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Old 05-17-2008, 10:19 PM
 
119 posts, read 482,425 times
Reputation: 37

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In a couple of weeks, my spouse and I will be visiting Tampa and staying at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina. I assume most readers know where this hotel is located Downtown. I want to make sure that we go places that give us the very best impression of Tampa.

What are some great restaurants near there? Restaurants that are memorable but will not break the bank. In particular, we seek restaurants with a water view, or serving seafood, maybe Cuban cuisine (?), or any combination of the above that is reminiscent of Florida.

Any place you would recommend for just walking around, taking a stroll, doing some shopping? How about just killing time (no art galleries, water parks, or aquariums, etc.) Where should we go and avoid going?

Any similar suggestions for the areas of Hyde Park, Westshore, and Clearwater beach (we plan to take a day trip to the latter)? But mainly downtown since this is where we will stay.

Thank you.
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Old 05-18-2008, 07:30 AM
 
13,773 posts, read 33,896,767 times
Reputation: 10560
Take the trolley to Ybor City. Breakfast, lunch or dinner cuban style.
I know you stated no museums but the Casita houses are museums, sort of, that were the houses the Cuban cigar makers lived in. The Columbia is a more upscale restaurant serving Cuban/spanish food. Centro Ybor has some different restaurants plus shopping.

There are ghost tours and walking tours.

Ybor City Chamber of Commerce - Visitor Information (http://www.ybor.org/index.cfm?section=vs - broken link)
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Old 05-18-2008, 08:07 AM
 
Location: East Tennessee
3,926 posts, read 10,309,886 times
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I'd recommend at least one happy hour or dinner at Jackson's on Harbour Island --> Jackson's Bistro - Welcome (http://www.jacksonsbistro.com/welcome.html - broken link).
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Old 05-18-2008, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Florida
4 posts, read 16,107 times
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Take time to see "Channel side" the night life is great open court yard, music, many nice shops and places to eat, its safe also.
I agree with the other post you must do Jacksons also neat experience.
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:37 AM
 
Location: South Tampa - Bayside West Neighborhood
1,824 posts, read 7,625,345 times
Reputation: 1031
Definitely take a walk over to Harbor Island and Cafe Dufrain, sit outside for either lunch or dinner. Jackson's is nice for Happy Hour along the water downtown. Walk over to First Watch on Tampa Street for Breakfast one day. Fly Bar on Franklin Street has great tapas and has live music most nights and a rooftop bar. Tampa Theater is a national hitoric landmark and one of the top three historic theaters in the country, worth a look.

As one other mentioned, take the trolley over to Ybor City for lunch or dinner, (La Tropicana, Columbia, El Puerto) one of the best Italian Restaurants is Laughing Cat on the corner of 8th Ave and 15th Street in Ybor.

Waste some time over at Splitsville in Channelside, and upscale bowling/restaurant with good food, very unique place in Tampa, or go see an IMAX movie, sit outside and have some cocktails along the water at Margarita Mama's.

Head over to Hyde Park Village, sit outside at the Wine Exchange for lunch or dinner, and do some shopping here, it was a first of its kind in the country(outdoor shopping plaza built in the 80's) - now these type of shopping areas are all over, but its very nice area, walk down Rome Avenue to Bayshore Blvd, check out one of the oldest neighborhoods in Tampa - Hyde Park.

International Plaza and Baystreet in the Westshore District will satisfy mostof your shopping needs, and BayStreet is an entertaining area with lots of restaurants with outdoor seating.
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Bay Area
2,406 posts, read 6,977,745 times
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So far in our few visits we loved:

Hyde Park Village, outdoor shopping area with great shops, restaurants, smoothie places, art galleries and very lush and green!

Are there more malls like the Hyde Park one? Definitely prefer the environment.

My husband thought CDB's Southside Italian on Westshore Blvd was decent, I only had the desserts but they were excellent!

International Plaza Mall has a great selection of stores!

Ybor City is great for walking around to burn off dinner, loved the Laughing Cat Restaurant for Italian and Columbia Restaurant as well, but we've still yet to get there for the flamenco dinner show (think its on Friday or Sat nights)

St Pete we loved Ceviche Tapas Bar and Restaurant, and just walking along the pier which is within walking distance.

Didn't know there were bars/restaurants on Harbour Island- will have to check that out!
Also- we weren't really that impressed with Channelside- you can walk through it in a minute and the restaurants looked like chains...

OOPS...Just read the post before mine and realized I repeated what TG03 said!

Last edited by Davachka; 05-19-2008 at 10:06 AM.. Reason: oops
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Old 05-19-2008, 11:27 PM
 
119 posts, read 482,425 times
Reputation: 37
Does the Wine Exchange have wine? I looked at their menu and saw only beer and mixed drinks. Am I missing something??
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:19 AM
 
Location: South Tampa - Bayside West Neighborhood
1,824 posts, read 7,625,345 times
Reputation: 1031
Wine Exchange has a wine list. It changes.
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