What to do in Tampa

Loved this wharf area. It reminded me of back home but larger. The vibe was festive and pet friendly.

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If you are a beer fan, the biergarten is a must. There are also plenty of food choices and a bowling alley (Splitsville).

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I love food halls/public markets, and this one is a REAL food hall/public market. However, if you are not big on crowds – stay clear. The food is great, but it got pretty crowded, and looking for seats could be stressful.

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Obligatory bathroom selfie
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Blackened Ahi Tuna from Graze 1910
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Graze Burger w/ an egg from Graze 1910
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KARAAGE CHICKEN BOWL from Ichicoro Imoto
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Moscow Mule from Bar AW

The Tampa Riverwalk is a great area to walk through. Trust me, you will get Instagram worthy pictures!

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Delicious breakfast sandwiches with a view – do I need to say more?

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Ybor is not my favorite part of Tampa, but it is worth checking it out. We took the trolley (which is free) to & from our hotel area. First thing we did when we got to Ybor City was get some drinks and lunch at the Ybor City Tap House. I had an impossible burger that was not very good, but the beer was great.

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Mermaid’s Milk Stout

After lunch, we walked around the area until we got our fill. The cigar smoke got me over it rather quickly; all I wanted to do was shower.

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Found this bar really cool
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White Claw Christmas Tree
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We ate here on New Year’s Eve and it did not disappoint one bit! If you are not familiar with the restaurant, it is an industrial gastropub that sells inventive American plates inspired by their chef’s daily experiments. I highly recommend it if you love food and unique flavors.

The Tipsy Flamingo cocktail was perfect for the occasion. Only downside was that it was too easy to drink, therefore it finished quickly. The starters were both phenomenal. It honestly felt like the flavors were careful selected and masterfully combined. I will remember the black + bleu steak tartare for a long, long time. Never in my wildest dreams would I think to put blue cheese and steak tartare together but – OH, how it worked. It was like they were made for each other – like peanut butter and jelly. I had the pistachio mole braised short rib for dinner and loved it. The portion was bigger than I expected. I will say, my favorite part of the dish was the pistachio sauce!

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Tipsy flamingo – Hanson ‘Organic’ vodka, blueberry, mint, fresh lemon, Fee Brothers ‘Cardamom’ bitters, Mercat Cava Brut Rosé
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Avocado leaf-seared yellowfin tuna – homestead green mango salad, aji amarillo sorbet, fish sauce caramel, tamarind crunch
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Black + bleu steak tartare – brown butter mascarpone, pickled trumpet mushrooms, cippolini onion, blue cheese powder, house potato chips
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pistachio mole braised short rib – black beans, hot pickled peppers, grilled plum, cotija
  • St. Petersburg/Clearwater/Madeira Beach/etc.

We did not have much time to explore fully, but we drove through it. I have been wanting to do the Dali museum, but there were no tickets available. However, we did stop at the Daiquiri Shack (reminded us of Daiquiri Deck in Cocoa Beach). I had the Endless Summer (Pina Colada & Strawberry, topped with spiced rum).

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I heard about this on TikTok and was really excited to try it out. This was the closest we could get to snow while still in Florida. Usually for New Year’s I go away to a colder climate – this year, was a bit different. I will start by saying that the heat did not help our experience. I wish it was cooler, so we could have enjoyed it a bit more. It was not what I expected, but it was still fun. Keep in mind, you will have to lug your tube (besides the 10-person tube) up the hill. The single rider option spun too much and made me dizzy. The tandem tube was better and the family-style tube was EVEN BETTER. The best part was going down the hill with our party of 10! The arctic igloo was my spot to cool down from the heat (this area is more for the smaller kids to play with snow). The Alpine Village was small and lackluster, but I did get some chai tea that would make Taylor Swift proud. Also, avoid the restrooms as much as possible (trust me). If you plan on visiting, go at night.

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This was one of my favorite parts of Tampa. I loved the vibe, stores, and architecture of the nearby houses. My New Year’s Eve Uber driver recommended this area without hesitation. The francesca’s here has really cute stuff.

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I thought this brewery was excellent! The food and beer were both amazing. Their Patio Tools was reminiscent of Guinness and the their Vegan Portobello Mushroom Burger was phenomenal! It was one of the best vegan burgers I have ever had. It made me not miss meat whatsoever.

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Nitro: Patio Tools
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Portobello Mushroom Burger

Here are some more of my looks from the trip:

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New Year’s Eve Look
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New Year’s Eve Close-up
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New Year’s Night Fit
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Dinner Outfit
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For accommodations, we stayed at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Downtown Convention Center. I loved it. Their rooms were spacious and clean; the view from our room was gorgeous; the hotel offered free breakfast; the location was convenient; and lastly, it was family friendly and not at all rowdy (especially considering we were here on New Year’s).

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Tampa was kind to us! I hope this helps if you are planning on visiting.

XO,

Caylin

One thought on “What to do in Tampa

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