Saturday, April 21, 2018
Travel

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

   

Comments
Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

The Tampa Bay area’s hotel occupancy rate rose to 87.5 percent in March, the highest level in three years. The rise was fueled by spring break vacationers as well as insurance adjusters and hurricane cleanup crews flooding the state to restore it aft...
Published: 04/20/18
In Bhutan, gross national happiness more important than GDP

In Bhutan, gross national happiness more important than GDP

Associated PressLAYA, BhutanPrayer flags whip in the wind, flying across steep valleys and roads. Buddhist temples, stupa shrines and majestic fortresses called zhongs dot the landscape. Giant water-powered prayer wheels spin from tumbling falls. Far...
Published: 04/20/18
On its 20th anniversary, Disney's Animal Kingdom credits conservation with longevity

On its 20th anniversary, Disney's Animal Kingdom credits conservation with longevity

ORLANDO — When Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened 20 years ago, it was light on thrills and heavy on conservation. On April 22, 1998, Earth Day, the Orlando park had a single thrill ride, Countdown to Extinction, and a handful of shows like ...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Universal to fill 3,000 jobs as ‘Fast & Furious’ ride, new hotels race to open

Universal to fill 3,000 jobs as ‘Fast & Furious’ ride, new hotels race to open

Universal Orlando Resort has finally given a hint about the opening of the new Fast & Furious – Supercharged attraction coming some time in May. And the company is looking for more than 3,000 new workers as it opens new attractions and hotels this s...
Published: 04/13/18
Universal offers a four-pack of tickets for $42 a day

Universal offers a four-pack of tickets for $42 a day

For Floridians looking to get away for the weekend and experience a little bit of movie magic, Universal Studios will be offering a discount on a four-pack of tickets from now until April 30.Florida residents can take advantage of an exclusive offer ...
Published: 04/11/18
Medieval #TimesUp? Florida attraction announces its first queen

Medieval #TimesUp? Florida attraction announces its first queen

Medieval Times in Orlando has announced some big changes.
Published: 04/11/18
Off the map in Oaxaca, Mexico, with a unique ecotour company

Off the map in Oaxaca, Mexico, with a unique ecotour company

CITY OF OAXACA, MexicoTourism to Mexico is a mixed bag, as high-end resorts abut areas of extreme poverty. Throw in recent political tensions around the border and news about drug-related violence, and Americans have many reasons to steer clear. But ...
Published: 04/11/18
A trip to lovely Joshua Tree National Park transports visitors to another world

A trip to lovely Joshua Tree National Park transports visitors to another world

From my perch at the peak of Ryan Mountain, 5,457 feet above sea level, a vast and undeveloped landscape stretched as far as the eye could see in every direction. It was dotted with rock piles that looked quizzically out of place from above, curious ...
Updated one month ago
A glow-in-the-dark waterslide is coming to Tampa Bay

A glow-in-the-dark waterslide is coming to Tampa Bay

If you’ve ever wanted to dive down a giant waterslide in the pitch black of night while splashing round in neon glow-in-the-dark water, head to Lakeland on June 30.That’s when the Blacklight Slide will be set up at the Sun ‘n Fun in Lakeland, and the...
Updated one month ago
Universal offers buy one, get one free deal on Halloween Horror Nights

Universal offers buy one, get one free deal on Halloween Horror Nights

Universal has gotten an extra early jump on Halloween season, announcing the dates for 2018’s Halloween Horror Nights as well as a limited-time ticket deal of $77.99 that gets you into the scare zones on a second night for free. The theme park will o...
Updated one month ago