Introduction to Largo, Florida
The city of Largo is located in Pinellas County on Florida's Gulf Coast. Part of the Tampa Bay area, the city is situated about 4 miles south of Clearwater, 17 miles northwest of St. Petersburg, and 23 miles west of Tampa.
Named after what was once one of the area's largest lakes (or according to some accounts, after Largo Scotland, original home of some of the area's early settlers), Largo's rich farmlands quickly gained it a reputation as a center of the citrus industry. Well before the turn of the 20th century, Largo citrus was being shipped by the barrel full to enthusiastic customers in the North, earning it the name "Citrus City." Incorporated in 1905, Largo generally prospered throughout the century despite weathering some tough times due to unexpected freezes which dealt intermittent blows to the city's agricultural industry. Large influxes of population during the latter part of the 20th century helped make Largo what it is today.
Largo Area Attractions
The Largo Central Railroad (LCRR) is an organization founded in 1991 and dedicated to the hobby of live steam and large-scale model railroading. The organization regularly holds public runs and currently has over a mile of track running through beautifully landscaped Largo Central Park. Pinellas Trail was conceived as a safe place to enjoy bicycle riding, strolling or jogging. The first five-mile section opened connecting Taylor Park in Largo to Seminole Park in Seminole opened in 1990. The dream is now a full reality, with a 34-mile long Pinellas Trail offering county residents and visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in a variety of ways. Culture and the performing arts are alive in Largo at the Largo Cultural Center. The Center, overlooking beautiful Largo Central Park, is one of the area's principal cultural and entertainment facilities, hosting scores of local, national and international headliners each year. The Florida Botanical Gardens at Largo's Pinewood Cultural Park offers a unique blend of Florida native plants and beautiful exotic tropicals. Largo's Gulf Coast Museum of Art includes nine permanent collections and changing exhibition galleries featuring regional artwork and fine crafts.
There are several attractions in neighboring communities as well. Some of the more popular are:
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium: Dedicated to public education, research and the rescue and rehabilitation of sick or injured animals.
- The Florida Aquarium (Tampa): Features a large shark collection, rare Australian sea dragons, native alligators, a giant Pacific octopus and more.
- Lowry Park Zoo (Tampa): A family-friendly zoo featuring natural outdoor exhibits for more than 1,800 animals.
- Museum of Fine Arts (St. Petersburg): Houses the only comprehensive art collection encompassing antiquity to the present on Florida's west coast.
- Florida International Museum (St. Petersburg): Has provided educational, cultural and historical exhibitions to over 2.5 million visitors since its opening in 1995.
- Mahaffey Theatre (St. Petersburg): A 2030-seat venue featuring spectacular waterfront views, elegant ballroom space and European box-style seating.
- Florida Orchestra: Recognized as Tampa Bay's leading performing arts institution and one of the leading professional symphony orchestras in Florida.
- Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
- St. Petersburg Pier.
- Salvador Dali Museum (St. Petersburg).
- Florida Holocaust Museum (St. Petersburg).
- Museum of Science and Industry (Tampa).
There's plenty of first-rate sports action available in the area. The city of Tampa is home to the National Football League's Tampa Bay Buccaneers and also to the National Hockey League's Tampa Bay Lightning. Nearby St. Petersburg is the home of Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who play at Tropicana Field. Minor league baseball teams in the area include the Clearwater Threshers, a single-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Tampa Yankees, the single-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. Nearby Spring Training sites for Major League Baseball (MLB) teams include Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay Devil Rays), Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater (Philadelphia Phillies) and Legends Field in Tampa (New York Yankees).