Tampa Bay Blog

March 13, 2018

10 Fun Facts you may (or may not know) about Tampa Bay

10 Fun Facts (you may not know) about Tampa Bay

Although Tampa often gets passed over in favor of theme park capital of the world Orlando, the diverse range of activities & proximity to top-rated beaches make Tampa a stunning vacation destination in and of itself as the area. After visiting Tampa just once, you will find that the area offers a never-ending supply of activities & attractions, in addition, its’ world-famous beaches and theme parks.

Here are some facts you may or may not know about Tampa.

1.   Tampa is home to the world’s longest continuous sidewalk.

Bayshore Blvd in downtown Tampa, at 4.5 miles long, earns the title of “the world’s longest continuous sidewalk.” This gorgeous recreational path, which is used by cyclists, joggers, and walkers alike, is lined with palm trees and features never-ending views of the bay.

2.    Ybor City is viewed as one of the most haunted places in the world…

Tampa was once referred to as the “damnedest town this side of Hell.’ Not surprisingly, the area offers many ghost tours, including one that is frequently rated amongst the best in the country. Ybor’s Cuban Club was voted “One of the Top 10 Most Haunted Places in the U.S.” by the Travel Channel. Should be fun for Halloween?

3.    Tampa’s temperature has never exceeded 99 degrees.

Despite the area’s endless days of heat and humidity, the temperature has surprisingly never reached 100 degrees! The record is 99 degrees, although that is not to say that the temp feels well over 100 with the heat index on an almost constant basis during the brutal summer season.

4.    There is more to the area than just beaches and resorts.

The Tampa Bay area really offers a bit of everything – a top-rated family zoo, a range of interesting museums ( especially the Tampa Museum of Art), the Tampa Theater (one of the top-rated theaters in the world), gorgeous nature reserves everywhere you turn (check out Weedon Island & John Chestnut for starters), and on and on. Additionally, the area is home to fantastic local restaurants and coffee shops. It’s one of the top-rated cities for fitness and nature lovers, and after a visit, it will not be hard to see why.

5.    It has had a huge Pirate festival for the last 100 years!

The Gasparilla Pirate Festival, a large festival celebrating the legend of pirate Jose Gaspar, dates back over 100 years. The festive pirate themed line-up features the Gasparilla Invasion (arrival of the Gasparilla ship downtown), pre-invasion live entertainment, a special brunch, and the 3rd largest parade in the country.

6.    Lots of really popular movies were filmed here:

Magic Mike, Edward Scissorhands, Dolphin Tale, My Girl, The Parent Trap II, and Goodfellas.

7.    Babe Ruth hit his longest home run in Tampa.

Interesting snippet of history – The Great Bambino’s longest home run was hit at the old Plant Field baseball stadium in downtown Tampa. In April 1919, during a spring training game of the Red Sox vs. the NY Giants, the baseball legend hit a record-breaking 587-foot homer.

8.    Tampa is home to Florida’s largest port.

Port Tampa Bay is the largest port in Florida. It’s the closest full-service port to the Panama Canal. It also happens to be one of the top cruise ports in the US with 4 cruise lines homeporting here including Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America, Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Line.

9.    Birdwatching is BIG in Tampa.

The natural landscapes of Florida make it home to a diverse range of bird species. The Great Florida Birding Trail is a network of over 500 birding sites designed to protect Florida’s natural bird habitat. Pinellas County is a favorite spot for birdwatchers due to the mild climate, diverse ecosystems, and variety of trails and parks scattered all around the region. Birding is becoming more and more popular with both locals & tourists, and fortunately, there are many parks in the region for everyone to enjoy this fun past time without overcrowding.

10. Tarpon Springs has the highest percentage of Greek Americans in any US city.

It also happens to be home to the highest percentages of Greeks in any American city. If you are looking to try out some great Greek food in the Tampa area, Tarpon Springs is the place to be. The Greektown Historic District is a lovely little place to take a stroll. For excellent Greek food with a fantastic view, check out Dimitri’s on the Water.

Check out these amazing homes in an economically sound area:

www.HomeFinderTampaBay.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Tampa
March 1, 2018

Take Your Workout to the Next Level at this Indoor Climbing Gym

If you are in the mood for a workout with a difference, a visit to Vertical Ventures indoor climbing gyms in North Tampa or St. Pete, is where you need to be. Vertical Ventures, established over ten years ago as Florida's first indoor climbing gym, is definitely a worthwhile choice!. 

On offer at Vertical Ventures (North Tampa) are more than 6,000 feet of indoor climbing space, and the St. Pete location has a whopping 20,000; so there's no way you're walking away unsatisfied with your route options. If you are conscious of your lack of experience, the truth is that it is way more important to get out there and give it your best shot. Or foot!

