TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa Bay man has released a fun travel guide of the many weird and unique things in our area so as things continue to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, locals and visitors have help with their Tampa Bay experience.

Joshua Ginsberg has released “Secret Tampa Bay: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful and Obscure.” The book dives in to culture, history and attractions.

Ginsberg moved from Chicago with his wife to the Town N’ Country area around 4 and a half years ago. He said he got the idea for the book as they prepared to make the move. As a way of saying “goodbye,” to Chicago, they created a bucket list of things to do.

“Some of things were very tourist-y, like riding in the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier. Some things were very kind of hidden and little known, like finding this secret street that the city had actually built over,” Ginsberg said. “When I was able to find that, this little light bulb went off. I had walked past it a thousand times without even wondering why I had never wondered about it. I feel like that when we moved here, I continued to do that.” 

The book covers what Ginsberg said is a “good mix” of things from as far north as Weeki Wachee, to as far south as Sarasota and east to Bartow. Ginsberg said his rule of thumb was to cover things within an hour of downtown Tampa.

“Some are unique places to eat and drink. Some are museums. Some are public artworks. Some are gravestones that are unique. Some are some of the natural wonders that are out here. Egmont Key is one of my personal favorites,” he said.

The most surprising thing to Ginsberg was the amount of American history you can find in the Tampa Bay area, including sites involving the arrival of the Conquistadors and Panfilo de Narvaez. Growing up in the north, he always thought of ancient history as occurring elsewhere, like Europe or Egypt or Israel.

“We are really standing and interacting with ancient history every day,” he said.

“Secret Tampa Bay” will not be Ginsberg’s last venture into the unique and wonderful aspects of the Tampa Bay area. He said his next book, the first draft of which is headed to his publisher this week, is called “TB Scavenger.”

“It is a giant scavenger hunt of 360 rhyming riddles that will take people all over the greater Tampa Bay area,” he explained.

After his scavenger hunt book, he will be working on a novel about the oldest things in Tampa Bay, including things like the area’s oldest shipyard, oldest bridge and more.

Ginsberg will be attending a book fair event at Oxford Exchange on April 22 from 6 to 8 p.m., where he will be selling his books and greeting fans. The event is free and open to the public.

Those interested in the book who can’t make the event can order signed copies online at Ginsberg’s store.

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