2013 Annual Education Conference - About Tampa

April 24 - 27, 2013
Tampa Convention Center
Tampa, Florida

General Info | Schedule | Education | Events | Hotel and Travel | Registration | About Tampa

About Tampa

Attractions | Arts and Culture | Entertainment and Nightlife | Restaurants
Shopping | Sports and Outdoor Recreation | Suggested Links

With a record 351 days of sunshine per year and miles of sparkling waters to explore, it's no wonder millions of visitors travel to Tampa each year. In a city alive with cultural arts, a rich history, famed annual celebrations, fine dining, sporting events and world-class attractions, visitors can find just as much to do away from the waterfront.

Tampa is just a short drive from the Gulf of Mexico and some of the world's best beaches, with miles of blue waterways and sugar-white shorelines, brilliant sunlit skies, and a perfect average annual temperature of 72 degrees. The area is centrally located for easy, one-day trips to spots like Sarasota, Ft. Myers, and Orlando - the home of Disney World. Discover the limitless choices of where to find adventure, fulfill your cravings, nourish your soul and rest your head. A trip to Tampa will accommodate all tastes, timelines, and travel needs.

denotes recommendation or submission from the 2013 Annual Conference Planning Team.


One-of-kind attractions, acclaimed home-town events, a dyEdit HTMLnamic arts and culture scene, colorful neighborhoods, golfing, fishing, boating, and year-round professional sports make Tampa a favorite for visitors and locals alike.

Adventure Island
10001 N. McKinley Drive, (888) 800-5447
Adventure Island's 30 acres provide water-soaked excitement for guests of all ages. Escape to the soothing Key West atmosphere, where slides, waterfalls and waves create a tranquil atmosphere and house of sun-drenched fun.

Busch Gardens
10165 N. McKinley Drive, (888) 800-5447
The ultimate family adventure park features a combination of exotic animal encounters, thrill rides and live entertainment.

Dinosaur World
5145 Harvey Tew Road, (813) 717-9865
Visit 150 life-size dinosaurs in an outdoor museum. See an animatronic dinosaur exhibit where you can see the dinosaurs come alive! Take home authentic fossils at the Fossil Dig. Unearth a life-size dinosaur in the Boneyard.

The Florida Aquarium
701 Channelside Drive, (813) 273-4000
Immerse yourself in one of the top family-friendly aquariums in the country with interactive programs like "Swim with the Fishes" and "Dive with the Sharks," or take a peek behind the scenes with a shark feeding or penguin encounter.

Glazer Children's Museum
110 W. Gasparilla Plaza, (813) 443-3861
Designed to inspire children and families by creating learning opportunities around innovative play and discovery, the new 53,000 square ft. museum has a combination of permanent and traveling exhibits, comprehensive programs and special events.

One LEGOLAND way, (877) 350-5346
LEGOLAND® Florida, Central Florida's newest theme park, is a 150-acre interactive theme park dedicated to families with children between the ages of 2 and 12. With more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, LEGOLAND® is only 45 minutes from downtown Tampa.

MOSI - Museum of Science & Industry
4801 E. Fowler Ave, (800) 995 - 6674
MOSI is the largest science center in the southeastern United States and home of Florida's only IMAX® Dome Theatre.

Sea Grapes Fine Wine & Food Festival
Enjoy food and wine from 25 premier area restaurants, plus live Jazz at the Florida Aquarium

Tampa Bay History Center
Journey through 12,000 years of powerful stories. Stroll through a 1920s cigar store. Row up the Hillsborough River. Ride along with a cattle drive. With an eclectic museum store and the Columbia Cafe, it offers an enjoyable experience for the whole family.

Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo
1101 W. Sligh Ave., (813) 935-8552
Recognized as the #1 zoo in the U.S. by both Parents and Child magazines, Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo features 2,000 animals on nearly 60 acres of natural habitat, water, play areas, wild rides, educational shows and interactive opportunities.


Check out the world's most talented artists at the Tampa Museum of Art, and performances at acclaimed venues such as David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts.

David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts
The David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts provides world-class entertainment, ranging from lavish Broadway shows to classical music and rock concerts. It is the largest facility of its kind in the southeastern United States.

