Global warming is no joke, people. Temperatures claim to be around 100 degrees, but it feels like a 130 degree sauna in the sunshine state right now. There are only a few ways to deal with this place in the summertime: cool waters and cooler drinks. Sadly, Florida’s natural springs won’t allow you to enjoy both at the same time. I woke up late on my day off today with aspirations to go to Rainbow River, but didn’t feel like making the two-hour trek to Dunnellon, Florida. After a little bit of Googling, I found a spring that was under thirty minutes away: Lithia Springs Regional Park. Ok, so it’s no Weeki Wachee… But the water is crystal clear and it didn’t rain once so I really can’t complain. It’s $2 per vehicle, and an additional $2 per person to swim. Fresh-squeezed lemonade is available nearby, and is one of the only drinks allowed into the swimming area.
As for cold drinks this summer, be prepared for many more of these posts since the heat isn’t going anywhere. I recently went to the Cigar City Brewery Tasting Room (because it was too late in the day for us to receive a tour), and it did not disappoint. If I had to guess, I’d say there were over 20 different beers on tap. We got a beer flight, which was surprisingly just $6.50. The White Oak Blueberry IPA was my favorite of the four. The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable. I recommend checking it out with a friend before going out to dinner, since it is right near the mecca of Tampa restaurants aka Dale Mabry.