Central West Florida consist of the Tampa Bay area including the areas north and south along the West Coast of Florida. Bordering the Gulf of Mexico, this region includes part of the Nature Coast, the Sun Coast and the Cultural Coast. The diversity of the Central West region varies from nature, to beautiful beaches, to arts and cultural, to the popular Busch Gardens theme park. 

Includes Desoto, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, Citrus Counties

Central West Florida Region Map
Upcoming Events in this Region

November 17 - December 31, 2018

Location: Busch Gardens, Florida

Get your holiday shopping done while you enjoy holiday shows, decorations, and entertainment when you visit Christmas Town. Every part of your trip to Busch Gardens will help you get in the Christmas spirit!

November 16 - 18, 2018

Location: Clearwater Beach, Florida

This festival allows you to enjoy music from morning until night in several different venues on the beautiful gulf coast

November 20 - 25, 2018

Location: Sertoma Youth Ranch, Brooksville, Florida

Celebrate Thanksgiving with bluegrass, camping, and a ranch full of people who love those things as much as you do at this unique event!

November 22, 2018 - January 1, 2019

Location: Largo Central Park, Largo, Florida

During the holiday season Largo Central Park comes alive with Christmas spirit with special events and beautiful decorations. In addition to Christmas lights, each night you will find crafts, concessions, a ferris wheel, and a carousel. Other events include:

Rockin' Lights Family Fun Night, December 1, 6:30-9pm

Let It Snow, December 15, 6:30-9pm

Holiday Gift Market, December 1 & 15, 3-9pm

November 23 - December 23, 2018 (Friday - Sunday)

Location: WestShore Plaza, Tampa, Florida

Get all your Christmas shopping done while supporting local artists and craftsmen. Each weekend 50+ unique creators will be around to get your shopping done even at the last minute.

November 23 - December 30, 2018

Location: Florida Botanical Gardens, Largo, Florida

Head to the botanical gardens nightly for one of the Tampa Bay area's best Christmas light attractions. You will also find refreshments, holiday themed gifts, entertainment, and visits from Santa.

November 24, 2018

Location: Downtown Venice, Florida

Kick off the Christmas season with this parade that cuts through downtown Venice.

November 28, 2018

Location: Ybor City, Tampa, Florida

Kick off the holiday season at the Ybor City tree lighting ceremony. In addition to the lighting there will also be a holiday shopping market, Christmas caroling, and holiday treats.

November 30, 2018

Location: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Tampa, Florida

Get ready for December with this beautiful tree lighting ceremony. The event includes a free movie in the park for you to enjoy with your loved ones.

November 30 - December 30, 2018 (Select Dates)

Locations: Hillsborough River, Tampa, Florida

Every holiday season Pirate Water Taxi provides special holiday cruises that give you the perfect way to experience Tampa's festivities from the water. The cruise includes sing along christmas carols, a free hot chocolate and christmas cookie, beer and wine available for purchase, and whimsical narration.

Holiday Season, 2018

Location: Lakewood Ranch, Florida

Celebrate holidays in Lakewood Ranch with all kinds of great events, decorations, and activities. Every Thursday carriage rides, carolers, and visits from Santa come to the Ranch. You will also find periodic breakfast and lunch with Santa events throughout the season.

December 1, 2018

Location: Venice Beach, Florida

There is no better way to celebrate the Christmas season than to light your boat and join the fun of this parade!

December 1, 2018

Location: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Tampa, Florida

Celebrate the holidays with a parade that starts at 11AM. Stick around for Santa Fest and fun for the whole family. The festival includes pictures with Santa, arts and crafts, and fun activities.

December 1, 2018

Location: Cleveland Street, Clearwater, Florida

Presented by Macy's and Ruth Eckerd Hall, this event takes 400+ blocks of downtown Clearwater and turns it into a winter wonderland. Falling snow surrounds you here while you enjoy an ice skating rink, horse drawn carriage rides, a giant gingerbread house, pictures with Santa, and so much more!

December 1, 2018

Location: Palmetto Historical Park, Palmetto, Florida

Spend your time in a Christmas atmosphere unlike any other you'll find in the area. Decorations, activities, and food and drink make this an event you don't want to miss. Plus, your kids can write a letter to Santa and he will write them back!