The Dali Museum
Experience the new Dali: new building and location. The largest and most comprehensive collection of Dali's work in America. An astonishing array of rotating exhibitions and programs designed to entertain all ages.

Florida Museum of Photographi Arts, Inc.
The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts is dedicated to exhibiting important photographic art as central to contemporary life and culture. FMoPA collects, preserves, and exhibits historic and contemporary works by nationally and internationally known photographic artists.

Henry B. Plant Museum
With its magnificent Moorish architecture, opulent furnishing and tropical gardens, a visit to the restored rooms of the former Tampa Bay Hotel will transport you to Victorian splendor. Docent and audio tours available.

Tampa Museum of Art
The new Tampa Museum of Art provides the region with world-class traveling exhibitions, a growing collection of contemporary and classical art, expanded educational programs and access to scenic outdoor events in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and Tampa Riverwalk.


Tampa has so many entertaining options to make your vacation a memorable experience. Whether you're looking for a night on the town or family fun; Tampa has options for all audiences.

Channelside Bay Plaza
615 Channelside Drive, (813) 223-4250
Channelside Bay Plaza features a unique mix of retail, dining and entertainment. From fine dining to fast dancing, movies to margaritas, wonderful shopping and more, Channelside Bay Plaza has it all.

Centro YBOR
1600 E. 8th Ave., Suite A-132, (813) 242-4660
Centro YBOR, in historic Ybor City, is "where entertainment happens!" Featuring the 20-screen Muvico Theater, the Tampa Improv and GameTime Entertainment Center, Centro has nine restaurants with a wide range of offerings from fine dining to a brew pub, all available while shopping at an exciting mix of retail stores.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
5223 N. Orient Road, (866) 762-5463
Enjoy a 24/7 casino with 4,500 slot machines, 50 poker tables, 250 hotel rooms, spa and fitness center, a Hard Rock store, restaurants, multiple bars and nightclub.

615 Channelside Drive, (813) 514-2695
Bowling, billiards, and dinner lounge featuring gourmet appetizers, sushi, and classic retro entrees. NALP's Late Night Event will be hosted at this location.

Tampa Improv Comedy Theater & Restaurant
1600 East 8th Ave, Ste. C112, (813) 864-4000
The Improve is a comedy theater and restaurant with balcony seating available. This entertainment and restaurant venue is also available for meeting space and private party bookings.


Tampa Bay's food and restaurant scene tells a distinctive story of its people, its past and its location. Even the trendy, nationally recognized chefs pay homage to the style of cooking Tampa Bay's immigrants brought to this area by building fresh, inventive dishes with traditional ingredients.

Aqua (Seafood, Steakhouse)
7627 Courtney Campbell Causeway (Inside the Westin), (813) 675-8700
Tampa’s premiere waterfront restaurant, bar, and culinary experience. Inspired by the water in every sense, your visit to our unique modern dining area will be one to remember.

The Columbia Restaurant - Ybor City (Spanish/Cuban)
2117 E. 7th Ave., (813) 248-4961
Family owned for more than 107 years, The Columbia is Florida's oldest restaurant founded in 1905 in Tampa's historic Ybor City. Featuring award-winning Spanish/Cuban cuisine and an internationally acclaimed wine list. Flamenco dance performances are featured nightly Monday - Saturday.

717 South Restaurant (Italian)
717 S. Howard Ave., (813) 250-1661
717 South serves authentic Italian dishes from the "kitchens of Italy" to the Pacific Rim martinis and specialty drinks from all parts of the world, with an extensive wine list with more than 200 bottles.

725 South Bistro (American)
The Westin Harbour Island Hotel, (813) 229-5000
This is Harbour Island's premier waterfront restaurant.

Ashley Street Grille (American)
200 N. Ashley Dr., (813) 226-4400
Ashley Street Grille is located inside the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel in downtown Tampa, overlooking the Hillsborough River and offering breathtaking views of the historical Henry B. Plane Museum at the University of Tampa.

Bamboozle Cafe (Asian)
516 N. Tampa St., (813) 223-7320
Offering Asian fusion, vegan, vegetarian, and Vietnamese cuisines.

Bernini of Ybor (Italian)
1702 E. 7th Ave., (813) 248-0099
An eclectic eatery where the cuisine complements the artistic surroundings, and where the atmosphere and dedicated service have yet to be matched.

