So I felt it was time for a quick getaway, because, Why Not? My girls and mom wanted to visit my brother, my boyfriend had a birthday coming up and I just wanted to be near a beach. FYI, I always want to be near a beach. 🙂
So, I found some cheap tickets for the 5 of us for a few days in Florida. My girls and my mom stayed with my brother. I was looking for a cool AirBnb experience. The last condo I rented there was no longer available. So in my new search, this cute little “tiny house” popped up on my radar. As an avid DIY/HGTV watcher, I am super fascinated with the “tiny house” phenomenon, so now was my chance to actually experience it. My family and I have been to Tampa many times since my brother has lived there for a while now but for the boyfriend, this was his first time visiting, so of course, I had to show him all the things that make Tampa awesome.
Let’s start with the Tiny House.
Let me just say, I underestimated the cool factor of this home because of its size. This place was way impressive than I expected. The space was perfect for a couple. Of course, the owners are an architect and an interior designer, so you know this place was flawlessly designed and decorated.
The house included a parking space in the backyard. The location was within 2 blocks of Ybor City, which is the hip strip of restaurants, shops, clubs and bars for Downtown Tampa. There was cable, wifi, and coffee pods for the nespresso machine. What more can a girl ask for while on vacation? If you have a tiny house curiosity, I would highly recommend this location for your next stay. You can find information about this house on AirBnb or Instagram.
Now, of course, the main reason for Tampa in June… the beach. No trip to Tampa is complete without a trip to Clearwater Beach. We had one nice evening at the beach and then dinner at a local seafood spot.
But the highlight for this trip was the birthday dinner cruise on Clearwater Harbor. I booked tickets on a boat called the Calypso Queen due to its description of the Caribbean inspired cuisine that they served and the cool sounds of Caribbean music while cruising for over 3 hours around the harbor. Well, let’s just say it was nothing like the description on Expedia. The food was terrible, the DJ was about 60+ years old and gave you the latest in country music and then he played every 80’s pop or African American group dancing song you could think of… cue in “The Electric Slide” and “The Cha Cha Slide”. The alcohol was flowing all night though (which was included in the ticket price). They definitely need to update the description to “a booze cruise with beautiful Clearwater Harbor scenery.” However, our dinner table was paired with 4 others that were visiting and celebrating birthdays. They were such an awesome group of people with great conversation that I will never forget.
Now, of course, I didn’t just pawn my kids off on my brother. I did have some fun with my girls also. We spent a day at Adventure Island in Tampa which was right across the street from Busch Gardens. This water park is nothing much water slides and pools, which was perfect for a 90+ degree day in Tampa.
On a different day, we took the kids over to Ballast Point Park for a bite to eat and some playtime. I highly recommend this park if you have little ones. The park is right off of a 600 ft pier in South Tampa plus there is a little restaurant where you can get a seafood meal or keep it simple with a scoop of ice cream. The highlight of this park is the free play area. This park is perfect if you are a parent traveling on a budget. You can easily waste a few hours at this park relaxing in the shade while your kids run around. There are swings and slides and a great a water splash area that no kid will turn down.
On our last day, we found this nice Cuban bakery, La Segunda, in Ybor City.
I have been to Tampa a million times and I have never noticed this bakery. I had the best Cuban for breakfast… maybe not better than the one in Cuba but it was a staunch contender. So after all of these years of visiting Tampa, I wasn’t totally aware of the Cuban history that served as the basis for Ybor City.
According to Wikipedia, Ybor City was founded as an independent town in 1885 by a group of cigar manufacturers led by Vicente Martinez-Ybor and was annexed by Tampa in 1887. The original population was mostly composed of Cuban and Spanish immigrants who worked in the cigar factories. So if you visit, be sure to check out the Ybor City Museum and Visitor Center to learn more about this historical area.
All in all, I think you can see that we had a great time in Tampa once again. But hopefully, you’ll see that Tampa is a terrific place to visit with your significant other or the family. There is plenty to do for all budgets. I have been visiting Tampa for years now, so feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need any suggestions when planning your trip to visit.