, and “Nature Lovers Tour” and Sunset and Moonlight Cruises.

Waterway transfer service is also available to and from downtown West Palm Beach’s Clematis Street District; Palm Beach Garden’s Waterway Cafe, Sailfish Marina & Resort, Singer Island; waterfront attractions, restaurants & bars; Peanut and Munyon Islands; and special events.

Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park

1301 Summit Boulevard

West Palm Beach

(561) 533-0887

Open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Call 547-WILD for special event information and summer and holiday hours.

Discover why The Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park is the number one family attraction in Palm Beach County. This intimate, 23-acre tropical zoological garden is home to more than 400 animals representing Australia, South and Central America, Asia and Florida. The zoo is committed to the preservation of several endangered species including the Komodo dragon, bengal tiger, lemur, cotton top tamarin, golden lion tamarin, Florida panther, and features the nation’s first outdoor exhibit of Goeldi’s monkeys. Enjoy the children’s area and reptile house. Explore the Cornell Nature Trail and shaded paved walkways throughout the zoo. Enjoy refreshments at the Treehouse Cafe and search for treasures at the Zoo Gift Shop.

Rapids Water Park

6566 N. Military Trail

West Palm Beach

(561) 842-8756

Rapids Water Park is South Florida’s foremost family water park with over 12 acres of attractions. Plunge down 1,600 feet of spiraling flumes, dare to ride out the storm in Tubin’ Tornadoes or blast off in the new Body Blasters enclosed slides. Get totally tubular in the quarter-mile action river, wave channel, aquatic rain forest and 25,000-square foot Big Surf Wave Pool. Little ones can also make a splash in the new Splish Splash Lagoon with 5 slides, a fort, shipwreck and water shooting canons. The Rapids is open from mid March through mid October in West Palm Beach.

Sawgrass Recreational Park

Take Turnpike South to I-75. I-75 to Hwy. 27 N. Exit.

1-800-457-0788 for directions and information

Fax (954) 389-9425

Everglades tours at Sawgrass Recreation Park show the real Florida – the “sea of grass.” See the Everglades by airboat, visit an Indian village, alligator and reptile exhibit and birds of prey.

South Florida Science Museum

4801 Dreher Trail North

West Palm Beach, (561) 832-1988

Admission charged.

Children under 3 are free. For more information call 832-1988.

At the South Florida Science Museum, dozens of hands-on permanent exhibits as well as special traveling exhibitions appeal to all ages. The McGlinty Aquarium features tanks with Pacific and Atlantic species as well as Mangrove & Coral Reef habitats. The Aldrin Planetarium offers star shows and spectacular laser light concerts. The Museum is open Mon. – Thurs, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sundays from Noon-6 p.m. On Friday nights the Telescope Observatory is open for sky viewing from dark to 10 p.m. (weather permitting.) Special traveling exhibits also.

Yesteryear Village

South Florida Fairgrounds

West Palm Beach, (561) 793-0333

First established in 1992, Yesteryear Village is now a major attraction at the South Florida Fairgrounds. In addition to being open during the 17 days of the South Florida Fair in January, the Village is host to two events during the year: Summer Fair in May and Christmas in the Village in December. Yesteryear Village is also home to the Bink Glisson Museum. Creative artisans and craftsman, along with historic re-enactors bring the past to life in a wholesome entertainment venue.

Attractions on the Island in Palm Beach

Henry Morrison Flagler Museum

1 Whitehall Way

(561) 655-2833

Tues.-Sat. 10-5, Sun. noon-5

The tour, with well informed guides, takes about an hour. The opulence of Florida’s Gilded Age is still apparent at Whitehall, the palatial 73-room mansion Henry Flagler had built in 1901 for his third wife, Mary Lily Kenan. Then-famous architects John Carrère and Thomas Hastings were instructed to spare no expense in creating the finest home they could imagine. They did as they were told, and Whitehall rivals some of the fine palaces of Europe. In 1960 Flagler’s granddaughter, Jean Flagler Matthews, bought the building, which had been the Whitehall Hotel from 1929 to 1959, and made it a museum. On display are many of the original furnishings, an art collection, a 1,200-pipe organ, and exhibits on the history of the Florida East Coast Railway, including Flagler’s personal railroad car, the Rambler.

