Travel like a local.

Podcast, Reedy Press

Pirate Festival, Dali Museum & Mermaids in Tampa Bay, Florida

Best things to do in Tampa Bay Florida Josh Ginsberg city mural

I’m really excited to interview Josh Ginsberg, the author of Secret Tampa Bay, about Tampa Bay, Florida. Josh’s tips for the best things to do in Tampa Bay are awesome because he wrote the guide to Tampa Bay’s weird, wonderful, and obscure attractions and secrets of the city. He escaped the winters of Chicago to live in the sunshine of Tampa and discovered fascinating art, history museums, and hidden gems to explore.

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Best things to do in Tampa Bay Florida Josh Ginsberg annual Sanding Ovations competition in Treasure Island

Annual Sanding Ovations Master’s Cup competition in Treasure Island

Tampa Bay, Florida

Tampa Bay is a collection of towns on the west coast of central Florida. The bay is a natural harbor and shallow estuary connected to the Gulf of Mexico. The main cities of Tampa Bay are Tampa, St Petersburg, and Clearwater.

Josh says that it is hard to find better weather anywhere in the country. Winter is a fantastic time to visit while escaping the snow and chill from other parts of the U.S. Music & arts festivals happen all year long, with special events like the Sanding Ovations Master’s Cup, the Plant City Strawberry Festival, and the Gasparilla Pirate Festival as must-see attractions when you visit Tampa.

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Visit Tampa Bay, the local convention and visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests. The Tampa Bay CityPASS saves visitors 52% on the city’s most popular attractions, including Busch Gardens, ZooTampa, The Florida Aquarium, and the Chihuly Collection.

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If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.

Best things to do in Tampa Bay Florida Josh Ginsberg The Replay Arcade Museum in Tarpon Springs

The Replay Arcade Museum in Tarpon Springs

Getting around Tampa Bay

The local airport is Tampa International Airport (TPA), which is only about 8 miles from downtown. Depending upon where you are staying, the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) is another great option that is across the bay from Tampa. Use our Expedia tool below to find flight, hotel, and rental car options.

Josh says that it is best to rent a car when visiting Tampa. Click here for the best offers from Avis, Budget, or Hertz. Tampa Bay is comprised of several cities separated by bridges and highways and is fairly spread out. Uber and Lyft are excellent ways to get around if you don’t want to rent a car. For a unique experience, you can also try one of the water taxis.

If you only need a car for a couple of hours, you can rent by the hour with Zipcar. Join now to get $25 loaded into your account.

Places we talked about on the podcast

Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Josh Ginsberg about Tampa Bay, Florida. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.

  • Red dots = best places to eat in Tampa Bay, Florida
  • Green dots = best things to do in Tampa Bay, Florida
  • Yellow dots = best places to stay in Tampa Bay, Florida

Who is Josh Ginsberg?

Josh Ginsberg is the author of Secret Tampa Bay: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure. After living in Chicago with his wife, they decided that they couldn’t spend another winter there and wanted to live someplace warm. His wife had always wanted to live in Florida, so they chose Tampa and now can’t imagine living anywhere else. After Josh moved to Tampa, he started to discover fascinating art, intriguing museums, and other hidden gems, so he decided to write his book so that others could experience it for themselves.

Secret Tampa Bay is now available from Reedy Press and wherever you buy your favorite books. In Josh’s latest book, Tampa Bay Scavenger: The Ultimate Search for Tampa Bay’s Hidden Treasures, you’ll be led through a gamified experience of the Tampa Bay area, complete with over three hundred clues to solve spanning seven counties. Learn more about Josh’s books on his Reedy Press author page.

In addition to writing his books, Josh is also a resume writer and the owner of an art leasing business. His business focuses on selling and leasing local artwork to buildings and businesses to liven up their space and set the mood for success.

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You can connect with Josh on his website and on Facebook. You can also read Josh’s personal writing on his blog.


Click here to download our one-page guide of Josh’s tips for Tampa Bay.

Big thanks to today’s affiliate partner – CLEAR

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Best things to do in Tampa Bay Florida Josh Ginsberg beer with dog

Josh enjoying a beer with his dog at one of the many dog-friendly local pubs.

Stay tuned for our next episode

a man wearing glasses and bow tieListen to the next episode when Jonah McDonald, author of Secret Atlanta, shares the best things to do in Atlanta, Georgia. Jonah and I talk about hidden parks within the city, Tiny Doors that spark your imagination, and where to find Atlanta’s first Peach Tree. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of Tampa Bay? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

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To see which cities we’ve interviewed and scheduled, please visit If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please submit an application at

Related episodes

To learn more about the best things to do in Florida, listen to these episodes:


  1. May I use the “City of Tampa” picture on a real estate flyer? It’s stunning!