While Sun City Center resembles many suburban communities in Florida, there are still farms and state park land nearby for those who want to get a feeling of isolation. Kings Point borders Little Manatee River State Park. One of the first things I did after moving to Kings Point was to kayak down the Little Manatee River by moonlight. The Canoe Outpost will equip you and even host a picnic in the park, if you wish.
If you crave the big city, Tampa is only a half hour away with the Yankees spring training complex. In the summer, you can watch the 2008 American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays play baseball in the air conditioned comfort of Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, a 35 minute drive from Kings Point. At least half a dozen MLB teams are within an hours drive for spring training games.
The NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers play at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. While most games are sold out, you can usually get a few tickets at the start of the season for a Bucs game. Super Bowl XLIII will be in Tampa in 2009, the fourth time the city has hosted the big game. The Outback Bowl, in the same stadium, pits two of the nation's top collegiate football teams each year. The University of South Florida plays Big East football at Raymond James Stadium, a great place to tailgate.
In the winter, the Tampa Bay Lightning play NHL hockey at the St. Petersburg Times forum in downtown Tampa. A 90 minute drive can take you to Orlando to see the Magic play in the NBA.
Fine arts abound with performing arts centers in both Tampa and Sarasota. Right here in Kings Point, we have a large theater in the main clubhouse that has hosted musical groups like The Lettermen , Jay and The Americans and comedians like Pat Cooper. We have our own bands and community theater group, The Pelican Players. The Tampa State Fairground hosts the Florida State Fair in February each year. The Ford Amphitheater at the fairgrounds is the home for numerous concerts throughout the year.
If you love the beach, one of the finest in the world is just 40 minutes away. Fort De Soto park was selected for having the best beach in America in 2005. The drive to Fort De Soto Park from Kings Point over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge is pleasant and scenic. Fort De Soto Park contains a historic fort, fishing pier and museum. You can take a ferry over to Egmont Key for an even more secluded beach experience.
Its probably obvious that I haven't mentioned the numerous amusement parks that we have in Central Florida. Bush Gardens Tampa, is just a half hour up the road while the big mouse land in Orlando is an hour and a half away, if you have grandchildren to entertain. There is just too much to do in Florida than waste your time at an expensive venue that is an illusion designed to collect your money. I shouldn't be so critical, since lodging and sales taxes that are collected from our visitors is one reason Florida residents don't pay income taxes.
If you want to see lions, tigers and bears (oh my), we have Elmira's Wildlife Sanctuary right next door in Wimauma. They are open to he public each Saturday. The Lowrey Park Zoo in Tampa is one of the finest you will find in the country. Where else can kids feed a giraffe or pet a sting ray? In winter, our loveable manatees like to keep warm near the Big Bend power plant in Apollo Beach. There is an observatory there where you can watch them.