The Breakers

Originally built by Henry Flagler in 1895 and rebuilt by his descendants after a fire in 1925, this luxury hotel was one of the starting points of Florida tourism. It resembles an ornate Italian Renaissance palace and recently received a $100 million dollar renovation. The lobby of this five star hotel has painted arched ceilings hung with crystal chandeliers, and an ornate Florentine Dining Room which is hung with 15th-century Flemish tapestries.

Originally, Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway was designed with a stop right on the grounds of the Breakers for the convenience of affluent guests traveling from all parts of the country for a Florida holiday.

Mid-Town Beach

This small beach directly east of Worth Avenue is especially popular because it is so close to town. The only parking meters along Ocean Boulevard, (the only convenient public beach access), are found between Worth Avenue and Royal Palm Way. 400 S. Ocean Blvd. Other parking is reserved for residents of Palm Beach who are issued special parking decals.

Area Shopping

Worth Avenue

Comparable to Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive or Palm Desert’s El Paseo, Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue is a must for the discriminating shopper.

The Esplanade

Newly renovated, this two story shopping promenade now emulates the Mediterranean revival-style architecture made popular by Addison Mizner in the 20’s. It is the perfect setting for elegant boutiques, fine dining and of course, Saks.

Downtown at Palm Beach Gardens has added acres of upscale shopping, restaurants, gourmet groceries, and entertainment to the trendy Gardens Mall area.

City Place (561) 366-1000 Great restaurants, sidewalk cafes, old world architecture, fabulous boutiques and shops, musical fountains, live entertainment, trolley, horse drawn carriages, bicycle taxis, movie theater. All in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach near the Convention Center.

Clematis Street (561) 833-8873 The entertainment and nightlife center of West Palm Beach. Arrive by trolley or water taxi and enjoy restaurants, retail shops, Saturday Green market, Thursday’s Clematis by Night, Sunday at the Meyer, Brown Bag Concerts, and more.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Gumbo Limbo Nature Center

1801 N. Ocean Blvd.

(561) 338-1473

Donation welcome; turtle tours extra (tickets must be obtained in advance). Mon.-Sat. 9-4, Sun. noon-4; turtle tours late May-mid-July, Mon.-Thurs. 9 PM-midnight.

Children enjoy are the four huge saltwater sea tanks containing an abundance of sealife — from coral to stingrays. A long boardwalk winds through dense forest to a 50-ft tower you can climb to overlook the tree canopy. In the spring and early summer, staff members lead nighttime turtle walks to see nesting females come ashore and lay their eggs.

Palm Beach Zoo At Dreher Park

1301 Summit Blvd.

(561) 533-0887 or (561) 547-9453.

Daily 9-5 (until 7 on spring and summer weekends).

This excellent zoo is a 23-acre complex with more than 500 animals representing more than 100 species, including Florida panthers, red kangaroos, and Bengal tigers. Tropics of America, has six acres of tropical rain forest plus Mayan ruins, an Amazon river village, and an aviary. Also of note are a nature trail, an Australian Outback exhibit, and a children’s zoo.

Hoffman’s Chocolate Shoppe & Gardens

5190 Lake Worth Road

Greenacres

(561) 967-2213

For generations, the Hoffman family has been creating melt-in-your-mouth chocolate masterpieces using only the finest ingredients. Each year more than 150,000 visitors are received at the Hoffman’s Bavarian-style Tudor factory to watch the creations being made and to tantalize their senses with more than 80 varieties of confections. Located just in the back of our chocolate factory are the lush tropical gardens through which visitors stroll alongside colorful foliage, stopping to view the waterfall, fish pond, and a G-scale train village with 500 feet of track, while enjoying a chocolate treat. From Thanksgiving through the New Year, Hoffman’s transforms the gardens into a Winter Wonderland with over 200,000 lights and brilliant displays. Visitors from near and far arrive at Hoffman’s to view and enjoy this free event.

Yesteryear Village

South Florida Fairgrounds

West Palm Beach, 793-0333

First established in 1992, Yesteryear Village is now a major attraction at the South Florida Fairgrounds. In addition to being open during the 17 days of the South Florida Fair in January, the Village is host to two events during the year: Summer Fair in May and Christmas in the Village in December. Yesteryear Village is also home to the Bink Glisson Museum. Creative artisans and craftsman, along with historic re-enactors bring the past to life in a wholesome entertainment venue.

Lion Country Safari

Southern Blvd. West

(561) 793-1084

Van rentals available

Daily 9:30-5:30 last vehicle in by 4:30.

