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Orlando or Tampa/St. Pete?

Washington DC...
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Orlando or Tampa/St. Pete?

I'm starting a plan this year's guys weekend trip. Our only options are Orlando or Tampa. Can you guys recommend our best option? Let me start by saying that we're not into golf, strip clubs, and/or tourist traps. Our main purpose is to hang out, find day-time activities where we can mingle with the locals, and explore the nightlife. We're in our mid-thirties so college hang-out bars are out of the question. St. Pete already offers a huge advantage: the beach, but I'd like to get people's opinions as to what makes one better than the other. Are there any beer festivals or any other festivals that locals like to attend worth while (since our dates are kind of flexible)? Any info on what city is better for our purpose would be greatly appreciated.

Marina, California
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1. Re: Orlando or Tampa/St. Pete?

Just because you mention a beer festival, I just assume you're into beer. So am I, and it tends to be a big focus in my travels. If it is, then I would highly encourage you to go to Tampa/St. Pete. If anything, because of Cigar City, which is one of the best breweries in the country. They have a number of specialty and seasonal beers that are not available elsewhere also. For example, when we went in September, they had a rum barrel-aged pumpkin beer on tap. There's also a fantastic beer bar in Largo (Willard's). Then, for non-drinking, you have the obvious beach, the pier (while it's still there), some good museums, several historic districts (Gulfport in St. Pete & several areas of Tampa) and swimming with the manatees far to the north of the city (totally worth the drive).

I'm close to your age as well, and I'm just saying that I generally dislike Orlando but really enjoy Tampa Bay. Just a thought.

Washington DC...
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2. Re: Orlando or Tampa/St. Pete?

Colinaz, you're speaking my language. There is nothing like a good craft beer. And I'm actually surprised I haven't heard about this Cigar City. That and the beach may make the trip worth while. And the age part is also key; we still like to have a good time and enjoy the nightlife, but at the same time, we don't want to be the odd "old guys" at the bar, so we like to avoid the college hang outs. The bad part is that some towns or cities only offer a nightlife for the very young, I'm trying to avoid that. Thanks!!!

UK
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3. Re: Orlando or Tampa/St. Pete?

You will find it easier to mingle with locals in Tampa/St pete than orlando I feel. And if you don't want theme parks, but would like beach or water activities like say, fishing, then again Tampa Bay area would be great.

Marina, California
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4. Re: Orlando or Tampa/St. Pete?

Cigar City has pretty limited distribution. Very rarely will you find them outside of Florida. I hadn't heard of them until a few years ago. They had a stout a couple of years ago that was #1 on the RateBeer list.

I think Tampa got a bad hand with the way the media blew up the strip club thing during the RNC. I can't speak much for the nightlife there, but I know strip clubs aren't a focus, and I know that finding a non-college bar in St. Pete won't be a problem. You may end up being the youngest people in a lot of places, really.

Clearwater, Florida
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5. Re: Orlando or Tampa/St. Pete?

I would look at Ybor City in Tampa, downtown St. Pete, St. Pete Beach, and Clearwater Beach. If not going to theme parks, no need for Orlando IMO.

Washington DC...
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6. Re: Orlando or Tampa/St. Pete?

Thank you all very much. It seems like the Tampa area is the place. If any of you have a recommendation on a good weekend to go, I'd really appreciate it. Like I said before, a beer festival would be great, or any kind of festival popular with the locals. Thanks again!

Clearwater, Florida
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7. Re: Orlando or Tampa/St. Pete?

This weekend is the beginning of "Beer Week"

http://tampabaybeerweek.com/

Look around for events, shows, etc at www.tampabay.com and www.tbo.com

8. Re: Orlando or Tampa/St. Pete?

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