Looking for a fun place to stay in Florida? There are so many things to do in the Tampa Bay Area. Whether you want to try new foods, do some shopping or enjoy the beach, this area has everything you’ll need for a relaxing vacation.
We received tickets to Clearwater Marine Aquarium and the Rays game in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own. These are all places I have visited and want to share!
A couple weeks ago my friend Mandy from Mandy Living Life came to visit Florida. She is on a mission to visit all 30 of the MLB Stadiums, and Tropicana Field was next on her list. We planned a fun girls’ weekend in the Tampa Bay area.
We stayed at the Residence Inn in St. Petersburg, but spent time in Clearwater and downtown Tampa as well. I’m a Sarasota native and live just an hour from the area, so I travel here quite often to visit my favorite restaurants, see a sporting event or enjoy an evening in downtown St. Pete.
Today I’m sharing some of the things we did and the restaurants we ate at during our girls’ weekend, as well as a few other favorites I’ve found during other trips to the Tampa Bay area.
We organized a blogger meet up at Oxford Exchange, and it was the perfect place to chat over coffee. You could easily spend a couple hours here having lunch at the restaurant, exploring the store and sipping a cup of coffee or tea.
I went to Topgolf in Tampa a few weeks ago with some friends. Even though I’ve never been golfing before, this was so much fun! You get a bay on the second or third story of the building and hit golf balls onto the course, where they have targets for you to aim for. There is a huge net surrounding the course that you can see from miles away.
It’s a great place to spend a few hours. It’s not that expensive either, just $5 each for a lifetime membership and then after that you pay $20-40 an hour (depending on the time you go) for up to 6 people.
Downtown St. Pete is an area I visit often for date nights with Andrew or an evening out with our friends. There are lots of things to do within walking distance, and tons of delicious local restaurants. I knew this would be a fun place to spend time during our girls’ weekend.
Out of all the restaurants I’ve visited in downtown St. Pete, this is my favorite so far! The Moon Under Water serves British Colonial-style food. It’s definitely the place to go for comfort food! I had their Shepherd’s Pie this time, which was wonderful. My favorite dish to get there is the Guinness Burger.
No trip to St. Pete is complete without a stop at Paciugo! This authentic Italian gelato is life-changing. When you walk in, you’ll see a huge case with more flavors than you can count. You can try as many as you like, and then choose multiple flavors depending on the size you get. My go-to favorite flavors are Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel.
A Rays baseball game at Tropicana Field is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening. It was Mandy’s 17th MLB Stadium, and we enjoyed exploring the stadium and cheering for the Rays. Be sure to visit the touch tank where you can visit with stingrays!
You haven’t had a burger until you’ve been to Engine No. 9! Their incredible burgers have names like The Heart Attack, Demi-God and One Bad Pig. They also offer a selection of craft beers that is so huge, they have to display the list using a projector on the wall. This restaurant is right around the corner from Tropicana Field, so it’s the perfect place to grab dinner before the game.
The Canopy is my all-time favorite bar. Whenever Andrew and I go to St. Pete with our friends, we like to enjoy a drink here after dinner. It’s literally on the top of a building, so you get an incredible view of the city and the water. The Dragon-Berry Mojito is my favorite!
Clearwater Beach is a great place to stay for a seaside vacation! There is so much to do within walking distance. You can get some sun on the white sand beach, do some shopping or eat seafood at a restaurant on the beach.
Just a few minutes from Clearwater Beach is the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. If you want to escape the heat for a few hours, this aquarium is a lot of fun for kids and adults alike. It’s the home of Winter, the dolphin from the movie Dolphin Tale.
When you arrive, be sure to find out when the Daily Presentations are taking place. We were able to watch a presentation with Winter the dolphin during our visit. You can also see all sorts of other marine life from turtles to stingrays to sea otters.
Frenchy’s is a local Clearwater restaurant, and they have 4 locations. Each one is a bit different, but the Rockaway Grill is my favorite so far. It’s right on the beach and has a fun island vibe. You definitely need to try the Grouper Sandwich!
Have you traveled to the Tampa Bay area? Or do you live here? What are some of your favorite places to eat and things to do?