Drive (with car windows closed; no convertibles or pets) on 8 miles of paved roads through a 500-acre cageless zoo where 1,300 wild animals roam. Lions, elephants, white rhinoceroses, giraffes, zebras, antelopes, chimpanzees, and ostriches are among those in residence. Special exhibits include the Kalahari Bushvelt, designed after a South African plateau and containing water buffalo and Nilgai (the largest type of Asian antelope), and the Gir Forest, modeled after a game forest in India and showcasing a pride of lions. Excellent CD narration of each area. Borrow and return the CD at admission center. Following the safari, spend the day at the Lion Country Park. Rides, food, animal exhibits, and a ptting zoo. Enjoy a ride on the Safari Queen cruise. A full day of fun for the whole family.

South Florida Science Museum

4801 Dreher Trail North

West Palm Beach, 832-1988

Admission is $6 for Adults and $4 for children 3-17

Children under 3 are free. For more information call 832-1988

At the South Florida Science Museum, dozens of hands-on permanent exhibits as well as special traveling exhibitions appeal to all ages. The McGlinty Aquarium features tanks with Pacific and Atlantic species as well as Mangrove & Coral Reef habitats. The Aldrin Planetarium offers exciting star shows and spectacular laser light concerts. The Museum is open Mon. – Thurs, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sundays from Noon-6 p.m. On Friday nights the Telescope Observatory is open for sky viewing from dark to 10 p.m. (weather permitting.) Special traveling exhibits also.

Rapids Water Park

6566 N. Military Trail

West Palm Beach

(561) 842-8756

Rapids Water Park is South Florida’s foremost family water park with over 12 acres of attractions. Plunge down 1,600 feet of spiraling flumes, dare to ride out the storm in Tubin’ Tornadoes or blast off in the new Body Blasters enclosed slides. Get totally tubular in the quarter-mile action river, wave channel, aquatic rain forest and 25,000-square foot Big Surf Wave Pool. Little ones can also make a splash in the new Splish Splash Lagoon with 5 slides, a fort, shipwreck and water shooting canons. The Rapids is open from mid March through mid October in West Palm Beach.

Sugar Sand Park

300 S Military Trail

Boca Raton, FL

(561) 347-3900

Mon-Sat 8AM-11PM Sunday 8AM-Sunset

Admission Free

A park designed for family fun and education. The outdoor playground is filled with activities that illustrate various scientific principles. In addition, there is a clubhouse with a theater and a museum known as the Children’s Explorium. The park has indoor basketball courts, an outdoor roller hockey rink, baseball fields, and hiking trails.

Butterfly World

3600 West Sample Road

Coconut Creek

Deerfield Beach

Take TriRail south from West Palm Beach

Open daily

Within giant walk through aviaries brimming with tropical flowers, are thousands of dazzling butterflies from all over the world. They often land and rest awhile on the shoulder of a visitor. They are most active on warm, sunny days. There are also cabinets of emerging pupae. The gardens are extensive and well worth the commuter rail trip from the West Palm Beach area.

E- Events & Entertainment:
January:
Polo Season opens early in the month at the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club in West Palm Beach 793-1440.

Japanese New Year
Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens 4000 Morikami Park Road Delray Beach Admission charged. Tea ceremony extra. In early January. Traditional holiday decorations set the theme for Hatsaugama, the first tea ceremony of the New Year. Visitors learn to make mochitsuki or traditional rice cakes. Games include Hanetsuki, similar to badminton. There is also the game of Fuki Warai, similar to pin the tail on the donkey. There are demoinstrations in calligraphy and the making of greeting cards.

Winter Equestrian Festival
793-5867 begins at the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club in late January and continues through mid- March. The festival, which includes 3,500 horses and seven major grand-prix equestrian events, then moves to the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center (813/626-5222) in Tampa through April.

Stadium Jumping, Inc.
14440 Pierson Road, Wellington
793-5867
Discover the largest Equestrian Sporting Event in the world: the Winter Equestrian Festival, proving ground for the Olympic Equestrian sports of show jumping & dressage. Come see 4,000 horses from around the world.

South Florida Fair & PBC Expositions
9697 Southern Boulevard, West Palm Beach
793-0333
The annual South Florida Fair is Palm Beach County’s largest event. The nationally-recognized event features top entertainment, exhibits, games, livestock, an historic village (Yesteryear Village:), food & America’s top midway. 17 days beginning in mid-January. A nightly parade: No stars, no gigantic floats, but it’s still better than Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as far as we’re concerned.

