Things to do
Kari has never been shy about her love of Florida and the Tampa Bay region in particular. She spends a lot of time and energy in building programs, supporting organizations, and contributing to causes that make Tampa Bay great. [CL – Including importing Crawford to the region! Heh.]
These are some of Kari’s picks for Things-To-Do around the Tampa Bay region if you find yourself wandering around before or after the wedding (if you’re wandering around during the wedding, well, call for help). She left out the no-brainers like Busch Gardens and even the 60-minute drive to hang out with The Mouse in Orlando.
Unfortunately, Florida Governor Rick Scott resembles Voldemort on a good day and Skeletor on a bad day, and he vetoed an initiative for light rail in the region. As a result, you’ll want to rent a car to see all of these attractions. Sorry our governor is a jerk.
You could probably spend a whole day people watching at the Scientology Celebrity
Center. Please don’t go in for a personality test. It seems like a good idea, it seems like it would be funny, but the next thing you know your Theta is all challenged and you don’t have any money. [CBL here: nice rhyme, honey.]
It happens folks.
You’re in the heart of the prettiest beaches in the world. Seriously. [That was Kari. Crawford would like to put in a good word for South Carolina’s fine sandy parts, but I expect that will cause snickering and snuffling from the Florida crowd. Whatever, Yankees.]
Different beach communities, each with their own personality, run up the coast of Pinellas County. From Fort De Soto on the southern tip to Honeymoon Island to the north, you’ll find a beach vibe to suit your needs. If you’re staying near The Cedar House – you’ll want to consider the Clearwater Beaches as they are the closest. Check out a sunset at Pier 60 or take the ferry to Caladesi Island, named #1 Beach in 2008 by Dr. Beach.
Yes there is somebody named Dr. Beach. Let it go, you’re in the Tropics. [This is Crawford again: Weird doesn’t even begin to describe it. We don’t have Dr. Mountains up in the hilly bits. Low land people are odd. I think it’s the heat.]
Tampa Bay has a real fetish for pirates. Whether it be Gasparilla (which you are always welcome to come visit us and experience) or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, you can’t live in Tampa too terribly long before you find yourself shopping for just the right poofy shirt (get ready Crawford) [ahem…]. If you want to have a really good time, and be a pirate for a day – head over to Clearwater Beach and sign up for a Pirate Cruise. This great fun for kids and adults. The crew is hilarious, they shoot cannons off the ship, and you get to make “booty” jokes the whole time. How can you go wrong?
Who’s a beer snob? Yay! It just so happens that Team Goetz is full of beer snobs and as a result you can usually find us at The Independent getting overly excited about stouts and saisons. You have some great brewery options (with tours!) nearby.
Winter the Dolphin
Not gonna lie – the movie made Kari cry. If you want to meet the dolphin who inspired the movie Dolphin Tale – you’re less than 10 minutes away. Head to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and learn about all the amazing work being done to rehabilitate animals like Winter.
The Big Cat Rescue
Prefer kitties over fishies? Then make the time to drive over to Big Cat Rescue in Tampa. It is the largest big cat sanctuary in the country. Well worth the drive.
You want to get yo’ culture on? Yeah. We got that. We got culture. Sure. Here you go, here’s some real nice culture:
You’ve read about it, you’ve made fun of it, you’ve wonder what in the world they were thinking – now see it for yourself – Tropicana Field and the Tampa Bay Rays! April 19 they take on the Athletics at home at 7:15. Come see the “magic” that is the Trop. Maybe a ball will hit a beam and bounce back into play… that’s always a good time…
Yay! There’s hockey again! That was a close one! With a shortened season, there are fewer games to take advantage of, but the Tampa Bay Lightning play at the Tampa Bay Times Forum and on April 21 they take on the Carolina Hurricanes. I’m sure we could have a rivalry there if any of us cared. The best part of watching the Lightning are the Tesla coils located in the Forum. If you’re sitting in just the right spot – the hair standing up on your arm is included in the price of admission.
That’s just a snapshot of some of the things nearby for you to enjoy. There’s even more to do if you consider Legoland in Lakeland, or The Ringling Museum in Sarasota. And if you really just want to go the The Magic Kingdom or Busch Gardens, we get it. We don’t judge.
If you need other recommendations, let us know – Kari has plenty of friends at Visit St. Pete
Clearwater and Tampa Bay and Company and she can help you find the perfect adventure to complement our adventure.