Before I begin my blog this week about Tampa area attractions, we visited a new sweet spot in Citrus County called, “What’s the Scoop ?” We went there for lunch. The lunch menu is very limited. You can have a hot dog done several ways , grilled cheese and they usually have about three homemade soups. I had the minestrone and it was very good. Art’s “Detroit hot dog” was good …not really like the Detroit coneys he loves. Now the strawberry milkshake to me was questionable. I thought it had a lot of ice crystals in it . They also had no fountain drinks that day…machine broke after being open 10 days…but why not go buy cans of soda? It is located the Winn Dixie plaza next to BBT Bank. Scoops is serving Hershey’s ice cream …the same as the Ice Cream Doctor in Inverness. It is good ice cream if served at the right temperature! With a Baskin Robbins going in …we will have two ice cream stores in Beverly Hills. I am not sure the area can support two ice cream places!
This week I am exploring the many attractions in the Tampa Bay area. I fell in love with the beauty of Tampa years ago when caught over night there after a flight delay.
Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa area “—Come see the wild world of Lowry Park Zoo with more than 1000 animals, housed in 56 acres of lush natural habitats. With engaging interactive exhibits, visitors can enjoy close, but safe contact with many species in the Zoo. Guests can see most animals in one of eight habitat areas.–” In 2009, Lowry Park Zoo was voted the #1 Family Friendly Zoo in the US by Parents Magazine, and is recognized by the State of Florida as the center for Florida wildlife conservation and biodiversity. The zoo is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The zoo also exists as a center for the conservation of endangered wildlife both locally and around the globe. Grandkids and my favorite zoo in the area.
Glazer Children’s Museum, Tampa –“ It all starts at the Glazer Children’s Museum, where children are given the rare space to imagine, pretend, and grow. Rest easy knowing that while children play here, they’re mastering math, science, and reading skills that encourage lifelong learning. Whether they’re climbing through the water cycle, performing a play, or flying over Tampa Bay – know that this is no ordinary educational experience. Along with 170 interactive exhibits within 17 themed areas, the Glazer Children’s Museum reinforces learning with our Daily Programming and events.-Our grandkids participated in many activities-good experiences!
Busch Gardens is the –“ultimate family adventure park with a unique blend of thrilling rides, one of the country’s premier zoos featuring more than 12,000 animals, live shows, restaurants, shops and games. Rollercoaster fans can get their thrills on Kumba, Montu, Falcon’s Fury, Cheetah Hunt and SheiKra, and then head over to the Congo River Rapids. There are plenty of kid friendly rides, up-close animal encounters, and the “Iceploration” show.” Check online for package deals for a better park price! Waiting for the grandkids to get older-pretty pricey adventure otherwise.
Florida Aquarium, Tampa–See why The Florida Aquarium is 1 of the top 10 aquariums in the country! They are celebrating 20+ years of family-friendly activities and exhibits. See sharks, alligators, stingrays and penguins! We had a great time. Plan to stay there all day and bring bathing suits for the younger kids for the water fun zone.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium (mission): “We believe in preserving our marine life and environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation, and release. We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.” We all- grandchildren and adults-loved meeting Winter and Hope from the movies and learning about the work of the Aquarium.
Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater – “The acoustically perfect center is convenient to all Central Florida communities and serves a five-county area. According to a 2001 Poll Star report, Ruth Eckerd Hall ranked as the number two theatre venue worldwide in ticket sales for capacities of 2,500 or less. Ruth Eckerd Hall’s education program, the largest of its kind in the state of Florida, has touched more than 1.5 million people with a commitment to life-long learning through the arts.–” Beautiful facility.
MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry), Tampa–“MOSI is a non-profit, community-based institution and educational resource that is dedicated to advancing public interest, knowledge and understanding of science, industry and technology. MOSI’s core ideology is to make a difference in people’s lives by making science real for people of all ages and backgrounds.–” Includes an IMAX Theatre.
The Straz Center for the Performing Arts provides world-class entertainment, ranging from lavish Broadway shows to classical music and rock concerts. It is the largest facility of its kind in the Southeastern United States.
Learn about these Tampa attractions at : www.visittampabay.com/play“
Downtown Riverwalk is 1.8 Miles of continuous sidewalk! (To evolve into 2.4 miles) “The perfect place for getting out and enjoying Tampa’s new bike share program.”
The Tampa Museum of Art ”provides the region with world-class traveling exhibitions, a growing collection of contemporary and classical art, expanded educational programs and access to scenic outdoor events in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and Tampa’s Riverwalk.”
Bayshore Drive is the longest uninterrupted sidewalk in the world. “If you love to be outdoors and get your heart rate elevated this is the place to do it! The walkway on Bayshore Boulevard takes it even a notch further when you can at the same time watch dolphins and native birds catch their breakfast as you are running/biking/rollerblading or simply just walking. Not to mention the beautiful houses and surrounding vegetation!”
Tampa Theatre was recently recognized by The Motion Picture Association of America among the 10 best movie theaters in the world – a distinction delegated to only one other theater in the United States.
The Tampa Bay History Center – a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate – includes three floors of cutting-edge exhibits exploring 12,000 years of Florida’s history and culture. Discover the stories of Seminole Indians, cigar rollers, and Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders through hands-on exhibits and immersive theater experiences.
St. Pete Pier, –“The St. Petersburg Pier, known locally as The Pier, was a landmark and tourist destination extending into Tampa Bay from downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. Now under renovation, check out the latest:
The Florida Orchestra, St. Petersburg – “Recognized as Tampa Bay’s leading performing arts institution, one of the leading professional symphony orchestras in Florida, and one of the best regional orchestras in America. With a full orchestra of 80 professional musicians, the Orchestra performs more than 150 concerts annually, including Masterworks, Super Pops, Coffee Concerts, Blue Jeans Classics, Kids Time Classics, free parks concerts, youth concerts and concerts at Pasco County’s Center for the Arts in River Ridge.–”
The Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg — “The new Dali Museum is one of a kind. Dali’s art, at once classically-based and provocatively imaginative, resonates in the geometry of the concrete and the astonishing flow of glass from the fractured center of the building. From small, earlier works to challenging, monumental paintings, the museum displays works by Dali and artists of similar vision. Come sip coffee in our wi-fied Café Gala, stroll to the center of our garden labyrinth and take a deep breath. Entertain the possibility of the fantastical as the place and the art invite you to look beyond.–” Amazing place and well-organized with many interesting exhibits. We saw the Picasso and Dali exhibit.