EN­TER­TAIN­MENT

Travel Guide to Florida - - WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA -

When it comes to nightlife, West Cen­tral Florida likes to party. And there are plenty of spots to do just that.

Ybor City’s thriv­ing nightlife ranges from dance clubs and live mu­sic venues to quiet pubs, while Tampa’s South Howard Av­enue, or SoHo, is filled with restau­rants. How­ever, this hip strip re­ally comes alive af­ter din­ner when the drinks be­gin to pour.

Pro­fes­sional sports take hold of West Cen­tral Florida on the ice, on the field and on the pitch. The Tampa Bay Light­ning are on the ice for their 2017–18 sea­son through April, un­less the team makes the play­offs and their NHL sea­son is ex­tended in pur­suit of the cov­eted Stan­ley Cup.

Take the fam­ily out to the ball game dur­ing spring train­ing or dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son for that mat­ter. Be­gin­ning in March, the Toronto Blue Jays take their swings at the Florida Auto Ex­change Sta­dium in Dunedin (once ranked one of the top five places to watch a spring train­ing game by Sports Il­lus­trated), while the New York Yan­kees play spring ball in Tampa and the Philadel­phia Phillies step up to the plate in Clear­wa­ter. The Jol­ley Trol­ley trav­els from Clear­wa­ter to Dunedin and on to Tar­pon Springs, mak­ing it easy to catch a few spring train­ing games along the route. Dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son, the Tampa Bay Rays play their opponents at the 72 F Trop­i­cana Field in St. Peters­burg.

On the pitch in down­town St. Peters­burg, the Tampa Bay Rowdies soc­cer team be­gins its pre-sea­son matches in March, and the reg­u­lar sched­ule takes them through the sum­mer and late into the fall.

The Tampa Bay Buc­ca­neers be­gin their grid­iron sea­son in Septem­ber and play through the fall and into Jan­uary, with their sea­son ex­tend­ing if they make it into the NFL play­offs.

For a dif­fer­ent type of sport, try your hand and test your skills at the Semi­nole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa.

OP­PO­SITE TOP: Play­time at the beach. OP­PO­SITE LEFT: Sponge docks in Tar­pon Springs. OP­PO­SITE BOT­TOM: Skate­boarder at the Dalí Mu­seum in St. Peters­burg. TOP: Kayak­ing off Caladesi Is­land. CEN­TER LEFT: St. Pete Pride Fes­ti­val in down­town St....

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