48 Hours to Unlock the Twist of Tampa Bay

Explosive energy, liquid libations and infectious personalities await you in Tampa Bay, Florida
Explosive energy, liquid libations and infectious personalities await you in Tampa Bay, Florida
Explosive energy, liquid libations and infectious personalities await you in Tampa Bay, Florida

Explosive energy, liquid libations  and infectious personalities await you in Tampa Bay, Florida. Compromised by my 48-hour assignment to uncover the sparkle of this southern city placed me in a dubious position. Let’s just say I will be returning! Often overshadowed by the mammoth appeal of Miami nightlife and Orlando’s thriving amusement parks, Tampa Bay can be overlooked by travelers. Make no mistake, consider this an affectionate reminder that Tampa holds a unique history and a wealth of  welcoming human interaction that will insure your return. Simply intoxicating, the golden sunshine and whispering breezes will relax you while cruising the Pirate water taxi along the Hillsboro River. Literally, you can grab a beer, digest the city history, and inhale the splendid views.

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Tampa Bay with a twist? Well, the discerning traveler will soon come to understand this Floridian gem has baycrafted cocktails rooted in a culture of celebration and a dance craze foot print established by the “The Twist”. Having seen the excitement of Tampeños teenagers Hank Ballard and The Midnighters created the chart-topping song to accompany the twisting teen dancers. How’s that for a bit of travel trivia and historical nostalgia? There is an undeniable festive spirit  that will spark your fascination to unlock more of Tampa Bay. Make Perry Harvey Sr. Park your destination for the perfect selfie marking your presence in the heart of Tampa Bay’s epicenter of African-American culture know as “The Scrub”. Feel the spirit of Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles all whom served as entertainment catalyst of change enhancing the  cities richness in culture, style,  and food.

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A port city and railroad hub in years past, made Tampa Bay a hot bed for commerce. The brilliance and intellect of Spanish entrepreneur Vincente Martinez Ybor created explosive growth of this waterfront city. Ybor capitalized, monetized and thrived ultimately creating opportunities for his employees to live the American Dream. Descendants of Cuban, Spanish, German and Italian immigrants contributed to  the former glory of this Cigar Capital, producing of over 700 million cigars a year at its height of production. Today, the city is experiencing a lightning fast resurrection due to the forward thinking of new entrepreneurs like Jeffry N. Vinik owner of the cities NHL hockey team the Tampa Bay Lightning. Conscious growth of the city based in sustaining the heritage and culture is paramount to the locals. Here is a quick guide to EAT, STAY & PLAY while absorbing the zeal that is Tampa.

EAT

There is  absolutely no way to eat all of the delicious foods of this melting pot of diversity. However, I did my best to devour as much as I could without causing discomfort. I will admit, at times it was a challenge. I made three memorable stops this trip. My first stop for bites and conversation landed me at Chef Felicia Lacalle’s Hemingways. Felicia pours soulful Cuban influence into every bite. The Hemingway Cuban is the best self-gift treat for lunch. My second stop being the ever-evolving menu at Edison Food + Drink Lab will have guessing what to expect, While the  Sesame tempura cauliflower with black garlic ponzu was an appetizer I found it to be my main course and you will too as it is absolutely divine. Don’t try to dictate the experience at the lab. Allow the skillfully talented wait staff to take you on a memorable gastrological journey. My third and final food destination was Columbia Restaurant. This 5th generation family owned business grabs you with the predinner bread made fresh daily. Coupled with the fact, this establishment is the  largest private collection of Spanish wines in the world you won’t want to leave. Beyond that the 1905 salad and 1905 martini are mainstays. The excitement is will continue with live flamenco dancing as proof why this is not just fine dining it community staple not to be missed.

STAY

If the Tampa Museum of Art would take a reservation for an overnight stay considered it booked. Artistic expression enlightens and tell the journey of a community in silence. Quietly, spending a half-day observing the work of Purvis Young and countless other artisans made for a phenomenal experience. However, crashing at the Le Méridien Tampa was officially chic and legally sound. Following a multi-million-dollar renovation this former Beaux Arts style federal courthouse is perfectly situated for you to wonder about Tampa with ease.

