CCCC 2015 March 18–21 • Tampa, Florida
Welcome to beautiful Tampa!
As the 2015 CCCC Local Planning Committee Chair, I’m excited to introduce you to the beautiful City of Tampa/Tampa Bay, notable for its diverse selection of restaurants, art and culture, beautiful white sand beaches, and world-class attractions, not to mention our literal and figurative history of treasure-seeking pirate and buccaneer invasion (see Gasparilla festival celebration) and rich cultural diversity/history.
In March, our weather is divine—mostly sunny, with a high of 76 degrees, so with that temperate zone in mind, I’d like to take a few minutes to “unlock” the treasures of Tampa in this Welcome Letter, so that you can all complement your conference activities with some truly Tampa experiences.
First, we’re very fortunate to have waterfront vistas at our convention sites. The Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina and The Tampa Convention Center are located in the heart of downtown Tampa along the beautiful Hillsborough Riverwalk. Look out the windows at almost every vantage point and see the beautiful Florida sunshine and river views. Enjoy dining at the Waterside Grill (see menu), poolside casual dining, the Sail Pavilion (a 360 degree waterfront bar on the Riverwalk between the Marriott Waterside and the Convention Center), and a host of other restaurants you can find in our Hospitality Restaurant Guide. Many of the restaurants in the downtown area are within walking distance of the hotels and convention center. As our Restaurant Guide is divided geographically, you’ll find dining choices in downtown Tampa as well as in nearby Ybor City and South Tampa.
There is a bounty of treasures to explore in Tampa and the surrounding area from fun in the sun activities to art and culture to entertainment to attractions, all located within close proximity to the downtown area. Among many, our “fun in the sun highlights” include Busch Gardens (9 miles from conference locations and complete with 300 acres of natural animal habitats and 30 acres of water-themed amusements); Lowry Park Zoo (5 miles and voted #1 zoo in U.S. for kids by Parents Magazine); canoe and kayak trips on the Hillsborough River and paddleboarding on Davis Island (3 miles) or Channelside (9 min. walk) can be arranged through the hotel concierge; and beautiful white sand beaches (Clearwater Beach, rated one of the top 10 US beaches by the Travel Channel, is a short 35-minute drive), and St. Pete Beach is 31.9 miles).
Art and Culture highlights include the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (2 miles) – check out the site to see what will be featured in March; the award-winning Tampa Museum of Art (1/2 mile), the Tampa Theater (1 mile), MOSI (11.2 miles), the Henry Plant Museum (.9 miles), and the Florida Aquarium (6 miles).
The convention center and hotel are located just a few stops on the Tampa Streetcar to Ybor City (where you’ll find a host of restaurants, shopping, art, nighttime entertainment as well as your anticipated experience at the Cuban Sandwich Festival when you’re in town on 03/20 – 03/22); Amalie Arena (walk across the street from the hotel to see the Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Team play the Detroit Red Wings on Friday, March 20th and the Boston Bruins on Sunday, March 22nd), and the Channelside Entertainment Complex (an urban waterfront complex that features retail, entertainment, and dining options only ½ mile from the Marriott). For interested Yankee fans who want to plan ahead and secure spring training tickets, the Yankees will face the Astros at the George M. Steinbrenner Field (5.7 miles) on 03/21.
Getting around the Tampa Bay area is easy given the many travel options available. Particularly, the Tampa Streetcar Line and the Hart Bus line should make treasure-seeking, beyond the walkable areas, affordable and enjoyable during your stay. The Marriott Hotel Waterside and downtown hotels do not provide airport shuttle services, but alternative transportation can be provided through Super Shuttle ($12 one way), bus service ($12 one way), or taxi service ($25 one way).
Subscribe to our 2105 CCCC Local Hospitality Guide so that you can stay current on more transportation specifics and parking options as well as various miscellaneous services near the conference (drug stores, food markets, hospitals, banks, etc.), more information on things to do in Tampa, and specifics related to our Jim Berlin 5K run in Tampa and our Pub Crawl in Ybor City! Attendees who wish to schedule meetings and/or gatherings for their organizations/associations can find meeting room information on our Hospitality Guide. Give us a Tweet and let us know what you’d like to see us further explore in our guide. More visitor information can be found at City of Tampa, Florida: Visitors’ Guide and Visit Tampa Bay.
Please explore our 2015 Accessibility Guide, located under Related Information on the CCCC Conventions and Meetings site. For 2015 CCCC panel presenters, please consider how best to make your presentation accessible by visiting the Composing Access Project site, a project co-sponsored by the Committee on Disability Issues in College Composition (CDICC) and the Computers & Composition Digital Press (CCDP).
On behalf of the MA and PhD Programs at the University of South Florida and the 2015 CCCC local arrangement committees and our many dedicated volunteers, I look forward to your visit to our vibrant and diverse city. We welcome your questions and the enthusiasm and energy you will bring to the conference.
Associate Director of Composition,
USF Chair, 2015 CCCC Local Planning Committee
For more conference information, please visit http://www.ncte.org/cccc/conv