Tampa, Florida is set to be the host city for the NAFEMS World Congress from the 15th to the 18th of May 2023. After the last NWC had to be online, the 2023 event is set to return bigger, better and bolder than ever before and what better city to do that in than Tampa?!
Located right on the waterfront in the heart of downtown Tampa, the Tampa Convention Center is a fantastic venue with excellent facilities. Not only are the facilities 1st class but, just to give you that extra peace of mind, the convention center is also a Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) Star facility. There are plenty of hotels to stay nearby including well known international chains Hyatt, Marriot, and Hilton. From your hotel travel to and from the Convention center by road or by boat, as the convention center has its own boat dock, or take the streetcar, there’s a stop right outside.
It is an excellent venue for a much longed-for return to an in-person congress and will make your attendance of NWC23 a truly memorable experience.
Located on the calm, warm waters of Florida’s west coast on the Gulf Coast, Tampa is a vibrant city with plenty to offer visitors. From the historic to the modern, the city of Tampa has it all. Ybor city, pronounced ( EE-bor, not Why-Bor!) once the cigar capital of the world, is now a vibrant neighbourhood with an eclectic mix of architecture, culture, restaurants, and bars that reflect the rich history of the area. Stroll along Ybor City's main thoroughfare, 7th Avenue, or La Septima (with or without the ‘p’!) as the locals call it, and take in this smorgasbord of sensory delights, from the palm trees towering above you to the aromas of roasting coffee and delicious Cubanos, this neighbourhood is the historical heart and soul of Tampa and not to be missed. Oh, you can also go to Cuba without leaving Ybor City, it really will transport you! ;)
Speaking of going places, the Tampa Riverwalk is a 2.6-mile walkway that runs along the Hillsborough River, featuring fantastic eateries, museums, cultural landmarks, and water activities. Heights Market at Armature Works at the beginning of the walkway is a vibrant area with shopping, restaurants, bars, including a rooftop one with spectacular views over the city and the river, where better to unwind after a day at the congress? At the north end of the walkway, closest to the convention centre-the congress venue- you will find Sparkman Wharf a fun, foody area with a variety of street food spots and outdoor dining as well as live music and a beer garden.
Don’t be fooled by the term walkway, you don’t have to walk it. For a different experience you can go in a water taxi or how about adding to the adventure and hiring a biyak or a waterbike? You might even get lucky and spot an alligator or a manatee in the water.
Prefer to stay dry and do your exploring on land? There are plenty of art and culture venues to explore. How about a visit to the Henry B. Plant Museum Named after the transport and tourism pioneer, the museum is housed in part of the magnificent former Tampa Bay Hotel, the rest is the University of Tampa. The spectacular building alone is worth a visit but step inside and you will discover more about the history of the original hotel and the impressively pioneering man behind it. A mere 5 minute walk from the congress venue you will find the Tampa Bay History Centre, full of fascinating exhibits, everything from interactive cattle drives to a step back in time to walk the cobbled streets of Ybor city way back when.
Florida is not called the sunshine state for nothing and Tampa sits on a portion of the coast dubbed the Sunshine Coast no less! Of course, what that means is the whole area boasts some of the best beaches in the US. One of these is Ben T. Davis beach, a 15-minute drive from the convention centre, this will be the one you see if you come in from the airport. From there you can walk or hire a bike and cross the 9.5-mile Courtney Campbell causeway trail to Tampa’s neighbouring city Clearwater, home of arguably one of the best beaches in the United States, Clearwater Beach.
The Gulf of Mexico is home to plenty of sea life but let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a dolphin? From just about anywhere in the Tampa Bay area you can go on boat tours that actually guarantee that you will see these beautiful animals in the wild, now how many of us are lucky enough to live somewhere that can deliver on that kind of promise! It’s not just dolphins of course, you can’t think Florida wildlife and not think of alligators, there’s tours for those too. Prefer your wildlife friendlier and less toothy? How about going for a swim with Manatees? Tampa is your gateway to it all, so why not extend your trip after the congress and recharge? Whether it’s to sink your toes into the warm, sugar-white sand of the Tampa Bay beaches or for the rich culture and culinary delights of Tampa, this is your perfect excuse to visit.