- David Ching, ESPN Staff Writer
Aaron Murray has not only been the Georgia football team’s quarterback since the Bulldogs arrived in Tampa, Fla., for Outback Bowl practices on Monday, he has been its tour guide.
“I’ll definitely show them around Tampa, bring them around and I know they have a bunch of activities for us like going to Busch Gardens and going to the beach, things like that,” Murray said. “It should be a fun trip.”
Murray was also willing to make a few quick sight-seeing recommendations for Georgia fans making the trip for the Bulldogs’ Jan. 2 meeting with Michigan State. Here are a couple of his suggestions:
* Busch Gardens: “We’re going to Busch Gardens, which is awesome. It’s a lot of fun. We’re going there as a team.” (The Bulldogs visited the theme park Wednesday).
* Channelside Bay Plaza, a shopping, dining and entertainment complex that abuts the St. Pete Times Forum and The Florida Aquarium along the water: “Channelside is great, right by the port. The Channelside area has the aquarium there. You can see the boats coming in and out, nice shopping area, lots of great restaurants around that area. We’re actually going there to Splitsville Bowling one night. But the whole area, Channelside, is really fun, a lot of stuff to do in that area right on the bay.”
* Hyde Park, the historic district near downtown that is home to many of the city’s top restaurants, nightclubs and specialty shops: “Buckhead for Atlanta, that’s Hyde Park for Tampa. It’s a very nice area -- a lot of restaurants and bars and clubs and places to go to and hang out.”
* As for Ybor City, the nightclub and entertainment district that came to fame because of its history in cigar production, Murray said that area can get a bit too rowdy for his tastes. He recommends a trip during daylight hours for those who want to visit the neighborhood: “Ybor’s a lot of fun. It can be a little dangerous at times, so I kind of stay clear of there. Especially during the daytime, I think it’s a lot of fun just to walk around and see a lot of the historic stuff. There’s a lot to do.”
* And here’s one dining recommendation from Charles: Jerk Hut, a Jamaican restaurant. Orson recommends the jerk chicken, rice and beans, corn and carrot juice.
Judging by some of the players’ Twitter feeds, they are already enjoying what Tampa has to offer. Maybe Murray and Charles’ advice will help you Tampa-bound Bulldogs do so, as well.