Tampa is full of so many amazing places! I asked the locals and used my own experiences from visiting our city as a tourist and as a new resident to narrow it down to 5 awesome attractions here in the area. These spots are all great with or without families, as a local or a tourist, and include low priced and more expensive options! Did I miss your favorite? Let me know in the comments!
The Florida Aquarium is the best aquarium I have ever visited. The variety of sea life is amazing, and the exhibits are engaging. We even had the pleasure of attending a wedding here a few years ago with the shark tank as the backdrop. It was breathtaking!
If you have little ones, don't miss the splash area outside. It's a perfect way to cool off and entertain the little ones!
For more info, visit their website.
Hillsborough River State park
If you love nature and would love a relaxing time viewing Florida's natural wildlife, check out Hillsborough River State Park in the northern part of the county. You can find many areas with rentals such as kayaks or canoes, or you can enjoy an easy walk through the park. They also have camping facilities available.
For more info, visit their website.
Shopping at International Plaza
Need something to do on a hot afternoon? Let's face it, if you visit during the summer, you will need to cool off somewhere! Or you may need a place to explore during afternoon thunderstorms. International Plaza is a high-end mall with over 200 specialty shops and Bay Street at the Plaza, an open-air village of fine restaurants and small boutiques. It is conveniently located near Tampa International Airport.
For more info, visit their website.
Lowry Park Zoo
For the animal lovers, time in Tampa is not complete without a trip to the Lowry Park Zoo! It is featured among the “Top 25 Zoos in the U.S” by TripAdvisor (2015) and “10 Best Zoos in the U.S.” by Trekaroo (2015). They care for over 1,300 animals and offers entertainment for the whole family. My boys love feeding the giraffes, visiting the petting zoo, and riding some rides! Insider tip: pack swimsuits for some time in the children's splash zone!
For more info, visit their website.
Tampa is home to some great food! For a fancy celebration, try out the well-known Bern's Steakhouse. Its delicious steaks, expansive wine list, and amazing desserts have earned Bern's numerous awards. It is worth a visit!
Another favorite is Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City, known for its authentic Spanish fare. The paella is amazing!
Finally, for a little fun, ask a Tampa native where to find the best Cuban sandwich. Everyone has their own favorites, and I'm still looking for mine. Every one of these pressed sandwiches (usually with roast pork, pickles, ham, salami, swiss cheese, and mustard) I have tried has been delicious!
Looking for something to do this summer? Check out Summer Movie Express at Citrus Park!
Admission to the Summer Movie Express is only $1, and movies begin at 10 am. I suggest arriving early because you have to purchase at the box office. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute.
Check out the schedule below! Each week, both movies play on both days.
USF Pre-College Camps
Do you have a high school student who wants to experience college life? With USF’s Pre-College summer programs, they can!
Teens can now spend their summer break pursuing academic interests, discovering career opportunities and exploring the independence of university life. All of our programs are enriched with experiential learning, select field trips and guest speakers – all of which put theory into practice. Some programs even offer the opportunity to earn college credit.
To learn more about the USF summer camps, visit http://hubs.ly/H071Fgp0
Tampa Music School
Tampa Music School will be rockin' out this summer to 80's themed summer music camps. Learn the piano, guitar, drums, rock band and steel pans to age appropriate 80's themed music for ages 7-13. With three professional musicians on staff, and a cap of 12 students, your musician will enjoy 20 hours of music camp, select weeks June - August 2017 from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Monday - Friday.
Visit http://www.tampamusicschool.com/ for more information.
Wilson Collegiate Tennis Camps
Wilson Collegiate Tennis Camps are the premier camps for young players who strive to learn the game, improve their skills and/or participate in middle school, high school, USTA team tennis or tournaments. Both commuter day camp and overnight camp options are available! They break the campers into small instructional groups of similar age and ability so each child is working in a group that is commensurate with their experience level. They tailor each program to the level of the players.
Barrett School of Music
Come join us for our first ever Brandon Music Summer Camp! Classes will run from 11am - 3pm, Monday through Friday, the week of June 12. Students will choose between a variety of musical ensembles and activities such as drum circles, pop band, choir, guitar ensemble, and songwriting. We will have a talent show on Thursday and group performance on Friday for friends and family. Register here.
I LOVE brunch! There are so many choices in the Tampa Bay area for a great brunch, I am also always on the lookout for a fun spot. This past weekend my friend Jamie and I had the pleasure of trying the newly revamped brunch buffet at Beach Bar | Restaurant on the Courtney Campbell Causeway. The restaurant is attached to the Bay Harbour hotel which overlooks Tampa Bay.
I could stop right here. They make them to order and even include blueberries and/or raspberries!
Their location overlooking Tampa Bay is perfect! It saves you the drive of going all the way out to the beach on the gulf, but brings the view right to you!
Hot buffet items
What an amazing variety of delicious foods ready to eat! They had veggies, mashed potatoes, shrimp and grits, bacon, eggs, and even chicken and waffles! It was my first true chicken and waffles experience (can you believe it??), and they were amazing!
This was my first stop on my first trip through the line. A properly made omelet with personalized toppings is always better when someone else makes it!
