Tampa Bay, Miami, or Jacksonville FL?

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    May 02, 2015 10:16 PM GMT
    I am going to Orlando, Florida this July for a conference. Since I have never been to Florida, I thought I would go ahead and travel on my own when the conference is over. I cannot decide where to go but would like to see the Atlantic Ocean/Gulf of Mexico (I have not even seen either).

    I will only be staying in Florida a few days after my conference is over on July 6th before flying off to my next destination in the trip.

    Thanks in advance for all the help.
  • Import

    Posts: 7185

    May 02, 2015 11:25 PM GMT
    Jax is not worth visiting.

    Tampa is closest to Orlando so it may make sense for you to check it out, especially St. Pete/Clearwater. Downtown Tampa opened up a really cute park and boardwalk this past year, granted it will be hot as fuck when you're going, but might be worth a look. I was there last month and there's a museum, tons of restaurants, boardwalk that runs along the water with all kinds of shit going on, like drink stations (alcohol), live music, lots of people watching, etc...just like a general feeling of "im somewhere important"

    Otherwise, come to Miami. icon_smile.gif
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    May 02, 2015 11:29 PM GMT
    Tampa Bay and Jacksonville are warm but aren't tropical. Both like a far more humid San Diego, they're Sable palm city. If you want to see coconut palms, turquoise water and really feel like you're in the tropics/Bahamas, visit Miami. Gay or straight, there are no substitutes for Miami Beach, Key Biscayne and Coconut Grove.
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    May 03, 2015 12:42 AM GMT
    Daytona
    August
    Get some...
    http://www.usla.org/events/event_details.asp?id=495165
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    May 03, 2015 1:23 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 saidTampa Bay would be my first choice, then Miami. Jacksonville is kinda dull.


    Thanks for the information SouthBeacH May I ask what you liked more about Tampa Bay than Miami?
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    May 03, 2015 1:24 AM GMT
    Import saidJax is not worth visiting.

    Tampa is closest to Orlando so it may make sense for you to check it out, especially St. Pete/Clearwater. Downtown Tampa opened up a really cute park and boardwalk this past year, granted it will be hot as fuck when you're going, but might be worth a look. I was there last month and there's a museum, tons of restaurants, boardwalk that runs along the water with all kinds of shit going on, like drink stations (alcohol), live music, lots of people watching, etc...just like a general feeling of "im somewhere important"

    Otherwise, come to Miami. icon_smile.gif


    Thanks Import, what do you like about Miami? How long of a drive from Orlando to Miami on average?
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    May 03, 2015 1:25 AM GMT
    eagermuscle saidTampa Bay and Jacksonville are warm but aren't tropical. Both like a far more humid San Diego, they're Sable palm city. If you want to see coconut palms, turquoise water and really feel like you're in the tropics/Bahamas, visit Miami. Gay or straight, there are no substitutes for Miami Beach, Key Biscayne and Coconut Grove.


    Thanks eagermuscle for the information. It sounds like Miami would be the place to go then.
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    May 03, 2015 1:26 AM GMT
    dustin_K_tx saidDaytona
    August
    Get some...
    http://www.usla.org/events/event_details.asp?id=495165


    I have to start back up to work in August Dustin_K_tx. icon_sad.gif
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    May 03, 2015 4:08 PM GMT
    Jax is the seat of Duval where court clerks stopped marrying str8s so they wouldn't have to marry gays. Fuck them. Not much there anyway. Though south of that is historic St. Augustine and south of that is the red neck Riviera of Daytona where bike week is fun.

    Demographics-wise
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_demographics_of_the_United_States
    In Florida:
    By city, Orlando has the most gays as a percent of population.
    By metro, it's Tampa Bay (Tampa, St Pete, Clearwater)
    By consolidated metro it's Miami (Miami, WPB Ft Laud)

    eagermuscle saidTampa Bay and Jacksonville are warm but aren't tropical. Both like a far more humid San Diego, they're Sable palm city. If you want to see coconut palms, turquoise water and really feel like you're in the tropics/Bahamas, visit Miami. Gay or straight, there are no substitutes for Miami Beach, Key Biscayne and Coconut Grove.


    Tampa Bay and Sarasota grow pinnate palms, not just fan palms and I doubt some first time visitor from Kansas will know the difference between a coconut and a royal or foxtail.

    Unless a coconut falls on his head, all he's gonna see is PALM TREE.

