We’ve all been there: Someone’s trying to give you directions by describing 10 lefts, 20 rights, and a jumble of cardinal directions. Isn’t it easier to just point out a landmark?
That’s exactly what we’re doing. We have 10 of the most recognizable TBAY landmarks — from St. Pete Beach to Downtown Tampa. Not only are these local icons easy to remember, but they’ll also get you where you need to go in a jiffy.
Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Address: 7508-7534 Sunshine Skyway Ln. S., St. Petersburg,
Nearby: Maximo Park, Skyway Fishing Pier State Park, Pinellas National Wildlife Refuge, Manatee County Rest Area
This hard-to-miss 12-mile cable-stayed bridge connects St. Pete and Bradenton. Did you know: The original Skyway was built in 1954 but was destroyed in 1980 when a storm-blinded ship crashed into the bridge, causing it to fall into the Bay.
Henry B. Plant Museum
Address: 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa
Nearby: University of Tampa, Tampa Riverwalk, Oxford Exchange
Once you see the minarets, domes, moons, and “Arabian Nights” style roofing that adorns the historic museum, you know you’re in Tampa. Fun Fact: President Theodore Roosevelt stayed at the hotel before departing for the Spanish-American War in Cuba.
Address: 1600 E. 8th Ave., Tampa
Nearby: Ybor City Wine Bar, The Ritz Ybor, SpookEasy Lounge, La France, Hotel Haya
It’s hard to miss this giant marquee-style sign, especially when it’s lit up at night. Fun fact: The mall area has over a dozen restaurants/bars, from fine dining to brew pubs overlooking the historic row.
Address: 711 N. Franklin St., Tampa
Nearby: Element Tampa, Eddie and Sam’s NY Pizza, Le Méridien Tampa
The neon sign hangs off the old brick building, almost inviting you to come inside and explore the grand interior. Fun fact: For $150 an hour, you can display any message you’d like on the landmark’s marquee (Think: Proposals + milestone birthdays)
Floridan Palace Hotel
Address: 905 N. Florida Ave., Tampa
Nearby: United States District Court, Oaklawn Cemetery, The Portico Cafe, Bello Bar and Kitchen
The hotel’s eye-catching red letter sign stands out as you drive down I-275. Fun fact: The sign was found in a rooftop storage room during a 2005 building cleaning.
The Kapok Tree
Address: 255 Beach Dr. NE, St. Petersburg
Nearby: St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts, St. Pete Pier, South Straub Park, The Sundial
This gigantic, magical-looking tree blooms stunning red flowers around February. Fun fact: The tree was planted by the Museum’s first director in 1965.
One St. Petersburg
Address: 100 1st Ave. N., St. Petersburg
Nearby: St. Petersburg Yacht Club, Social Roost, The Ponce De León Hotel, Jannus Live, Demens Landing Historical Park
One St. Pete is currently the tallest building in the Burg. Fun fact: The tower will be eclipsed by the in progress The Residences at 400 Central (which will also be the tallest residential building on Florida’s West Coast).
The Don CeSar
Address: 3400 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach
Nearby: The Hotel Zamora, Pinellas Bayway, Pass-a-Grille Beach, Undertow Beach Bar
Lost on St. Pete Beach? Just look for the towering pink hotel. Fun fact: The beachfront hotel served as a sub-base hospital during WWII. Plus, the legendary author F. Scott Fitzgerald once stayed there.
Address: 401 E. Jackson St., Tampa
Nearby: Hilton Tampa Downtown, Tampa Riverwalk, Tampa Convention Center, Amalie Arena, Water Street
Looking for a beacon to guide you home after a night of shenanigans in Downtown Tampa? Your North Star is Truist Place’s (formerly SunTrust Financial Centre) lit-up roof. Fun fact: Roughly 300 LED lights make up the staggered roof structure — the roof typically boasts a deep blue.
Tampa Postcard Mural
Address: 1102 N. Florida Ave., Tampa
Nearby: Floridan Palace, Melting Pot Social, Tampa Firefighters Museum
Each letter has a snippet of TBAY painted inside: The “T” has the Water Tower in Sulphur Springs; “A” has the Gasparilla ship and flotilla; “M” has the University of Tampa’s minarets; “P” has an image of the Streetcar in Ybor City; the “A” has children casting their fishing rods in our waters.