You might have heard about Tampa's infamous Gasparilla Pirate Invasion and Parade, but this hometown of mine, has so much more to offer. Tampa Bay is home to several top rated beaches and restaurants. After I moved to Boston in 2013, some of my favorite go-to spots popped up around the Tampa Bay area. Luckily, with family still in the area, I get the opportunity to visit a few times a year.
If it wasn't for the crazy humidity, hurricanes and ruthless mosquito's, Oxford Exchange might be my reason to move back to Florida (sorry mom)! It's a restaurant, coffee bar, gift shop, and book store. Upstairs, you can rent desk space and work in the "library". One look, and you'll be asking yourself "When can I move in"?!
No trip home is complete without a visit to Sungroves for the orange swirl. Theres nothing like it, made from fresh, Florida grown orange juice, it's the perfect treat after a day at the beach.
For great water views and a fun atmosphere, head to downtown St. Pete. The Canopy Rooftop Lounge is perched atop The Birchwood hotel in the heart of downtown St. Pete. You can find great drinks, private cabanas, fire pits and phenomenal views of the waterfront.
Bandit Coffee Co., has some of the best coffee in Tampa Bay. This multi-roaster coffee shop has a simple and relax atmosphere and great coffee to keep you coming back.
Come by boat or car, The Getaway Tampa Bay is the perfect place for a tropical cocktail. This relaxed, waterfront tiki bar is one of my favorites. Theres a great selection of drinks and food trucks on certain days. You can sit on the docks and watch the boats and paddle boarders go by.
And finally, enjoy some live music and entertainment while watching the beautiful sunset on St. Pete Beach. Bongos Beach Bar is a fun and casual beachside bar located in the Grand Plaza Hotel.
Until next time, Tampa!