“According to a Local” is a series of guides for different cities around the world. This time, we asked a random Couchsurfing member questions about the city she calls home, Tampa! Stef has graciously provided us with some great advice to make your trip to Tampa, Florida perfect. We aim to keep it simple so you can get all the info without taking all your time. Here is an INTERACTIVE MAP of all her suggestions.
1. Favorite Bar:
The Dubliner (The Dub shortened) hands down!
The bands are always on point with their song selections – from throwbacks to country to covers of latest pop hits. Amazing food (especially their pizza) & my glass is always filled with beer. It’s beer & wine only so not as many crazy drunken college students come cause they tend to lean toward the hard liquor. However, it’s still in SoHo which is mostly all college students. The bartenders are the friendliest that I know and I know most of them on a first name basis. Shout out to John who always has my back!
2. Favorite Restaurant:
Ooh that’s a toughie but personally, I’d say Daily Eats. It’s dineresque and their milkshakes can solve any problem. French toast bowl is my favorite at brunch but you have to go early on Saturdays and Sundays to get a seat or your wait time can be 2+ hours.
3. Favorite coffee shop:
That’s a hard one cause I don’t drink coffee. However, the two that I see my friends rave about the most are Oxford Exchange & Buddy Brew.
4. Favorite thing to do outside:
Run on bay shore during the morning/afternoon (sometimes you can see manatees and dolphins!) and walk along the river walk at night to see downtown all lit up. If not in the mood to move, sling a hammock up in Plant Park and listen to the concerts across the river at Curtis Hixon Park.
5. Best spot for a view:
Bayshore! Especially at sun rise or sunset.
6. Favorite local drinks/food & where to get ’em:
I consider Tampa a melting pot when it comes to food and drinks. There’s a little bit of every culture down here but the Cuban food, especially from Brocato’s Sandwich Shop, is SO yummy. We have a ton of local breweries – Cigar City, Three Palms, to name a few – with their own beer creations. World of Beer was born here, fun fact.
7. What you wish tourists knew coming to your home:
Most think south Tampa is Tampa, but Tampa is HUGE! There’s so much to do from the zoo to bush gardens to the aquarium to Channelside & Ybor (you have to experience both during the day and at night – two completely different experiences). We have the Bucs during football season and for spring training, the Yankees play at George Steinbrenner stadium for the sports fans. We have farmers markets almost every weekend, yoga in the park on Sundays, food festivals, etc. The fun doesn’t end cause there’s always something to do. And if you prefer to do the typical touristy stuff, beaches and Disney are 45 minutes away.
8. Best local sweet and where to get it:
I’ve never been but I plan on taking myself to Bern’s Dessert Room! All my friends talk about it. Also, Datz Dough has donuts and ice cream that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
9. Fun local activity for tourists to try:
Can’t lie, Tampa is the place to bar crawl. You can either create your own or sign up for one. From Cigar City Brewery to Wet Willies in Channelside to crawling down SoHo – not to mention the bars in downtown like Franklin Manor and Four Green Fields and then over to YBor with Double Decker and Gaspars – the bars are endless.
If you’re looking for something a little more family orientated, I’ve seen tourists do the Segway tours and boat tours of the bay. They’re both great ways to see the city.
10.When is the best time of year to visit?
Spring time! It’s fair and festival season plus the humidity isn’t too bad.
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