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Help for one evening and day in the Tampa Area

Help for one evening and day in the Tampa Area

Old Jan 12th, 2020, 10:04 AM
  #1  
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Help for one evening and day in the Tampa Area

My daughter is doing on a one day work trip to Tampa and is planning to spend the night and next day to explore. Any thoughts on where she might book her lodging? Any tentative itineraries -- she probably won't want to go to museums and definitely not Busch Gardens -- if that helps. Thanks in advance.
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 10:56 AM
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Hi

I stayed in Downtown Tampa at the Barrymore Hotel. I enjoyed the energy along the Riverwalk, with plenty of entertainers. Mind you, it was in the Xmas to New Year period, so things may have been more festive than usual. History museum was excellent downtown, if she likes that sort of thing (and if the weather is not cooperating). I liked Ybor City as well, but donít know anything about accommodations there. Hope she has fun in Tampa, a quite enjoyable city in my opinion.

Daniel
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 01:58 PM
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Would she want to go to the beach? She could stay somewhere on St. Pete Beach and enjoy walking the beach. At the tip is a very casual, relaxed area = Pass-A-Grille Beach. I'd like to stay there, but it's like going back in time to "old Florida".
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 01:59 PM
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When is the trip? I used to head over to Plant City if it's strawberry season.
https://flstrawberryfestival.com/
Even on non-festival days, we'd stop by Parksdale Farms and have one of their strawberry sundaes for lunch. Some neat antique stores in that area if that's of interest.
https://parkesdale.com/

For dinner, I'd go to a family owned Cuban restaurant. I had some favorites but it's been a while.

Alessi's bakery is fabulous and will be full of locals for lunch. Great pastries to take away or bring home.
Home - Alessi Bakery
Obviously, their Cuban sandwichs are great but everything else is too. I stopped by last year.


She could go to the famous Columbia's restaurant in Ybor City if she's with others. The flamenco dancing is fun. I'm not sure how comfortable she'd be solo there, but there are other locations in Tampa that are just as good. Great food and great sangria too.
https://www.columbiarestaurant.com/M...toric-District


Last edited by starrs; Jan 12th, 2020 at 02:09 PM.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 02:13 PM
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I've been to Columbia's and it is of Cuban heritage (Latin American at a minimum), as is Ybor City, which has nothing to do with flamenco. Just seems ridiculous to me, but I'm sure they figured out tourists like that and that restaurant has co-opted some cuisine from Spain, as well as from Cuba (luckily). The food was pretty good, it was just a restaurant, so I don't see why being solo would matter really. You can even eat at the bar if you want. But many many tables and some are small, shouldn't be any problem. It is historic locally.

They have a good aquarium in Tampa if she isn't into museums.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Christina View Post
The food was pretty good, it was just a restaurant, so I don't see why being
Then let me try to clarify.
If you want to enjoy the food (and their white sangria!) any of their restaurants will work.
I've only gone to the Ybor City location with a group. Partly due to the location and partly because of the dancing, it's a different feel or vibe than the others.
There's absolutely no reason not to go to the Ybor City location solo, but if I were dining solo I'd prefer the easy access and the quieter dining experience at the other locations.
Columbia - Ybor City -
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...a_Florida.html

I've eaten at several of the locations in several cities. I usually choose Columbia when I'm eating at the Tampa airport - if I haven't just been to Alessi's that is.

If she likes seafood, there's a restaurant on the water. If she's on expense account, there's a lovely restaurant at the Hyatt. It really depends on what she wants on her "extra" day.

I love the Seahorse at Pass-A-Grille and Cafe Soleil at St. Pete. I go there for breakfast or lunch and pretend I'm in Paris.

Seahorse - like going back to old Florida - a good choice for breakfast or lunch
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...h_Florida.html
Cafe Soleil -
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...h_Florida.html

Alessi's (super casual) -
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...a_Florida.html

Rusty Pelican - seafood with great water views -
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...a_Florida.html

Oystercatchers at the Grand Hyatt if she's on expense account -
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...a_Florida.html

Last edited by starrs; Jan 13th, 2020 at 03:01 PM.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Christina View Post
I've been to Columbia's and it is of Cuban heritage (Latin American at a minimum), as is Ybor City, which has nothing to do with flamenco. Just seems ridiculous to me, but I'm sure they figured out tourists like that ....
This may help explain the dancing, which you find "ridiculous".

Founded in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., the Columbia Restaurant is Florida’s oldest restaurant℠, and the largest Spanish restaurant in the world.

Help for one evening and day in the Tampa Area-columbia-ybor-city-cafe-in-1905.jpg
It began in Tampa’s Ybor City, (pronounced EE-bore) as a small 60-seat corner cafe known for its Cuban coffee and authentic Cuban sandwiches, frequented by the local cigar workers.As the Prohibition movement gained steam, Casimiro Sr. faced a bitter dilemma. He could lose his saloon or find a new use for the Columbia. He did not have to look far. Manuel Garcia, who owned La Fonda, the restaurant next door, agreed in 1919 to join him and retain the name “Columbia.” The size of the Columbia doubled overnight. Also in 1919, his son, Casimiro Hernandez Jr., joined the business. Following the death of Casimiro Sr. in 1929, Casimiro Jr. took over ownership and operation of the restaurant.

Casimiro Jr. aspired to take the Columbia beyond its humble beginnings and envisioned an elegant dining room with music and dancing, the likes of which were unheard of in this part of the country at the time. During the height of the Depression in 1935, he took a chance by building the first air-conditioned dining room in Tampa, complete with an elevated dance floor. He named it the Don Quixote Room.

Casimiro Jr. and his wife, Carmen, had one child, Adela Hernandez Gonzmart. Adela was a concert pianist who was trained at the Juilliard School of Music. In 1946, Adela married Cesar Gonzmart, a concert violinist. They traveled throughout the United States while Cesar performed in famous supper clubs during the early 1950s. In 1953, Adela’s father, Casimiro Jr., was in failing health, so they returned to Tampa. They divided the business duties of operating the restaurant and raising their two sons, Casey and Richard.

The family persevered in keeping the restaurant open during the late 1950s and all through the 1960s when Ybor City was dying. Many of the row houses that once housed the cigar workers had decayed into slums. Urban renewal cut the heart from the Latin Quarter. More families moved out. Businesses closed. Cesar Gonzmart realized they had to do something to bring people back to Ybor City.

Cesar had a flair for the artistic, and upon taking over direction of the restaurant, he built the Siboney Room in 1956. Some of the top Latin talent during that era came to perform in this large showroom. Who would have thought that world class entertainment could be found at a restaurant? Columbia survived those lean years and came back stronger than ever. The entertainment tradition continues today at Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City, where Spanish flamenco dancers perform every night except Sunday.

During Cesar Gonzmart’s reign, the Columbia also expanded to other locations in Florida. In 1959, Columbia Restaurant opened on St. Armands Circle in Sarasota. Today it is Sarasota’s oldest restaurant


more at the link about the history of the restaurant

Last edited by starrs; Jan 13th, 2020 at 03:08 PM.
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