We love traveling to places that are close to Orlando. One of our favorites is Tampa. We've been there a couple of times and we always have the best time. It's a little far but Drake gets us through the hour and a half car ride. It's a city with such a cool scene and unique spots. Here are a few of our favorites!
We discovered Armature Works on our first visit to Tampa. We loved that there was a place with so many unique food options. We have eaten at AVA (a pizza spot) and Ichicoro Ramen. Our favorite thing to get is the Frozen Kirin from Ichicoro. It's a frozen, light beer - a deadly combo for a lightweight like me but soooo good. Not going to lie, it can be a little on the pricey side so prepare to spend some dough.
The best part about this place is that it has a view of the river. They offer to-go cups for your alcoholic drinks that you can take with you while you stroll through the riverwalk. The second time we visited they had their first "Heights Night Market" which features artisans artists and makers selling handmade goods like jewelry, art, furniture, woodwork, and more. It's such a cool little spot and every time we go we talk about how badly Orlando needs something like this.
Definitely check it out if you're ever in Tampa. They recently added a rooftop and it just made this place more magical. Keep reading if you want a little more info.
Look at those tostones! M. Bird is a new restaurant at Armature Works. Its food is inspired by a Caribbean and Mediterranean fusion. They have entrees but their focus is more on small, shareable plates. We got the Vaca Frita Tostones and Jerk Chicken Eggrolls. Do yourself a favor and get the tostones, I promise you won't regret it.
The best part about this whole experience is the rooftop. You know Duncan and I love a good rooftop. The view of Tampa's waterfront and growing cityscape is the reason we came up here — the good food was just a bonus. We couldn't help but snap a few pics of the pretty scenery.
The restaurant is 21+ only so make sure to leave the kids at home. There is a covered patio just in case it rains (which is pretty much all the time). This restaurant is the perfect setting for a romantic date or a girls night out.
I know I say that everything here is my favorite spot but SERIOUSLY this is actually my favorite spot in Tampa. Sparkman Wharf has pretty much everything you need for a perfect day outside. There's a waterfront view, music, food, craft beer and a huge lawn for play or relaxation.
Duncan and I got some drinks from their bar, Fermented Reality Biergarten. A biergarten is the German word for an outdoor area in which beer and local food are served, typically at shared tables. This place provides you with great beer and a sense of community. I also love that they use reusable plastic beer cups.
We spent our time here playing giant checkers, relaxing on a swing and enjoying the calmness of the area. They hold events like movies on the lawn, game watching parties and often have live music. It's a great place to come to when the weather is perfect and you just want to relax, drink a cold one and eat good food.
Tampa Museum of Art
Duncan and I have been to a couple museums in different states but none of them have impressed us as much as the Tampa Museum of Art. Let's just be honest some museums can be a little boring and repetitive but this one wasn't like that at all. When we visited it had the prettiest art work we've seen so far. As soon as you walk up the stairs, you're immersed in art. The Aphordite Reimagined sculpture by Patricia Cronin is a beautiful mix of stone with translucent limbs. The exhibits are constantly changing so you can keep visiting and witness something new every time.
Like most things, the museum is right by the riverwalk. Students get in free if you show a school I.D. Regular adult tickets are $15.
Tampa has so much to offer but these are just a few of our favorite things. Its an ever-growing city with a lot of character. I love discovering something knew every time I visit. Let us know in the comments below what some of your favortie spots in Tampa are.