Monday, February 28, 2011


I'm booked for a trip to Florida for several days in mid-March. It's theoretically possible that Cardgrrl will be in the same vicinity at the same time.

I've never been to the gulf coast, so suggestions for fun/interesting things to do in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area and the Ft. Myers area are hereby solicited. This includes needing basic info about poker rooms in that part of the state.


Grange95 said...

I've been to Tampa-St. Pete twice. I recommend dolphin watching and the Salvador Dali museum.

Paul said...

head to ft myers beach, nice quiet mostly family oriented place. Grab a burger at the pierside grill, mostly live music there, wait for a table on the water much better!

Butch Howard said...

The Dali museum in St. Petersburg is worth a look:

There are several parks in the area, including Fort DeSoto:

I have not played there, but my research for a trip in April turned up the Hard Rock in Tampa:

Have a good time.

Snuffy said...

I live in Tampa. Shoot me an e-mail and I can answer whatever you need. snuffysports(at)gmail dot com

There are some who call me... Tim said...

Busch Gardens in Tampa is always enjoyable - even if you don't care for roller coasters or other rides. The wildlife portion is neat to just hang out in. And they have (or at least had the last time I was there) pink flamingos. Lots of pink flamingos. And what is Florida kitsch but pink flamingos.

Tourist-y but also enjoyable down in Ft. Myers are the Edison/Ford homes.

Of course, you will be down there during spring training - Boston and Minnesota train in Ft. Myers - Boston just outside of downtown, and Minnesota just south of the city. I believe Texas may still be in Port Charlotte, a bit north of Ft. Myers. There are probably other teams along the Tampa/Ft. Myers stretch.

John said...

I hate to fish BUT went out on a party boat from st pete for cheap maybe $20 for i/2 day.... it was a blast drop a line pull in a fish octopus , snapper grouper I was just passing thru so gave my catch to a senior citizen

Anonymous said...

Poker rooms in the Tampa/St Pete area are the Hard Rock, Derby Lane, The Silks at Tampa Bay Downs, Lucky's at Tampa Greyhound. Sarasota has One Eyed Jacks at the Sarasota Kennel Club and Ft Myers has poker at Naples Ft Myers Greyhound.

I also recommend the Dali Museum in St Pete. In the same area as the Dali is St Pete's small and walkable downtown waterfront which offers dining along Beach Drive and up Central Ave and adjacent avenues to about the 600 block.

If you are into horse racing the Tampa Bay Derby is March 12th at Tampa Bay Downs.

Auto racing? The St Pete Grand Prix is March 25-27th.

If you go to Sarasota don't skip St Armand's Circle for dining and shopping,

Spring training baseball.

Beaches - just pick one, they are all pretty good. Search for recommendations from Dr Beach as he has selected quite a few area beaches as the best in the Nation.

Other stuff around Tampa/St Pete

Henry Plant Museum
Ybor City (Home of the Cuban Sandwich)
Ft DeSoto

Fun Fact
St. Pete is Officially the Birthplace of Scheduled Aviation

diverjoules said...

I would recommend Sanibel Island. About ten miles from Ft. Myers. It is friendly and relaxing with a beautiful beach.

rriddler said...

I'm coming a little late to this party, as I just got back in town from Las Vegas, but being a resident of St. Petersburg, I've got a few suggestions for you:

Take a day and spend it in the Bradenton / Sarasota area

Solomon's Castle is definitely an interesting and enjoyable experience. (

The Ringling Museum, Ringling Mansion and Circus Museum is a can't miss. ( The Circus Museum has the most amazing miniature circus that has been created by 1 man over 60+ years.

Finish the day with dinner at the City Pier restaurant on Anna Maria Island. Get there before dark, and you'll likely be able to see dolphins cavorting while you enjoy dinner.

In St. Petersburg, the Salvador Dali Museum is another can't miss attraction. St. Petersburg also has several other museums, including the Fine Arts Museum and the new Chihuly collection. ( - I personally haven't been to the Chihuly museum yet, but I did see an excellent exhibit of his works at the Milwaukee Art Museum a few years ago.) There are tons of great restaurants in downtown St. Petersburg. Also, while a bit too touristy for my tastes, the Hurricane Restaurant in Pass-A-Grille Beach has a rooftop bar/restaurant that is popular for watching the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico each evening.

The Bay Area Renaissance Festival is also running weekends now through April 17th/ (

For poker, there are 5 rooms within 45-60 minutes of each other.

The Seminole Hard Rock Casino - The closest thing you'll find to a Las Vegas Casino.

Derby Lane (St. Petersburg) and Tampa Bay Downs (North Tampa) are the nicest rooms, both having opened new rooms in the last 2-3 years. (In my opinion, Derby Lane has the best tournaments in the area.)

Tampa Dog Track - Don't bother, unless you want to go slumming.

Sarasota Dog Track - Not a very impressive room, but the games always seem to be pretty easy to beat when I venture down there. It also has the advantage of being only a few minutes away from the Ringling Museum.

Good luck and I hope you enjoy visiting my home state!!