Recently, I have been showing homes to many out-of-state buyers, both traditional buyers and investors. I love my sunny State and showing people the Tampa Bay area. I think that is part of being passionate about what you do. Because of my love of the Bay area, I thought it helpful to compile a list of what to do when relocating to Florida besides the standard “go to the beach” response.
- Don’t feed the alligators
The Florida alligator is located in most every waterway. The Florida Department of Fish & Wildlife may remove gators once they become a danger (primarily due to size) so you will often see smaller alligators sunning themselves on shores. Don’t be alarmed. The general rule of thumb is don’t bother them and they won’t bother you!
- Buy polarized sunglasses
These are an essential, especially when on the beaches or the water. Did you know that your eyeballs can get sunburned? I’m not sure how that feels because I wear polarized lenses but I can’t imagine that it feels good. Did I mention that proper eye protection may slow the aging process on your eyes? Stop in at a local optometrist to pick up a pair with your prescription or swing by a Wal-Mart or Bass Pro Shop and pick up a cheap pair.
- Sun protection in clothing
Technology has its perks. Even clothing these days has built-in sunscreen. Check out clothing lines like Columbia for great varieties. Sun protection is especially important in young children. Most sun damage occurs before the age of 18, so protect your kids and yourself for a lifetime of fun in our Florida sun.
- Take a “stay-cation”
There is a reason why you relocated or are considering relocating to Florida – it has a little bit of everything… except for the snow (but you were leaving cold winters behind anyway). Visit some of the lesser known tourist attractions such as the Singing Towers (Bok Tower Gardens) in Lake Wales, Legoland and its water park in Winter Haven, St. Armands Circle on Lido Key in Sarasota, the city of Christmas (year round Christmas!), Key West, etc.
- Florida is a Top 10 Wine Making State
I think this speaks for itself. 🙂 Try visiting local wineries such as
- Keel & Curley in Plant City is known for its blueberry wines and fruit fusion wines
- Florida Winery in Saint Pete is known for its fruit fusion wines
- Lakeridge Winery in Clermont is known for its hilly land and horse country and now its rolling vineyards
- San Sebasitian Winery in St. Augustine is known for its wines made from some of our Florida wild grapes: muscadine and scuppernong.
- Go sailing
Many communities and local yacht clubs offer free sailing and inexpensive classes for those individuals who want to do more than crew. Check out Davis Island Yacht Club for a free night sail every Thursday.
- Grab a craft beer
Florida is quickly becoming a state for connoisseurs of beers. We have many microbreweries popping up. Check out Tampa local favorites such as:
- Tampa: Cigar City, Angry Chair, Florida Avenue Brewing Co., New Age Brewing Company, Tampa Brewing Company
- St. Pete: St. Pete Brewing Company, Green Bench Brewing Company, Cycle Brewing
- See a sporting event or train for one
Tampa Bay has every major league sport that a sportsfan could desire: the Buccaneers, Rays, Rowdies, and Lightning. Most major cities also host a northern sports team for spring training (like the Yankees in Tampa). Also, IronMan is headquartered in Tampa so if you love being outdoors and training, then this area is the place to be.
- Enjoy the arts & outdoor museums
Tampa Bay loves the arts. We have museums and showcases for even the most discerning of tastes. Some local and unique favorites include the Dali Museum in St. Pete, Ringling Museum in Sarasota, and Tampa History Museum in Tampa.
- Swim with the manatees in Crystal River
It goes without saying that our beaches are some of the best in the world but did you know that we have many spring fed lakes that, in the winter months, are homes to manatees? You can go on tours for viewing the manatees. It is Florida law that manatees may not be touched or fed, except for 1 city: Crystal River. In this cozy town, you can swim, snorkel and dive with the manatees.