Tampa Bay, it turns out, is hot in the summer.
We'll pause a moment to let you appreciate that statement. If you're standing outside, you'll know immediately what we're talking about.
The folks at Honeywell Fans and Environmental Health & Engineering have decided that Tampa Bay ranks as the Sweatiest City in America. Turns out it's not just the heat but also the humidity.
Here’s how the researchers spelled it out:
"When creating the first-ever sweatiest cities ranking with this new set of criteria, we looked at a range of environmental factors including average temperature and humidity levels during summer months, population and housing density, and average wind speed, which has an evaporative cooling effect," said Dr. Ted Myatt, ScD, Environmental Health & Engineering. "Geographic location has a major influence on temperatures, but so does infrastructure like residential buildings or heavy industry, which can trap heat or contribute to heat output. It's no wonder why so many songs are written about hot times and summer in the city.”
Given the amount of water and coastal breezes we have in Tampa Bay, we're not sure we agree with that standard. And it's a dubious honor at best. But, OK, we'll own it.
First of all, sweating is good for you. It clears out your pores and cleanses your body of toxins. Just ask that guy in the hotbox at the gym.
Frankly, all these clean pores and glowing skin probably helped us land on Travel + Leisure's list of the country's places with the most attractive people. Even when we're hot and sweaty we're also just plain hot.
We know we're hot, which is why T+L put us on their Snobbiest Cities list.
Secondly, we have this little thing here in Tampa Bay called air-conditioning. You may have heard of it.
We have some of the best indoor activities in Florida, all of them cooled by Willis Carrier's contribution to the civilized world.
So when you've schvitzed enough, step inside the cooling walls of one of these spots:
MOSI, the Museum of Science and Industry: While away an afternoon in the IMAX Dome movie theater and the planetarium, then roam the exhibits for Kids in Charge, built a robot or experience the cooling breezes of the hurricane simulator. The new driverless car will transport you to your own car without breaking a sweat.
Glazer Children's Museum: Downtown's sprawling children's museum has three floors of activities to keep the whole family cool. The enormous water table on the ground floor lets the kids do hands-on exploring; the climbing maze gets them to the second floor while having an adventure. Let them spent the heat of the day pretending to be firefighters, veterinarians, Publix workers, airplane engineers, construction workers, and much more. Visit the third floor through September to explore the world of the Wizard of Oz.
Tampa Museum of Art: Next to the Glazer, you'll find Tampa Bay's floating jewel box filled with artistic treasures. The modern museum currently hosts a traveling exhibit featuring the works of pop art founder Andy Warhol. It also has its own collection of art ranging from ancient Greek to thoroughly modern. And -- luckily for both you and the art -- it's all climate-controlled! The museum is home to Sono Cafe, which has al fresco seating under the building's 46-foot deep overhang -- a shady spot where you can catch a breeze and avoid the sun. After sunset, the museum itself comes to life with a shimmering light display: "Sky (Tampa)" by artist Leo Villareal.
Tampa Bay History Center: 12,000 years of Tampa Bay history waits for you under one roof. Explore the roots of the unconquered Seminoles along with the industry that gave the Cigar City its nickname. Upstairs, you'll learn that about Tampa Bay's contribution to cowboy culture and to U.S. military history. Hands-on exhibits bring the region's deep history and diverse culture to life.
Florida Aquarium: When the temperature climbs outside, the deep blue sea will cool you down inside the Florida Aquarium. Discover Florida's watery environment, from springs and swamps to mangroves and the open bay and see 20,000 sea creatures along the way. Touch a horseshoe crab. Get your picture taken with a shark. Or bring your swim gear and conquer the aquarium's outdoor water park, Explore A Shore, to stay cool.
Tampa Theatre: Lose yourself in another time when you settle into your seat at downtown's historic movie palace, built in 1926. The ornate plaster work, the balcony and the giant organ make this landmark a Tampa Bay treasure. Check out their regular offerings as well as their Summer Classics series for a way to beat the heat and enjoy a great piece of cinema at the same time.
Still itching to get outside? Sundown is the perfect time to hit Tampa Bay's outdoor attractions without breaking a sweat.
Busch Gardens Tampa/Adventure Island: Lets just get this out of the way: Both parks are great places to visit during the day, whether you stay cool with the wind whipping past you on Cheetah Hunt or get soaked as your raft sluices through the Colossal Curl. But night time offers an entirely different view of both parks. During Summer Nights, which starts this weekend, Busch Gardens stays open until midnight with rides, shows, concerts and activities all under the cool(er) night sky. Island Nights, which is already running, lets you enjoy the water park until 9 p.m.
Tampa Riverwalk: Downtown's signature destination takes on a whole new light after the sun goes down. Colored lights add dimension to the Riverwalk, along with downtown's bridges (lit by "Agua Luces," an art installation from 2012), the minarets of Plant Hall, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, and the Tampa Museum of Art.
Tampa TopGolf: Head out to Brandon and spend the cool of the evening practicing your drive at Tampa Bay's newest golf attraction. TopGolf has more than 100 bays on three levels, along with a restaurant, pool tables, Xbox stations, and a rooftop bar. The whole place is open until 2 a.m.
Ybor City: Pull up a chair at one of the outdoor tables lining Seventh Avenue for dinner after the sun goes down. Tampa Bay's historic Latin district has plenty of places to eat, drink and make merry after the sun goes down. Try a craft beer at Coppertail Brewing Co. or sip a cider at Cigar City Cider & Mead.
Tampa Bay's got so many ways to beat the heat, you'll probably break a sweat trying to do them all!