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Weekend in Tampa - Help!

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Chicago, IL USA
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82 posts
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Weekend in Tampa - Help!

Hello, this may or may not be a challenge. I am attempting to plan a weekend in Tampa with a couple of girlfriends (all late 20's) flying in about 11PM Friday night and leaving midday Sunday (in June).

I am having a severe time compromising because:

One person cannot be in the sun long

Two will not swim

One will not go to clubs

I refuse to go mall shopping

I feel our only option is museum/zoos which we have plenty in chicago and its really waste of sunny Florida trip if we stay indoors. Any ideas?

Clearwater, Florida
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1. Re: Weekend in Tampa - Help!

There are a few dinner or lunch cruise boats in the area.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has a Tampa location.

Florida Aquarium in Channelside in Tampa.

Shopping and lunch at the St. Pete Pier.

Tampa
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for Anna Maria
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2. Re: Weekend in Tampa - Help!

wow, how did you guys become friends with such different taste, sounds like my group of girls. I agree with Mark, Seminole Hard Rock Cafe is fun and you can stay there too, expensive but you guys could bunk together. You might like busch gardens for the day if you like animals and Ybor City is very historical and interesting for lunch and to look around, go to the Columbian, it is the best.

Tampa, Florida
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for Tampa
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3. Re: Weekend in Tampa - Help!

Is your plan to just go to sleep when you arrive Friday night? If not, I know one friend won't go to a club, but what about a bar? MacDinton's and the Dubliner are both Irish bars on Howard Ave. that are fun on Friday nights. Neither has a cover and both have live music on Fridays and have an outdoor area. Dubliner only has wine and beer. MacDinton's has full liquor bar. Both are pretty casual. You could also hit these on Sat. night if too tired on Friday.

I agree with Rusty Kat's suggestions of either Busch Gardens or Ybor City during the day. I know you won't do "mall shopping", but Ybor has an outdoor shopping area and is a historic district. Also the restaurant Rusty Kat mentions is called the Columbia, not Columbian. It's an iconic Tampa restaurant with Spanish style food. There are tons of other restaurants in Ybor if that's not your thing. Several with outdoor seating.

From Ybor you could also take the trolley to Channelside. The cruise ships are usually docked there on the weekends. They have several shops, restaurants and bars. There is also an upscale bowling alley that is fun called Splitsville.

Another idea is to have lunch or early dinner at Rattlefish. It's on the water and gets pretty crowded on the weekends. I know one friend can't be in the sun too long, but the restaurant's outdoor seating is covered and the bar's outdoor seating usually has umbrella's.

Hope this helps! Have fun!

Tampa, Florida
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4. Re: Weekend in Tampa - Help!

I would agree with the Busch Gardens idea. Lots to do and see. They have great rides, a great zoo, some shopping, and pretty descent dining options. I would agree to stop by Ybor City. Even if you don't go in the clubs, there is plenty to do and it's great for people watching.

Tampa
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5. Re: Weekend in Tampa - Help!

Lowry Park Zoo isn't bad either. I like the Manatee exibit. Dress cool.

Ybor City is a bar scene at night - family scene during the day. I vote for lunch at the Columbia & try what they recommend.

Also, "Burns" Steakhouse has a desert room - but check out the prices first.

In the past Downtown tampa was not the place to get a hotel room because it was "dead" downtown...however that may be changing.

If your friends like rides, shows or African Animals - Busch Gardens may be your best bet....be sure to wear comfortable shoes. If you get a room close to there you won't waste time trying to find it. I like Embassy Suites - located at the back of USF Campus. Good Luck!

Tampa, Florida
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6. Re: Weekend in Tampa - Help!

Another suggestion in Tampa is the Starship Dining Cruise that leaves from Channelside. Its a 3 hour Cruise in the Bay with entertainement and great food.

Check the Tampa Bay Performaing Arts Center, there are many broadway and local theater acts that run in one of the 4 venues.

Check tbo.com and tbt.com calendars for any special events happening on the dates you will be here.

Saturday mornings there is a Fresh Market in Ybor City, and there are historical tours at 10:30am in front of the Ybor City State Museum. ybor.org

Chicago, IL USA
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7. Re: Weekend in Tampa - Help!

Thanks for all of you replies! I'll to run these suggestions by my friends. I would love to check out Ybor city and try the Spanish restaurants (I forgot to mention one is sushi nut also -- so I will need to be very good in stating my case!).

Its quite funny that you mentioned how we have such different tastes. We have been best friends since junior high but have lost touch in recent years.

Sun-shy sushi-lover lives IN Florida (I always make fun of her).

Indoorsy one (shopping no clubs) is married and not really open to trying new things.

Mall hating (anal planner) - me

Tampa, Florida
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8. Re: Weekend in Tampa - Help!

An excellent Sushi place in Ybor City is Samarai Blue, they also serve Japanese fare as well.

9. Re: Weekend in Tampa - Help!

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