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DISCOVER HILLSBOROUGH

HILLSBOROUGH

1) MacDill Air Force Base, celebrated its 51st anniversary this year. The base at the southern tip of Tampa Bay's Interbay peninsula opened April 16, 1941, and occupies 5,767 acres. It was named in honor of Col. Leslie MacDill, who died when his North American BC-1 crashed near Washington, D.C. The base suffered a blow last year, when as part of budget cutbacks, it was announced that the 56th Fighter Wing would be deactivated by 1994, base personnel would be reduced by a third and runways would be closed. An estimated 3,500 acres has been determined to be excess and given back to the local community. Call 830-2215.

2) Port Tampa

5) Florida State Fairgrounds, U.S. 301 off I-4, Tampa. Home of the annual state fair for the state's 67 counties. 1993's fair is scheduled for Feb. 3-14. During the rest of the year, Expo Hall on the fairgrounds seats up to 10,500 people and is the new home of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning. The entertainment hall seats 4,500.

9) Strawberry Festival Grounds, Plant City. Home of the annual Florida Strawberry Festival and Parade. The festival includes plenty of berries, along with entertainment by top-name country performers. Held annually since 1930, the 1993 Strawberry Festival will be Feb. 25-March 7.

14) Peter 0. Knight Airport, on Davis Islands in Tampa, is a local executive airport.

16) Tampa International Airport, 9.5-million passengers flew in and out of the airport in 1991.

PARKS 3) Picnic Island, Picnic Island Road, Tampa. Part of a peninsula that juts into Tampa Bay, the park offers swimming, a boat ramp and fishing pier, playground and, of course, picnic facilities.

4) Edward Medard State Park, Turkey Creek Road. Features include fishing, a boat launch, camping, picnic areas and swimming.

ATTRACTIONS

6) Bobby's Seminole Indian Village, 5221 N Orient Road; 620-3077. Features a Seminole village, a gift shop, and museum that displays weapons, historical pictures, clothing and Indian artifacts. Woodcarving, craft demonstrations, and snake shows are presented. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat.; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. Admission: $4.50 adults; $3.75 ages 12 and under; $3.50 senior citizens.

10) Busch Gardens, 3000 Busch Blvd.; 987-5082. The 300-acre theme park features more than 3,000 exotic animals, birds and reptiles, rides and an animal petting area. Hours: 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily; $29.75, $24.45 ages 3-9, free ages 2 and under; $3 parking.

12) Adventure Island, 4500 Bougainvillea Ave. (1 mile northeast of Busch Gardens); 987-5660. Nineteen-acre outdoor water theme park features 210-foot speed slide, 76-foot body slide, Calypso Coaster open flume ride, Caribbean Corkscrew ride, inner-tube ride, wave pool, white sand beach and swimming and diving area. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends until Oct. 25. Admission: $15.95 (plus tax) adults; $13.95 ages 3-9, free ages 2 and under. Children under 8 must be supervised by an adult.

13) Lowry Park, 7520 N Boulevard, and Lowry Park Zoo, 7530 N Boulevard; 935-8552 (zoo). The park features a children's amusement area with characters and castles from Mother Goose, open weekends only while school is in session: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat, noon-6 p.m. Sun.; zoo features petting zoo, wildlife exhibit, Primate World, Aviary, Asian Domain and manatee research center. Hours: 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Admission: $5.50; $3.50 ages 4-11, $4.50 senior citizens (ages 50 and over), free age 3 and under.

14) Ybor City, Tampa's historic Latin quarter, is home to a collection of galleries, cafes and shops. Live music, from acoustic to ragtime jazz, can be heard at bars and restaurants. The turn-of-the-century district, with Seventh Avenue as its main boulevard, was granted National Historic Landmark status in 1990. Beginning in November, free guided walking tours of the area will be offered at Ybor Square.

17) Ben T. Davis Municipal Beach, east end of Courtney Campbell Parkway in Tampa, is a short stretch of sand that has been attracting groups of teenagers, tourists and loyal bay area residents for 30 years. The beach was named for the man who built the causeway and converted the area to a city park in 1963.

