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. 

Central West Florida Region Map

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. 

October 20-22, 2017

Location: Sertoma Youth Ranch, Brooksville, FL

 

November 10-13, 2017 

Location: Venice Airport Fairgrounds, Venice, Florida

Mark your calendars and come out for the largest gathering of eminent pavement artists creating masterpieces on pavement in chalk. 

October 22, 2017

Location: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Tampa, Florida

Tampa Bay independent music festival features Alt, Reggae, Surf, Ska music genres on the bank of the Hillsborough River with proceeds helping to support Chillin' For Kids. 

 

May 12, 2017 Taste Fest

May 15-25, 2017 Restaurant Week

Location: Clearwater Beach Walk promenade on So. Gulfview Blvd. in front of the Hyatt Regency Resort

The 8th Annual Clearwater Beach Fest features tastings from over 30 participating restaurants, wine & craft beer, live entertainment and more along the beautiful beach of Clearwater. Followed by the 2 week long culinary celebration where restaurants showcase their signature cuisine and specialties. 

October 19-22, 2017

Location: Coachman Park, Clearwater, Florida

 

Oct. 27 -29, 2017

Location: Liberty Park, Inverness, Florida

Come out to this emerging music festival that takes place in the small town of Inverness, located in Central Florida and enjoy 3 days of live music, family-friendly activities, rides, vendors, food trucks, street performers and the beautiful nature of the lush city park on Lake Henderson that runs along the Withlacoochee State Trail. 

October 14-15, 2017

Location: DeSoto Veterans Memorial Park, Arcadia, Florida

Arcadia's own Pumpkin Festival with fun new thrills including Zip Lines, Costume Contests, Local Company Demonstrations, Business and Craft Vendors, Amazing Cuisine, Pony Rides, Carnival rides and games, art & crafts, Live entertainment, delicious food vendors, pie eating contest, FREE hay rides, safe trick or treating, pumpkin patch, pumpkin maze, over 50 Free Shows and more.

April 21-23, 2017

Location: The Coliseum, St. Petersburg

The oldest and largest antiquarian book fair in the Southeastern United States, third largest in the nation. 100+ Booksellers from all over the country bring volumes of every description from very rare to reading copies on every conceivable subject.

April 22-23, 2017

Location: Brooksville

Brooksville celebrates Florida’s fastest growing specialty crop of edibles at the Sixth Annual Florida Blueberry Festival featuring 2 stages of live concerts, kids zone, water slide and vendors with yummy blueberry-infused decadence. 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Gulfport, Florida

Calling all flower children, hippies and tree huggers! Come out for a day of peace, art and music celebrating the end of summer at this waterfront village honoring the village's unofficial mascot and favorite reptile, the Gecko. Geckofest features live music, woodstock festival style, plus a host of hippie-themed festivities, a quirky walking parade and so much more. "It’s going to be far-out and outta sight, man!"

October

Location: Ybor City, Tampa, Florida

 

September 9 - 10, 2017 

Location: Minnreg Hall, Largo, FL

One of the Largest Gourmet Spicy Food Fests in Florida featuring Hot & Spicy food vendors from all around Florida, competitions, Pepper Eating Contest, Intensity Academy's Spicy Lolly Lick-A-Thon, Hot Hula Hoop Contest and much more. It's all about the Pepper!

November

Location: Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa, Florida

October 27-30, 2017

Location: John’s Pass Village, Madeira Beach, Florida

Huge Seafood festival in the St. Pete/Clearwater area featuring large selection of seafoods, arts & crafts, fishing tournament and family fun.

 

April 29 - April 30, 2017

Location: Plant City, Florida

10th Annual Blueberry Festival in Plant City, Florida featuring live entertainment, food and craft vendors, kids area and U-Pick Blueberries. 

May 18-21, 2017

Location: Sertoma Ranch in Brooksville, Florida

This well-known music fest features 60+ bands including Florida's best in several genres. Bring your RV's, tents and stay for this 4 day event and enjoy the complete experience. 

October 13-15, 2017

Location: Dunedin, FL

For over forty years, the OLL Fall Festival has been an integral part of the Dunedin community. Every October, volunteers from our parish and school come together to put up the “big tent” and fill our campus with rides, games, music, laughter, and fun! Dozens of rides cater to children of all ages with a special section of “kiddie rides” for the little ones. This year we are also pleased to announce our “Craft Beer and Sports Tent”
Enjoy seasonal, craft beer while watching TVs showing the weekends big sporting events.

April 14-23, 2017

A 10-day Fun 'n Sun Festival to celebrate the famous beaches of Clearwater that features the notorious sand sculpture exhibit from the best sand sculptors around the world, music, entertainment, live concerts, street performers, sand sculpting classes and so much more. Beach fun for the whole family! 

May 13, 2017

Location: Sarasota County Fairgrounds, Sarasota Florida

See live animals from around the world featuring reptiles and exotics, live seminars and demonstrations and vendors. 