December 1 - 2, 2018

Location: Siesta Key

This festival features a unique blend of seafood creations and delicious drinks prepared by the top restaurants in Siesta Key and Sarasota. Live entertainment, crafts, and more. 

December 6, 2018

Location: Downtown Venice, Florida

Celebrate Christmas while you get your shopping done and support local businesses. Shops in downtown Venice offer lots of discounts and special deals to help your holiday shopping go smoothly.

December 7, 2018

Location: Gazebo at John Wilson Park, Safety Harbor, Florida

Kick off the holiday season in Safety Harbor with a tree lighting event. The event also features choirs singing Christmas carols and a visit from Santa Claus.

December 7, 2018

Location: Tarpon Springs, Florida

This lighted Christmas parade brings a fun and festive spirit to the Tarpon Springs area every year.

December 7 - 9, 2018

Location: Fort Cooper State Park, Inverness, Florida

Thousands of lights decorate the park for this great Christmas celebration. Live music and a visit from Santa provide the entertainment and s'mores will be available for a delicious snack.

December 7, 2018

Location: St. Armands Circle, Sarasota, Florida

This event kicks off the holiday season at St. Armands Circle Shopping center with a tree lighting ceremony, live performances, and Santa's arrival for the season.

December 7, 2018

Location: Downtown Tarpon Springs, Florida

There's Snow Place Like Tarpon Springs is a Christmas tree lighting to kick off the holiday season, but it's also so much more than that. You will also find hay rides, a snow play area, live music, a visit with Santa, an illuminate boat parade, and so much more.

December 7, 2018

Location: Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island, Florida

Holmes Beach lights its tree each year with a celebration you don't want to miss. Shopping will remain open late to give a great chance to stroll the streets. You will also find carolers, food and drink, and a visit from Santa.

December 8, 2018

Location: The Tampa Sailing Squadron, Tampa, Florida

Any boat owner can decorate their boat and enter it into this fun and festive parade for the community!

December 8, 2018

Location: Anna Maria Island, Florida

This holiday parade travels the entire length of Anna Maria Island. It ends at Coquina Beach, where Santa will be available for pictures.

December 8, 2018

Location: Gulfport, Florida

Spend time with family while you celebrate the holidays here at the Holiday Hoopla! Here you will find great Christmas shopping at local vendors, beautiful decorations, and live entertainment and Christmas music.

December 8, 2018

Location: Gulfport, Florida

This Christmas parade is not only a fun community event, it also benefits Operation Santa, making sure every child in the area has a great Christmas.

December 8, 2018

Location: Ybor City, Tampa, Florida

This parade features local children's groups and school marching bands bringing in holiday cheer alongside Santa Claus. Snowfall from the rooftops makes this Florida winter celebration different from the others.

December 8, 2018

Location: Downtown Safety Harbor, Florida

A Harbor Holiday is a unique event that allows you to take a trolly to 6 holiday themed attractions around the city. Enjoy vintage Christmas at the museum, check out Santa's workshop and a night time market at the gazebo, enjoy family friendly activities at the Waterfront Wonderland, Listen to holiday stories at the the library, visit a gingerbread house where you can meet Santa, and find even more holiday activities at the Holiday Acres. 

December 8, 2018

Location: Clearwater, Florida

Clearwater lights up a little bit brighter for one night while decorated boats make their way through the city!

December 8, 2018

Location: Sarasota Bay, Sarasota, Florida

The Bay lights each year up for a fantastic holiday event that includes tons of great places to view the parade!

December 8, 2018

Location: Pinellas Park, Florida

Celebrate the season with the local communities featuring local businesses and school groups marching down Park Boulevard.

December 8, 2018

Location: St Pete Beach, Florida

Local groups come together for a fun parade that includes a visit from Santa. The parade ends at the library, where lots of other activities for the whole family take place.

December 14, 2018

Location: Anna Maria, Florida

Celebrate the holidays with great food, entertainment, and shopping provided by the local community.

December 15, 2018

Location: Downtown Tarpon Springs, Florida

The Tarpon Springs Christmas Parade travels through downtown. After it ends a Candy Cane hunt will take place in Craig Park.

