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Smile and say 'cheesy' at these Tampa Bay landmarks

Got visitors from the frozen north coming in anytime soon? Boy, are they going to love this great weather. And what better way to help them experience the flavor of Tampa Bay than to send them on a photo safari to see how many slideshow quality (that's code for cheesy) snaps they can get in between grouper sandwich bites and Margaritaville singalongs. These are our favorites at the moment.

Pier 60 in Clearwater. The venerable landmark draws locals and tourists alike to its sunset performances. You'll think you're in Key West's Mallory Square. Bonus points if you get a street performer to let you lure them in for a pose. 10 Pier 60 Drive, Clearwater Beach

The Hurricane's top deck. Never mind that a lot of locals eschew this St. Pete Beach landmark as being too touristy. It's a great place to pose for photos as the sun sets behind you. The view is fantastic. And the wait staff is very obliging if you hand them a camera to help you out. 807 Gulf Way, St. Pete Beach

St. Petersburg Pier's top deck. Frame the city's skyline in the background for one sure thing, then aim toward the Vinoy for a second reason to make your friends and family back home jealous of your vacation photos. 800 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg

John's Pass Boardwalk. Any old place will do, but we like The Hut for its tiki god ambience. You can also get the entire village in the frame if you take a photo from one of the dolphin watching boats. 150 John's Pass Boardwalk, Madeira Beach

Tarpon Springs sponge docks. Find a colorful character from one of the boats and you'll have a story to go with that photo, guaranteed. 20 Dodecanese Blvd., Tarpon Springs

Florida Aquarium. Several shots here come to mind, but getting one in front of that ginormous manta ray out front would make an excellent Halloween card. The Explore-a-Shore area also has giant alligator heads that are perfect for popping a kid into. 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa

Verandah at Plant Hall, University of Tampa. Men, conjure up a jaunty Rough Rider pose and channel your inner TR. This is Tampa Bay history you're standing on, where Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders gathered themselves before heading to that charge up San Juan Hill. 401 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa

The Castle, 1 a.m. Sunday morning. Don't be afraid of the freak show. Embrace those crazy kids as if they were an exotic species at the nature preserve. They won't bite, but they might try to bum a cigarette off you or make you buy them a drink. 2004 N 16th St., Ybor City

Inside the Tampa Theater. Pick a spot anywhere you see an amazing detail in this ornate movie palace reminiscent of the golden age of cinema. Consider it a bonus if a ghost shows up for a cameo in the more than 80-year-old landmark. 711 Franklin St., Tampa

Outside a strip club. Hey, we didn't say these would all be G-rated; we just said they'd be authentic tourist photos. For maximum kitschiness, we recommend the 2001 Odyssey lounge. Out of this world, trust us. 2309 N Dale Mabry, Tampa

Smile and say 'cheesy' at these Tampa Bay landmarks 12/25/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 12:59pm]
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