Boats dance and glide over the crisscrossing wakes carved into Tampa Bay, each craft anxiously revving toward its respective dock to arrive before closing time. All the while, a handful of boats remain on the open water, swaying atop the undulating waves as its passengers continue to enjoy the fiery sunset reflecting off the bay's surface. These select aquatic vehicles carry Lotto Boat's boat club members, who have access to a slew of exclusive perks, such as extended marina hours. Stationed at Harborage Marina, Lotto Boat's 45 rental vessels include kayaks, paddleboards, WaveRunners, and power boats equipped with GPS navigation systems. After hopping aboard a vessel, landlubbers can go jet-skiing, drift over to nearby tiki bars for dinner and live music, or take in scenic views of downtown St. Petersburg. Once patrons make their way back to one of Lotto Boat's two docks, staffers thoroughly cleanse the boat of interior debris and exterior mermaid hitchhikers to prepare for the vessel's next excursion.
Staffed by a corps of chimp-loving volunteers working alongside veterinarians, the nonprofit Suncoast Primate Sanctuary provides a safe haven for more than 100 rescued animals. Chimpanzees and monkeys swing freely in their enclosures, living out their days after being moved from other environments, including zoos, sanctuaries, and research centers, or retiring from the film industry as animal actors and studio executives. During public hours, children and adults can wander among the menagerie to feed the monkeys and meet other critters such as orangutans, macaws, lemurs, and alligators.
Since 1989, photographer Ron Grecco has worked with thousands of family and commercial clients and served on the Tampa Area Professional Photographers Association’s board of directors. Along the way, he’s expanded on a portfolio that includes many inventive shots, including family portraits on the beach, adorable pictures of puppies, and mouthwatering shots of restaurant dishes. Ron and his team offer their services for a variety of subjects and occasions, including family photo shoots, weddings, and professional headshots.
Reporters at this bimonthly lifestyle magazine sift through the local dining, art, and social scenes to present the gems to readers on glossy, colorful pages. Each issue carries an expansive dining guide that curates the city's culinary landscape, turning readers on to chic new bistros, hidden gems, and bars that have the most elegant spittoons.
Mixers sates all senses with its menu of classic bar cuisine, lively libations, and 18 HD television screens. Plates of macho nachos stick their esophageal landings via chili, cheese, and jalapeños ($6.75), and smoking wings let garlic and barbecue sauce do all the squawking ($5.75 for 10). Sample variations of burgers ($6.75+) or traditional philly sandwiches loaded with steak, onions, peppers, provolone ($7), and desires to punch slabs of raw meat. Pair pub-centric specialties of shepherd's pie ($7.75) and irish fish 'n' chips ($9.25) with frosty pints of Stella ($4.75 each) or a glass of house wine ($4.25).
The Transitions Championship, an official PGA TOUR event, pits formidable golf kings—such as two-time winner Retief Goosen and 2010 winner Jim Furyk—against the lush greens and brutal traps of the Innisbrook's 72-hole Copperhead course. The verdant meadows of the Copperhead course sprawl to 7,340 yards and feature unusually dramatic elevation changes and reassuringly infrequent bear attacks. The tournament mixes the traditional drama of men dueling with clubs with a week of events such as the March 13 Think About Your Eyes Family Walk, which raises money for blindness prevention and lobbies to jazz up televised golf coverage with tie-dyed greens.