The Tampa Staycation Guide: Pt II

Vacation is right around the corner, literally.


**Header Photo Courtesy of Aloft Tampa Downtown 
Looking for a weekend getaway? Sometimes the best escape is right in your home city. The weeks can get busy and sometimes you forget all there is to do and see in the city you live in! Catch a Lightning game, visit the NEW Tampa Indie Flea, shop at the Premium Outlets, experience cinema history at The Tampa Theatre and delight in our burgeoning culinary scene.
With several boutique hotels downtown, you can now see your city through lavish, luxurious eyes.
Where to stay: 
Location: 100 West Kennedy Boulevard
What They Offer:
·      Gym
·      Outdoor Pool (Sundays are Pool Party Days with a DJ & Drinks)
·      Indoor WXYZ Bar
·      Pool Table
·      Business Center
·      Free WiFi
·      Dog Friendly
·      Re:Fuel Lounge Open 24/7 (Grab & Go Food Station)
·      Modern Art from Local Artists for Sale
·      Dog Friendly ! (Even includes doggy bed and treats upon request)
Average Rate Per Night: $136 ++
The Aloft Downtown Tampa is modern and chic. The interior is filled with pop art, simple accent furniture, and flat screen TV’s. The lobby is directly connected to a re:fuel lounge where you can purchase café-like items from vending machines.
The Aloft offers a beautiful view deck with a pool overlooking the Riverwalk, which is also connected to an indoor bar and lounge – open from 4pm-midnight Monday-Thursday; 5pm-2am Friday and Saturday; 11am-8pm Sunday.
It’s located downtown just a few blocks from the Amalie Arena and the Tampa Convention Center. If you’re staying here when Comic-Con is in town, you’re in store for the most fantastical hotel stay of your life. It’s the perfect spot for a post-game night out on the town. You can also rent a ride from Coast Bike Share. They have a hub at MacDill Park (just a few minutes walk from the hotel).
*Photo Courtesy of Malios Prime Steakhouse 
Where to eat – Fine Dining:
One of Tampa’s oldest and most premier steakhouses offers fresh caught seafood, premier wines, homemade pasta’s, classic sandwiches, hearty salads, and hand cut steaks. Happy hour every M-F from 3-7pm, including drinks specials and filet beef and shrimp starting at just $6. After dinner and drinks, satisfy your taste buds with the New York Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce. Located at 400 North Ashley Drive.
This little French café offers a variety of well-priced, delicious foods, and a heartfelt menu crafted by the owner, Priscilla. They offer an assortment of simple and healthy appetizers, including fine cheeses, cured meats, lobster bisque, hummus, and escargots (snails). Their salads offer generous portions of veggie goodness (our favorite is the “Provencale” with grilled chicken on the side). We also recommend their Yellow Fin Tuna Sashimi. Be sure to pair some of the coffee bar items with their Mousse Au Chocolate or one of their other divine desserts that is sure to hit your sweet spot. 500 North Tampa Street.
Where to eat – Casual:
Pulled Pork by the Pound? Count us in. I’m not even sure where to start – they have so mouthwatering meats! Country Smoked Ham, St. Louis Ribs, Summer Sausage, Turkey Breast, Smoked Chicken, Texas Style, Brisket and more! If you’re looking for something savory on the lighter side Holy Hog has plenty of salads and signature side. Try their jalapeño mac and cheese, fried okra and their signature coleslaw.

What to do:

The University of Tampa is a true gem in the city. The iconic minarets, nationally ranked MBA program, just finished chapel, boathouse and cobblestone roads make it one of the signature destinations downtown. You don’t need to be a student to appreciate it.

Enjoy a stroll through Plant Park, appreciate the historic architecture and visit the Henry B Plant Museum.

The Oxford Exchange is a proverbial go-to for all residents. Their brunch is legendary. Their bookstore features the top rising local authors/poets (such as UT Professor Erica Dawson), along with classic pieces of literature.

They have a full tea bar, an exquisite shop inside. The OE is also the most photogenic hangout spots downtown. The Oxford Exchange is located at 420 West Kennedy Boulevard.

Want to enjoy a night on the water? eBoats Tampa is the perfect way to stretch your sea legs. You can rent an eBoat, captain your own Duffy electric boat, or hire a captain. Explore Tampa in distinct style and comfort. Click here for more information about their services. eBoats Tampa, 333 South Franklin Street.

Miss Part I? CLICK HERE and learn more of the things you need to experience while in Tampa!

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Written by Dex Fabian

Dex Fabian

Dex Fabian is the co-founder of I Love the Burg and That's So Tampa. A graphic designer by trade, Dex has been witness to Tampa Bay's explosion to become one of the hottest regions in the nation. In 2009, he helped develop the brand for I Love the Burg and in 2014 developed the branding for That's So Tampa and has been a regular contributor to both ever since.