What is Vertical Ventures all about?

Vertical Ventures is the best way to experience indoor rock climbing in Tampa and St. Petersburg. Enthusiasts from all ranges of fitness and skill levels participate, making it an ideal group activity. It's a low-impact sport, so it's perfect for all ages. And, if climbing is not really your thing, the gym offers a range of yoga and fitness classes.

At Vertical Ventures, customers become more than just regular visitors to Florida's first indoor climbing gym - they form part of the Vertical Ventures family. Enjoy classes, special social events, and a friendly atmosphere while visiting this fun indoor climbing gym. 

Why should I give it a try you may ask?

Cost is always a consideration: the gym is incredibly affordable  An introductory rock climbing class is a steal at only $25 -! Vertical Ventures also offers day passes and "Quick Climb" options with excellent rates for climbers who just want to stretch their limbs occasionally. 

More great reasons to come and try: Indoor rock climbing is challenging but in a fun way. It allows you to engage in a fitness activity and enjoy yourself at the same time. There is always strength in numbers so bring your friends or family along, or you can fly solo. Another plus is that because it's indoors, you can exercise all year-round. 

How does it work? Do I get any help?

During your first visit to Vertical Ventures, you will learn the basics of rock climbing. You'll take part in a tutorial referencing how to use the equipment, and you will learn the different types of climbing. Top rope, auto belay, bouldering, and lead climbing are all skills you can master at Vertical Ventures. 

Note: Certain types of climbing may not be practiced by those 13.

On arrival, fill out a waiver before your first class at Vertical Ventures. In no time at all, you'll be all set to start climbing!

Visit  Vertical Ventures climbing gym to learn more! 

Check out these amazing homes in an economically sound area:

 

www.HomeFinderTampaBay.com

 

 

Posted in Tampa
Feb. 27, 2018

Clearwater Beach claims title as top beach in the U.S.

CLEARWATER - Once again, Tampa Bay beaches have been hailed as some of the best in the United States.

Clearwater Beach has once again been named the No. 1 beach, according to TripAdvisor, which notes that the best time to visit is, well, any time of the year.

It’s the second time Clearwater Beach has claimed this top spot. The pristine beach took the same title in 2016.

Siesta Beach, in Siesta Key, Florida, came in second place but should have been the 2017 winner, according to TripAdvisor. St. Pete Beach came in seventh place for this year.

In a tweet, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater wrote, “Sugar sand, emerald green water, and 365 days of sunshine are just a few reasons we’re home to #AmericasBestBeaches!”

Clearwater Beach has garnered a reputation as an ideal vacation destination for people of all ages from all around the world. Families vacation here as do couples and young adults. From some of the best seafood restaurants Florida’s gulf coast has to offer, to recreational activities that include boat rides and parasailing, to world-class hotels and resorts, Clearwater Beach offers something for everyone!

Although Clearwater Beach is a great place to vacation, it's an even better place to live, evidenced by the people who live here year-round. 

Check out these amazing homes in this economically sound area:

 

www.HomeFinderTampaBay.com

Posted in beaches,tampabay
Feb. 20, 2018

7 New Restaurants Opening In Tampa 2018

Don't miss out on the openings of these highly anticipated new restaurants that will be opening it's doors this spring to the beautiful people of Tampa.

1. Bambusa Bar & Grill

The LGBT-friendly Bambusa Bar and Grill has had a successful branch in Naples and is now branching out to a new second location early this year in historic Kenwood where Georgie’s Alibi used to be. This casual restaurant will be offering great entertainment and serving up fresh seafood, burgers, pizza, pasta, and wraps.

Allergy friendly | Vegan options

where: 3100 Third Ave. N., St. Petersburg

website:  bambusaonline.com

contact: 2396495657 / bambusanaples@gmail.com

2. Voodoo Doughnut

Voodoo Doughnut, with stores in Portland, Denver and Austin, has a bit of a cult following and it's easy to see why. The iconic quirky shop with its signature pink theme will be opening a brand new store at the Universal Orlando Resort's CityWalk next to the NBC Sports Grill & Brew. Providing residents and visitors with their indulgent doughnuts. You can expect all the familiar favorites including Grape Ape and Bacon Maple Bar. 

