PART ONE: TAMPA BAY
Juggling a full time job while blogging has required that I be creative in how I plan my travels. Quite often, people are surprised to find that most of my trips happen over the course of a weekend. There’s so much you can do in a weekend but I find that often, folks are intimidated with making a trip happen in what seems to be so little time. And I completely understand the feeling- I have been doing this for a while now and it can sometimes take quite a bit of time and coordination to make a successful last minute getaway happen. Expedia has a great tool for planning such an escape and I recommend you check out what they have for Florida.
3 days in Tampa Bay
I lived in NYC for over a decade before I finally visited the empire State building. I say this because, we often take for granted the places (and people) closest to us. That had been the case with me a while back when it came to travel- I felt like I needed to go outside the continental US to do something exciting and new or to see someplace beautiful and unique. But the truth is there’s so much beauty and diversity everywhere- if you know where to look.
When Visit Florida presented me with the opportunity to visit Florida- I have to admit that my mind immediately went to Miami- after all, in the 4 times I have visited Florida- I have headed straight to Miami, with a Fort Lauderdale detour to see family. So here was this excellent opportunity to see some more of the state and I’m so happy I chose Tampa Bay.
First things first- there’s way way too much to do in the Tampa Bay area (the area includes Tampa, St Petersburg, Clearwater and many more) and I only had 3 days, which meant I had to prioritize and figure out how to get the most bang out of my 3 days. I knew immediately what I wanted- I call it my FABS list- Food, Art, Beach and Shopping. I also had to decide what my base would be for this 3 day FABS getaway. So here’s where stayed followed by what I did.
STAY: Le Meridien Tampa:
Located in the heart of downtown, this was almost a no-brainer for me due to the history of the hotel. The hotel is a former century old courthouse which still bears so many details of its origins, from the majestic stairways and Corinthian columns leading up to the entrance, to the ornate brass fixtures and double doors. Walking up and through the hotel reminding me of my courthouse days, in the best of ways.
Our room like most other rooms were converted judges chambers, some of the rooms even have 10 foot ceilings, it all felt very majestic and special. In staying the Meridien, I felt like i not only had a place to lay my head, but that I was also experiencing a little bit of history. Definitely one of the most interesting spaces I’ve stayed at.
I also chose to stay in Downtown Tampa as there is so much going on in the culinary and art scene. Click here for Part 2 and deets on that.
Definitely on my “must visit” list!