Tampa transplant Rogan O’Handley is greatest identified by his Instagram deal with @dc_draino — and on the platform, he shares “politics for patriots” with 2.3 million followers.
O’Handley was a hotshot Hollywood lawyer whose views didn’t at all times jibe with the native superstar elite.
When he visited Tampa for a pal’s marriage ceremony in 2017, he was immediately enthusiastic about Florida’s booming, sun-splashed metropolis by the bay — in stark distinction to what he noticed in Los Angeles.
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“From getting picked up on the lovely airport, [to] the crystal-clear water, the inexpensive way of life, the wonder, the climate, the shortage of visitors — I assumed that is the very best place in America to dwell,” O’Handley informed Fox Information Digital.
“I packed up every part and moved out of California.”
A Fox Information Digital reporter devoted a while this month to touring Tampa and discovering out why this once-sleepy Gulf Coast metropolis is now considered one of America’s hottest locations to dwell, work and thrive.
O’Handley provided his 5 favourite spots to kick off the Tampa tour as Fox Information Digital’s findings will comply with within the days and weeks forward.
The waterfront eatery sits on a trophy nook location of Harbour Island in downtown Tampa, providing skyline views and entry to waterfront actions.
“It’s so shut” to the town’s New Yr’s Eve celebrations, mentioned O’Handley, “you’ll be able to odor the gunpowder.”
“I assumed that is the very best place in America to dwell.” — Rogan O’Handley (@dc_draino)
American Social is a brief stroll to the Tampa Conference Middle and to its docks for the town’s handy “Pirate Taxi” ferry service, paddle board leases and Bay Rocket water thrill trip.
“It’s at all times popping on a weekend night time,” mentioned O’Handley.
A sprawling warehouse that when housed Tampa’s trolley vehicles has been reworked into one of many metropolis’s most vibrant social hubs.
Armature Works boasts an indoor-outdoor assortment of internationally impressed meals stalls, nightclubs, music and household actions. It overlooks Tampa’s central Hillsborough River, round which the town was constructed.
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“Seize a drink and stroll exterior on the river and watch the manatees,” mentioned O’Handley. “It’s household oriented with a lot of actions for teenagers, and Adirondack chairs outdoor that provide one of the vital lovely views in Tampa.”
The venerable Tampa attraction, based in 1959, continues to thrill each households and adrenaline junkies alike.
“It’s an amazing household attraction and an unimaginable theme park,” mentioned the Tampa transplant.
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Busch Gardens pairs half a dozen top-tier curler coasters — “a few of the greatest on the earth,” mentioned O’Handley — with unimaginable safari-animal points of interest.
The park provides a spectacular assortment of over 200 totally different specials of unique animals, together with black rhinos, giraffes and alligators.
Hyde Park Village
Tampa is full of hives of exercise and neighborhood village facilities, every of which seems to be popping proper now. Hyde Park is without doubt one of the hottest — and most elegant.
“One factor about Tampa is there isn’t a principal downtown,” mentioned O’Handley.
As an alternative, “you choose a pocket of Tampa and spend the day or night time there.”
“There is no such thing as a principal downtown. You choose a pocket of Tampa and spend the day or night time there.” — Rogan O’Handley
The superstar Instagrammer enjoys Hyde Park Village for its upscale purchasing and array of eating places, he mentioned, together with Forbici Fashionable Italian, Mexican at bartaco and Italian steakhouse Timpano. On the latter, friends “take pleasure in unimaginable cheeses and handmade pastas made in a hollowed-out cheese wheel,” mentioned O’Handley.
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Model new in Hyde Park is Bouzy, a glowing new Champagne bar pairing bubbly and small bites. It opened final week, the primary new restaurant from sommelier Jennifer Bingham.
Tampa’s historic hub of nightlife, immigrant tradition and cigar-making has undergone a welcome transformation lately.
“They actually improved the standard of life in Ybor,” mentioned O’Handley. “It was so much rougher. It is safer now.”
He loves Ybor Metropolis’s cigar outlets, the place artisans roll tobacco by hand every day.
He additionally enjoys its walkable downtown and its “New Orleans really feel” of balconies and black iron balustrades.
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There are two Ybor Cities. A quiet haven of vacationers exploring native historical past and sipping espresso at cigar cafés by day turns right into a rowdy hotspot of younger individuals celebrating late at night time.
“Ybor Metropolis is nice,” mentioned O’Handley.