Carne Chophouse (Steak/Seafood)
1526 E. 7th Ave., (813) 341-9555
Enjoy unfussy elegance at Carne Chophouse, a classic steakhouse located in the culture and culinary heart of Tampa. The menu offers an affordable selection of steaks, chops and seafood, including bone-in ribeye, trout almondine, and prime rib.

Cafe Dufrain (American)
707 Harbour Post Dr., (813) 275-9701
Cafe Dufraine is an award-winning waterfront bistro known for its unique style, exceptional food and unsurpassed quality.

Champion's Sports Bar (American)
Tampa Marriott Waterside, (813) 221-4900
Root for your team in front of the big-screen TV while you enjoy light fare and your favorite beverages.

Gaspar's Grotto (Spanish/Cuban)
1805 E. 7th Ave., (813) 404-3083
This world-famous event venue, pirate bar and restaurant serves great Cuban-influenced food and drinks. With live entertainment, this is a truly indigenous Tampa experience not to be missed, all in the very heart of Tampa's historic district, Ybor City.

Green Iguana Bar & Grill (American)
1708 E. 7th Ave., (813) 248-9555
The Green Iguana has built its reputation on having the finest in food, fun and live music seven nights a week. Bands combined with a DJ create the best dance mix.

Malio's Prime Steakhouse (Steak/Seafood)
400 N. Ashley Dr., (813) 223-7746
Malio's Prime Steakhouse, Tampa's newest and oldest restaurant is open in downtown. Serving the best steaks in town, along with the freshest seafood selections.

Mise en Place (American)
442 W. Kennedy Blvd., Ste 110, (813) 254-5373
A changing menu and extraordinary wine list keep the dining and drinking fresh, and a major renovation took the ambiance to a new level that writers have called the "perfect backdrop for champagne."

Taverna Opa (Greek)
615 Channelside Dr., Ste. 123 (813) 443-4821
Take a trip to Taverna Opa, known for fresh, delicious Greek cuisine, and you'll suddenly feel that you've arrived in Greece.

Tinatapas (Spanish/Cuban)
615 Channelside Dr., Ste. 120, (813) 514-8462
This tapas restaurant blends Spanish and Caribbean flavors, serving a variety of freshly made sangria, margaritas, and mojitos.

For more Tampa restaurants, use the restaurant search from Visit Tampa Bay.


Discover an abundance of upscale shopping and unique retailers, from shopping malls like International Plaza and Bay Street, to quaint boutiques of Hyde Park or Ybor City.

Associated Watch & Jewelry Buyers, Inc.
3418 W. Kennedy Blvd., (813) 288-0022
Associated Watch & Jewelry are buyers and sellers of diamonds, new and estate jewelry and fine watches.

Ellenton Premium Outlets
5461 Factory Shops Blvd., Ellenton, (941) 723-1150
130 designer and name-brand outlet stores including Coach, Kenneth Cole, Michael Kors, Lacoste, Polo Ralph Lauren and Sakes Fifth Avenue Off 5th with savings of 25%-65%.

Hyde Park Village
742 S. Village Circle, (813) 251-3500
Hyde Park Village features unique shops and restaurants, including Brooks Brothers, Williams-Sonoma, Anthropologies, Pottery Barn Kids and Timpano Italian Chophouse, all in a park-like setting near downtown Tampa.

International Plaza and Bay Street
2223 N. Westhore Blvd., Ste 2000, (813) 342-3790
International Plaza features 200 stores and 16 restaurants.

J.C. Newman Cigar Company
2701 N. 16th Street., (800) 477-1884
J.C. Newman is America's oldest family-owned cigar company and the last operating cigar factory in Cigar City.

Old Tampa Book Company
507 N. Tampa St., (813) 209-2151
The Old Tampa Book Company is a gem for book lovers in downtown Tampa, with over 40,000 collectible rare, used, and out-of-print books.

Qachbal's Chocolatier
615 Channelside Dr., Ste. 119B, (813) 223-5919
Step into a world of chocolates, sweets, and treats. Handmade chocolates and confections, bakery and gourmet coffee shop, Qachbal's is a family-owned business.

WestShore Plaza
250 WestShore Plaza, (813) 286-0790
WestShore Plaza features Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's, JCPenney, Sears, AMC 14 Theaters, Old Navy and more than 100 specialty stores. WestShore Plaza also features Tampa Bay's only Maggiano's Little Italy.