    And there's a relatively new one that can handle cooler winters called a mule that I'm starting to see more of. It's a cross with I think a queen & pindo and looks coconut-ish.

    mule palm
    mule-palm-2.jpg

    coconut palm
    coconut_palm.jpg

    As to your comment on water. The waters are pretty around the area Tampa Bay too, just not the bay Tampa Bay because it's mostly enclosed, not open like lower Biscayne Bay nor with the inlets of upper. But Sarasota Bay, especially around New Pass is stunning colors and Boca Ciega Bay over by St. Pete/Clearwter gets good colors too, because there's numerous inlets like Miami has from, say Haulover, south. The gulf when not churned by a storm has good color too, like the Atlantic though it seems to churn easier as it's shallower so can get more choppy in the right wind.

    The biggest difference with water, I think, and I've done a lot of boating and swimming all around Florida, is that you'll have a way better chance of a wild dolphin encounter off Sarasota and St. Pete areas. You nearly never see them in south Florida near shore waters.

    I've only been in the bays on the west coast twice that I actually didn't have a dolphin encounter in all my years in Florida and often they come over right where we're swimming. In south Florida the only wild dolphin encounters I've had were down the keys or heading out to the Bahamas. Never near shore Miami/Lauderdale/Boca. They don't seem to like it there.

    So I think the big differences are that if you want art deco and night life, than hit Miami Beach. If you want American craftsman and wildlife, then hit Tampa.

    If you do Miami, get out of civilization for a bit and check out either Fairchild Gardens or get into the Everglades and pet a gator.

    Or if you do Tampa for more wildlife, than check out St. Pete downtown, Tampa downtown, and Ybor for night life.

    Key Biscayne? You can do the Ritz when you get back to Kansas. Key Biscayne was more interesting decades ago when the zoo was there before moving to south Miami. Now it's just a place to park your Ferrari or dock your Zeelander.

    z68ext-09.jpg

    Miami Beach Water
    miami-beach-n.jpg

    St. Pete Beach Water
    st_petes_beach_med.jpeg

    Miami Beach Deco
    181cb0d3779df53d596111b3b0c8d7d3.jpg

    Tampa Craftsman
    897d2b4b284de9f16fa606a6453ba1c6.jpg
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 03, 2015 6:05 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    flatstate2010 said
    southbeach1500 saidTampa Bay would be my first choice, then Miami. Jacksonville is kinda dull.


    Thanks for the information SouthBeacH May I ask what you liked more about Tampa Bay than Miami?


    They've spent their money wisely on upgrading their downtown area to make it quite attractive, plus there's the Ybor City district which is quite unique. And the nearby beaches are quite nice as well.

    Plus, it's only an hour or so away by car from your conference in Orlando, so it would be a very easy trip to make (the Orlando-Miami drive can be anywhere from 3 to 5 hours depending on traffic, and is deadly dull).


    The drive time to Tampa sounds so much better than Miami.
  • fitartistsf

    Posts: 638

    May 03, 2015 6:37 PM GMT
    Tampa Bay sucks!!!
    I lived there for 2 years, 2004-05, working at the Air Force base there. Arriving, and stepping off the plane for the first time on July 4th weekend, I was literally smashed in the face at the door of the plane by the heat... It was literally a blast furnace! July/August is excruciatingly hot... In the 2 years I lived there, I never did get used to the heat, EVERYTHING is air conditioned... Cars, homes, offices, stores, malls, theaters, bars, restaurants, clubs, etc... THEN comes hurricane season, starting in November. The first season I was there, 2004, they had 4 storms, practically every month, having to evacuate north to I don't know where, since I knew no one at that time... AND, the clubs there sucked too! Everyone was on Meth, literally...
    Oh, and don't get me started on the migration from the north of all the Snowbirds!
    I WILL NEVER GO TO TAMPA AGAIN... Or most of Florida... and I suggest you miss Tampa all together as well... Your second and third destinations would be better, there's nothing redeeming in Tampa...

    Did I mention the bugs that come out at dawn and dusk, and eat you alive??? They leave itchy welts for a week....
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4432

    May 03, 2015 6:38 PM GMT
    Ft Lauderdale, a couple of hours north of Miami is great, too. Nude gay beach Haulover, and a lot of small, gay motels. Retro, fun. Wilton Manors for clubs.
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    May 04, 2015 12:57 AM GMT
    The largest number of gay men are in the Ft Lauderdale area, but if you want to go someplace where rainbow flags are flying everywhere, Key West is your destination. Just about everyone there is on vacation, because that is about the only thing you can do there.
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    May 04, 2015 1:08 AM GMT
    Jax is like being in the "South," and I mean that in the most backwards way possible. Don't waste your time, stay in Orlando if it comes down to that.

