Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, Fla.


• Stadium name: Raymond James Stadium
• Address: 4201 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, FL 33607
• Home teams: Tampa Bay Buccaneers and University of South Florida Bulls
• Capacity: 72,500
• Opened: 1998
• Surface: Grass
• Tickets: Buy tickets
• Distance from downtown Tampa: The stadium is located 6 miles west of city center.
• Web sites: Bowl site | Stadium | Seating chart | Directions | Parking
• City Guide: Tampa

The mighty pirate ship permanently harbored in Buccaneer Cove comes to life when the cannons fire to celebrate reaching the red zone or a score. Its thunderous cannons fire six times to signal a touchdown, once for an extra point and three times for a field goal. The pirate ship also features a 9-foot by 7-foot skull and cross swords with huge, glowing red eyes and a mouth that breathes smoke.

The pirate ship is a replica of an early 1800s pirate ship, arguably one of the most recognizable stadium features in the world. It is 103 feet long with huge, 32-foot by 50-foot sails. The ship was constructed over a two-month period using, among other things, the following materials:

• 5.5 tons of concrete
• 14 tons of steel
• 700 yards of sails
• 1 mile of rigging
• 300 feet of rope
• 60 gallons of paint
• 64,000 linear feet of wood trim
The ship's dock serves as an interactive entertainment area from which patrons enjoy the most unique vantage point in the NFL. Adding to the festive atmosphere is a larger-than-life interactive talking parrot that sits perched atop the ship's stern.

The Green Iguana Bar & Grill
1708 E. Seventh Ave.
Tampa, FL 33605
813-248-9555 | Web site
On the main strip in Ybor City, the Green Iguana offers signature drinks, live music daily and a unique atmosphere (imagine a giant iguana that takes up the roof of the entire restaurant). The large bar has several TVs. Also has several other locations in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area.

Stump's Supper Club
615 Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
813-226-2261 | Web site
Stumps is a throwback to the 1950s and, yes, even features Elvis throughout the restaurant. Stumps offers live music nightly and is located in the Channelside Bay Plaza. Stumps features Southern cooking and soulful dancing. There also is an outdoor patio for those who want to drink or dine while overlooking the Channelside Bay Plaza courtyard.

95 Central Ave.
St. Petersburg. FL 33701
727-209-2302 | Web site
Ceviche, which also has a location in Hyde Park in Tampa, serves more than a dozen hot and cold tapas. Many ingredients and products are imported directly from northern Spain and the Catalan region. The sangria has been voted the best in Tampa.

Late night
Mema's Alaskan Tacos
1724 E. Eighth Ave.
Tampa, FL 33605

One of Ybor City's most popular spots for after-hours eating, Mema's specializes in Mexican food of all types and features award-winning Alaskan tacos. The meat and taco shell are fried together before the toppings are added.

The Rack
1809 W. Platt St.
Tampa, FL 33606
813-250-1595 | Web site
Located in the Hyde Park area and open until 3 a.m., The Rack labels itself "the only gourmet pool hall and sushi bar in Tampa." The Rack also serves burgers, sandwiches and other traditional bar fare with many "special" nights.

Sports bars
107 S. Franklin St.
Tampa, FL 33602
813-225-4288 | Web site
Located in the heart of downtown, this Irish-themed bar is obsessed with hockey, and hockey paraphernalia is abundant. There are several big-screen TVs, good food and a very festive atmosphere. Visitors staying in Tampa's downtown hotels will find it an easy walk to get to.

MacDinton's Irish Pub & Restaurant
405 S. Howard Ave.
Tampa, FL 33606
813-251-8999 | Web site
MacDinton's is a really neat Irish pub with delicious food, a large patio with outside bar, several big-screen TVs (expect to see plenty of soccer and rugby), darts and pool tables. Daily drink specials. Many guests enjoy the outdoor patio that overlooks the trendy SoHo area of South Tampa.

Busch Gardens
3000 E. Busch Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33674
813-987-5283 or 888-800-5447 | Web site
Tampa's most popular theme park combines world-class roller coasters, Broadway-style live entertainment and one of North America's largest zoos in an adventure park. They also have the floorless SheiKra roller coaster -- now 200 feet up and 90 degrees straight down.

The Tampa Bay History Center
225 S. Franklin St.
Tampa, FL 33602
813-228-0097 | Web site
Tampa's newest museum had its grand opening Jan. 17. Explore the history of Tampa Bay from exploration and wars through cigars and citrus and up to the present day. The museum features interactive exhibits, artifacts, photos and more. Open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)

4801 E. Fowler Ave.
Tampa, FL 33617
813-987-6100 | Web site
The largest science museum in the Southeast, it is also among the nation's finest. Pedal a bicycle across a one-inch steel cable suspended 30 feet in the air (don't fear; riders are tethered). Tour the human body -- its DNA, its cells, its organs. Simulate a flight in a fighter jet. Experience the power of a 74 mph gulf hurricane.