Interesting Things to See in the Tampa Area

If you were to look for an area in the United States that has just about everything, the Tampa-St. Petersburg area may be one of those places. It has some of the best beaches in the country, great theme parks within an hour and one-half drive, museums, animal attractions and science centers. The weather is great, cruise lines are close at hand, and if you like city living Tampa is the third largest city in Florida and St. Pete the fourth. It has just about everything except mountains.

You can have a great time soaking up the sun and just hanging out. But if you are looking for some real fun and interesting things to do, here are a few ideas:

1. Beaches. There are many excellent choices within short driving distance of downtown Tampa, but Fort De Soto County Park may stand out as the best for many people. It has been voted the top beach in America by Trip Advisor, and although it averages in excess of 2.7 million visit the park its seven miles of waterfront can accommodate a lot of visitors.

2. Amusement parks. Only about an hour or a little more from downtown Tampa is Orlando, the amusement capital of the world. But just north a little ways is an excellent park in its own right: Busch Gardens Tampa. It has a collection of some of America’s top roller coasters, but perhaps what sets it apart is the Serengeti Plain, a large place where African animals freely roam.

3. Other animal attractions. A great choice here is the Florida aquarium, which is ranked as one of the best in the world. Some of their interactive exhibits are really interesting and creative, but try to get on the Eco-Tour aboard their catamaran. They have a wide variety of marine animals, but they rightly emphasize those from the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay area.

4. Science centers. The Museum of Science and Industry of Tampa will keep kids busy with a lot of hands-on gadgets to play with. The Imax Dome is also worth checking out. For a real local flavor of Tampa there is the Ybor City Museum. It’s small but gives an excellent history of Cuban immigration to Tampa and the role the cigar industry played in the city’s early development.

Speaking of Ybor City, this is really a quaint area not far from the cruise-line docks and not a bad option for spending some time in. I’ve noticed that in the last five years this area has been spruced up quite a bit.

Spartanburg’s Downtown Attractions

Visitors to downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina often gather in Morgan Square, a popular venue for outdoor concerts and festivals. A renovation in 2005 with new landscaping, sidewalks, and a large fountain made the square an inviting gathering spot. During the spring and fall months, people can enjoy live Jazz on the Square concerts. In the summer months, free Music on Main concerts are offered every Thursday evening. A number of shops, galleries, and restaurants are within walking distance of Morgan Square.

The Chapman Cultural Center, at 200 E. St. John Street, is the home of the Spartanburg Art Museum Gallery, the Spartanburg Regional History Museum, and the Spartanburg Science Center. The art museum houses a permanent collection of 20th century works, primarily featuring local and regional artists. The museum hosts several special exhibitions each year. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-5pm. Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children. The Regional History Museum traces the history of the area with exhibits focusing on Native American settlements, military history, and the textile industry that flourished in the area. Changing exhibits are highlighted during the year. Spartanburg Science Center has many interactive exhibits allowing children to explore the world around them. The exhibits fall into four categories: biology, health science, physics, and earth science. Live animals on display include frogs, turtles, snakes, and insects. The popular Star Lab exhibit details planets and constellations. Science Center hours are Thursday-Saturday from 10am-5pm. Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children. Chapman Cultural Center is also home to the David Ross Theater and the Black Box Theater where visitors can enjoy a musical performance, live theater, or a performance by Ballet Spartanburg.

The Hub City Railroad Museum is located in the former Southern Railways Depot at 298 Magnolia Street. The museum has exhibits related to Spartanburg’s role as an important transportation hub in the region. Textiles and agricultural products moved through the Upstate region by rail. The museum has recently unveiled its newest component, a restored 1947 caboose. Museum hours are Wednesdays from 10am-2pm and Saturdays from 8am-2pm.

Spartanburg is a bicycle friendly community. Spartanburg B-cycle makes it easy for visitors to rent a bike at self-service rental stations around town. One of the rental stations is located in Morgan Square. Users can purchase a 24-hour membership for $5, allowing them to bike around town to one of the city’s parks or the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail. The first hour of use is free. Each additional 30 minutes costs $1.

Choices of Hotels in the Downtown Seattle Area

Hotels located at the downtown district are popular choices of accommodation when visiting Seattle. They are in close proximity to destinations exciting to tourists, like Seattle Aquarium, Pacific Science Center, Olympic Sculpture Park and Space Needle. Seattle is home to many entertainment and amusement venues to. It features many live performances nightly, historical places, and shopping malls.

Econo Lodge Federal Way Hotel
The Econo Lodge Federal Way Hotel is located nearby fascinating attractions such as the Celebration Park Sports Complex, Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center, Wild Waves Theme Park and many shopping centers. Pets are allowed in the hotel with a charge of $10 per night. Pets should not exceed the 20-lb weight limit.

Guestrooms are comfortable and pleasant which features amenities such as:

o Full air-conditioning
o Cable TV
o Free Continental Breakfast
o Alarm Clock
o Coffee Maker
o Hair dryer
o Microwave oven
o Handicapped accessible facilities
o Telephone
o Refrigerator

There are several restaurants where guests can experience festive meals. These restaurants include:

o Applebee’s
o Coco’s
o McDonald’s
o Olive Garden
o Billy McHales
o Vince’s Italian

There are a dozen other places to visit:

o Celebration Park
o Dash Point State Park
o Emerald Downs Horse Racing
o Emerald Queen Casino
o Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection
o Point Defiance Zoo
o Puyallup Fairgrounds
o Rhododendron Botanical Garden
o Six Flags Enchanted Village
o Super Mall Auburn
o Tacoma Dome
o Weyerhaeuser King Co Aquatic

Comfort Suites
The Comfort Suites located in downtown Seattle Center is just neighbors with Seattle Center and Space Needle. Visit other attractions nearby. There’s the Pacific Science Center, Experience Music Project Museum and the Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. The Pike Place Market is a good choice to shop.

The Safeco Field Ballpark holds many action-packed games for sports lovers. Catch the MLB Seattle Mariners here. Dining is just around the corner. Restaurants and cocktail lounges around the park are receiving raves from tourists.

Morning starts with a free deluxe continental breakfast with the daily newspaper. Free local calls are also provided. There is a picnic area in the premises for bonding time with your family.

Guests are pampered with the best service, including the following amenities:

o Fitness room
o Business center
o Fax services
o Photocopying service
o Laundry service
o High- speed wireless Internet access
o Handicapped accessible facilities

Sheraton Seattle Hotel and Towers
The Sheraton Seattle Hotel and Towers is located in downtown Seattle, close to many tourist attractions.
Popular attractions in the area include the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium, Washington State Convention Center, Pike Place Market and the Seattle Waterfront.

After a tiring day of sightseeing and adventure, relax in the comfort of your spacious guestroom combined with contemporary amenities that include coffee maker, mini bar, cable TV, butler service, telephone and a high-speed wireless internet access.

The Daily Grill features American cuisines serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is conveniently located at the hotel. Warm up your day at the fireplace located at the lobby and enjoy a cocktail of your choice.

Other hotel amenities include:

o Meeting Rooms
o Gift Shop
o Luggage Storage
o Ballroom center
o Airport Shuttle
o Business Center
o Valet Parking
o Fax services