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Old 04-21-2009, 11:36 AM
 
23 posts, read 67,848 times
Reputation: 20

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hello all,

this thursday april 23, the drive begins to the tampa/sarasota area!!! girlfriend and i are very excited about the trip. we should be arriving to tampa first and will probably be pretty tired by friday evening. so we plan to start our week on saturday morning. where would be a decent area to stay at hotel-wise? we have AAA discount books. are they any help?

our week (sat-thurs) will be spent in tampa/st pete sat-tues and in the sarasota area tues-thurs.

as far as staying in tampa goes, we want to see all parts of the city. so we want to get a different hotel every night, this way we can see the cities more in detail. we would like a 24-hour pool if possible at the hotels. also breakfast and whatnot in the morning. suggestions?

we plan on just touring around the cities, going to beaches, out to eat, etc. on one or two nights, we plan on checking out bar scene and will need a ride back to the hotel. is there taxi service like in NYC or Washington DC? if not, can anyone reccomend a 24/hr taxi service that covers the area?

where should we go to eat/drink? open to any suggestions. food and drink-wise, we are both very openminded.

what are some cool things to do around here? we want to have fun during the days, as well as nights. are there events or festivals that take place around now?

one more important(to me) question: where can i catch NHL playoffs? would certain establishments have the NHL Network? Will i be able to catch the new york rangers? PLEASE, DOES ANYONE KNOW THIS???

sorry about all the questions in one thread. we will be on the forum checking out all the responces on the drive down, so fill us with suggestions and answers.


nick and sara
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Old 04-21-2009, 12:46 PM
 
Location: South Tampa - Bayside West Neighborhood
1,824 posts, read 7,829,586 times
Reputation: 1032
WOW, you ask for alot, but here goes a few suggestions.
Arriving in Tampa, stay downtown(Marriott Waterside, Embassy Suites, Westin Harbour Island)...they have very nice pools usually open through midnight. And some things to do: Florida Aquarium/USS Victory Museum, Fire/Police museums, Tampa Theater, HB Plant Museum, Tampa Bay History Center, Riverwalk from Channelside-Hisotry Center to MacDill Park. Nightlife is Channelside and Ybor City(walkable or streetcar/trolley). HOCKEY - Hattricks on Franklin Street, Andreychucks and The Hut across from the Forum, Champions in the Marriott Waterside. In Ybor watch hockey at Green Iguana, Rock-n-Sports, Tampa Bay Brewing Company.
Downtown is pretty central, you can visit most of the other neighborhoods like Hyde Park(eat at Restaurant BT or Wine Exchange in the village), check out nightlife places in Hyde park like MacDintons, Dubliner, CHeap, The Lodge, Ceviche's, Mangroves all along Howard Avenue.
Take a drive down bayshore Blvd to Ballast Point Park and Pier.
Busch Gardens - Adventure Island
Canoe Escape - kayak down the Hillsborough River and see ALL the natural Florida wildlife.

Head over to the beaches - Fort DeSoto's North Beach is my fav, all natural Florida - kayak, bike, snorkel, relax. Pass-a-Grille, a great quaint little village on the tip of St. Pete Beach. CLearwater Beach is where alot of action is at..places like Shepards, Frenchys, Jimmy Guanas. Take a charter fishing boat, parasailing, sunset cruise. There is also Johns Pass - Treasure Island/Madeira Beaches, places like Caddy's(my fav beach bar), Gators on the Pass.
Do some time in downtown St. Pete - visiting the Holocaust museum, Salvador Dali museum, enjoy the waterfront parks, and Central Avenue and Bayfront nightlife.

I hope this helps, not sure you would want to move all over the place, but do Tampa Friday and SAturday, Sunday nights??, Monday night maybe head over to the beaches??

Look at the calendar sections of creativeloafing.com and tbt.com weekly's for things going on.
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Tampa Bay`·.¸¸ ><((((º>.·´¯`·><((((º>
4,567 posts, read 6,979,297 times
Reputation: 13542
As always TampaGuy gives all the best places to go!
I guess they are ready to party....
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Old 04-22-2009, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Tampa
1,236 posts, read 4,250,726 times
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Oh boy! NJ to Tampa! I have done that trip too many times. I drive from Tampa to Fair Lawn, more times than I care to remember.

Tampaguy03 has given some great things to do, as usual!

Whatever hotel you are staying at, they can give you the phone numbers of the taxi service. It is not like NYC where you can raise your hand and a taxi comes to you. You probably have to call one to meet you at your location.

Channelside is a good hangout, eat, drink, and walk around.

If you go to downtown St. Pete, you may want to see if anything fun is happening at Vinoy Park. They sometimes have events like live music, arts/craft shows, etc. Nearby is the Saturday farmers market. Salvidor Dali museum is suppose to be GREAT!

Do you need recommendations to a halfway hotel? Or are you driving straight through. I have done both. You will be exhausted!

Breakfast, depends on where you will be staying. Don't eat at Waffle House! YUCK! Your hotel probably will have a continental breakfast. Mimi's on Dale Mabry Hwy is nice, but I would stick close to where you are staying. Juli's on Rome (just south of Hyde Park area) is suppose to be nice too. The Cracker Barrel is too large and your typical country cooking. Nothing special.

