Greetings from sunny Florida! Just kidding, we’ve actually been home for a few days. But we are still basking in all of the pictures from Ella’s first vacation. It was a memorable one, and she really does love looking at pictures and videos of herself (hahaha) and our dog, Jasmine.
It’s the cutest thing and it did entertain her for part of the flight home, so I’m not complaining. The flight is for my next blog post, so stay tuned. Today I’m sharing my itinerary for Tampa! If you’re planning a trip with a toddler, Tampa is a a great option. For us it was only a 2.5 hour flight (easy with babes) and it’s a very kid-friendly city with tons of splash pads and family beaches.
There are so many good Tampa itineraries out there already. I used some of them to plan our trip, but there’s just too much to do in one weekend. So don’t come at me if I skipped some must-see Tampa stuff on this list. This itinerary is what we had time to do and did.
Day 1: All Around Downtown
We started our morning with Buddy Brew Coffee in Hyde Park. I love finding the local coffee shop in any town. And Buddy deserves the credit. I got an iced latte with caramel and a croissant. They were both delicious!
We didn’t stick around Hyde Park for too long because we found a dinner spot, so we knew we’d be back.
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. We took the five minute drive to the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. We walked around for a bit, I loved the mix of large buildings and palm trees. It’s so much different than life here in the midwest.
Lunch & drinks at Armature Works. There are a LOT of options at Armature Works, so be warned. If you want you can sit down at a restaurant. With a toddler that’s never very fun. So we picked food from one of the dozens of restaurant windows. It’s basically a public market, which I’d describe as a fancier local food court. I had the Quesatacos from Muchachas. So greasy and filling. Mike had cuban from Hemingways, which he loved.
We took our food and drinks ( I had a sangria, Mike had a beer)to one of the tables outside. It was such a fun atmosphere. They had stuff for kids to do, music was playing and we watched some people dance too.
Riverwalk Armature works is right on the Riverwalk, so after we ate we took a short walk. They had a manatee viewing area (we didn’t see any, but also Ella doesn’t sit still).
St Pete’s Pier. We took a ride to St Pete’s to see what the pier was all about. It was a 30 minute drive, and if you have another day you could easily make a day trip out of St Petersburg. We had a beer on the pier (actually Mike had a beer and I had a mimosa) & Ella played in a splash pad. They pier also has an aquarium and places to dine. We stuck to the outdoor activities.
Dinner. We headed back to Hyde Park for Dinner at Bartaco. It was the perfect place to eat with friends. You just order individual tacos and we tasted a ton of tacos.
After Dinner we stopped at Cake Drip for desert. I built my own cake cup with POP ROCKS! Amazing.
If you’re looking for a photo spot, the inside of Cake Drip is filled with them
Day 2: Clearwater Beach
Just the drive to the coast is everything I imagine Florida to be. Surround me with water and palm trees and it’s a recipe for relaxation. Also if ever there’s a TV series of my life find a way to put the video below in my theme song, ok? thanks.
A lot of people rent cabanas and just hang out on the beach. That’s not realistic with a 14-month old, but we made sure to play in the ocean. Ella is obsessed with everything water, and we usually have to pull her away from it.
Clearwater is probably the best beach if you have a stroller age kid. It has a nice sidewalk that makes it easy. while still feeling like you’re on the beach.
Lunch. We stopped to eat at Salty’s Island Bar. They had live music and delicious margaritas. Mike got the Ahi Nachos, which were my favorite. I got the baked oyster sampler. They were Mike’s favorite. I personally didn’t love the bacon on the oyster, but they were still good.
Water activities. After hanging out by the beach, we walked along the docks and Ella giggled at all of the birds the whole time. I wish I got a picture of the cute birds begging from the fishermen because it was so cute. There are dozens of boat rentals companies. They had jet skis, dolphins sighting tours and pontoons, to name a few options.
We stayed just outside of Tampa with some friends, so instead of sticking around Clearwater for dinner we headed back, but I bet a sunset cruise would be amazing! And I know we could’ve found a few other places to eat too!
What are your must-do things in/aroundTampa? Are you planning any trips this summer? Let me know in the comments below!