Where to Go and What to Do in Tampa

Hawkeye fans' favorite Floridian Tobynole has once again offered to help Iowans as they prepare for their trip to Florida. This year, it's Tampa and wouldn't you know, Toby and his wife are familiar with that city, too. They graciously put together this list of things to do, lodging and some general information sites. Many thanks to Toby and his wife, Sara.

Things To Do -
Ybor City - it's changed since I've been there so I'm not 100% what it's like now. It used to be basically a bunch of bars, but the developers who created Coco Walk in Coconut Grove (Miami area) came in and developed it. There's now a movie theater, GameWorks, shops, etc.

Hyde Park - interesting shopping and lots of restaurants, including the world-famous Berns Steak House.

MOSI - Museum of Science and Industry - nice science museum with an IMAX.

Lowry Park Zoo - small zoo, but with a wide variety of animals.

Busch Gardens - a zoo with roller coasters! Kumba, Montu and Gwazi are all great thrill rides.

Channelside - www.channelside.com tells you all about another great shopping complex. Malls - there are TONS of malls. There's Westshore Mall, an International Mall near the airport, and the Citrus Park Mall (if you can find it) is excellent, too.

Gaming - Tampa Greyhound Track (and St. Pete's Derby Lane) are great places to watch, wager and win!

The Florida Acquarium

Hotels - Most of the hotels in Tampa are fine. However, you want to stay away from anything right off of I-275 or I-4 that are not downtown. Hotels off of I-75 are fine. Westshore area is highly recommended. Area close to Busch Gardens is just so-so.

Web Site -

Here's a pretty good web site for information- http://www.visittampabay.com/index.php

Another good one - http://www.tampabaybeaches.com (Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce with TONS of visitor information!)

You can also do a Yahoo search and come up with a bunch of sites.

Hope this helps! If you have any other questions, let me know.

Toby's two cents: There are some great bars on Clearwater (due west of Tampa) Beach. Tampa and St Petersburg are separated by about a 7-8 mile bridge. There are many museums in St Pete as well as The Pier (another shopping area), but the best stuff is always going to be in Tampa. Many great restaurants right off Dale Mabry, including the world's best Chinese Buffet just east of I-275!

Again, thanks to Toby and Sara for taking the time to put this together. I know that thousands of Iowa fans have benefited from the help that they have provided us over the past year, and we all wish them God's blessings with Sara's pregnancy. Boy or a girl, Iowa fans have a name suggestion: Hayden

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