Tampa Travel Guide
Movie Set Travel / Spring Breakers / Tampa Travel / James Franco / Florida Travel / Spring Break Travel / Movie Travel / → All Tags
James Franco's character Alien in Spring Breakers has been described as a guy "out to have a demonic good time," and isn't that what everyone is looking for on spring break?
Even if you're wrapping up this year's trip it's never too early to start planning for 2014, so here a few serious party places featured in the new movie because after all, according to Alien, "Bikinis and big booties, y'all. That's what spring break is all about!"
Anytime an airport starts spending cash on improvements and upgrades we get a little excited, and this is especially the case when it comes to refreshing and renovating airport restaurants. We mentioned a while ago that officials at Tampa International Airport were hard at work keeping the airport fresh and fun for years to come, and now it looks like some of the initial work has been completed.
The main terminal is scoring a new wine bar—First Flight—that’s run by a local Tampa area restaurant, and of course we can never complain when it comes to another drinking establishment being added to an airport. Green Iguana Bar & Grill is coming to the post-security side of Terminal A, and Cigar City Brewing is doing the same thing over in Terminal C. Football coaching legend—and Florida resident—Don Shula is expanding his meat and potatoes empire into Terminal C with Shula’s Bar & Grill and Shula Burger.
TV Travel / Airlines / Southwest / Airports / Travel TV Shows / Reality TV Travel / Airport News / TPA / → All Tags
Not that long ago we mentioned that TLC—the network that used to teach you stuff, but now just has Jon and Kate reruns—was looking to film a new reality television show starring Southwest Airlines. It looks like filming has already begun, and crews will be roaming the terminals and concourses of Tampa International Airport as soon as this week.
That means if you’re flying through Tampa—or to Tampa—now’s your chance to score fifteen minutes of reality show fame. We’d recommend causing a scene or just totally being rude and flipping out at a gate agent, because that should definitely get the attention of anyone with a camera—especially some fancy pants TV cameras. Of course we’re kidding, but the crew should be doing their thing at the airport this week so be on the lookout.
The folks over at Tampa International Airport are taking a new approach to airport dining, but it has nothing to do with serving up sandwiches and other on-the-go items within the terminal. They’re ensuring that any and all airport leftovers make their way to those in need, instead of simply tossing the leftover Sbarro slices in the trash.
It’s been about two years since someone at HMSHost—purveyor of fine airport foods everywhere—was concerned about the amount of waste from airport dining establishments. Things like sandwiches, fruits, and yogurt parfaits were past their sell-by-date, but they were hardly spoiled or expired. So instead of just sending them off to the landfill, the airport began partnering with organizations like Feeding America to ensure that someone else could benefit from a little extra nourishment.
We love oversized checks and construction equipment, and both of those things are now slowly making their way to Tampa International Airport. In total the airport is planning to spend around $30 million to refresh and update some of its terminals, and we’re sure we’re not the only ones who enjoy an airport concourse with a fresh coat of paint.
Some of the airport signs, restrooms, and flooring are approaching 40 years old, so officials want to make sure everything is renovated before it's too late. Some of the updates have been made a priority, as they’re hoping to get at least half of the bathrooms fixed up before the end of next summer.
We’re not sure if Busch Gardens was a little intimidated by what Harry Potter has added to Florida’s theme park belt or what Legoland could bring to the state, but the park isn’t sitting around as they’re adding a new ride for the 2011 season. Basing things on their love of African critters, the park is planning to include the new coaster “Cheetah Hunt” on their theme park map next spring.
The coaster will have plenty of big numbers to thrill riders, like speeds of up to 60 mph and drops of over 130-feet. It will also be the park’s longest ride at over 4,000 feet, but the thing that makes it most unique is what it zooms over. Busch Gardens is adding a new cheetah exhibit to the park, and the new coaster will twist and turn side by side with some of the fastest creatures on earth.
One Florida Mayor has more on her mind than where all that oil in the Gulf is eventually headed, but it does seem that tourism is something that she’s considering. Mayor Pam Iorio of Tampa sent a letter to President Obama last week asking for a little bit of help, because she wants her city to start air service to Cuba.
Specifically, she wants Tampa to get the government seal of approval to start authorized flights between Castro-country and Tampa. Right now only Miami, New York, and Los Angeles are authorized to fly nonstop routes to Havana, but remember that doesn’t mean that any American can just hop on board to check out Cuba. There’s still all kinds of rules and regulations that leave most of us out of the fun, or at least force Americans to head to Canada before they can enjoy freshly rolled cigars and too many Cuba Libres.
It was a bad week to be a celebrity last week. We spent the weekend mourning Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon but it turns out we've still got some more mourning left to do. Famous pitchman Billy Mays, who you probably remember from the Oxiclean commercials, died at his home in Tampa, Fla. yesterday, hours after a rough landing at the Tampa airport where the US Airways plane he was on blew out a tire as it touched down.
Mays had told news reporters after he got off the plane that something had hit his head. He also complained about not feeling very well before going to bed later that night.
Tampa police initially said that any connection between his death and the landing was "purely speculation." Indeed, the results of an autopsy where just released moments ago and the Hillsborough County Coroner said heart disease, not the rough landing, was to blame for Mays' death. Either way, the world has lost its best "pitchman."
While Mays only had about 4,000 Twitter followers before his death, that number has jumped to 10,000 today. But we can't imagine US Airways is too happy about his last ever tweet which he wrote just after landing:
Just had a close call landing in Tampa. The tires blew out upon landing. Stuck in the plane on the runway. You can always count on US Air."