SPORTS

7) Plant City Stadium

8) Cincinnati Reds Stadium

15) Tampa Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

EDUCATION

11) University of South Florida, 4202 Fowler Ave., Tampa. The four-year state college had a total enrollment of 33,593 in fall 1991 at its five campuses. The Tampa campus is the largest. Others are in St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Fort Myers and Lakeland.

15) Hillsborough Community College, a two-year college with campuses on N Dale Mabry Highway and in Ybor City.

DOWNTOWN TAMPA

SIGHTSEEING

1) Bayshore Boulevard, along Hillsborough Bay, has the world's longest uninterrupted sidewalk: 10 miles.

2) Jose Gaspar Pirate Ship, the centerpiece of Tampa's annual Gasparilla celebration, was built at Tampa Shipyard in 1953 and 1954. The replica of an 1800 West Indiaman weighs 300 tons, is 164 feet, 6 inches long, and has a 35-foot beam and three 100-foot masts. It is docked on Bayshore Boulevard.

5) Harbour Island, 601 S Harbour Island Blvd., 223-9898. Harbour Island features an array of specialty shops and restaurants. Restaurants feature a wide variety of cuisines and most have a view of the water. Various activities are sponsored among the shops and along the waterwalk throughout the year.

6) Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St. The center, which opened in October 1990, is home to concerts as well as conventions. Typical fare includes entertainment, concerts and trade shows.

7) Davis Islands, an upscale residential neighborhood near downtown, is home to Tampa General Hospital, the city's largest hospital.

SHOPPING

8) Old Hyde Park Village, 1509 W Swann Ave., 251-3500. Includes a wide array of specialty stores such as the Sharper Image and Banana Republic along with restaurants and a Godiva Chocolate shop. Concerts are performed in the village square.

12) Franklin Street Mall. This thoroughfare in downtown Tampa is closed to vehicles and is most crowded during the business lunch hour. The mall is in a bit of a slump after the closing of a major department store, but still supports a few restaurants and the venerable Tampa Theater.

14) Ybor Square, Eighth Avenue and 13th Street, Ybor City. The former V. M. Ybor Cigar Factory houses restaurants, antique shops and curios in the heart of old Latin Ybor City. The ornate architecture emphasizes the area's rich heritage. Hours: 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat., noon-5:30 p.m. Sun. Call 247-4497 in Hillsborough.

CONCERT HALLS

10) Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, 1010 N Maclnnes Place, Tampa. The center, which opened in September 1987, has three arenas: Festival Hall, which seats 2,400; Playhouse, which seats 900; and Jaeb Theater, which seats 300. Typical fare includes Broadway shows, international orchestras, dance companies, popular music, theater, children's programs, comedy and variety shows.

11) Tampa Theater, 711 Franklin Street Mall, Tampa. This historic theater opened in 1926. Typical fare includes concerts, comedy, film series and community events. Call 223-8981 (24-hour information line).

MUSEUMS

3) University of Tampa/Henry Plant Museum, Plant Hall at the University of Tampa, 401 W Kennedy Blvd., 254-1891. Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tues.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun. Admission: $2, 50 cents for children under 12. Original hotel furnishings and art objects displayed. Includes furniture and Venetian mirrors of the Victorian era. Features the Victorian Christmas Stroll during December, when the hotel is decorated to look as it would have during the Henry B. Plant era.

9) Tampa Museum of Art, 601 Doyle Carlton Drive, 223-8130, Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Sat.; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed.; 1-5 p.m. Sun. Admission: $3.50, $2.50 students, $2 ages 6-16, free under 6, $3 senior citizens. Features displays of permanent and traveling art exhibits. Permanent collections include modern paintings and prints, Greek, Egyptian and Roman antiquities.

13) Museum of African-American Art, 1308 N Marion St., 272-2466. Hours: 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tues.-Sat.; 1-4:30 p.m. Sun. Admission: $2 donation requested. Features the Barnett-Aden collection, which contains works by artists such as Lois M. Jones, William H. Johnson and Romare Bearden. Museum shop features indigenous African jewelry, books, calendars, T-shirts, etc.

16) Ybor City State Museum, 1818 Ninth Ave., 247-6323. Hours: 9 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. Tues.-Sat. Admission: $1 ages, 6 and up. This former bakery features brick ovens still intact and displays illustrating the Cuban cigar industry in the mid-19th century and its move to Tampa.

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