    Tampa is decent, St. Pete as well, but it's got HEAVY drug usage. I'm not talking Coke, I'm talking Meth and Heroine. It's also "Miami Lite."

    Go the real deal and take the time, if you're going to travel, to travel to Miami Beach. Miami is not the same as Miami Beach, and you want Miami Beach. Specifically, you want South Beach. All the gay bars are in the Lincoln area (South Beach), and there's no reproducing that feeling.

    Alternatively, and just north of Miami, you could hit up Fort Lauderdale like others have said. It's VERY gay friendly, and its gay bars rival that of South Beach. FTL or South Beach are where you want to go. Anything else is a waste of time and you should stay in Orlando and go to the water parks if it's water you're after.
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    May 04, 2015 1:56 AM GMT
    fitartistsf said... Everyone was on Meth, literally.....

    Svnw688 said... I'm talking Meth and Heroine....


    http://www.samhsa.gov/data/us_map?map=3
    Various reports:
    Illicit Drug Use
    In the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA, an annual average of 326,000 persons aged 12 or older used
    an illicit drug in the past year.5 This represents 13.9 percent of the MSA population (Figure 1). The rate of
    marijuana use in the past year was 10.1 percent, and the rate of nonmedical use of prescription-type pain
    relievers was 4.6 percent. The MSA rates of use were similar to the rates in the State of Florida and for the
    Nation as a whole.

    Illicit Drug Use
    In the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach MSA, an annual average of 561,000 persons aged 12 or older
    used any illicit drug in the past year.5 This represents 12.5 percent of the MSA population and is lower than
    the rates for the State of Florida (14.3 percent) and for the Nation as a whole (14.7 percent) (Figure 1). In the
    Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach MSA, the rate of marijuana use in the past year was 9.1 percent and
    the rate of nonmedical use of prescription-type pain relievers was 3.0 percent. These rates were lower than the
    rates in the State of Florida and the Nation as a whole.

    Illicit Drug Use
    In the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island MSA, an annual average of 2.1 million persons aged 12 or
    older used any illicit drug in the past year.5 This represents 13.9 percent of the MSA population and is lower
    than the rate for the State of New York (15.5 percent) but is similar to the national rate (14.7 percent) (Figure
    1). The rate of marijuana use in the past year was 10.4 percent, which was also lower than the rate in New
    York. The rate of nonmedical use of prescription-type pain relievers was lower in the New York-Northern New
    Jersey-Long Island MSA than in the State of New York or the Nation as a whole (3.7 percent in the MSA vs.
    4.2 percent in New York and 4.9 percent in the Nation).

    Illicit Drug Use
    In the Kansas City MSA, an annual average of 239,000 persons aged 12 or older used any illicit drug in
    the past year.5 This represents 13.1 percent of the MSA population and is similar to the rate for the State of
    Missouri (13.5 percent
    ) but lower than the national rate (14.7 percent) (Figure 1). The rate of marijuana
    use in the past year was 9.6 percent, and the rate of nonmedical use of prescription-type pain relievers was
    4.7 percent. These rates were similar to the rates in Missouri and in the Nation as a whole.

    Illicit Drug Use
    In the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana MSA, an annual average of 1.6 million persons aged 12 or
    older used any illicit drug in the past year.5 This represents 15.4 percent of the MSA population, which is
    lower than the rate for the State of California (16.8 percent) but similar to the national rate (14.7 percent)
    (Figure 1). The MSA rate of marijuana use in the past year was 11.1 percent, and the rate of nonmedical use
    of prescription-type pain relievers was 4.4 percent. These rates were lower than rates in the State of California
    but similar to the rates for the Nation as a whole
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    May 04, 2015 3:49 AM GMT
    Svnw688 saidJax is like being in the "South," and I mean that in the most backwards way possible. Don't waste your time, stay in Orlando if it comes down to that.

    Tampa is decent, St. Pete as well, but it's got HEAVY drug usage. I'm not talking Coke, I'm talking Meth and Heroine. It's also "Miami Lite."

    Go the real deal and take the time, if you're going to travel, to travel to Miami Beach. Miami is not the same as Miami Beach, and you want Miami Beach. Specifically, you want South Beach. All the gay bars are in the Lincoln area (South Beach), and there's no reproducing that feeling.

    Alternatively, and just north of Miami, you could hit up Fort Lauderdale like others have said. It's VERY gay friendly, and its gay bars rival that of South Beach. FTL or South Beach are where you want to go. Anything else is a waste of time and you should stay in Orlando and go to the water parks if it's water you're after.


    Thanks for the information. I have never seen the ocean, so while the water parks in Orlando would be fun, I do not think they will match the view of the ocean.
  • NursePractiti...

