Glad you’re here, Tampa Bay tourists. But might we help you visit like a local?
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Glad you’re here, Tampa Bay tourists. But might we help you visit like a local?

We here in Florida love our tourists.

We at least love the billions and billions of tourist dollars that pour in to our state’s economy when millions of out-of-towners flock here every year for our beaches, Mickey and more.

Still, a rather harsh bumper sticker made the rounds a few years back: “Happiness is 100,000 Canadians heading home with a New Yorker under each arm,” it said. And, ouch.

The sentiment speaks for the sometimes strained relationship the Sunshine State can have with its perennial visitors — some who are gracious guests, others we wish would learn to love it like we do. And right now people seem particularly eager to come here post-coronavirus confinement, considering the crowds we saw Memorial Day weekend.

Related: Exploring Tampa Bay? Here are some local favorites.

So here’s a few thoughts from a native on how visitors might get more out of coming here, and locals might find more reasons to be glad they did.

Besides their wallets.

A woman feeds bread to birds…

Read further.

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