Bowl bits: Five things to do in Tampa

December 26, 2012 

South Carolina fans looking for a little fun to go with their football will have plenty of choices awaiting them in the Tampa Bay area. Let’s take a look at a handful of different activities.


The partying crowd can find plenty going on in Tampa’s national historic landmark district. There’s an intoxicating blend of interesting things to do and see, from the architecture to the shopping to the entertainment options, including dining, music and museums.


If your tastes run more toward theme parks, this place has many rides, shows and animal attractions. It’s also one of the spots around town that will stage a New Year’s Eve celebration the night before the game. The Gamecocks will have an outing there Saturday afternoon.


This joint has bowling and billiards with a full-scale restaurant and bar, and it’s definitely not your dad’s bowling alley. So, whether you want to pick up a spare or drop the seven-ball in the corner pocket, you can do that right here in an energetic atmosphere. The Gamecocks will be there Friday night.


What’s the point in taking a trip to the coast if you don’t hit the beach? Named the best city beach on the Gulf of Mexico, Clearwater Beach offers surf and sand along with a wide variety of activities that will appeal to all ages. The Gamecocks will make their visit Sunday afternoon.


It’s a little hard to see all the aquatic wildlife if you try to stick your head in the Gulf waters. A better way to do that would be a visit to the downtown aquarium that features many marine animals. There’s even a wild dolphin cruise that departs daily from the aquarium.

Neil White


Bowl week a time for good eats

It’s safe to say the South Carolina football team won’t go hungry this week.

A week of good eating kicked off Wednesday night at the Outback Steakhouse Team Welcome dinner, where the Gamecocks and Wolverines took on an array of appetizers and entrees.

On the menu Wednesday were 900 pounds of ribs, 750 pounds of sirloin, 750 pounds of chicken, 400 pounds of bacon-topped lobster macaroni and cheese, 1,600 coconut shrimp, 160 blooming onions and 700 pounds of salad.

Save room for dessert: 1,200 pounds of cheesecake.

While Wednesday night was the featured meal of the week, the team has a menu of other options coming up. A team luncheon is scheduled for Friday at the Tampa Convention Center. Players will have a meal during a local bowling competition as well as part of their trip to the Busch Gardens theme park.

There are always snacks at the team hotel. Players also will venture off with family to taste the local offerings of Tampa and St. Petersburg eateries.

The dining out is a fun part of bowl week, senior linebacker Reginald Bowens said.

“It’s a pretty big deal,” Bowens said. “You like to eat at a couple of nice places you don’t get to eat at during the year. It’s a really good experience.”

Dwayne McLemore

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