Tampa offers such a wealth and range of activities that it is certainly hard to select a “Top 5.” However, when guests ask what my personal favorites are and ask for some “off the beaten path” ideas, I point them in this direction:
Ybor City Walking Tour: I love how the cobblestone streets welcome guests as they stroll through Ybor City, once known as the “Cigar Capital of the World.” Blocks are lined with cigar-making historic buildings, red-brick vintage stores with wrought iron railings and restaurants – one that is over 100 years old! The walking tour takes place every Saturday and is a true gem. Check it out at www.ybormuseum.org
Big Cat Rescue: What a wonderful opportunity to actually “get up close and personal” to wild cats! I am not exaggerating when I say “up close and personal” either! Scheduled tours encourage better understanding of exotic cats and habitats on acres of a protected sanctuary. www.bigcatrescue.org
Tampa Theatre: Movies at the theatres today are just not the same as days gone by! You should try sitting under the ceiling of stars at the classic Tampa Theatre - a true movie palace that is still fully operational and is highlighted by a working Wurlitzer Organ! Just a visit to the theater is an attraction in itself. You can visit for a movie, live show or just for a tour. www.tampatheatre.org
Cypress Point Park: Just minutes from the hotel, this little WestShore District undiscovered treasure has walking paths along beautiful Old Tampa Bay, the most beautiful sunsets, and perfect “get away” amenities like nature trails, benches and picnic tables. It is the perfect place to unwind and grab some amazing views of the Bay.
Canoe Escape on the Hillsborough River: After a few minutes on the river you will forget that you are in the middle of a metropolitan city! Canoe Escape is just 12 miles outside of town but you will really feel you are a world away. You will most certainly see a wide variety of birds, and may possibly catch a glimpse of a gator or a deer. No paddling experience necessary! www.canoeescape.com
About the guest blogger: Cinny McCaulley is the Chef Concierge for InterContinental Tampa
centrally located in the heart of the city offering guests world-famous dining at Shula’s Steak House, a scenic rooftop pool and “In the Know” personalized concierge service. Cinny recently received the second highest satisfaction score for concierges within Intercontinental Hotel Group’s properties in Latin & North America , which includes more than 44 hotels.