Throughout the Tampa Bay region, new construction and redevelopment is on the upswing. Tampa recently added the $94 million Florida Aquarium and a leading sports venue, St. Pete Times Forum. The downtown Kress Block area is revitalized for retail, office, and residential use in buildings that offer dramatic Renaissance Revival, Art Deco, and beaux arts styling. At the same time, enclaves of stately homes in coveted areas like Harbour Island and Bayshore Boulevard offer fine residential options that are driving renewed interest in downtown living. The St. Petersburg and Clearwater area in Pinellas County adds yet another dimension of economic vitality and fine residential communities. Serving as the major metropolitan centers for a host of master-planned communities, small towns, and beach cities, these Gulf Coast jewels blend historic architecture with stunning contemporary construction. Pasco County is rapidly transforming its rural acreage and agricultural heritage into a suburban haven that blends a good commute to employment corridors with relaxed country living.

The endless variety of water-oriented natural beauty as well as pristine woodland
provides a backdrop of breathtaking beauty for many of the area’s communities. More than 100,000 pleasure watercraft make the Tampa Bay region a nautical paradise.
Rivers, streams, bayous, lakes, canals, and bays encourage all forms of water sports and outdoor activity. Renowned golf courses and tennis facilities, fitness centers, organized programs, and lush municipal parks dot the region. State and county parkland expands the opportunity for recreation, offering boat ramps, cabins, campsites, multi-purpose trails, equestrian facilities, beaches, and even water-sport rental equipment.

Major-league teams and regional or national competitive events fill venues with cheering spectators. Tampa Bay Lightning is playing professional hockey games in St. Pete Times Forum, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are at home in Raymond James Stadium. St. Petersburg’s Tropicana field is the home base for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The New York Yankees enjoy spring training at Legends Field in Tampa.

From collegiate teams to horse shows, auto racing, or PGA thrills, the Tampa Bay area hosts a variety of regularly scheduled and special-event competition. For those who love the game of shopping, the region offers everything from sprawling modern malls to quaint historic districts, colorful flea markets, antique centers, boutiques, or open-air plazas with lush landscaping and pedestrian promenades. Every corner seems to hold a new surprise.

Those who appreciate the finer aspects of human expression will discover a world of visual and performing arts in the Tampa Bay area. Symphony concerts, opera, ballet, and stellar musical entertainment are all available close to home. Both St. Petersburg and Clearwater have developed their own outstanding venues for the arts, adding an impressive lineup to Tampa’s year-round calendar of special events and first-rate live stage productions.

Families have so many quality choices of activity in this region, the challenge will be finding enough time to explore the options. The water paradise of Adventure Island is conveniently located adjacent to Busch Gardens, creating a wonderland of thrills for the younger set. The Museum of Science and Industry offers more than 300 hands-on interactive exhibits, an IMAX theater, and planetarium. The new Florida Aquarium features four impressive galleries: Florida
Offshore, Florida Coral Reefs, Florida Bays & Beaches, and Florida Wetlands. A highly acclaimed zoo, children’s museums, nature parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and thousands of acres of first-rate parks are available for family fun.

Adults as well as children of all ages enjoy browsing through world-class museums and historic sites throughout the area. Some of the more popular destinations include the Florida Center for Contemporary Art, the Henry B. Plant Museum, the Museum of African-American Art, the Museum of Natural History, the Tampa Bay History Center, the Florida Pioneer Museum, and the Ybor City State Museum.

Major festivals and celebrations draw out friends and neighbors, attracting visitors from across the nation and around the world. Gasparilla Days is one of Tampa Bay’s most unique events with a mock pirate invasion, parade of boats, live street entertainment, many children’s activities, and a superb arts festival. Celebrations honoring film, dance, horses, seafood, strawberries, and art are just a few of the attractions.

When sun sets and the stars appear, the bay area begins to sparkle with options for entertainment and nightlife. Comedy clubs, dance spots, theaters, restaurants, and entire districts filled with inviting venues are all waiting to be explored and enjoyed. From the serenity of waterfront estates and the charm of the pristine rural acreage to the vibrancy of cosmopolitan urban centers, the Tampa Bay region is sure to capture your imagination—and your heart.
Welcome home to paradise!

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