Vegan options available

where: 6000 Universal Blvd., Orlando, 

website: voodoodoughnut.com

3. Paul’s Landing

Thanks to Paul's Landing expected to open at The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club on the 19th of Feb this year, you'll be able to enter a Vinoy restaurant directly from the street for the first time in 93 years! This new eatery is expected to be a casual, marina-front, Florida-inspired restaurant offering a menu that showcases locally sourced seafood, smokehouse elements and fresh citrus and even a rum-forward bar.

where: 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg

website: www.marriott.com

4. The C House

A post shared by The C House (@the.c.house) on

This new lighthearted eat and drink spot, soon to open in Seminole Heights, is themed around the letter C. Everything on the menu all starts with C. Think cheesecake, charcuterie, Champagne, and other delicious baked goods. The store will feature two full-liquor bars, a retail store, and a covered patio. 

where: 6005 N. Florida Ave., Tampa

website: www.facebook.com/the.c.house.tampa/

contact: +1 310-990-6316

5. Gen X Tavern

Get a dose of nostalgia at this restaurant and bar inspired by the 80's and 90's. This old-school hangout is opening on the ground floor of the Bank of America building parking garage (between Tampa and Ashley streets) and will be serving up food like tacos, burgers, funnel cake fries, and orange creamsicles and will have a fully stocked bar for all you old school loving people out there by mid-2018

where: 200 N. Tampa St. #G-130, Tampa.

6. Osteria Italian Bar and Kitchen

A post shared by Osteria Tampa (@osteriatampa) on

This new, rustic Italian themed bar and kitchen is expected to be  opening during the spring of 2018 and will be featuring executive chef Fabio Viviani and mixoligist Ro Patel. The kitchen and bar will be part of the new high rise NINE15 Carter building. Expect authentic Italian dishes and amazing cocktails.

where:  NINE 15 Carter building on the Franklin st block between Tyler St. and Cass st.

website: thenocturnalgroup.com

contact:  727-455-5665 / 813-732-1021 | info@thenocturnalgroup.com

7. Harpoon Harry’s Crab House 

The construction of the second location from Smuggler's Enterprises started in November last year and is due to open on the 19th of June this year at the Tampa Convention Center. This 18,000-square-foot, two-story restaurant will showing off a sushi bar, roll-up doors along Franklin Street, and a converted 1926 Chevy truck bar. 

where: 327 S. Franklin St.

website: www.harpoonharryscrabhousetampa.com

contact: rone@smugglers.com

 

 

Posted in food
Feb. 15, 2018

Cybersecurity Education SecureSet Comes to Tampa

Effective cybersecurity reduces the risk of cyber-attacks and protects organizations and individuals from the unauthorized exploitation of systems, networks, and technologies.

Cyber-attacks can disrupt and cause considerable financial and reputational damage to even the most resilient organization.

If you suffer a cyber-attack, you stand to lose valuable assets, a reputation and possibly even loss of income depending on the nature of the business, and potentially face regulatory fines and litigation – as well as the costs of remediation.

SecureSet Tampa is a firm that trains enrolees for a career in Cybersecurity. In mid-January, it has plans to launch a new training program for candidates from their new offices in Ybor City.

Adam Sheffield, director of SecureSet’s Tampa campus explained: “Cyber threats are growing exponentially, but there is a lack of qualified talent and innovation in Tampa Bay and nationally.” To breach this niche, the firm is seeking "IT job transitioners, veterans and others" who may be interested in a career in the ever-growing area of cybersecurity.

Two different immersive courses are offered: the CORE Analyst course is conducted over 20 weeks and aims to have graduates ready for immediate placement as security engineers, analysts, pen testers, and consultants. The other class is HUNT Analyst, which is over 12 weeks and hopes to have graduates serve as security and threat analysts.

The CORE Analyst course will happen at the Ybor location in January and is designed to help those who are looking to change careers or begin a new one to enter this high-growth field. With new enrollees being able to complete the program in as little as three months, and a placement rate at their original location in Denver at 100%, high-paying jobs can be had for SecureSet students either near the campus or across the country.

An exciting development is that Bay Area cyber firm and Managed Security Services Provider Abacode has already partnered with SecureSet as a hiring partner to ensure immediate employment for graduates.

As the campus grows, hopefully, more people will complete the courses and fill the growing need for cybersecurity jobs along the I-4 Corridor, helping to prevent the "brain drain" that the emerging technology area desperately wants to avoid. With more and more technology businesses heading to Central Florida, the need for qualified people to fill jobs in these fields has never been higher, and SecureSet is aiming to fill this niche.

Check out these amazing homes in an economically sound area:

www.HomeFinderTampaBay.com

 

 

Posted in Tampa
Feb. 13, 2018

Integral Energy to Build Natural Gas Station at Port of Tampa

Integral Energy LLC was unanimously chosen by the Port Authority as the preferred contractor to build a compressed natural gas (CNG) station on the grounds of the Port Tampa Bay 

The station is primarily designed to serve fleet vehicles, but it will also be open to the public. On offer will be both regular gasoline and compressed natural gas. The addition of CNG is targeting the 9000 trucks that enter and exit the largest port in Florida every day. 