    Posts: 232

    May 04, 2015 8:57 AM GMT
    Hey, I used to live in Wichita and now Tampa. So I know what a Kansas boy might experience down here. It can be hot and humid, however, I thought Kansas was much worse in the summer. No breeze off the ocean. Tampa has a lively scene in Ybor, lots of fantastic places to eat and some things to enjoy. St.petersburg has cleaned up their downtown and has events most weekends by the water and also a gay beach. Clearwater I've not been to in years as it's mostly straight and also the most horrible traffic to get to. The beach is nice however. Miami used to have a much better gay beach scene years ago, but has mostly moved to Ft. Lauderdale. If you go to Orlando there is of course Disney and my personal fave Universal because both Harry Potter parks are there. Depending on when you come St. Petersburg pride will be happening as well.
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    May 04, 2015 10:54 AM GMT
    nursemuscle saidHey, I used to live in Wichita and now Tampa. So I know what a Kansas boy might experience down here. It can be hot and humid, however, I thought Kansas was much worse in the summer. No breeze off the ocean. Tampa has a lively scene in Ybor, lots of fantastic places to eat and some things to enjoy. St.petersburg has cleaned up their downtown and has events most weekends by the water and also a gay beach. Clearwater I've not been to in years as it's mostly straight and also the most horrible traffic to get to. The beach is nice however. Miami used to have a much better gay beach scene years ago, but has mostly moved to Ft. Lauderdale. If you go to Orlando there is of course Disney and my personal fave Universal because both Harry Potter parks are there. Depending on when you come St. Petersburg pride will be happening as well.


    Thanks for the information. I will be in the area July 7th and 8th.
  • dreamcock

    Posts: 415

    May 05, 2015 1:57 AM GMT
    Miami and stop by Ft Lauderdale on your way lotsa hot gay clubs and men
  • mountainncboy

    Posts: 4

    May 05, 2015 1:16 PM GMT
    With just a few days and it being summer and hot, I wouldn't waste my time in any of the cities. Head straight for the really nice Gulf Coast beaches North of Tampa. I would definitely spend my time on the Gulf instead of the Atlantic side. Also, if you can swing it, take a tube float down the Itchetucknee (not sure if I spelled that right), which is about an hour northwest of Gainesville. It would be a really relaxing and cool spot to hit. Also, if you are driving, you would spend too much time driving to Miami from Orlando. Tampa and its beaches are much closer.
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    May 05, 2015 6:11 PM GMT
    dreamcock saidMiami and stop by Ft Lauderdale on your way lotsa hot gay clubs and men


    I'll cosign this.
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    May 08, 2015 2:20 AM GMT
    Tampa and Orlando are closer go there. Jax is the nearest city to me and just as others have said it's pretty much lower Georgia, you can easily skip it and not miss much.
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    May 08, 2015 2:33 AM GMT
    theantijock said
    eagermuscle saidTampa Bay and Jacksonville are warm but aren't tropical. Both like a far more humid San Diego, they're Sable palm city. If you want to see coconut palms, turquoise water and really feel like you're in the tropics/Bahamas, visit Miami. Gay or straight, there are no substitutes for Miami Beach, Key Biscayne and Coconut Grove.


    Tampa Bay and Sarasota grow pinnate palms, not just fan palms and I doubt some first time visitor from Kansas will know the difference between a coconut and a royal or foxtail.

    Unless a coconut falls on his head, all he's gonna see is PALM TREE.

    Maybe you're right.

    Fans of "CSI Miami" NOT from South Florida would probably assume that these are shots of Miami:

    2hz35zr.jpg

    nmncrb.jpg

    given how many times that show revealed the sun "setting" over the "Atlantic," the sable palms, bodies found in dry hillsides of brown dust with mountains in the background, and the only shots of Miami Beach taken by helicopter.

    Come to think of it, that show for "Miami" had a disproportionate number of gingers.
  • waccamatt

    Posts: 1918

    May 09, 2015 4:54 AM GMT
    Miami should be your first choice and Tampa Bay second. Tampa is much closer to Orlando (1 hour vs. about 3 hours), but there is more to do in Miami. Tampa does have Ybor City, which is cool for a couple of hours. I'd go to the Miami area if I were you, though.
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    May 09, 2015 6:04 AM GMT
    eagermuscle said
    nmncrb.jpg


    Oh I'd recognize that anywhere. That's Mount Trashmore, just off the Turnpike south of Boca. Or on your way to Boca Pointe if you're coming up Powerline. Very fancy.

    [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Trashmore_(Florida)[/url]