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Can't-miss Tampa attractions and restaurants

Party till dawn: With a casino floor bigger than five football fields, Tampa's Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino [5223 Orient Road; (813) 627-7625] is one of the largest casinos in the world with 5,000 slot machines, 110 table games and 50 poker tables. There's also the new eateries Rise Kitchen & Bakery, the Council Oak steakhouse and the Hard Rock Cafe amid rock memorabilia.

Ultra-prime shopping: Polish up the credit card for International Plaza [2223 N West Shore Blvd.; (813) 342-3790] with an Apple Store, Neiman Marcus and high-end stores such as Burberry, Gucci, Tiffany and Company, Louis Vuitton, Swarovski and Coach.

Riding high: Theme park Busch Gardens [3605 Bougainvillea Ave.; (813) 987-5600] will be the hot spot for roller coaster fans, but it also has abundant animals including young cheetah Kasi and her yellow Lab dog pal Mtani. Then cool off at Adventure Island [10001 N Mckinley Drive; (813) 987-5600], a 30-acre water park with slides, waterfalls and a wave pool.

Keep the kids busy: If you want to entertain the kids, check out Lowry Park Zoo [1101 W Sligh Ave.; (813) 935-8552], voted No. 1 in Parents magazine for family-friendly zoos. Or Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry [4801 E Fowler Ave.; (813) 987-6100], a huge space of scientific exhibits. MOSI has a traveling exhibit of mummies, plus a ropes course and zip line.

3 can't-miss restaurants:

The Refinery: Its James Beard nomination catapulted it to prominence. Committed to sourcing local, seasonal and sustainable, the Seminole Heights restaurant has a changing menu of dishes that show real moxie. 5137 N Florida Ave.; (813) 237-2000

Ocean Prime: The upscale restaurant near International Plaza has siphoned away devotees from some of the area's top steak houses with the added enticements of top-notch seafood and sides, cutting-edge cocktails and a glamorous setting. 2205 N West Shore Blvd.; (813) 490-5288

Roy's: With impeccable service and a lovely dining room, Roy's turns out elegant Hawaiian fusion cuisine. 4342 W Boy Scout Blvd.; (813) 873-7697

Can't-miss Tampa attractions and restaurants 08/14/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 6:29pm]
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