“We are thrilled to have our next project right here at home, and to bring smarter and cleaner fuel to Tampa Bay,” said Anddrikk Frazier, President, and CEO of Integral Energy. Frazier has been in the energy business since graduating from USF. “The station will serve passenger cars, but also fuel the trucks that are essential to making the largest port in Florida operational every day with CNG that will benefit everyone," Frazier added.

Four pumps at the station will be dedicated to CNG service, providing a steady supply for trucks and fleets wanting to change to cleaner and cheaper fuel for trucking. One of the biggest obstacles for those looking to make the change is the lack of available supply once on the roads, which the new station hopes to alleviate for Bay Area ground transportation companies.

The project will occupy 5.7 acres of land on the Southeast corner of Maritime and Causeway Boulevards, with a convenience store and a restaurant attached that will be operated by vendors yet to be determined. Integral will make the land “construction ready” as part of their 20-year lease, providing all site infrastructure, underground facilities, and utility connections.

“Integral Energy’s facility is an exceptional fit for the Port,” Port Tampa Bay President and CEO Paul Anderson said in a statement. “Integral Energy’s facility is an exceptional fit for the Port. Not only do we welcome clean fuel alternatives which are domestically produced, this station will support the thousands of trucks and growing number of service providers at the Port every day.”

And if you are impressed by Tampa's mission to be more environmentally friendly,  why  not check out some of these amazing homes for sale in the area: www.HomeFinderTampaBay.com

 

 

 

 

Posted in Tampa
Feb. 6, 2018

Dog Friendly Spots In Tampa

Man's best friend is part of the family and deserves to enjoy a day out too.

Thankfully Tampa is one of the most dog-friendly places to be and there are plenty of great spots, beaches, and restaurants to chill out and spend some quality time with your furry friend.

Hyde Park Villiage

 www.hydeparkvillage.com

t: +1 813-251-3500

1602 W Snow Ave, Tampa, Fl

a day in the village with @ambereileen98 and rosie ?

A post shared by victoria (@superdupervicky) on

Logan Gate Dog Park

www.facebook.com/pages/Logan-Gate-Dog-Park

 t: +1 813-635-3500

7374 Monterey Blvd, Tampa, Fl

 

Cooling off at the dog park today! #rugerthereddobe

A post shared by Ruger (@rugerthedobermanpinscher) on

Sail Pavilion on the Riverwalk

c: (813) 274-7778

333 S Franklin St, Tampa, Fl

 

Six Ten Brewing

www.sixtenbrewing.com

e: info@sixtenbrewing.com

7052 Benjamin Rd, Tampa, Fl

Nothing like mans best friend and a few brews! ????????

A post shared by Joseph Fuller (@justrunfuller) on

Ella's Folk Art Cafe

www.ellasfolkartcafe.com

t: 813-234-1000

5119 N Nebraska Ave, Tampa, FL

 

A post shared by Samantha Morse (@samantha00jane) on

Dunedin Dog Beach

www.floridastateparks.org

t: 727-469-5942

Honeymoon Island Pet Beach,1 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin, Fl

Ginger Beard Coffee

www.gingerbeardcoffee.com

t: +1 813-434-0795

1208 E Kennedy Blvd, Ste 112, Tampa, FL

 

Picnic Island Beach Dog Park

t: (813) 274-8117

7404 Picnic Island Blv, Tampa, Fl 

A post shared by Elinor Murray (@elinormurray) on

Before you go check out some amazing homes for sale in Tampa Bay: www.homefindertampabay.com

 

Posted in Tampa
Feb. 1, 2018

Hungry Howie's Pizza Challenge Pizza Eating Contest at the Florida State Fair February 13

How much pizza can you eat?

Are you excited by the concept of winning and pizza all in one package? Winning is always satisfying and fun, and pizza is always most welcome. Logically, winning something by eating a lot of pizza would be double the fun, right? 

Hungry Howie's Pizza & Subs is giving you the chance to go big at this year's Florida State Fair. There will be literally hundreds of boxes of pizza waiting for you to get your teeth into. The question is: do you have what it takes to win the Hungry Howie's Pizza Challenge?

The pizza-eating contest starts at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 13. The winner will win free Hungry Howie's pizza for a year, plus the obvious boasting rights that come with the title!

