Free Time in Florida

This past week I was answering an email from a prospective student from a northern state who was asking about the social life down here in Florida. The email made me realize that I may have glanced over this topic in past blog postings and may have even taken it for granted. I know I've said it before, that all work and no play makes for a miserable student, so today I will do my best to describe some of the allure of St. Pete and the surrounding area. 

Nightlife

I was born and raised in Tampa, just across the Bay from St. Pete, so I have a pretty good idea of what's happenin' in the area. The student's email asked if there was a lot of nightlife in the area, if there were a good amount of coffee shops, restaurants, etc.

Let's start with Tampa. Tampa is a little larger than St. Pete and has a more "city feel" to it. There are an abundance of restaurants, bars and clubs in Tampa. One could find everything from fine dining to a hole-in-the-wall bar.

St. Pete has more of a "bohemian feel" and is littered with coffee shops, trendy cafes, bars and art galleries. If art is your thing, St. Pete is right up your alley. The new Dali museum in downtown St. Pete is incredible. Then again, Tampa has the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center and Tampa Museum to add to its credit. 

Sports

If you are anything like me, sports is a major player in your social life. Tampa and St. Pete have you covered in this avenue as well. The Tampa Bay Rays of major league baseball call St. Pete home, and for $30 you can sit 1st baseline to cheer them on. In Tampa, we have the Tampa Bay Bucs (NFL) and Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) to keep you occupied.

Daytime Activities

Outside of the nightlife, the daytime activities around here can't be beat. St. Pete's beaches are about 20 minutes from campus and some of the best in the state. There is always something to do on the beach, from volleyball to paddle boarding. This past week in Tampa was the annual Gasparilla parade. The parade celebrates the invasion of Tampa's harbor by Jose Gaspar and his pirates, and resembles a daytime version of Mardi Gras.

2012-01-30_gasparilla2

I hope this puts to rest the stigmatism that old-timers in their white shoes and over-sized Cadillacs have overrun Florida. We do have our fair share, but hey, they make great chiropractic patients.

Please keep the emails coming. This blog is for you guys and any topics you'd like me to tackle.

Have a great week, keep current with all your material, and don't forget to take some time out for yourself.

Cheers,
Dex