December 15, 2018

Location: Main Street, Safety Harbor, Florida

Celebrate with the local community at this parade where you'll find floats, old fashioned cars, Shriners, and Santa!

December 16, 2018

Location: Centennial Park, Ybor City, Tampa, Florida

Support local vendors with your Christmas shopping here at this holiday market. You will also find live music, tons of food vendors, fashion previews from local boutiques, and pictures with Santa.

December 22, 2018

Location: Downtown Tampa, Florida

This parade heads right through downtown on the Hillsborough River for a fun Christmas experience right in the middle of the city.

January 12, 2019

Location: Big Top Flea Market, Thonotosassa. Florida

This auto themed festival is a unique one because it focuses on cars from movies and TV. You can see vehicles that have featured in some of your favorite movies and meet their owners as well.

January 26, 2019

Location: Seminole Hard Rock

This celebration is a reenactment of Tampa's historic pirate invasion the Gasparilla Flotilla. The invasion is free to the public and is followed by an epic pirate themed party at the Hard Rock, so make sure you get your ticket!

February 2 - 3, 2019

Location: Florida Classic Park, Brooksville, Florida

This festival celebrates the Native American culture of Brooksville and across the nation! Here you will find Native American performers and vendors selling tons of authentic Native American art and hand crafted goods. 

February 9 - 10, 2019

Location: Downtown Sarasota

This festival takes over downtown Sarasota for a weekend of amazing art and culture. It is consistently ranked one of the top 100 Fine Art Shows by Sunshine Artist Magazine. It will feature amazing art by artists from all over the country!

One of Florida's best parks for dynamic biking trails is the Alafia River State Park. The park features 17 miles of bike trails that cover some of the highest elevation changes found in Florida. The park also offers at least 20 miles of trails for hikers and equestrians through pine flat wood, and with the abundance with wildlife it is also great for bird watching. The giant park is also home to a campground, playgrounds, opportunities for canoeing and fishing, and much more.

The South Fork State Park is a rare natural wonder of Florida. The park is very underdeveloped making it ideal for Wildlife viewing, birding, or exploring its hiking trails. The park is home to many rare plant life including its rosemary scrub habitat which is only found in Florida; as well as many rare plants and animals which are not commonly observed. 

Visitors can request a gate code to visit the Wingate Creek State Park and explore its rare and untouched natural habitats. Currently hiking and biking in the park is limited and it is primarily used for nature research, birding, or simply exploring nature. 

Weeki Wache Springs State Park includes Florida's only spring-fed water park with cool 72-degree water. Approximately 45 minutes north of Tampa, this State Park includes Buccaneer Bay, with an all natural lazy river, a children's play area, water slides that go into the spring, and a mermaid show. 

Website Listings

This is a local park that features three fenced in areas and has water bowls, picnic tables, and other amenities for the whole family.

Real, raw, radio conversation air on 102.5 The Bone with Mike Calta, Roger, JP, and Drew Garabo. Live interviews, and current news will keep you entertained.  

Listen to the greatest hits from the 80s on 107.9 in the Sarasota area. Jones and Company are on the air every morning, and you can listen on the iHearRadio app. 

Aspirations Winery is best known for their fruit juice wine, and their 23 other variations of different wines. They often include fruits other than grapes into their wine including oranges, limes, and blackberries.

Bamboozle Cafe is an urban Vietnamese fusion restaurant. They offer an array of fresh vegan and affordable Vietnamese delicacies. Their goal is to Bamboozle their customers into healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle.

Bay Pines VA Healthcare System offers services for America's Veterans by guaranteeing extraordinary health results.

Bayfront Health Port Charlotte has provided over 80 years of health care services for the people in the Southwest region of Florida. Bayfront's staff are highly-trained physicians that provide care in over 25 specialties. Their top of the line technology makes it one of the only hospitals in the area with a New Vision medical stabilization program for people with drug, alcohol, and health-related issues.

Blake Medical Center concentrates on giving their patients a quality experience by treating all their patients with fairness, dignity, and respect.

