Husband, daughter 9 and I will be travelling to the greater Tampa area the second week of March 2014. It is our first trip to the area. We will be spending 5-6 nts there. We are booked at a resort in St Pete's Beach and will have a rental car and seriously don't mind driving to see/do things.
I need some help on what to do. We know we want to go to Busch Gardens for sure. Here are some things we like animals (esp animal encounters), water activities, shelling, quaint shops especially with art but otherwise not big shoppers, casual fun restaurants esp local places with good food and atmosphere. I have poked around on the forums....some of the things that appeal to me are
big cat rescue
swimming with the manatees (who with/where is it best to do this)
John Pass or Pass-a-Grille (sp?)
maybe a baseball game or spring training, or a car race if any going on
What should be on our list of MUST-DOs and next best if time?
Since we are staying on the beach (I love my morning walks on the beach) and will have just spent 8 days in Turks and Caicos we're not really thinking of spending a lot of time hanging at the beach...maybe a afternoon.
Also while in the area we would like to look for some real estate - not in Tampa but in nearby communities which would have boat access to the gulf. I have no idea how to really get started and need some suggestions. Can anyone help tell me some of the communities we might want to visit to scope things out. And we do not have a $1mil plus budget unfortunately so not looking for those enclaves.
Thanks in advance for the help.