Tampa Bay's best ...

Our top 10 beach camping spots

Make plans now to enjoy a great beach camping spot. Most are not crowded from June through August. You just have to know where to go, what to bring and how to survive for a few days without, heaven forbid, air-conditioning.

 

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  1. School's out for summer, but Tampa Bay restaurants are still stuck on peanut butter and jelly

    Food & Dining

    The end of the school year is the perfect time to reconsider a cafeteria classic: The peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

    The Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream at Edison Food and Drink Lab in Tampa.
  2. Where to take your parents in Tampa Bay? Soccer, Grand Prix, 'Rocky Horror' and more

    Florida

    Tampa Bay Grand Prix

    The need for speed is not just a terrible Disney movie, it's also a real emotion, expressed by people of all ages. Indoor racing at Tampa Bay Grand Prix, which has tracks conveniently located in both Tampa and Clearwater, will allow your parents to get out their trash-talking competitive sides …

    Daniel Wallace/tbt*
  3. Express your selfie at Tampa Bay's best solo photo-op spots

    Florida

    Great selfies don't just capture a moment in time. In the best ones, you also get a sense of where you were in the universe at that moment. • As we all know, around here beach selfies are easy and cheap and so prevalent they hardly even rate. But is white sand and bluish surf the Tampa Bay area's only iconic …

    Commissioned in 2012 by Tampa’s public art program, this mounted wall mural at the corner of Royal Street and N Florida Avenue in downtown Tampa has the vibrancy to light up any dull selfie and enough colors to ensure nothing you wear will clash. Artist Carl Cowden was even courteous enough to build in a perfect place to stick your head, in the bottom right-hand corner.
  4. Meatless marvels: Discover the best veggie burgers in Tampa Bay

    Food & Dining

    Tell anyone you're vegetarian and a classic response is: "Man, I'd really love to do that, but burgers are just too good."

    The Alfresco’s Black Bean Burger, from the Vinoy Renaissance Resort, is made with rice, barley, mushrooms and black beans, giving it a little Tex-Mex flair.
  5. Ragin' for some Cajun? Tampa Bay is boiling over with true N'awlins flavor

    Food & Dining

    The need for beads has been ­satiated. Horny pirates spent two weekends in Tampa racking up plastic loot by filling their gullets with drink and showing their booties during Gasparilla celebrations.

    A plate of 15 battered and fried frog legs at Chancy’s Catfish Shack in Plant City. Photo by Luis Santana, tbt*
  6. From shortcake to milkshakes, strawberry goodies are in season at Hillsborough County markets

    Food & Dining

    This time of year, between the Florida State Fair and Florida Strawberry Festival, it's not hard to locate a good slice of strawberry shortcake around town.

    Strawberry pizza and shortcake at Goodson Farms.
  7. Deep-fried fair foods move from midways to restaurant menus around Tampa Bay

    Food & Dining

    Maybe it's a good thing the Florida State Fair comes only once a year. When the fair leaves Tampa after Monday, it'll take with it all the obscenely greasy, insanely engineered, deep-fried foods on the midway.

    Or will it?

    Amish Baking Co.’s Aaron Kurtz glazes freshly fried donuts.
  8. Searching for Sochi? Here's a taste of Russian food, culture in Tampa Bay

    Food & Dining

    Admittedly, I've always had a pretty old-school perception of Russian culture. You know — babushkas, bread lines, the Space Race, fuzzy hats, herring, cabbage soups, that sort of thing.

    Monica Welde gives honey to 2-year-old Kenai during a performance at Tampa Bay’s cradle of Russian culture, St. Petersburg Nights.
  9. Drink up, ye mateys, with the perfect pirate-themed six-pack

    Bars & Spirits

    Eye patch? Check. Fake hook? Check. Gaudy, puffy clothing and beads? Check. Sounds like you're all ready for Gasparilla, but you've missed one crucial detail: pirate-themed beer! No self-respecting swashbuckler would be caught without a mix-and-match of his or her favorite craft grogs. Here's a few to get you …

  10. Gosh! These tater tots are freaking dynamite

    Food & Dining

    Can this really be the 10th anniversary of Napoleon Dynamite?

    The Sweet Potato Tots from Hott Mess food truck. Jay Cridlin/tbt*.