Travel with Val: Convention areas have plenty to offer travelers
As the political conventions set up shop in Florida and North Carolina, Travel with Val shows you some "unconventional" places to check out nearby all the action.
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Want to end your summer on a politically correct note? Why not consider a trip that is not too far from conventional?
Dolphins could very well be upstaging elephants as the symbol of the Republican National Convention, which will take place at the end of August in the Tampa Bay area. A special installation of 50 fiberglass bottlenose dolphins are on display at Pier 60 Park in Clearwater Beach. This, after all, is the home of Winter, the inspirational leading lady starring in the film "Dolphin Tale."
Romney/Ryan supporters will clear out just in time for Labor Day so rank and file tourists can take advantage of a variety of deals, including discounts at the all-suite Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach that offers $25 upgrades, free nights and complimentary breakfasts.
The family-friendly Hyatt has a popular camp for kids along with a new menu for both children and adults with healthy food options.
For more information, visit visittampabay.com.
The Democratic National Convention will take its turn 575 miles north of Tampa in Charlotte, North Carolina starting on Labor Day.
The “Queen City” is a combination of cars and culture so delegates can stay revved up when taking recess from the convention floor.
Forget the presidential race and get inside a racing simulator at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
For another adrenaline rush, visit the nation’s only manmade whitewater rapids at the U.S. National Whitewater Center with its two recirculating channels.
After sticking it to the Republicans, a visit to the Mint Museum at the Levine Center for the Arts might be in order. A special exhibit showcases former Secretary of State Madeline Albright’s pin collection.
Discovery Place, the family-friendly science museum, will get the vote of the smallest constituents.
For more information, go to charlottesgotalot.com.