The Central West Florida Region
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Sophistication and Fun in a Natural Gulfcoast Gem
Florida's Central West Region
Discover Florida's West Coast, which includes the popular vacation destinations of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Sarasota, offering a vast array of cultural, historical, natural and recreational riches along gem-colored waters and sun-drenched beaches. Then be enchanted by glimpses of small-town America by traveling to the state's back roads, including the counties of Citrus, Hernando and Pasco.
Visitors to Tampa can experience Busch Gardens, the Florida Aquarium MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry) or cross the bridge to St. Petersburg for the amazing artwork displayed at the Salvador Dali Museum. Clearwater Beach is a popular destination and Southwest of Tampa, enjoy an average of 361 days of sunshine for free on the Pinellas Suncoast, which encompasses eight Pinellas County communities from Tarpon Springs to St. Pete Beach.
For beach lovers, Bradenton and the Gulf islands of Anna Maria and Longboat Key boast 27 miles of dazzling sand beaches unmarred by high-rise condominiums or hotels. Shelling, sunbathing and swimming opportunities abound at numerous public beaches, while airboat rides offer an up-close look at the vibrant marine ecology of the Gulf islands.
Known as "Florida's Cultural Coast," Sarasota offers world-class art and entertainment the entire family will enjoy. The city was once the winter home of John Ringling and his world-famous Ringling Bros. Circus. Today, the circus magnate's legacy is on display at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.
Dotting the region's coastline, a host of unique diversions await on the roads less traveled. Down scenic bayfront avenues and tucked off quiet Gulf beaches, gilded architecture, ethnic enclaves and historic villages can be explored at a leisurely pace reminiscent of a bygone era.