The Florida Grapefruit League is officially underway, which usually means lots and lots of Yankee fans will soon be making their way to Tampa for a closer look at this year’s squad. After a disappointing defeat to the hated Red Sox in last year’s ALDS, expectations for 2019 are once again high.
If you’ve never been to a Yankees Spring Training game and are planning a visit this year, there’s no denying you’re in for a treat. George M. Steinbrenner Field is the largest spring training ballpark in Florida, and 2019 projects to be another memorable season for the Yankees. But if you’re hoping to get the most out of your experience, we also recommend taking in more that Tampa has to offer, starting with these 5 things to do while in town:
Go To a Tampa Bay Lightning Game
It’s almost a certainty that most Yankees fans aren’t fans of our local hockey team. But given the Lightning are one of the best teams in the NHL right now, going to a game is well worth the price of admission. Plus, Amalie Arena is located right downtown, which means you’ll be just steps from some of Tampa’s best restaurants and bars as well.
Visit The Florida Aquarium
The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay is one of the best in the country, which is hardly surprising given our location on the Gulf. It’s also home to more than 7,000 aquatic plants and animals from both Florida and all over the globe. For our money, it’s one of Tampa’s top tourist attractions and definitely something every visitor should experience.
Go Biking—On The Water!
If you’re planning a visit from New York (or any cold weather city), you HAVE to get out on the water before going back home to freezing cold temperatures. And while there’s certainly no shortage of options to consider, we recommend swinging over to the Tampa Bay Water Bike Company to rent one of their water bikes. It’s an activity that truly is fun for all ages, and believe it or not, it’s almost impossible to tip over or even get wet at all. In fact, many say it’s easier than riding a traditional bike and possibly even more fun since you’ll be on the water taking in the awesome Tampa skyline.
Take a Walk Along Bayshore Boulevard
Even if you’re not the most active person in the world, there’s nothing more pleasant than taking a morning or evening stroll along Bayshore Boulevard—a waterfront roadway that also has the longest continuous sidewalk in the world at 4.5 miles running right alongside it (according to Wikipedia, the 'longest sidewalk in the world' claim isn’t exactly accurate, but we’re still going to roll with it). Many of Tampa’s most spectacular homes and condo buildings also sit along Bayshore Boulevard and views of the bay and downtown Tampa are absolutely incredible. And the best part—this won’t even cost you a dime!
Walk Through Ybor City
You can’t visit Tampa and not make at least one trip over to Ybor City. First, Ybor City is only one of two National Historic Landmark Districts in Florida, which is pretty astounding on its own. But along with that, this lively neighborhood also has an amazing collection of boutiques, vintage shops, bars, restaurants, and cafes, providing visitors and locals alike with plenty to see and do.