Brandon Regional Hospital is an acute care facility offering a number of specialty services including the Heart & Vascular Center, where the latest in cardiovascular surgery and minimally invasive techniques are performed, The Behavioral Health Center, The Women’s Center, which includes their Baby Suites and 22 bed neonatal intensive care unit, The Reflux Center, and a designated Bariatric Center of Excellence.

Buddy Brew is a specialty coffee company that believes coffee should be more than just a boring cup o' joe. Whether you need your thirst quenched or a jolt of energy, Buddy Brew invites you to "brew good and do good" with their unique coffees and nitro cold brew.

 

Known as a Certified Florida Farm Winery, Bunker Hill Vineyard & Winery is a green winery with recycled wine bottles that focuses on the taste of the wine.

Centerstone Hospital is focused on tailoring services around individual needs and choices, delivering the right services at the right time to the right person, providing increased access to consumers, and proactively moving to innovate and improve services due to the changing landscape of behavioral healthcare.

While Chakana SoHo serves modern Peruvian and South American cuisine, its decor and atmosphere has a South Florida vibe. Situated in the "SoHo" district of Tampa, this restaurant focuses on the nightlife of Tampa.

Cigar City Brewing is one of West Florida's main attractions for those who seek excellent beer. They say it best themselves when explaining the quality of their passion, "Behind all our beer is the philosophy that quality is achieved by giving first rate ingredients to first rate people."

Citrus County has a large number of diverse and intriguing activities to partake in year round. In addition to the extensive trails, waterways for boating, and playgrounds for the kids, there are several lesser-known activities to explore.

Citrus Memorial Health System is committed to the care and improvement of human life. Their day-to-day mission is to strive to deliver the highest quality and the most cost-effective health care in their community.

Home of Winter and Hope, the inspirational Dolphins of Dolphin Tales 1 & 2. This well-known aquarium focuses on rescue, rehab and release. "Clearwater Marine Aquarium is fundamentally a hospital for sick and injured marine life.  However, what we do is so much more.  We inspire the human spirit, through the animals and their stories of survival, which touch all of us. " 

Complex Care Hospital at Ridgelake is dedicated to improving the quality of life for patients and maximizing their potential for healing and recovery. Powered by passionate care teams, they specialize in helping patients with expert, aggressive medical care in warm, caring environments.

Crystal River Mall is a small mall in rural Florida. It is anchored by Rural King, a farm supply store. Many of the other storefronts remain vacant, but the Regal Cinema makes the mall worth a visit.

Set some time aside and do your heart and soul a service by visiting some of the natural attractions in DeSoto County. Sports, trail walking, playgrounds, and areas of historical significance have all made their homes here for as long as can be remembered.

El Rincon Peruano serves Latin and Peruvian food. They have Happy Hour which runs Monday through Friday, 4 to 8pm. They also have a lunch special, running from Monday through Friday, 12pm to 3pm.

Farmacy Vegan Kitchen and Bakery is a quick service restaurant that offers a well rounded, 100% plant-based menu. Customers can choose from a variety of made to order acai bowls, smoothies, wraps, and baked goods.

Fiorelli Winery produces 6-10 wines per year and focuses on dry red and white wines. Their philosophy is having home picked wines with European flavors added on.  

Open since 2001, Florida Estates Winery has been creating world class wines with different kinds of flavors to offer including a Key Lime flavored wine.

Florida Gulf Coast University opened it's doors in 1998 in Fort Myers to offer innovative programs and degrees to a growing Southwest Florida region. 

Today over 10,000 students attend FGCU. 

Florida Orange Groves & Winery is known for making tropical, citrus, and fruit wines. They are also the only winery to be featured at Disney's Food and Wine Festival every year.

Gulf View Square is a relatively small mall just a stone's throw away from the Gulf of Mexico. Current plans are in place to turn vacant stores into an apartment complex so you can live where you love to shop.

Happy Fish serves authentic Peruvian cuisine. They are best known for their large portions and unique atmosphere, which won best atmosphere in 2015.

Offering a wide array of historical and athletic attractions to its residents, Hardee County is a surprising visit for many. From festivals and historical museums to world class softball facilities, let’s dive into some of what Hardee County has available.

