In our travels we have visited lots of locales – but we’ve never actually been on any kind of organized tour.
   Oh, we have taken a lot of trips around the Sunshine State.  But our favorite destinations have been smaller, funky and interesting towns that we’ve explored on our own. Matlacha for instance, is tiny but there is a great deal to experience there. From the different restaurants to the nature areas, the quaint shops and our room in a converted fish camp – it is a wonderful little place.
  We had a similar experience in Sanibel as we poked about. First we stopped at the Welcome Center, then off to the shell museum, later dined at some wonderful restaurants and experienced a cozy cottage. We also found a great beach and got a bagful of great shells.
  There were some larger places we’ve explored. There’s Tarpon Springs which really is two different areas. First there’s the well-known Sponge Docks with great shopping and some dynamite restaurants. Then there is the downtown area which is quaint and full of antiques and curios. Mount Dora also is a fabulous place and more likely than not has some sort of festival or event going on there.
  When we travel, a lot of times we have a particular destination in mind. We went down to Lake Worth for their Garlic Festival which was a great time but we did not know much about the area. When that happens we have two methodologies. We ask the locals where the fun places are and we also review local restaurants, hotels and points of interest on Trip Advisor to see what others have to say before we make a decision.
  One thing we have not done is go and look at the big cities. Sure, we’ve been to Orlando, Tampa and Tallahassee but we never really have stayed in large cities and taken advantage of what they have to offer.
  However, that may change. We have become aware of Mosquito County Tours Operated by Mandy Longo, this little sightseeing agency will take you on walking tours oriented to shopping, restaurant hopping or special events.
  We are planning to take one of these little excursions and will report back.
  However, my wife and I like better to be on our own. To that end, we are going to plan to look around Tampa – or “The Big Guava” as it’s known. As a template, we are going to use “The Complete Guide to Tampa; According to a Local,” which can be found here.
  Stay tuned. We plan to take a Mosquito County Walking Tour and an unguided tour of Tampa. We’ll report back on the pros and cons of each.