Things to Do in Seminole
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Captain Larry and his esteemed crew at Tampa Water Taxi Company whisk passengers along the city's historic harbor and through Davis Island Canal so they can spy stunning views of notable architecture and wildlife. During the night tour, sojourners glide past the notable dwellings that speckle Davis Island. Knowledgeable guides color in the background of the historic Plant Hall of the University of Tampa as ghost-ship crews strain to listen in without being seen. Reflections of the city's lights dance in the gentle waterways, and stars overhead twinkle in time with the craft's romantic melodies as passengers snack on refreshments and sip premium complimentary white or zinfandel wine. Daily tours span 75 minutes, and vessels are known to rub shoulders with friendly dolphins, which often approach boats to fish for invitations to human pool parties.
200 N Ashley Dr.
Founder Carole Baskin never dreamt she'd one day oversee a 55-acre sanctuary inhabited by some of Earth's largest cats. In 1992, she and her late husband were at an exotic-animal auction seeking out llamas for their farm. A man had a 6-month-old bobcat that he could no longer care for, and the pair decided to give it a place to call home. They then traveled to a bobcat breeder for another playmate, but upon seeing the horrible conditions the animals were kept in, they bought all 56 kittens. They rehabilitated them back to health, and gave them permanent homes on their then-40-acre site. Soon, word of her knack for nurturing spread beyond the Tampa area, and callers began donating abandoned or orphaned cats. Her mission to save these animals also reached the ears and hearts of many celebrities, including contributors Harrison Ford and Bo Derek.
After 20 years of hard work and learning, Carole is still caring for abused and abandoned big cats at her rescue site, accommodating more than 100 medium and large creatures from bengal tigers and black leopards to lynx and lions. Her staff of volunteers helps care for the animals and leads groups in tours that educate visitors on the plight of these animals both in the wild and in captivity.
12802 Easy St.
Bored with the staid security of corporate life, Eloyne and Bradley Erickson founded Grand Central Stained Glass & Graphics in 2006, dedicating themselves to bringing their love of fine art to the community. Focusing on decorative glass, the shop sells beautiful pieces and commissioned work, intensively collaborating with customers to create unique, colorful doors, decorative windows, or whimsical alien-observation tanks. Its regular classes teach pupils how to fuse and color glass in small workshop settings, and jewelry-making sessions teach aspiring artisans how to use wire to craft custom adornments. The shop’s giclée printing services reproduce photos and art with an Epson Stylus Pro 9800 printer, which obsessively corrects color until clients are satisfied with each piece's final balance.
2425 Central Ave.
In the middle of Saint Petersburg surrounded by tall buildings and shopping malls lies a 100-year-old oasis of waterfalls and lush plant life. Sunken Gardens, one of the city’s oldest living museums, surrounds visitors with a thriving ecosystem of more than 50,000 tropical plants and flowers. Winding paths lead explorers around rivers and ponds filled with fish and turtles. Flamingos walk the banks as passersby spy parrots and admire butterflies gliding from flower to flower. The tranquil gardens also host educational events and daily yoga sessions that help ease stress generated by everyday lives and not being able to touch your left elbow with your left hand.
1825 Fourth St. N
Armed with thermal meters, night-vision equipment, and EMF detectors, Ghost Party's paranormal experts tiptoe through darkened buildings. As they lead guests through basement morgues and four-story mansions built in the 19th century, the foundations settle, releasing eerie sounds. Guides escort groups along the streets of areas such as Ybor City during tours, which combine tales of murder and untimely death with facts about historical architecture and numerous photo stops. The tour, which has been featured in the Tampa Tribune, regales visitors with information about the locations and how to tactfully ask a ghost to wash its sheet. Continually adding to a record of spooky sightings, personnel revisit local haunts or rendezvous with clients for private tours throughout the U.S. at known ghostly locales such as Eastern State Penitentiary, Waverly Hill Sanitarium, and creaky-door factories.
1600 E 8th Ave.
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