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.