DALLAS, Aug. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As the Republican and Democratic National Conventions get underway in Tampa and Charlotte, respectively, local businesses and attractions are preparing for an economic boost that's expected to be in excess of $120 million per city.* With the national spotlight on these sometimes overlooked cultural gems, the experts at Hotels.com® point to the diverse culinary, arts, sports and entertainment scenes these destinations offer and provide suggestions for travelers considering a vacation in the Southeast.
Tampa, Florida's largest city, offers a variety of multi-ethnic nightlife, street festivals and performing arts. Ybor City is a National Historic Landmark District with several historical structures, but it also has a bustling nightlife scene that offers a diverse mix of Spanish, Cuban and Italian influences. One of the most famous dishes to come out of Tampa is the Cuban sandwich, which was invented by cigar factory workers in Ybor City, and can be enjoyed at some of the city's finest restaurants such as Wright's Gourmet House and Columbia Restaurant.
Those looking to take advantage of the region's weather can venture out to famous Clearwater Beach or score tickets to one of Tampa's numerous football, baseball and soccer venues. Golf and tennis enthusiasts need look no further than the Saddlebrook Resort Tampa, which offers 36 holes of golf and 45 clay, grass, and artificial-surface tennis courts. Tampa is also home to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, the 12th most visited amusement park in the U.S., as well as Adventure Island water park and Lowry Park Zoo.
While Charlotte is predominantly known as a hub for all things motorsports and a major financial center that's second only to New York City in the U.S., the city also has a rich arts and culinary scene. The city has a bustling arts scene that features a wide variety of museums catering to children (Discovery Place), art enthusiasts (Bechtler Museum of Modern Art), history buffs (Carolinas Aviation Museum), nature lovers (Wing Haven Gardens & Bird Sanctuary) and sports fans (NASCAR Hall of Fame) alike.
Similarly, Charlotte's budding culinary scene features an eclectic mix of options. For some of the city's best soul food, visitors flock to Uptown Charlotte's award-winning Mert's Heart and Soul, while French foodies can take in a view of the city's skyline from the 27th floor of Charlotte Plaza at Bentley's on 27. Visitors desiring the city's best shopping and entertainment can stay at the Hampton Inn and Suites - SouthPark at Phillips Place, which is located near the city's top professional sports venues and the SouthPark Mall.
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*According to a report by Jones Lang LaSalle.
Pat Burek – Finn Partners for Hotels.com
Phone: (212) 715-1542
Taylor L. Cole, APR
Hotels.com North America
Phone: (469) 335-8442
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