Don’t skimp on the protein! The ham and prime rib are carved fresh to order!
There was a beautiful selection of fresh fruit including cantaloupe, pineapple, blueberries, watermelon, and honeydew melon.
Caesar salad, green salad, and tortellini to accompany the breakfast items
I’m not a huge seafood fan, but my friend Jamie sampled the crab legs and shrimp for us! They had a wide variety of seafood choices including crab legs, oysters, and shrimp!
Sweets, Muffins, and Pastries
I’m a sucker for sweets. I sampled an AMAZING lemon bar, and I simply cannot believe that I forgot to go back for all of their chocolatey goodness!
In addition to the lovely buffet, you can enjoy music from the live band outside, and have your choice of seating inside or outside. If you are looking for a new place to try for a brunch in the Tampa area, Beach Bar | Restaurant has so much to offer! You can find more information on their website or Facebook page.
We just had our fourth amazing event last week here in Tampa. I’d like to give a big thank you to Vuelo Mexican Grill for being so accommodating and welcoming to our group! Thank you so much to those of you who were able to attend. I love seeing so many familiar faces and meeting new guests every month. With each passing month, I see how ready Tampa was for a group like this, and I hope you will all continue to come out and support each other!
Below you will find an index of the amazing businesses with a spotlight at our Spring Fling; including their information to connect. This is a great opportunity to connect with those vendors that you might have missed networking with at the event. I also encourage you all to like each other's pages to keep the love going; as we all grow together! Oh, and don't forget to keep them in mind for your shopping and event needs.
PHOTOGRAPHER: IME Independent Mobile Entertainment
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Tabetha from IME Independent Mobile Entertainment did such a great job with our photos from this event. Check them out here! IME is a mobile entertainment service specializing in DJ services and photography. Competitive prices and they can play any genre of music.
LuLaRoe with Lisa Lett
LuLaRoe is an American fashion brand specializing in clothing from size 2T-3XL. LuLaRoe features everything from dresses, skirts and tops to leggings and more! There is no catalog, as each unique and comfortable piece is part of a print that is only used for approximately 2,500-5,000 garments. Which is where the Unicorns come into play! Lisa is available for in-home pop-up parties, on-line parties and shopping (both on-line and in person for locals) as well as FaceBook Live sales!
Pure Romance with Zaeda
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With the best in bath, beauty, and bedroom accessories, it's easy to find something you'll love. When you place your order from Zaena on her private, secured site, your order will arrive at your home promptly and wrapped in discreet packaging.
Young Living with Kelly
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Young Living sets itself apart from other essential oils with its Seed to Seal® process. This meticulous, five-step approach allows them to deliver nature’s most potent and pure essential oils from their farms to your family. Kelly is passionate about the ability of oils to improve a family’s daily lives and would love to share her knowledge with you!
VOXX Life with Cathy
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Tired of always being SORE and ACHY? Both comfortable and affordable, Voxx Socks and Insoles can help you live a better quality life! Check out Cathy’s Facebook page and website to learn more about the incredible technology in VoxxLife’s socks and insoles.
Isagenix with Lili, Alejandra, and Estrella
Isagenix has solutions for whatever goal you have with their effective nutritional programs for weight loss, performance, healthy aging, and energy. You will love the convenience, taste, and health benefits!
You can continue to support our group by inviting your friends to LIKE & follow along with our page for local events, outings and giveaways.
Our monthly charity organization spotlight this month is the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. In order to understand the impact this organization has on our community, the best place to start is its mission: to ensure that no one in our community has to face crisis alone. It has been in operation for 45 years in Hillsborough County, and provides a “gateway to healing” for the community. The Crisis Center has a multitude of services available to achieve their mission.
2-1-1 Call Center
The 2-1-1 Call Center operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and received over 110,000 calls for information and services last year. Staff and volunteer Intervention Specialists provide immediate and confidential short-term crisis intervention, and information and referral to over 4,600 human services available in Hillsborough County, including resources for: basic needs for food, rent, clothing, shelter and utilities, relationship counseling, senior services, health and substance abuse issues, depression and suicide, teenage issues, parenting help, disaster assistance, legal affairs and financial support.
You can reach the 2-1-1 Call Center by simply dialing 2-1-1 from a landline or cell phone in Hillsborough County. They have Interpretation service available for more than 150 languages and translation services for people with hearing impairments.
You can also access 2-1-1’s collection of over 4,600 on their website www.211atyourfingertips.org. The database includes resources in Hillsborough County and some for the surrounding areas, the state of Florida and nationally.
Learn more about the Call Center on their website.
The Crisis Center provides up-to-date information about their services on their user-friendly website. Access these links for the topics below to learn more:
The Crisis Center has some needs to continue to operate and support our community. If you would like to donate, they are always in need of gift cards (Walmart, Target, Publix, Restaurants) and currently need yoga pants in any size for sexual assault victims. Sandy, the VP of Development, will be attending our Girls Night Out event on April 6 at Vuelo Mexican Grill to collect donations and answer any questions you may have about the Crisis Center.
Hi! I'm Diana. I love the beach, my family, chocolate, coffee, and meeting new people. I host monthly events in the Tampa area and cannot wait to meet all of you!