Dive into the Region
Experience Florida’s Sports Coast is comprised of four core cities, New Port Richey, Dade City, Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills that are all surrounded by local gems that await to be explored. Most of the sports in the area are located on the east side of the county in Wesley Chapel. Dade City offers a quaint southern charm that makes all visitors feel at home. New Port Richey is home to a wonderful downtown, and its location along the Cotee River makes it a great destination for water activities. In between Dade City and Wesley Chapel, Zephyrhills is home to one of the best skydiving zones in the world. In all, the region offers endless options to enjoy nature, with a whopping 100 square-miles of recreational facilities, 25+ golf courses, and 3 state-designated canoe trails.
About the Organization
Experience Florida’s Sports Coast encapsulates the entirety of Pasco County and all it has to offer as a sports destination. The organization can cater to essentially any type of sporting event with its dynamic array of venues. “We are on a mission to create that core foundation, to position Florida’s Sports Coast as a premier sports destination for amateur athletics,” Kolby Gayson, Communication Manager at Experience Florida’s Sports Coast says. Florida’s Sports Coast offers a wide range of sports, both outdoors and indoors. Along the coast, the west side of the county is paradise for leisure sports enthusiasts, from cycling, to hiking, boating, and fishing. The destination’s primary sports venues can be found on the east side of the county between Zephyrhills and Wesley Chapel.
Experience Florida’s Sports Coast is the official destination management organization that promotes and develops county visitor brand experiences for economic growth and quality of place.
Things to Do
TreeHoppers Aerial Adventure Park
About a thirty-minute drive from most of the county’s sports venues, TreeHoppers is the largest zipline adventure park in central Florida. Visitors can choose from beginner to expert level courses and immerse themselves in nature, climbing and flying from platform to platform among the trees. Whether a young child or adult, there is fun here for the entire family.
In Wesley Chapel, Main Event is an interactive large indoor space featuring laser tag, virtual reality, bowling, rock climbing, mini golf, and gravity ropes. The space also has its own restaurant and bar inside. Especially on a rainy day, this is the perfect place for the family to enjoy an active and fun outing together. Main Event says themselves, it’s “the most fun you can have under one roof!”
Of Course, a Floridian adventure should include time by the water. Florida’s Sports Coast is perched along the stunning Gulf of Mexico. “Nothing is better than dropping all technology and getting out and away from it all. By our waterfront, you can rent a boat charter. If you don’t have a boating license, you can rent one with a captain from Windsong Charters and Boat Rentals in New Port Richey. If you want to do something a little more laid back and still get a workout in, there’s the Salty Dog Kayak Company which is out of Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park,” Gayson shares. Be sure to check out SunWest Park in Hudson, a fun-filled park next to a 70-acre lake with 20 white-sand volleyball courts. On the lake, The Lift Adventure Park features an inflatable jungle gym and cable wakeboarding system, perfect for cooling off and enjoying the water with family and friends.
Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus of Pasco County (WRSCPC)
Opened in summer 2020 in Wesley Chapel, the Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus of Pasco County is the premier sports destination for events on a local or national scale. Built with tourist development dollars as a private-public partnership this venue offers 98,000 sq. ft. of indoor event space including eight basketball courts and 16 volleyball courts. There is also a Cheer Zone complete with spring floor and a tumble run, training space, and a VIP Sky Deck viewing area for families and fans. Right next store to the venue is a beautiful, new Residence Inn by Marriott, providing the simplest stay for those competing at WRSCPC. “It’s truly creating that campus experience, so you can host your event and families can stay right there,” Gayson says.
AdventHealth Center Ice
The largest indoor ice center south of New York, AdventHealth Center Ice is a two-story ice rink coming in at 150,000 sq. Ft. The center features an Olympic-sized rink, three NHL-sized rinks, and one junior rink. Many of the rinks can be converted to host basketball, soccer, and lacrosse, among other sports, as well as corporate events. Inside, visitors will also find a sports-themed restaurant, Top Shelf.
Sarah Vande Berg Tennis & Wellness Center
In Zephyrhills, a world-class tennis and wellness center creates a sports experience like no other. The center features eleven tennis courts, eight pickleball courts and four padel courts and welcomes all athletes, whether casual or professional. Inside the center, guests will discover an all-encompassing wellness experience, from cryotherapy, to the salt room, sauna, sports counseling, fitness center, and restaurant.
Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational
Established in 2016, the Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational is one of the top high school basketball tournaments for boys and girls. The event began with just 8 teams with a vision to realize the potential for girls’ basketball in the area. This year, from December 29, 2021-January 1, 2022, 128 Girls Varsity Teams, 32 Boys Varsity Teams, and 16 JV Boys basketball teams competed at Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus.
New Year’s Classic Volleyball
From January 9-10, 2022, Mark Foster Volleyball will hold their New Year’s Classic Volleyball tournament at the Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus of Pasco County in Wesley Chapel. The tournament brings in some of the best club volleyball teams in the area for their first big tournament of the year.
Annual Kumquat Festival ®
Each January, Pasco County’s most iconic annual event returns to Dade City. The Annual Kumquat Festival ® will take place on January 29, 2022 from 9am-5pm. Thousands of visitors travel to enjoy the 200+ vendors in the historic Downtown. “Nature’s sweet treat,” as Gayson calls it, the kumquat is a unique fruit that is transformed into an array of treats like kumquat cookies and pie. At the festival, visitors can also explore an antique car show, arts and crafts booths, and more.
Florida Bug Jam
November 12 and 13, 2022, the 34th Annual Florida Bug Jam is set to come back to the Pasco City Fairgrounds in Dade City. The festival celebrates the iconic Volkswagen Bug, featuring a car show, VW car parade, a kickoff “Cruise-In” party in Downtown Dade City, live music, and more.
Tips for Your Stay
Just 30 minutes from Tampa International Airport and 90 minutes from Orlando Airport, traveling to Florida’s Sports Coast is simple and stress-free. By car, the region is easily accessible from multiple major highways and is a quick trip from surrounding cities. For your stay, you will find a range of beautiful hotels under every major name. Depending on your venue location, each town has its own gems to accommodate the whole family.
For more information on Florida’s Sports Coast or to book your next event in this paradise, head to their Playeasy profile here!
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