When I was younger in my early twenties, I was the girl who was always with her boyfriend. I had friends but I was all about doing everything with my boyfriend. I dragged him everywhere. When we broke up, I started hanging with my girls again and I realized how important this was. These girls who I have known for years and some new friends were there for me through such a tough time. At the age of 23 I had my first girl’s trip. We went to Costa Rica. This trip was amazing! We had so many laughs, created awesome memories and it was just us girls bonding. I couldn’t believe how fun it was to go away with just the girls, sun tan all day, shop & drink Pina coladas and dance the night away. I am the romantic type so I always felt vacationing was a couple thing mostly. After this I became hooked. That year I planned another girl’s trip to Boston during Halloween time and we went to Salem.
This year my best friend moved to Tampa on me. I was so upset, she has been my best friend for 23 years and now she is in another state. On the bright side, I had a new place to explore and a home to stay in. A few weeks ago I made my trip down to finally see her new digs & explore Tampa. I brought another friend of mine and made it into a girl’s weekend. I have been to Florida a bunch of times but never to Tampa. I was excited to see what was in store. She planned the whole weekend for us. Tampa from New York is a short trip only about a 2.5 hour plane ride. The tickets were cheap and I had a place to stay. So I left Friday after work and headed to the airport. We landed around 10pm. My best friend lives in a stunning building complex, pool, beautiful artwork, BBQ all included. The first night we went to this place called the Sail, its walking distance from her apartment, sat outside and had a few Piña coladas and caught up. Now coming from NYC, everything in Tampa was cheap for us.
The next day it wasn’t the best weather outside, we traveled down during rainy season. We made the best of it though, we got up she made us breakfast and we went straight to the nail salon. This is always a treat for me I love a good pedicure. After the pedi’s the rain was really coming down so we decided to drive towards siesta beach. Siesta beach I read is the #1 beach in America. She is about an hour away from this beach. Once we got there it started to rain so we went to Daiquiri Deck for some lunch to wait the rain out. This place was great, they had a band, food was great (finger foods), & the drinks were crazy. They had a huge list of Daiquiris and we got there just in time for happy hour. There, happy hour was buy one get one! We ate, laughed, and sang our hearts out. After a few drinks, we decided to get some gear and enter the beach despite the drizzle. Luckily when we got to the beach, the rain had stopped. The water was clear & oh so warm. We walked right in. She told me a bunch of tourists come from all over the world to this beach to see the sunset. We stayed until the sunset but it was cloudy, but still saw a beautifully colored sky peeking through. I am glad we decided to make that drive out there, and salvage the day despite the downpour.
After the beach we headed back to get ready for the night. She took us to this gorgeous place called the Hyde out. It is a dinner spot but very swanky and has a DJ at midnight. They played some great house music & the crowd was cool. I personally am a hip hop lover (Insert Notorious B.I.G. – player anthem’s lyrics here). So we headed out from the Hyde out to the Lodge. This place has an inside and outside patio which is awesome. The music was bumpin and DJ Fresh from NYC was actually there, NYC is always near to me. We hung out both inside and outside met locals and danced all night long. We saw some famous NFL football players from the Tampa Buccaneers hanging having a good time as well. It is common out there to see them out with no body guards. After a night of dancing we headed home to sleep, because we had one day left and wanted to get the most out of it. There was rain in the forecast for Sunday, so we slept in a little bit then decided to hang by the pool. We had a 7pm flight home that day, so we got our last bit of sun tanning in. Around 1pm we went to the Tampa International Mall and did a little shopping. This mall is absolutely stunning! They have everything from H&M to Louis Vuitton. All my favorite stores! We did a little browsing and I spoiled myself for my upcoming birthday to a Henri Bendel bag. The people in Florida are so nice there. I scored an awesome discount too, which was a great early birthday treat! We decided to eat our last meal at the mall. This mall has a whole outside court of restaurants to choose from. They had Italian, Mexican, and Japanese all the good stuff. We ate at an Italian restaurant, the food was great and the dessert even better. Again, another awesome meal on the cheap side. We headed to the airport, a short 5 minute ride from this gorgeous mall & we were back to NYC.
It was great to see my best friend, and pick up right where we left off. This vacation exceeded my expectations. Tampa is a great way to enjoy a perfect getaway with great food and fun atmosphere. It can be on the cheap side & a quick weekend. The vacation didn’t go fast at all, I actually felt like I was away for a week! I returned exhausted but happy and ready to head back to NYC. I can’t wait to go out again hopefully in November where it’s still beach weather. Tampa is about a 30 minute drive from clear water beach (which I heard looks like a Caribbean beach) and St.Petersburg beach. I can’t wait to go back and check these beaches out!
Another fun idea for a trip to Tampa is for their Annual Gasparilla event. It takes place in January, the last Saturday in January to be exact. It’s a fun filled day where a pirate boat comes into shore with a bunch of other boats surrounding it. They have a huge brunch, with live bands, great food, and “Treasures.” I heard this is a great event to attend, and hopefully I will make it out there. This could be a fun girls get away. You can plan this for a significant other as a Christmas gift, or even just a fun New Year get away trip. The winters are brutal here in NYC, so I will be sure to make another visit to the warm sunny state in the beginning of next year!