Be a good sport and take advantage of Tampa’s other abundant outdoor offerings, recreational facilities, and arenas for both amateurs and professionals.

Aventure Family Motosports-II LLC
(813) 410-4547
A motorsports rental-tour company that can turn a regular vacation into the adventure of a lifetime.

Alligator Bob's Ecotours
(813) 986-3008
Take interpretive walks in Florida's pristine coastal and freshwater wetlands, hardwood hammocks and flat pinewood forest.

Bok Tower Gardens
1151 Tower Blvd., Lake Wales, (813) 676-1408
Experience one of America's finest gardens and nature preserve surrounding a 205-foot sculpted marble carillon tower with daily concerts and Mediterranean style-mansion.

Canoe Escape
9335 E. Fowler Ave., (813) 986-2067
Explore the Hillsborough River through a 16,000-acre wilderness park and discover the natural Florida. See birds, turtles, and 'gators on a two-hour to full-day downstream paddling adventure with family, friends, or business associates.

City Bike Tampa
212 E. Cass St. (813) 225-1777
City Bike Tampa is a full-service specialty bicycle shop with two locations in downtown Tampa. Renting bicycles, baby seats, trailers, trail-a-bikes and jogging strollers. Also offers scenic tours, history tours and weekly group rides.

Tampa Bay Sailing Tours
333 S. Franklin St., (813) 532-9530
Tampa Bay Sailing Tours provides downtown Tampa with a unique private sailing experience. We provide custom, intimate excursions on Tampa Bay aboard a comfortable, fun and stable sailing catamaran.


Featured Restaurants in Tampa from an Experienced Yelper NALPer
by Jenny Li
What do you do if you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands outside of the conference? Perhaps you just want a short walk in the sun along the waterfront? Or maybe you want to explore what cuisines Tampa has to offer, but not sure where to start?

A First-Timer's Guide to NALP's Annual Education Conference
by Jenny Li
If you are a newcomer to NALP Annual Education Conferences, know that there are a number of events and programs designed to make your experience just a bit more welcoming — and, in my world, less scary.

Getting the Most Out of the NALP Annual Education Conference
by Randee Godofsky Breiter
If you are anxious about your first NALP conference, you needn’t be. NALPers are special people. They are warm and giving and willing to share anything! Here are some words of wisdom to get you started.

Highlights of the Upcoming 2013 NALP Annual Education Conference in Tampa
by Beth Moeller
With Turning the Tide, the Annual Education Conference in Tampa, just around the corner, I hope you are excited at the prospect of enhancing your professional development, hearing from industry leaders, making new contacts, and reconnecting with old friends. To give you a sneak peek, here are a few highlights of what you can look forward to at the conference next month.

Post Conference Proactive
by Lynne Traverse
Speaking as one who has returned from many conferences with the best intentions, I can tell you that it is easy to become swept up in the return-to-work madness and lose the opportunity to put plans into practice. Here are some tips to help you focus on enhancing any NALP conference experience with effective follow-through tactics.

To Go or Not to Go — Is That Still the Question?
by Christine J. Carlson
Each year, many of us ponder whether we should attend the conference and if we should send our staff. But let’s take a few minutes to review reasons to attend the 2013 NALP Annual Education Conference while debunking concerns.

The Surprising Cost of Doing Business: NALP Conference Realities
by Cybele E. Smith
One thing the team did was talk about the costs of our conference and where member conference fees go. I am not one for numbers usually, but I found the data to be astonishing and worth sharing with you all. I think you will conclude, as I did, that the NALP Annual Education Conference continues to be a great bargain for the cost.

Tampa Offers Rich Backdrop for the 2013 NALP Conference
by Shannon Williams
Tampa is a treasure on Florida’s gulf coast. With a background that includes Spanish explorers, cigar manufacturing, and mafia families, Tampa has a rich history.

Plan to Be in Tampa for a Conference of Depth, Diversity,and Inspiration
by Melissa Lennon
What do I get out of the NALP Annual Education Conference and why do I keep going back? To answer this question, I tap into my Irish story-telling roots and set the following scene.

Photos courtesy of Tampa Bay & Company.

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