I won't bother with staying in different hotels every night. You may want to split your time from Tampa and St. Pete. Everything is fairly close to each other. A 15- 20 drive to the spots you are going to be visiting anyway. Not worth the hotel hopping.

I also like Ft. DeSoto. You can rent a bike and canoe. Bring snorkling stuff. That is fun too. The water is very salty compared the the NJ shores. Ft. DeSoto has a fort to explore in. I also like Anna Maria Island. It is more layed back. We enjoy staying at the beach and having either lunch or dinner at the Sandbar, where you can eat right on the beach. It is at the end of the island. You can watch the sunset. Romantic day.

Events? You missed Gasperillo. Things are starting to quiet down due to the heat will be setting in soon. Check out Vinoy Park like I suggested earlier. Come to think of it, the farmers market will be closing soon (end of April). Sorry, I don't know about the NHL.

If you do the Canoe Escapes (that is fun!), bring lunch or at least a snack. You will see alligators!

The Blue Martini at the International Mall, is a nice bar. They have live music, though I am not sure if it is every night. You can eat at a restaurant (there is several including Cheesecake Factory), then go to the Blue Martini, have a few drinks and enjoy your girlfriend and music.

If you like the bar scene, Ybor city is for you. Can get very crowded on the weekends and has the younger set, like in there 20's.

If you come around July 4th, there are many firework displays.

Have fun! I think you will have a nice time. Good luck with the loooong drive! It took me about 20 hours (From Fair Lawn). Stopping for gas, eating, stretching, potty breaks.
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:11 PM
 
23 posts, read 67,848 times
Reputation: 20
awesome responces guys! thanks! we left this past thurs morning around 330am and arrived in jacksonville a little after 7pm. tomorrow(friday) we will be goin to the tampa area. anna maria island is a place we have to visit, i have to deliver some packages for my aunt to her brother that lives at the end of the island(literally).

NHL! help me out! i know there's gotta be hockey fans out here! i got some of the strangest looks from people all the way down I-95, pretty much from Delaware south, haha. The GF and I plan to rock our ranger jerseys tomorrow night in Tampa, and hopefully find a bar with the broadcast.

a halfway hotel for the ride home would be great! what do you have in mind??

thanks again for your responces guys!
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:16 PM
 
Location: South Tampa - Bayside West Neighborhood
1,824 posts, read 7,829,586 times
Reputation: 1032
Quote:
Originally Posted by byebyNJhelloFL View Post
awesome responces guys! thanks! we left this past thurs morning around 330am and arrived in jacksonville a little after 7pm. tomorrow(friday) we will be goin to the tampa area. anna maria island is a place we have to visit, i have to deliver some packages for my aunt to her brother that lives at the end of the island(literally).

NHL! help me out! i know there's gotta be hockey fans out here! i got some of the strangest looks from people all the way down I-95, pretty much from Delaware south, haha. The GF and I plan to rock our ranger jerseys tomorrow night in Tampa, and hopefully find a bar with the broadcast.

a halfway hotel for the ride home would be great! what do you have in mind??

thanks again for your responces guys!
NHL - did you not see my post above? Tampa is a hockey town, somewhat. Downtown Tampa you will want to be at Hattricks, Andreychucks, The Hutt, Champions, Splitsville. In Ybor City you will want to watch at Rock n Sports, Green Iguana, Tampa Bay Brewing Co, Gaspar's Grotto. In International PLaza's BayStreet you will want to wtch at Bar Louie or Champps. In South Tampa you will want to watch at The Lime, MacDintons, Press Box.
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Tampa
1,236 posts, read 4,250,726 times
Reputation: 944
Halfway hotel info: Holiday Inn at 1944 Cedar Creek Rd, Fayetteville, NC. Their direct phone number is 910-323-1600. Their chains main number is 1-877-865-6578. Prices are running around $89. It is a nice hotel with a pool and small exercise room and a continental breakfast. There are cheaper hotels, but you will be sorry you stayed there. Example, on one trip we arrived late (1:00 am) at Holiday Inn. There was a bunch of bouncing, giggling girls right next door. I was dreading this! However, as soon as the door was shut. You heard NOTHING! In the cheaper hotel, the beds sucked, you heard EVERYTHING, encluding the delivery trucks for the Wal-Mart next door at 5:00 am. Motorcycles zooming and people talking outside at all hours during the night.

Holiday Inn is off of exit 49 on I-95. Then it is a 2 minute drive from the exit.

Hope you have a blast here in Tampa!
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Dirty Jersey
5 posts, read 37,059 times
Reputation: 12
Ewwwwww rangers...boooooo!!!!!!
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Tampa
1,236 posts, read 4,250,726 times
Reputation: 944
FYI: there will be major traffic delays (gridlock alert. You should be familiar with that) on North I-275 this weekend starting at 8:00 tonight. We have been warned to try and stay away from that area if possible. I cannot even begin to tell you what to avoid or how to go around it. I advise you speak with your hotel for suggestions. Sorry. I hope this isn't too much of a drag for your vacation. It should be great beach weather all this week. No rain in sight!
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