[Photo: NY Daily News]
It's so, so hard to be Lindsay Lohan. But we'd sure love to get away with the tantrum she pulled Saturday morning when she was mistakenly booked in a coach seat for her Delta Airlines flight out of Tampa.
Lohan accompanied girlfriend Samantha Ronson to her DJ gig at the ESPN Magazine NEXT Party Friday night, but didn't bother staying for the game. When she discovered she was in the cheap seats for the overbooked flight, Lohan stomped and swore, telling someone she was with (possibly Ronson) to visit her in coach "in case I die," according to FOX News. Soon after that, a seat "magically" opened up for the squeaky wheel.
Celeb Travel / Super Bowl XLIII / Lindsay Lohan / Gossip Girl / Jenny McCarthy / Carmen Electra / Ashton Kutcher / Jennifer Hudson / → All Tags
For your favorite celebrities, last night's Super Bowl XLIII between the Steelers and the Cardinals was really just the hangover brunch to a weekend of nonstop partying.
On Friday night Lindsay Lohan looked bored while girlfriend Samantha Ronson DJ'd with Benji and Joel Madden at the ESPN the Magazine Next Party in a downtown Tampa tent. (They later ran into Brody Jenner and girlfriend at the Maxim party in Ybor City.) Meanwhile, Paris Hilton showed off a new haircut at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino while M.C. Hammer, star of last night's Cash4Gold.com ads, mugged on the red carpet.
On Saturday, "Gossip Girl"'s Chace Crawford, Blake Lively and Penn Badgley faced off against Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian and their stepbro Brody Jenner in the DirecTV Celebrity Beach Bowl. Kim Kardashian was MIA for the game, probably because she was off prepping for the night's Leather and Laces Party, where she mugged for the cameras with co-hosts Jenny McCarthy and Carmen Electra. And Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, who just discovered Twitter, live-tweeted their attendance at The Giving Back Fund's "Big Game-Big Give" event in South Tampa, which provides guidance to entertainers who want to start their own charities. That's how we know that he pulled a stray hair out of her nose. Ew?
But there was one star everyone wanted to see, and she didn't even make the parties: Jennifer Hudson made her first public appearance since the tragic murders of her mother, brother and nephew in order to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the game. There wasn't a dry eye in the house -- and that was before the 100-yard interception!
· Arash Markazi: Super Bowl Party Report [SI.com]
· Five Super Bowl Parties To Watch Instead of The Game [Jaunted]
· Celeb Travel coverage [Jaunted]
Celeb Travel / Super Bowl Travel / Lindsay Lohan / Brody Jenner / Eli Manning / Reggie Bush / Kim Kardashian / → All Tags
All this and a game too? News about the flashy parties going down this weekend in Tampa for Super Bowl XLIII frankly makes us more excited than the game itself.
The fun begins tonight, when Lindsay Lohan, Joel and Benji Madden and Lil' Wayne will be jamming to Wyclef Jean at ESPN Magazine's NEXT party in a tent pitched at 202 S. Morgan Street. (ESPN's public, less prestigious party is Saturday, a tailgating spectacle featuring Sean Kingston.) Fergie and Diddy will be partying at the Ritz Ybor on Friday with Maxim, and there's always Johnny Drama's gig at the Seminole Hard Rock.
How about something a little more sporting? DirecTV's Celebrity Beach Bowl in St. Petersburg offers a lot of star-spotting, although the picks are somewhat random -- but if you ever wanted to see Blake Lively tackle the girl from "The Unborn" (Odette Yustman), now's your chance! Other players we love include Brody and Frankie from "The Hills," Christian Slater and the three oldest Kardashians. Real football players Reggie Bush and Eli Manning will coach each team. Make the losers buy you drinks at T-Pain's Thr33 Ring Circus (GLC Entertainment Complex, 1910 E. Seventh Ave.)
· Gas Up The Jet, The Private Jet For The Super Bowl [Jaunted]
· Johnny Drama Hosting Super Bowl Blowout at Seminole Hard Rock [HC]
· Celeb Travel coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo: Page Six's now-defunct blog from last year's Giants victory party. Oh, Eli.]
Despite the canceled parties and record $1,000 ticket prices, the NFL still estimates 100,000 gridiron fans will make their way to Tampa Bay this Sunday to attend Super Bowl XLIII. So you can bet traffic on the roads and security checkpoints will be a super nightmare.
The good news is you can drive in and park next to the Super Bowl stadium aka Raymond James Stadium, which is a few miles outside downtown and is right next to Tampa International Airport. But, as you can probably guess, it'll cost you. Parking permits, which must be purchased beforehand, cost $60 for a regular-sized car, and the parking lot opens for tailgating at 9 a.m. Sunday morning (officially there's no tailgating allowed of course, but we'll believe that when we see it). Taxis, which normally cost about $25, will also be allowed to drop off across the street from the stadium.
Otherwise you can take the public HART bus, which will be running to the stadium every half-hour starting at 12:35 p.m., picking up at several stops throughout downtown. But check out the detour routes on HART's website, because getting from some hotels to downtown looks like it could end up being a doozy.
· Super Bowl XLIII - Transportation [Official Site]
· Super Bowl XLIII Parking [Official Site]
· Big Plans for the Big Game [HART]
· The Super Bowl Party Scene: Now With Fewer Parties [Jaunted]