For those who are visiting wonderful Tampa Bay in Florida, the attractions of this area are so numerous that it can become difficult to know where to start exploring. However, a great place to start is on the Tampa Riverwalk.
Starting at the South end of Riverwalk one will soon begin to encounter some of Tampa's most beloved attractions.
The first of these will be the Florida Aquarium. The architecture alone draws the eye. The glass that it is constructed of mimics the natural colors of the waters that have made so made Florida a haven for those who love sand and sea. The design echoes a breaking wave and it is the perfect home for some of the best aquatic attractions in this part of the world.
The aquarium itself is a delight for young and old. Interactive exhibits vie for attention with coral reef environments and the opportunity to swim with some of the most fascinating sea creatures while marveling at the diversity of marine life.
As difficult as it might be visitors need to tear themselves away to continue to explore the attractions of the Riverwalk.
Strolling past the Tampa Bay cruise ship terminal brings one to Channelside Bay Plaza where incredible eateries offer dining experiences that are almost too good to resist. But it might be a good idea to let that hunger sharpen for a while, or at least until you get to the next attraction - the Tampa Bay History Center. Here one can delve deeper into a fascinating 12,000 years of Florida history.
But before those starting that trip of exploration at this Smithsonian affiliated museum, it might be best to give in to the hunger pangs and pay a visit to Columbia Cafe where this restaurant which has been in the same family for 113 years serves up some exceptional Cuban inspired dishes. The Cuban sandwich eaten on outdoor seating is an experience that will never be forgotten.
This is just the fuel you will need to explore the museum. Highlights of that visit will be stories of a time when the Seminole Indians called this region home, the lives of the Cuban cigar rollers and the fascinating history of Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders.
Continue north and you will come across Sail Pavilion where those who have experienced a fun day out on sparkling waters return to enjoy a spot of refreshment at the waterfront bar with its magnificent 360-degree views. If you feel in need of some liquid refreshment this is an essential stop.
Those with little ones would do well to take some time to explore another attraction further down the Riverwalk - the Glazer Children's Museum. Here kids can explore the limits of their imagination in a safe and stimulating environment.
The Children's Museum stands adjacent to the Tampa Museum of Art. for Art lovers this is an essential pit stop if only to take in some magnificent works by Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhol.
After exiting the museum continue to stroll along the scenic walk and take in the wonderful views. You are now reaching the north end and the culmination of a wonderful day out.
After exploring both cultural and historical attractions, as well as having a whole lot of fun you might be feeling a little footsore (you will have walked over two miles) and perhaps a little weary. However, there is the perfect remedy for that when you reach the north end.
Take a load off your feet and stop for a while at Ulele. This restaurant has some incredible meals that have made it one of the most popular eateries in Tampa. If you make it for lunch then definitely try the Pulpo Carpaccio, which consists of thinly sliced octopus with a Piri Piri sauce as well as highlights of both red and green chilis. Some Gulf Coast oysters should also be part of the experience.
Adding to the attraction is the Ulule Spring Brewery where you can indulge in preservative-free ales and lagers made on the premises. The 'Magbee’s Honey Lager' is fantastic.
Tampa Riverwalk is a great experience. Once you have explored this great attraction you will have an even better idea of why Tampa remains one of the hottest vacation spots in the United States.
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