November 10th, 11th, and 12th, 2017

Location: Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg, Florida

Features the some of the best BBQ ribbers in the world, national touring bands playing classic southern rock & country hits, and fun activities for kids.

April 13-22, 2018

The Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) is recognized as a world-class platform for thought-provoking films from some of the best known and emerging independent voices. Named one of the Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World by Moviemaker Magazine, the Sarasota Film Festival celebrates international artists, storytellers while enriching Sarasota's cultural landscape.

June 8-24, 2017

Location: Holley Hall at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center in Sarasota, Florida

This 2 weeks event is a magical combination of youthful promise and acclaimed talent and is known as one of the finest classical music events in the nation. 

 

May 12, 2017

Location: The Florida Aquarium in Tampa, Florida

Enjoy wines and sample fantastic foods from some of Tampa Bay's best restaurants while listening to live entertainment and strolling among some of the most amazing animals and plants native to Florida and around the world. 

July 8 - 9, 2017

Location: Tampa, Florida at the Florida State Fairgrounds

Shark-Con is an event dedicated to raising awareness about shark and ocean conservation. This is the place to be if you love the ocean with a huge interactive exhibit from presenting sponsor The Florida Aquarium which includes games, trivia, and a shark tooth sand dig as well as exhibits from Busch Gardens and Clearwater Aquarium. 

December 2-3, 2017

Location: Siesta Key

2nd annual festival featuring a unique blend of seafood creations and delicious drinks prepared by the top restaurants in Siesta Key and Sarasota. Live entertainment, crafts and more. 

June 23-25, 2017

Location: St. Pete, Florida

Celebrate Florida's largest LGBT Pride festival with events that promote unity, visibility, self-esteem and a positive image of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community of Tampa Bay. Events include the SP2 concert, nighttime parade, and streetfest. 

June 10-11, 2017

Location: Sarasota, Florida

St. Armands Key lies just off the coast of Sarasota and for 2 days, features a unique craft festival with works from the best talent of crafters around the state. 

May 20-21, 2017

Location: St. Armands Circle Park in Sarasota, Florida

Inaugural seafood festival in Sarasota featuring delectable seafood dishes prepared by local Sarasota restaurants. Enjoy the entertainment from a mixture of musical genres, crafts and more from local vendors. 

March 24-25, 2018

Location: North Straub Park in St. Petersburg, Florida

Come enjoy the delicious seafood creations from top restaurants in St. Petersburg. Live musical performances, arts and crafts and more. 

November 17-19, 2017

Location: Clearwater Beach, Florida

 

April 22, 2017

This festival welcomes visitors from around the sunshine state and the world to share in celebration of music, entertainment, exhibits, crafts steeped in Caribbean American heritage with multi-culturism being it's central focus. 

July 28 – July 30, 2017

Location: Tampa Convention Center

Fans of comic books, stories, art and pop-culture unite in Tampa Bay for this family friendly convention that features exhibitors, celebrities, cosplay and more. 

November 16-19, 2019

Location: Sunshine Center, St. Petersburg

August 19 - 20, 2017

Kapok Special Events Center, Clearwater, Florida

Lots of food, fun and entertainment featuring full lobster dinners, live stage performances and more. 

May 27, 2017

Location: Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa, Florida

5th annual Tampa Bay Margarita Festival includes an awesome lineup of bands, a huge variety of Margaritas, tequila tasting and a fireworks show to end the night. 

September 1-3, 2017

Location: Tampa Bay

Experience powerful, informative workshops led by trained professionals, in addition to scene, monologue, and short play competitions, and theatrical entertainment that will leave audiences with a memorable experience.

November

Location: Tampa Bay, Florida

One of Hillsborough County’s oldest cultural celebrations, The Tampa Greek Festival was established more than 30 years ago to  share its heritage, its Orthodoxy and its wonderful food with the Tampa Bay community. Throughout the weekend, guests can enjoy strolling through the Grand Hall, indulging in inventive spirits at the Opa! Party Tent,  and discovering market treasures.

May 11-14, 2017

Location: Historic Ybor City, Tampa, Florida

Tampa's own fringe performing arts festival featuring theatrical performances, stand-up comedy, dance and other performances that are un-juried.

September 1-4, 2017

Location: Tampa, Florida

June 9 - 11, 2017

Location: Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs, Florida

Celebrate Greek heritage and culture with live music, dancing, seminars, workshops, food, pastries, spirits, kids play are and more. 

 

May 13, 2017

Location: Historic Woodmont Park in Temple Terrace, Florida

Sample 70 plus beers from 30 different brewers - from home brewers to local brewing companies to the really BIG guys - who all agreed to bring their best brews! Plus entertainment and food trucks! 

November 23-25

Location: Sertoma Youth Ranch

May 6-7, 2017

Location: Centennial Park in Venice, Florida

Enjoy great food featuring mouth-watering seafood by the top restaurants in Venice along with music and entertainment and arts and crafts. 

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

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. " 

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. 

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. 

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.