Places of Interest
Giraffe Ranch Farm – Dade City Florida – Day Trip
The Giraffe Ranch Farm just outside of Dade City Florida offers several different tours and safari experiences. Best of all, it is about an hour’s drive from the Palm Harbor Florida area, so it is an easy day trip the entire family will enjoy!
Imagine being able to ride a camel and go on a 90 minute safari on camelback through the 47 acres of rolling hills that comprise this working farm! You can actually feed giraffe, pet a camel (children 5 and under must ride with an adult and children under age 3 are not allowed to ride the camel at all for safety concerns, which makes sense).
There are also 4-wheel drive safari tours with groups of up to 20 if you prefer this method of transportation or for those who want to ‘do their own thing’ you can take a guided tour on a Segway! Personally, I don’t think I would want to encounter a warthog or a hippopotamus while on a Segway.
So remember, it isn’t all about the beaches when you come to the Palm Harbor Florida area! There is so much more to do, like visit the Giraffe Ranch Farm in Dade City Florida! Imagine the look on your friends’ faces when you tell them you rode a camel and fed a giraffe while on vacation in Florida – or for that matter, the look on your classmates face when you get to school and let them know that we have this great working farm right in our own backyard here in the Palm Harbor Florida area!!!
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium – Sarasota Florida
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is located in Sarasota Florida, just south of the Skyway Bridge from us here in Pinellas County. While we have our own Clearwater Marine Aquarium with Winter the dolphin of the movie Dolphin Tales, Mote Marine is unique.
Mote Marine Laboratory began teaming with various institutes and universities back in 1955 to study our planet’s oceans and eco-systems. Innovative research is being conducted jointly with the University of South Florida and the University of the West Indies in fields the fields of marine immunology, shark biology, fisheries habitat and numerous other areas.
At Mote Marine the family can not only enjoy an educational day viewing everything from sharks, dolphins, manatee, jelly fish, coral and other sea life but also take a tour of Sarasota Bay. Whether you opt for the Eco-Boat Tour which takes you on a pontoon boat or a guided kayak trip, Mote Marine is a great destination. On the Eco-Boat Tour, nets are put down and marine life is brought onto the boat to be identified by staff. Kids love seeing what actually lives in Sarasota Bay. The guided kayak tour offers sunrise, early morning and full moon evening tours of the mangroves. Indeed, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium in Sarasota Florida is a destination the entire family can enjoy!
Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Clearwater Florida
Clearwater Marine Aquarium is located on beautiful Island Estates, between Clearwater and Clearwater Beach in sunny Florida. This is home to not only Winter the Dolphin, but also to Hope and Nicholas. Hope is another female Bottlenose dolphin and she shares the tank with Winter. Nicholas is the resident male dolphin and he is in his own tank.
Nicholas was found beached along with his mother when he was a pup. Unfortunately, his mom was so ill that she could not be saved and Nicholas had so much sunburn damage on his back that he cannot be released back into the wild. The sunburn damage comes when dolphins are exposed to the sun through beaching. Their skin is extremely sensitive and can be easily injured. That is why they only roll in the ocean and do not stay on top of the water for very long.
This is the perfect way to spend the day, visiting the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and seeing all of the dolphins, sea turtles, river otters, sharks, fish and sting rays that are there. They also offer summer camps for children of all ages, boat cruises to see dolphins in the wild and so much more. Be sure to check the link to their website! This is just one more reason I love living here in the Greater Clearwater Florida Area.
Dunedin Fine Art Center – Where Magic Happens
The Dunedin Fine Art Center is indeed where magic happens! Located at 1143 Michigan Blvd in quaint Dunedin Florida, there is always something going on at the Dunedin Fine Art Center!
Dunedin Fine Art Center always has exhibits going on in their four galleries. They feature not only local artists but an assortment from all over the country. As far as classes are concerned, the youngest age is four years of age and the oldest can easily be a great-great-great grandma! When it comes to the arts, there are no age limits.
DFAC offers classes in pottery, pastels, acrylic painting, oil painting, drawing, digital imaging, glass and enamel art, jewelry making, fiber arts, metal arts, mixed media, photography, print making, sculpture, water media, and even classes specifically for teens and the little ones. Naturally, the summer camps fill up quickly, so it is always best to register as soon as possible. There are also special weekend workshops taking place throughout the year in a variety of areas, so be sure to check out their entire schedule of offerings.
Classes are scheduled between the hours of 9 am and 10 pm, so there really is a wide range to choose from. If you cannot find something in a time that works for you and you have a group of friends also wanting that class, chances are good that DFAC will attempt to accommodate you. They will certainly try to get an instructor for your group if it is large enough.
The Palm Cafe is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 2 pm. Here you can get a snack or something to drink and sit with friends to chat. The children’s museum, exhibits and gallery gift shop hours are 10 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday, 10-2 Saturday and 1-4 Sunday. This is truly an art center that is almost always open!
All levels of classes are also available, from beginner to advanced, so be sure to check out their offerings. Once you take your first class, you will find yourself addicted to the Dunedin Fine Art Center!