Hernando County is home to many parks, sports complexes, and activities to check out. This article will focus on the Tom Varn Stadium, a slew of summer camps for kids, and the Delta Woods Park which all offer their own reasons for leaving the house.

Hillsborough County has the variety you are looking for all year round with the quality and creative parks that best exemplify the culture of the Tampa Bay Area. Discover the history of Hillsborough with the Burgert Brothers Photo Collection. Take it outside and commune with the birds at the Upper Tampa Bay Park. Get of your car and step onto another four wheeled vehicle at the Providence Skate Park.

Hitland 106.9 plays music from 60s and 70s, and music news about artists of these decades. You can also stay updated with current event in the Sarasota area. 

A visit to the International Plaza and Bay Street gives you an amazing indoor/outdoor shopping experience in downtown Tampa. It has over 200 upscale stores, many many delicious restaurants, and a hotel you can crash at when your shopping day is over. The top floor is home to Bay Street, an open air village of night life and restaurants.

This is a local dog park that has plenty of shade and water fountains for both dogs and humans as well as other great amenities that include two separate areas for larger and smaller animals.

Lotus Vegan Restaurant serves vegan, vegetarian, and Vietnamese meals and baked goods. Once a month, they have an all you can eat buffet throughout the whole day.

Loving Hut is an Asian inspired vegan cuisine restaurant dedicated to health, compassion, and sustaining the planet. They have several locations in Florida and are always growing!

MacDill Air Force Base is a US Air Force base in Tampa, FL. It is home to many commands of military units from all branches of the military including the U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, and the 927th Air Refueling Wing. 

Manatee County is home to a variety of locations that invite its visitors to participate. The G.T. Bray Recreation Center welcomes guests the chance to improve their physical health while working in a cooperative environment. The Agriculture and Extensive Service serves to educate the residents of Manatee County with education from the University of Central Florida. Finally, the Florida Maritime Museum educates its visitors with important records of the essential relationship with Florida has always had with the ocean.

This is a dog park that features two separate areas for larger and smaller dogs, picnic tables, a dog wash area, and a hitching post. 

Winery that specializes in three different table wines, blueberry, strawberry, and blackberry. They make their wine fresh from the farm.

At Murielle Winery, everything is made by hand. By being conscious about energy and sustainability, they are cautious about how the process is done. By taking their time, they were able to lower the sulfate level in their wines, thus making them more organic.

New Leaf Elementals is more than just a unique gift shop, it is an experience. They have an array of drinks and vegan foods to choose from. New Leaf Elementals is a special place where you can go meet your friends and enjoy a cup of healing organic herbal tea or a vegan sandwich.

This news/talk radio station has several personalities hosting NewRadio throughout the day. Jack Welsh starts the day with Arcadia Mornings, and NewsRadio airs Tampa Bay Bucs football, Orlando Magic basketball, and live football games for Desoto High School.

Pasco County has 22 active parks, 13 passive parks, 3 recreation complexes, 5 community centers, 2 swimming pools, 4,600 acres of environmentally sensitive land, and 15,000 acres of land dedicated to parks, trails, and open space. 121 recreational programs and 49 yearly events are also available all year round for those who want to get out and participate in its offerings. 

Paw Patch Dog Park is an off-leash 2 acre dog park that features a dog fountain, a pavilion, and other great amenities for the whole family to enjoy.

Pinellas County has over 20,000 acres of parks and preserves and a host of unique examples of Florida Beauty.

This is a dog park that features a double gated entry, areas for small and larger dogs, and lots of shade.

Port Manatee is located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, South Tampa Bay, the closest U.S. deepwater port to the Panama Canal. One of Florida's largest and fastest growing seaports, Port Manatee offers services for a wide range of cargo.  

Port of St. Petersburg, located on Central Florida's Gulf Coast in Tampa Bay, offers services for large yachts, as well as benefits of marine science/research facilities on port property.

Port Tampa Bay on Central Florida's Gulf Coast, is largest of the Florida ports by tonnage and land and is a full service port for both cargo and cruise ships as well as other maritime activities including important shipbuilding and repair facilities. 

Pure Kitchen is an Organic and Vegan Grab'n Go with weekly meal delivery. Their menu varies from day to day and their prices are fairly low.

