Hey you! If you are reading this then you are most likely coming to Tampa for the National Championship Game (or here already in which case Welcome :)) where Clemson University and some other team that will not be named are playing :) Let me just say we are so excited about that! YAYYYYY!!! When Clemson beat Ohio State last week we were ecstatic! Then we were even more excited when we realized that all our Clemson Tiger family will be heading to Tampa where we have lived for the past 2 and a half years !! Chase and I are hosting our parents, brother, grandmother, in-laws, and two other couple friends in our small rental home, which will be a little cray cray but also an absolute blast!! I know that this upcoming weekend will be jammed packed, and I would love to show each of you around individually, but think of this post as a "virtual tour" of things you should check out and restaurant recommendations just because I want you to get the most out of your experience in Tampa, and I know I always appreciate a good recommendation! :) Without further adieu, here are some of Chase and my favorite things to do in Tampa:
Top 6 Things to do in Tampa:
1. Drive down Bayshore Blvd
Go ahead and roll those windows down, turn your jams up, and enjoy the beautiful iconic scenery of Tampa Bay! There are beautiful homes along this road, but my favorite view is of the bay and the tampa city skyline in the distance. I think the best way to experience Bayshore is to park your car, and take a walk down it! If you are feeling adventurous you can even rent a bike and ride down it! Make sure to look out for dolphins, and manatees that tend to swim along the seawall!!
2. Explore downtown Tampa and the downtown riverwalk and Curtis Hixon Park
This is just another fun riverwalk along the bay downtown, so you experience more of the city life. Check out the Curtis Hixon website because they are always hosting events and fun things! This is also directly across from the University of Tampa that has beautiful scenery!
3. Davis Island
If you are looking for a perfect picnic spot with a stunning view look no further!! The end of Davis Island is absolutely beautiful and one of our favorite places to watch the sunset. Best part is it's free, dog friendly, and never really that crowded!! Feel free to bring an eno, frisbie, and just enjoy the afternoon.
4. Hyde Park
Hyde Park is a preppy shopping plaza and is perfect for window shopping and walking around. If you are looking to try out a local coffee shop, Buddy Brew Coffee is located there and really is so so good! Also where Bar Taco, so so yummy!!
5. Howard Ave
Howard Ave is where is it happening, especially for the night scene. If you are looking for a place to celebrate that Clemson victory before, after, or all of the above there are multiple bars along Howard as well as most of the restaurants I am going to recommend further below in this post! MacDinton's Irish Pub & Restaurant is a local favorite with live music and usually lots of people!! Just make sure to be safe :) (sorry mom alert coming out in me!!)
6. Clearwater/ St Pete Beaches
The beautiful thing about Tampa is that you are 30 minutes away from some of the most beautiful beaches in the U.S. So if you are coming for longer than just Sunday night, I highly recommend a trip out to the beach!! Sand Key State Park is perfect for a less crowded experience!
- Bern's Steak House $$$: Okay so they only reason I put this on the list was mainly because this is the most iconic restaurant in Tampa. Known for their amazing steaks, world famous wine cellar , and dessert room! Reservation only, but if you can't snag a reservation and are looking for a cheaper option ask to sit at the bar and order the steak sandwich with either the house blend red or white wine!!
- Cappy's Pizzieria $: Hand's down some of the best local pizza in Tampa!! Would absolutley recommend going!! ***Just note they are cash only!!
- Hula Bay $$: Seafood/sushi, Waterfront view, and live music !! I've heard amazing things about this restaurant and my family and I have reservations for Sunday night. :) Come join us if you like!
- Green Lemon $$: Super yummy Mexican restaurant off Howard, it is usually pretty crowded, but worth the wait!
- Pane Rustica Bakery & Cafe $$: This is the perfect local lunch spot! We eat here a lot after church, (also if you are looking for a church stop by Grace Family Church at 9:30 and sit with us!!)
- PDQ $: Similar to Chickfila but oh so yummy!!
- Fresh Kitchen $: Located off of Howard this is a healthy "fast food" if that makes sense! I eat here wayyyyy to much.
- Bar Taco $$: This could be lunch or dinner! Located in Hyde Park this is a fun Mexican style restaurant. Ask for their secret taco that is not on the menu!! You won't regret it. Also their corn side!!
- Pach's Place$: (Pronounced Patches :) )Truly the BEST "hole in the wall" type breakfast food for very inexpensive. It is usually packed on the weekend, but so good if you are feeling just a good homestyle breakfast. Right off of Bayshore.
- Dairy Joy $: Cash Only Ice Cream place that has been in Tampa forever!! Literally right next to our house which is sometimes a problem!!
Okay so there are so many other amazing things to see and eat here in Tampa, so please feel free to share with us below!! I hope you enjoy your stay in Tampa, and GO TIGERS!! Please feel free to share with others who are traveling down.