February:
The Delray Affair, held the weekend following Easter, is a big event that features arts, crafts, and food 279-1380.

Artigras
Abacoa Community Center in Jupiter Annual event put on by the North Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce. Hundreds of booths are set up and art works are displayed. Arts, crafts, food and new Orleans style music are the highlights of this three day affair during President’s weekend. Originally a small affair with a few hundred participants. Now, over 60,000. Proceeds benefit the Chamber’s pledge to Palm Beach County Schools.

Bookfest
South Florida Fair Grounds
Southern Blvd., 7 miles west of I-95.
West Palm Beach
BookFest is an annual literary event that draws more than 20,000 qttendees over three days. Visitors move between exhibits and lectures and receptions for authors. Storytellers entertain. Showcased are mystery writers, children;s book authors, romance writers, first novelists, rare books, best sellers, and non-sellers. Coincides with Natiional Library Week. Nominal admission charge.

Greek Festival
St. Mark Greek Orthodox Church
2100 Yamato Road, Boca Raton
561-994-4822
A celebration open to all of Greek religion and culture. Held in late February, the festival includes music and dance, boutiques, arts, crafts, and food. Tasty Greek food, cooked to perfection. Telephone for date and times.

Palm Beach Renaissance Festival
Picnic Island at John Prince Park
Lake Worth
1-800-676-7333
The days of knights, wizards, and fair ladies come alive during this dr4amatic musical and visual extravaganza. A five day event encompassing two weekends in mid-February.

Hatsume Fair
Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
Delray Beach
561-495-0233
Admission charged.
This fair takes place in late February to celebrate the first bud of the year. The park’s largest folk festival attracts about 15,000 visitors for a weekend of taiko drums, exotic music, dance, bonsai demonstrations, arts, crafts, plants. children’s activities, food and drinks.

March:
Meet Me Downtown
Downtown Boca Raton
395-4433
This event is Boca Raton’s largest arts and entertainment festival. More than 400 arts and crafts booths are set up in Mizner Park, in Royal Palm Plaza, and along Palmetto Park Road. The Amphitheater stage is filled with strolling acts such as jugglers, mimes, stilt walkers, etc. Meet Me Downtown benefits the Golden Bell Foundation, an education fund set up by the Greater Boca Chamber of Commerce. More than 150,000 people attend the fair. The three day event takes place in early March.

Boynton Beach GALA
Ocean Avenue and Boynton Beach Blvd.
375-6235
An art, live music, open air family event with a marketplace, games and rides for the children, picnic areas, exhibitions with the works of more than 250 artists on display. They compete for awards in the categories of watercolors, ceramics, oil, acrylics, drawing and graphics, photography, jewelry, sculpture, and crafts. This is Boynton’s largest outdoor family festival.

Palm Beach Boat Show
Flagler Drive at the Intracoastal Waterway
Between Fern and Datura Streets
West Palm Beach
1-800-940-7642
This annual show is held in late March and showcases more than 500 boats, new and pre-owned. Hundreds of boats are featured. Fishing tips are given, swimwear is modeled. Admission charged.

Latin Fest
Dreher Park, near the zoo
1301 Summit Blvd.
West Palm Beach
835-4913 An annual event celebrating Latin culture with music, food, and fun. This late March event features bands from Puerto ico, the Dominican Republic and New York. Admission is free. Proceeds from refreshment stands are donated to Hispanic Human Resources. Latin Fest is also celebrated in July and October.

April:
Palm Beach Invitational International Piano Competition
Palm Beach, Florida
833-8817
This three day competition of the world’s finest young pianists is held in the spring. From January through March prior to the competition, the Piano Guild presents weekly Sunday Salon and Living Room Concerts at the Four Seasons Grand Hotel, S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach. These serve as fund raisers for the spring competition. Sunday programs begin at 4pm.

Black Gold Jubilee
Belle Glade Marina
Belle Glade, FL
561-996-2745
Held during the third week in April, at the end of the Florida Farmworkers’ harvest season, this festival combines a blessing of the soil and a way of recognizing the agricultural workers.
Jubilee events include sports contests such as volleyball, tennis, golf, and a road race. There is also a street festival with booths, crafts, entertainment and evening fireworks. Admission is free.

