Sunny, shoreside, and sometimes perplexing, Gibsonton, FL has an interesting history. Like many Florida areas, Gibsonton grew as a wintering town, but while some places were built for snowbirds, "Gibtown" developed into a seasonal home for sideshow performers, circus showmen, and carnival workers. Creating a winter retreat for clowns was no small feat, but the performers prevailed, and the trap-ezey living in Gibsonton attracted acts such as Percilla the Monkey Girl, Lobster Boy, Al Tomaimi the Giant and Inferno the Fire Eater. The unique physical needs of some of the inhabitants have made the town a pretty accessible place!
Of course, the popularity of sideshows and circus acts greatly declined during the latter half of the twentieth century. Though some of the old guard remain, and the International Showman’s Association is still based in town, these days, Gibtown is much like any Tampa suburb -- sleepy, safe, and home to a lot of retirees (who’ve had very interesting careers).
There’s no designated dog park in Gibsonton, but that doesn’t mean that you and your buddy are bound to be bored! Outdoorsy pups will be glad to know that there’s a nature reserve just on the edge of town. And if your doggo needs to run free, don’t fret -- you’ll find some pawesome off-leash areas a little further afield!
Just a ten-minute drive from Gibsonton, the Apollo Beach neighborhood of Andalucia sits on a sandbar just off the coast. The area really is a mutts-visit, though -- it’s home to the fantastic Apollo Beach Preserve, one of the few beaches nearby that welcomes wagging tails with open arms! Your pooch will need to be leashed, of course, but they’re still welcome to splash about in the surf -- if your fur-baby likes to swim, you might consider bringing a longline. If water isn’t your buddy’s bag, you two can still stroll on the sand and gaze out over the Atlantic -- you might even spot some manatees!