But before you can compete, you have to prove that you have what it takes to be in the Final. To qualify, all you have to do is Go to the contest entry site and upload a gutsy photo of yourself guzzling a pizza. Along with this, you need to submit a video telling us why you have what it takes to be a Hungry Howie's Pizza Challenge finalist. Then the great pizza-eating voting public will vote to decide who gets to compete for the grand prize. You can vote for your favorite contestant on the same site you use to enter, with only one vote allowed per day.

The Hungry Howie's Pizza Challenge will be hosted at the Florida State Fairgrounds, only a few miles from downtown Tampa off Interstate 4 and Orient Road. If you're chosen as a finalist, you will receive two tickets to the Florida State Fair on February 13th -- one for yourself, and one for a friend to come and support you. 

Hungry Howie's is also sponsoring a Family Night deal at the Fair on February 13. After 4 p.m., two adults and two children can get admission and rides for only $45! So, pick up the kids from school and head out to the Florida State Fair for a relaxing afternoon of fun, entertainment... and pizza. More pizza than you can handle?

The promotion is managed by Hungry Howie's Florida. 

 

 

Posted in food
Jan. 30, 2018

How to find the Best babysitter in Tampa Bay

Calling all Tampa parents and even visitors to Tampa! Are you in desperate need of a night out? Or do you need a fun girls’ day out? Or what about those unforeseen circumstances and you have to take care of it without your kids in tow? There are some things you just cannot do with your children, and finding someone trustworthy at the ninth hour is always difficult.

So here are some options:

SoHo Sitters

This tried and tested company is based just out of Tampa, with 90 fully screened babysitters on staff to suit your needs. They even have a backup plan if something happens and the original sitter cannot get to you.

Soho Sitters understands that finding the perfect babysitter in Tampa can be both time consuming and overwhelming! On the website it says, “With an affordable monthly membership or our traveling package options, we happily accommodate your sporadic child care needs, including last-minute binds, date nights, you name it! We are the only private company in Tampa that helps with these types of needs and have the lowest sitter rates around!”

Twinkle Toes Nanny Agency

This is a national company with several branches. The Tampa branch prides itself on its reliable, headache-free services, and offers its clients fully screened babysitters.

Twinkle Toes Tampa believes it is in another league of babysitting “because we take the time to determine the needs of each family before we begin the nanny search. I (Manager Robin Landry) meet with each family in their home before we begin the search. We focus on working with the entire family because we understand that a great nanny not only cares for the children but helps to make the parents lives easier as well.”

There are no initial startup costs, and rates vary depending on the size of your family and the services required.

Care

This nationwide site is one of the most popular and well-known sites to get a babysitter or nanny. Luckily for you, there are LOTS of available care providers in the Tampa area, especially with the University of South FloridaUniversity of Tampa, and HCC so close! All you have to do is create an account, detail your needs and the agency will contact only those sitters who meet your exact needs. There is also an App that you can download to your phone which provides you with all the information and links to action a sitter.

According to Care “Basic membership is free and allows families to view and post jobs, receive newsletters full of expert tips and advice, and access a wealth of content on all things care-related. Premium members pay a subscription fee ranging from approximately $37 for a monthly subscription to $147 for an annual subscription and enjoy all these services, plus the ability to view contact details and make contact with an unlimited number of caregivers, purchase background checks, and access references for providers.”

 

If you are trying to double date or go out with some of your friends, you obviously can’t share the same babysitter. But for those times you’re not, it doesn’t hurt to see if your friend’s sitter is available! Chances are if your friend trusts them with their children, so will you. Word of mouth is often the best reference for these kinds of services. 

Posted in Florida
Jan. 25, 2018

Where To See The Best Views In Tampa

Sometimes you just need to take a moment to stop the busyness of day to day life and admire your surroundings.

Here are a few of the best spots in Tampa that you can do just that!

JIMMY'S CROWS NEST

101 Coronado Drive, Clearwater Beach

For panoramic views of the surrounding beaches and ocean go the Jimmy's Crows Nest. An open-air bar located on the 10th floor of the Pier House 60 Marina Hotel.

 

BON APPETIT

148 Marina Plaza, Dunedin

 For the best views of the sunset over the harbor, have your meal at the Marina Cafe

 

OYSTERCATCHERS

2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa, Fl

Enjoy freshly prepared seafood with a stunning view of the bay.

 

BALLAST POINT PARK

5300 Interbay Blvd, Tampa

Take a stroll down to the fishing pier for amazing views of the Bayshore Blvd Waterfront and downtown in the distance.

 WHISKEY JOE'S

7720  W Courtney Campbell Cswy, Tampa, Fl

Go to Whiskey Joe's for great food and the best beachfront views.

 

 

Posted in Tampa