Bored in Tampa? Author has new book of 100 things to do

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The author of a popular book detailing “100 Things To Do In Tampa Bay Before You Die” has released another edition with even more things to do in the area.

Kristen Hare is on the third edition of the book. Each version contains between 30-50 new things she’s discovered since the last edition.

“I did the first book really right after I moved here, so it was a lot of just discovering Tampa Bay,” Hare explained. “The second edition was so informed by conversations and talks at libraries and community groups and with local journalists about things that I didn’t get in the first edition that should be. Things they love to do.”

She said she wasn’t planning on writing a third book. Then came the coronavirus pandemic.

“After the pandemic and two years at home, when my publisher approached me, it felt really good to get out with people that I care about and hadn’t seen in a really long time to reconnect with our region,” Hare said.

Hare focuses on things like price points across all editions of “100 Things To Do In Tampa Bay Before You Die,” having a family of four of her own.

“If we can’t afford to do it, I wasn’t including it,” she said.

Portions of the book focus on restaurants, like West Tampa Sandwich Shop. Places Hare said have been a part of the Tampa Bay area’s fabric for a long time and are “worth giving your business too,” as well as being affordable.

Hare offers tips for dining around the area. She said she always looks at Facebook pages, reads reviews and even looks at online menus. One of her best tips from her is true for any type of travel.

“Save your eat-out time for lunches. Lunch menus tend to have smaller portions and to be more affordable,” she said. “If you want to go someplace like Ulele and you’re like, ‘eh, I don’t know if we can afford it,’ a lunch version is a great way to go.”

One of Hare’s favorite parts about the new book is her guide to day trips. She outlines 14 of them in the book.

“I really love it, it was fun to get into my car and get out of Tampa Bay, but not to go too far,” she said.

She said her favorite day trip was to North Port, to the Warm Mineral Springs Park, an 85-degree sulfur spring in essentially a prehistoric sinkhole.

“It’s a sulfur spring, so there is an odor, a slight odor. But it’s full of people who come from all over the world and believe in the healing properties of the water,” Hare said. “So bring your noodle, bring your swimsuit and go. You have to spend at least 45 minutes in the water. It feels wonderful and it’s just a lovely way to spend a day.”

She recommends stopping by Bradenton on the way back for a stroll through the Village of the Arts to find restaurants and coffee shops, or stopping by Motorworks Brewing.

Hare also recommends a few things closer to Tampa for their many places to eat and the transformation of the areas where they can be found.

“I love Armature Works and Sparkman Wharf. I think they’re the kind of places you may become tempted to go when you have people from out of town visiting and I would just encourage you to get them on your regulars list,” she said.

The response to her books from the community has been very positive.

“People are enthusiastic about it every time it comes out. I think there are people who think they know everything there is to do here and I hope I can surprise them,” she said. “I think I have with each edition, but I also want to learn from them what they love so we can keep celebrating where we live.”

You can find “100 Things To Do In Tampa Bay Before You Die” wherever books are sold, including on Amazon.

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