Located along the Gulf Coast of Florida, Tampa is a popular place where people love to both visit and live. With so many things to do, see, and explore, the growing popularity of Tampa comes as no surprise. If you are moving to the Tampa area or simply exploring while you are in town, following are a few of the top things you should check out. But these aren’t your typical tourist spots.
Gasparilla Pirate Festival
Have you ever wanted to experience a pirate-themed version of Mardi Gras? Well, this is your chance! Named after the infamous pirate Jose Gaspar, this festival is a celebration of the treasure not yet discovered in the world. One of the most climactic moments of this festival is when the Jose Gasparilla, a fully-rigged pirate ship, appears at the south end of Hillsborough Bay, and there is a reenactment of the historic pirate invasion that took place in Tampa. The event also features a parade of pirates and one of the largest fireworks shows in the country.
Hong Kong Willie’s
Hong Kong Willie’s is a preservation art business that has become a sight to see in the Tampa area. After being raised on a landfill as a young boy, reuse and recycling became a unique way for this artist to develop his creations. The building itself is also a work of art, covered in brightly colored fishing buoys and much more. Not only can you admire his work, but you can also purchase one of Hong Kong Willie’s unique works of art. Plus, if you plan on going fishing or composting, he has some of the best Florida red worms around.
Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center
Manatees are beautiful creatures, so this is one amazing sight you won’t want to miss while you are in town. At the Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center, you can see manatees swimming in their natural habitat. You can really get a good look at them when the Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach cools down its units, and the manatees are drawn to the warm water in the discharge panel.