Amtrak to Underrated Tampa

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Jan 7th, 2019, 08:44 AM
  #21
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Bachslunch-- Thanks so much for your take on some other western Florida locales.

As I've reflected on my trip to the Tampa/St. Pete area, I must say I found it just as interesting as other more touted destinations I've been to in the US southeast, including places like Key West, Charleston, Savannah, St. Augustine, even New Orleans. Which is not to diminish any of those other places, which I consider to be gems (!) but to say that I considered the Tampa Bay Area to be of similarly compelling, something I was not expecting! So, I appreciate your thoughts on some of the surrounding communities.
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Jan 8th, 2019, 09:04 AM
  #22
 
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Daniel, while I don't think I will be doing any train travel I always enjoy your reports. You always seem to find hidden gems in your travels. I will be in Sarasota next week and appreciate your information about the Tampa area. I have been to the Dali museum. If you plan another trip to the gulf coast of FL Sarasota is a lovely place to visit with a lot to see and do.
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Jan 8th, 2019, 02:02 PM
  #23
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GomikióI should check out some other spots on the Gulf Coastóboth Sarasota & Tarpon Springs were recommended to me by a friend also, so I thank you for your corroboration. Iím glad you read my trip report even though youíre not one that takes rail. Although one goal with my trip reports is to give fans of train travel (and sleeper cars) ideas in North America, I do hope some that travel exclusively by plane or car might be made curious to consider the Tampa Bay region as a worthy option.
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Jan 8th, 2019, 03:16 PM
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Tarpon Springs is probably worth a half day’s visit at present. The Sponge Docks area, which is the strip along Dodecanese Blvd., has a bunch of shops and restaurants, plus a dusty little sponge diving museum. I think you can also take cruises from there, but have never done this. Very enjoyable.

I would have also highly recommended the George Inness paintings at the Unitarian Universalist Church (which are wonderful) but in 2014 the church was forced to put the paintings in storage because the building is plagued with sinkhole problems (the place had a notable moldy smell when I was there). If they ever take them out for public viewing, they’re definitely worth seeing.
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Jan 11th, 2019, 09:11 PM
  #25
 
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Love to hear rail stories. And thanks for the plug for one of our favorite cities. When light rail finally gets the green light from Miami to Tampa, we really hope they come up with a way to include St. Pete. However, right now, there is a winter ferry that runs between Tampa and St. Pete (before it returns to Cape Cod fir summers).

Downtown St. Pete has numerous other museums besides Dali, the two newest being the James (as in Raymond James Financial) Museum of Western Art and the soon-to-be-completed 5-story Museum of American Arts and Crafts. A new pier by year end will be the community’s icon. A coin toss selected St. Petersburg’s name over “Detroit.” And one of its early developers decided to keep the waterfront full of parks, rather than buildings, and it makes the city one of the nicest (and most walkable) in all of Florida. Its Saturday market is the largest in the southeast. A lot of people think the Tampa Bay Rays play in Tampa, but they actually have always been located in St. Pete. They may leave after 2027, but many people in St. Pete are hopeful they will leave so that the 80 acre stadium property can be used for better purposes. And, did you know that the Grand Prix (the first event of each year’s Indy Car racing season) takes over the streets of once sleepy St. Pete every March?
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Jan 12th, 2019, 05:37 AM
  #26
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Bachslunch—Thank you for the Tarpon Springs suggestions. A return trip to the region seems tempting!

Whitehall—Thanks for your comments and additional suggestions for St. Pete. That would be great if Miami & Tampa were connected by light rail—didn’t know that was in the works. As for the ferry, I loved it—but wished there were more service (no Service Mondays or before 4:30pm Tuesdays to Thursdays).
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Jan 12th, 2019, 07:05 AM
  #27
 
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Perhaps "light rail" is the wrong characterization. But here's the info: https://www.tampabay.com/business/br...sion-20181128/
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