Welcome to Tampa GOP delegates, business leaders, politicos and members of the global media.
Tampa and surrounding communities are putting our best forward this week and next as you arrive in town to attend what everyone says is the biggest gathering ever of people here or most anywhere.
We've been planning for months -- the hotels, the caterers, the drivers, the party venues, the security folks, etc. -- and we're ready to host you.
But are you ready to really visit us beyond getting to and from the Tampa Bay Times Forum for the actual Republican National Convention and perhaps spending a day or two at some of our more famous tourist spots?
If you really want to take a deeper dive into the Tampa Bay culture and who we are as a mosaic of the world's people and places, consider reading some of the new and alternative media in town and visit some of the hip, off-beat shops and restaurants.
Just to get you thinking, here's a sampling of some of our favorites off-the-beaten path:
Tampa Bay Goes Online: New Media Sites Thrive
What Tampa Bay Reads: New Media Sites To Share
Hot Fashions: Penelope T Meets Tampa Bay's Desire
Tampa Upcycle Launches In The Roosevelt 2.0, Ybor City
ARTpool Gallery: Celebrating Art, Music, Fashion In St. Pete
Co-Op Spirit Unites South Tampa Shops
Feeling Good Vibes On Beach Drive In St. Petersburg
Cafes / Pubs / Restaurants
Kahwa Coffee: Popular St. Pete Cafe Now In Tampa
Buddy Brew Coffee Opens Cafe On Kennedy In Tampa
Cafe Hey: Skinny Bi-otch, Quad Shot & Rebel Rebel, On North Franklin In Downtown Tampa
On Tap: Tampa Bay Brews Its Own For Beer Lovers
Micro Winery, Brewery To Open In Seminole Heights, Tampa
Photo Slideshow: PedalPub, St. Petersburg
Ella's Americana Folk Art Cafe = Good Eats, Funky Atmosphere In Seminole Heights, Tampa
Revisiting The Art Of Dining At The Refinery in Seminole Heights, Tampa
Photo Slideshow: Boba Cafe, North Tampa
A Taste Of Central Avenue, St. Petersburg
Mermaid Tavern: Swingin' For A Cause, Tampa
Pearl In The Grove: Farm Fresh Southern Cooking In Dade City
Felicitous Turns 1940s Bungalow Into Coffee Shop, Tampa
Photo Slideshow: Taste Cafe, Safety Harbor
Photo Slideshow: Cafe Kili, Temple Terrace
Art / Galleries / Museums
Photo Slideshow: Duncan McClellan, St. Petersburg
Photo Slideshow: Ybor City Museum, Tampa
Charlie Parker Pottery Celebrates Grand Opening, St. Pete
Photo Slideshow: Zen Glass Studio, St. Petersburg
Diane Egner is publisher and managing editor of 83 Degrees Media. Comments? Contact 83 Degrees.