Monday, August 27, 2012

The Republican National Convention 2012 - Is In Tampa, FL

The Republican National Convention, originally scheduled to run this week from August 27 – August 30, but experiencing a somewhat soggy delay due to Hurricane Isaac, will be in Tampa, FL, a great vacation destination. Regardless of your political affiliations, the Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg metropolitan area is rich with a wide array of things to do, as well as numerous timeshare rentals to make your stay here budget-friendly.

While the area first became popular as a beach destination, it now offers everything from museums to theme parks to zoos. Below are 5 of the top Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg attractions:

1. Busch Gardens Adventure Park. This amusement park specializes in roller coaster rides. At 150 feet, Montu is one of the tallest coasters in the world, and has seven inversions, with speeds of 60 mph on its almost 4,000-foot track. Gwazi is one of the biggest and fastest wooden coasters in the world. Topping 200 feet, SheiKra is now the tallest Busch Gardens coaster; it is floorless and features a true 90 degree vertical drop.

2. Big Cat Rescue. What is claimed to be the world’s largest assemblage of exotic cats, this is a sanctuary and rehabilitation facility. Many of these animals have been abused or donated by people bought them as cubs. Spreading over 45 acres, it is home to about 150 cats including lions, tigers and leopards A guided tour includes the popular feeding-time venues.

3. Salvador Dali Museum (see photo right). Some of DalĂ­’s most important (and largest) works are here, once owned by Ohio philanthropists Reynolds and Eleanor Morse who were friends of the artist. The exhibit also includes an intriguing biographical section that traces Dali’s early life as an art student in Spain through his development as a major artist and long life in New York. The new museum building opened in 2011

4. Lowry Park Zoo. More than 2000 animals are exhibited in this oak-shaded park of 56 acres. The zoo presents eight exhibit areas, including the Florida Manatee and Aquatic Center, the Florida Boardwalk, and a popular petting zoo. A fun restaurant, Reilly’s Reserve, has big windows looking into the giraffe, elephant and zebra habitats.

5. Sunken Gardens (see photo left). Waterfalls, butterflies, flamingos and 50,000 tropical plants create “a botanical paradise in the midst of a bustling city.” Designed within a drained lake 100 years ago, this garden is home to some of the oldest tropical plants in the region.

Bonus (6) – Less than an hour away you can Swim with Manatees!

Check out budget-friendly timeshare rentals in Greater Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg. For example, stay in a Four Winds Beach Resort timeshare rental (see top photo) for as little as $107/night.

Photo Credit (Busch Gardens): ultimaterollercoaster.com
Photo Credit (Salvador Dali Museum): bayoaksseniorsonthego.blogspot.com
Photo Credit (Sunken Gardens): sensationalceremonies.com

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