Are you ready to Rawk? Rawk Star Café offers organic, raw, vegan, corn-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, GMO-free and soy-free menu.

Sarasota County is an area that shows great appreciation for its natural resources and the role they play in the culture of this area. Its natural preserves, specialty parks, and the special location of Snook Haven offer a little bit of everything.

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is among the largest public health systems in Florida. With over 5,000 staff, over 900 physicians, and 600 volunteers, it is one of Sarasota County’s largest employers. This is a community hospital that was founded in 1925.

Sparacia Witherell Family Winery & Vineyards has been a family owned winery since 2016. They grow muscadine and hybrid varieties of wine grapes in the western part of Florida. 

This is a local vineyard and winery in Spring Hill, Florida. Many events are held here throughout the year including yoga classes and glass painting.

The Tampa Theatre is one of America's most elaborate movie palaces. It was built in 1926 featuring a romantic Mediterranean style so people could enjoy a beautiful environment while they watched the latest silent film. Today it is a not-for-profit foundation that hosts more than 600 events each year.

The winery is constructed to look like a 1820 federal building. This makes it one of the best tourist attractions, with select handcrafted wine.

Terra Sur Cafe serves traditional Peruvian cuisine, especially well known for its Ceviche. The restaurant has a cozy, warm atmosphere, and is referred to as "the best kept secret". Not only can you dine in, but the restaurant offers take out and delivery too! 

The Avenue Viera is an outdoor shopping and lifestyle center where you can relax and enjoy yourself while you browse the many stores in the peaceful atmosphere. The many restaurants are a great place to grab a meal before you catch a movie at the AMC theater.

At The Florida Winery, there are over 20 varieties of wine to be tasted. They have been awarded over 50 awards in just their first four years! 

The goal for JOY FM is to help you find the joy within yourself. This Christian radio station starts mornings with The Morning Cruise where they share the big word of the day and devotional. Throughout the day you can listen to the top Christian artists.

Tourists and locals alike love a visit to The Mall at the University Town Center. It is easily accessible with shuttles from many local hotels and offers all kinds of deals at its many upscale shopping locals. You will find shopping and dining for every budget and taste.

The Shops at Wiregrass is an outdoor shopping center that gives you all the classic mall stores to enjoy in the beautiful Florida weather. Shop for all your needs and wants and then grab dinner at one of the many delicious dining options.

At Tyrone Square you can find everything you're looking for with a multitude of shops to choose from. Eat a meal at the food court and watch a movie at the Cobb luxury theater at this location just 4 miles from the gulf coast.

University of South Florida was founded in 1956 and now has more than 48,000 students. Located in the Tampa Bay area with 14 colleges and 3 schools, USF main campus in Tampa, USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee. 

At the Westfield Brandon Shopping Centre you will find all the classic mall stores for a day of excellent shopping. All the dining options and events throughout the year keep people coming back time and time again.

Westfield Citrus Park is a large mall with all kinds of stores to choose from including the major department stores. You can also check out the Regal Cinemas movie theater and events taking place throughout the year.

The Westfield Countryside Shopping Centre is a great place to get your shopping done, but it's also so much more than that. It is home to an indoor skating rink, a Cobb 12 Theatres, and Restaurant Row, where you can grab a delicious bite.

Westfield Sarasota Square is the perfect place to go shopping for everything on your list. It has all of the clothing stores you love and also a Costco for your grocery needs. You will also find an AMC movie theater for entertainment.

Westfield Siesta Key is a small mall that lets you get your shopping done in an intimate setting. In addition to great shopping you will also find delicious dining options and a Cobb CineBistro for entertainment.

Have a great day doing your shopping here at the WestShore Plaza. In addition to all kinds of stores you will also find a Regal Cinemas movie theater, lots of dining options, and events throughout the year to keep you coming back for more.

96.5 presents a cultural, artistic, and political perspective to the Sarasota community. This is a non-profit, non-commercial station that encourages peace, equality, social and economic justice, and more. 

WSMR 89.1 & 103.9 play classical music, while WUSF 89.7 shares news and other information then plays jazz music in the evening. This station is owned by the University of South Florida.