I like the atmosphere in Tampa because to me it's lively energized. I like to travel through the Tampa area and visit the local spots like Ybor City and a few of the distinctive restaurants in Tampa.
Clearwater has the best beaches. I like the revolving tower restaurant called Spinners Rooftop in St. Pete. This place has great food and a tower restaurant that literally turns directions while you eat.
Also, the Foxes club in Tampa is worth mentioning. This is a top notch Jazz club that offers great jazz music. This place comes highly recommended for jazz lovers. Well these are some of the reasons why I like the Tampa area. If any of you ever get the chance to go please do so, more than likely you won't regret it. - By Steven from Columbus OH
The boat rentals are fun, but I would advise paying the extra for someone with experience to take you out, tie the boat to the buoys help you in and out for snorkeling and swimming, and finally bring you safely back into the marina. At sunset and early morning you may see a manatee or two; often you will see dolphins and even the upward pointed fins of stingrays as they swim by.
John Pennecamp State Park is excellent with information for all ages both on and off shore and often has rangers available giving brief lectures and always answering questions. - By Ken from Newark
Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda are two top vacation spots along the southwest Florida coast. They are in the heart of the Charlotte Harbor & Gulf Islands area prized for its pristine natural beauty and waterways perfect for kayaking and all types of boating. If you like beaches, islands and tropical weather, than plan a vacation trip to Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda. See a large variety of Florida birds at the Peace River Wildlife Center. This is a bird rehab center near Punta Gorda and it’s open to visitors.
Auto enthusiasts will want to stop and see the hundreds of cars at the Muscle Car City museum. They are both near Punta Gorda. Among the many attractions around Port Charlotte are lots of excellent gold courses like the Kingsway Country Club and the Riverwood Golf Club. There are lots of islands all along the coast with secluded beaches. Some can be reached by car but many require a boat ride, which makes the trip even more exciting and fun.
Since it was only a few blocks away, we walked over to the historic district and strolled the quaint shops and antique stores at the same time keeping and an eye out for an interesting restaurant for lunch.
We loved the old world charm of the brick streets and shops that were as much museums as they were shops.
Again it was only a short walk to the home base of the horse-drawn carriages. Now that was fun. Those drivers entertain you with intimate stories of St. Augustine history from start to finish. After a tasty lunch overlooking Fort Matanzas we walked over to the fort. Now, old forts require a vivid imagination to fully enjoy.
Luckily, our party was full of creativity so we thoroughly enjoyed visualizing the Spanish soldiers as they fought and as they lived during those older days when the fort was occupied. By that time we checked into a first class hotel, of which there are many, and looked forward to the next day’s adventure of checking out the several excellent beaches in the area. - By Iris from MN
It was my first time camping so of course I was a little scared at first but I must admit it was absolutely amazing! We set up my friend’s tent and then explored the park. The Withlacoochie River was so peaceful and serene. We spent most of the time canoeing the river, fishing or walking in the woods looking for wildlife.
There were some really nice hiking trails. We saw lots of birds, spotted a gator or two and even some deer!
I learned to build a fire and every night we sat around the campfire while I played guitar and sang. Everyone danced and sang along. It was definitely a great trip! I recommend a camping vacation for anyone who wants a cheap Florida getaway where you can really enjoy nature. - Andy, Florida