May:
Sea Turtles
After sunset from May until August, female sea turtles crawl onto moonlit beaches well above the high-tide line, dig a hole with their flippers and bury as many as 120 eggs. The mother turtle then drags herself back into her ocean home, leaving the hatchlings to fend for themselves. .After her eggs have incubated in the warm sand for about two months, the baby turtles hatch, dig their way of the nest before dawn and begin their journey to the safety of the ocean. If you are visiting the county during this time, be sure to sign up for a turtle walk to experience this amazing event.

SunFest
West Palm Beach
837-8065
Florida’s largest music, art and waterfront festival featuring more than 40 concerts by national recording artists. Juried art show Friday through Sunday, fireworks, children’s activities and plenty of food and refreshments.

Seafare
Carlin Park, Jupiter
Indiantown Road and Highway A1A
This annual event in mid May brings together at least 14,000 seafood lovers at the baser of the famous Jupiter Lighthouse. Small admission charge.

June:
Kidsfest
Carlin Park Amphitheater
Jupiter
575-7336
Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival produces this event for children featuring two evenings of special shows and entertainment in the beginning of June. Events take place over two days from 6-10pm. Small admission charge.

July:
SoulFest
Phil Foster Park
900 Blue heron Blvd.
Riviera Beach
842-7146
Held under the Blue Heron Bridge, this three day late July/early August festival combines arts and crafts, entertainment, and plenty of good food. The focus is on the educational awareness of black history and black cultural heritage. Headline entertainment is featured nightly. The Sunbcoast Chamber of Commerce sponsors SoulFest which draws a crowd of over 20,000.

Lake Worth Tropic Fest and Fireworks
Bryant Park Bandshell
Golfview and Lake Avenues
533-7359
All day festivities include arts and crafts, children’s activities, food booths, music and an Intracoastal Waterway swim. Fireworks are at 9pm. Admission is free.

West Palm Beach Fourth on Flagler
Flagler between fern and Clematis Streets
West Palm Beach
659-8007
To celebrate the Fourth, the First Baptist Church choir performs during Celebrate America; Bob Lappin and the Palm Beach Pops, a 65 member professional orchestra plays patriotic favorites, and fireworks begin at 9pm.

August:
Boca Festival Days and Boca Expo
The whole month of August is devoted to Festival Days. Dog washes, art exhibits, underwater photography; kite flying, treasure hunts; sand sculpture; fashion shows, antique car shows, softball and gymnastics are a few of the events. An annual trade fair is part of the fun. More than 20,000 attend the show over three days.

September:
Clematis By Night
The Downtown Development Authority sponsors this series of concerts on Thursday nights from 5-8pm. Downtown streets are closed to traffic and regional bands entertain crowds of people with rock, reggae, country, jazz, etc.

Sunset Celebration
Singer Island
Sailfish Marina
98 Lake Drive
1-800-446-4577
Every Thursday from 6-9pm. this art and craft show features local and national artists exhibiting sculpture, paintings, photographs and jewelry.

October:
Oktoberfest
5111 Lantana Road
American German Club picnic grounds
Lake Worth
967-6464
The festival runs two weekends in mid-October. The festival is so popular that there is shuttle service from John Prince Park in Lake Worth. Admission fee.

November:
Frontier Family Days
Royal Palm Polo Grounds
Boca Raton, 561-994-1021
This professional three day rodeo is an annual fund raiser to benefit the George Snow Scholarship Fund. Major corporate sponsors, professional cowboys and a well rounded program draw thousands to the rodeo on the first weekend each November.

Armenian Festival
St. David Armenian Church
2300 Yamato Road
Boca Raton
561-994-2335
Food preparation for this festival which is held the weekend before Thanksgiving, usually starts in the summer. members of the congregation stock their freezers with Armenian delicacies. Food and Armenian culture are the highlights.

Jewish Community Festival of Arts, Books and Culture
9801 Donna Klein Blvd.
Boca Raton
561-852-3241
This annual two week long event hosts leading Jewish literary personalities and a book fair showcases classical Jewish authors. It runs from mid through late November.

December:
Palm Beach Round Table
230 Royal Palm Way
Ste. 202
Palm Beach
655-5266
Modeled after the ideal of King Arthur, a cadre of intellectuals dined and socialized to work through the problems and issues of the day starting in 1932. The tradition continues, but the venue has moved to larger quarters. The Kravis Center is now the location; the events are sold out, and the speakers hold forth in the 11,000 square foot hospitality hall with banquet facilities. Schedule is released in October for December-May events.

Boca Raton Boat Parade
A highlight of the holiday season