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Grapefruiting 2017: What else to do in Clearwater?

Wikimedia / Waters2100

Sunset in Clearwater. Wikimedia / Waters2100

Every spring, thousands of Phillies fans trek from the frigid tri-state area to sunny Clearwater, Fla., to take in some rays and Phils baseball. Spectrum Field – formerly known as BrightHouse Field – is a premier stadium that gives fans a more intimate view of their favorite players while enjoying virtually the same amenities as a big league park. If you’re one of the lucky ones escaping the cold come March, you may be wondering what else there is to do when you are not at the ballpark.

Fun in the sun

There’s nothing more satisfying than sinking your feet into the Gulf of Mexico, especially when it’s 40 degrees back home. Whether you’re staying in Clearwater or in nearby spots such as St. Pete Beach or Indian Rocks Beach, there are plenty of options for spending some time with a good book and a frozen drink. Baseball and the beach … what more could you ask for?

Reprieve from the heat

If you got too much sun (guilty!) or a rare rainy day cancels the game, Clearwater and the surrounding area have a bunch of interesting museums to check out.

The Dali Museum is a must-see. Not only does it house more than 2,000 of Salvador Dali’s art, it’s located along St. Petersburg’s picturesque waterfront.

If history is your thing, you won’t want to miss the Florida Holocaust Museum, also located in St. Petersburg, or the Tampa Bay History Center.

Pier 60

After the game, I would highly suggest heading over to Clearwater’s Pier 60 to grab some food and drink, and catch the beautiful views of the sunset.

On any given night you can find a variety of street performers and vendors selling one-of-a-kind items. As an added bonus, there’s a pretty sweet playground for kids.

Family fun

Speaking of the kiddos, there is plenty to keep them occupied when they’re not running around the grass berm at Spectrum Field.

Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise offers a fun excursion for people of all ages. Kids will soak up the pirate adventure while mom and dad enjoy the complimentary beer and wine.

If you’re more of a landsman, you can visit Winter the dolphin at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium or take the hour drive to Busch Gardens.

And, remember, Walt Disney World isn’t very far away (and you can catch a Braves spring training game while there).

Party time

There’s plenty of nightlife in the Tampa Bay area, with every kind of scene available to you.

The historic Ybor City is full of live music mixing a number of Latin cultures. The Ybor City Jazz House has multiple levels with soul, jazz, DJs and more providing the soundtrack. The Ybor City Barbering Company is a hot bar (and barbershop) in the heart of the district. And the Lion’s Den is a cigar bar and cocktail joint worth your time.

Clearwater Beach has – ahem – Shephard’s. You’ll hear about it. It’s on the beach, multiple rooms, live music, plastic cups filled with cheap beer and beach concoctions. Surfside Taphouse is nearby, more laid back.

Want a big-time beer experience? Tampa has Cigar City Brewing. Highly recommended.

What are some of your favorite spots when you make the trip down south?

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