PLAY

Experience the social club legacy and beautiful architecture first hand with phenomenal insight by tour guide Lonnie Hermann. Ybor City is a designated historical landmark that continual preserves the richness. Prepare to spend a minimum of 5 hours in La France vintage boutique. This store is shopper’s paradise, with immaculate undisturbed frocks that will have you clamoring to figure how you can ship garments home. Preserve your energy from walking all day in direct sunlight as Ybor city transforms into a daily Mardi Gras styled celebration of life with pedestrian traffic, unending liquid libations, and nonstop dancing. Come ready to play hard Tampa will greet you with open arms.

Loews Portofino Bay

The Loews Portofino Bay is a brilliant view in Orlando, Florida Photo Courtesy Patrick T Cooper
The Loews Portofino Bay is a  brilliant view in Orlando, Florida Photo Courtesy Patrick T Cooper
The Loews Portofino Bay is a brilliant view in Orlando, Florida Photo Courtesy Patrick T Cooper

The Loews Portofino Bay is a brilliant view in Orlando, Florida while soaking up the sunshine. It’s travel photography! Follow our travel pursuits  and practice of photography. Travel is education and  supersedes the knowledge of any book. With adoration, allow the eye to wander and capture the culture of destinations is our mantra.  What does this architectural and landscape communicate to you? 

WHO

We are novice, we are not perfect we are not the people toting huge camera bags and professional lenses. Strapped with camera phones we capture sometimes imperfectly perfect imagery.

Taylor Morris Eyewear

WHAT

No specific initiative. Although we love art, design, architecture, food, music, luxury automobiles and all things sexy we are passionate about snapping the sensational.

WHEN

There is no time like the present. There is so much beauty in the world. Get beyond the narcissism of the selfie and pay attention your surroundings. Your current location is a work of art. Be present and capture the moment.

WHERE

The world is a work of art. GOD made no mistakes. All things are beautiful!

WHY

Having cared for individuals with physical ailments, pictures serve as sources of inspiration. We continue to focus the lenses in an effort to encourage people to not live with a bucket list.

Taylor Morris Eyewear

Getting lost in regions of the world is what we strive to do and to share. The world is smaller than you think. Food, art, design, music and celebration is always near. Why not enjoy life starting NOW?

The purpose of travel is to learn and be stretched. The stretch allows experiences to become a part of your DNA. The opportunity to see the world is a privilege. In an effort to exhaust the privilege we click to capture a moment while building a lifetime of memories.

It is said, “A picture is not just a picture. A picture is a story without words.”

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park

Cruising Hillsborough River to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park Tampa, Florida Photo Courtesy of Patrick T Cooper
Cruising Hillsborough River to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park Tampa, Florida Photo Courtesy of Patrick T Cooper
Cruising Hillsborough River to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park Tampa, Florida Photo Courtesy of Patrick T Cooper

Cruising the Hillsborough River to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. It’s travel photography! Follow our travel pursuits  and practice of photography. Travel is education and  supersedes the knowledge of any book. With adoration, allow the eye to wander and capture the culture of destinations is our mantra.  What does this architecture and cocktail photography communicate to you? 

WHO

We are novice, we are not perfect we are not the people toting huge camera bags and professional lenses. Strapped with camera phones we capture sometimes imperfectly perfect imagery.

WHAT

No specific initiative. Although we love art, design, architecture, food, music, luxury automobiles and all things sexy we are passionate about snapping the sensational.

WHEN

There is no time like the present. There is so much beauty in the world. Get beyond the narcissism of the selfie and pay attention your surroundings. Your current location is a work of art. Be present and capture the moment.

Roadtrippers.com

WHERE

The world is a work of art. GOD made no mistakes. All things are beautiful!

WHY

Having cared for individuals with physical ailments, pictures serve as sources of inspiration. We continue to focus the lenses in an effort to encourage people to not live with a bucket list.

Getting lost in regions of the world is what we strive to do and to share. The world is smaller than you think. Food, art, design, music and celebration is always near. Why not enjoy life starting NOW?

The purpose of travel is to learn and be stretched. The stretch allows experiences to become a part of your DNA. The opportunity to see the world is a privilege. In an effort to exhaust the privilege we click to capture a moment while building a lifetime of memories.

It is said, “A picture is not just a picture. A picture is a story without words.”

Your Travel Guide To Treasures in Orlando, Florida

Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort Photo Courtesy of Patrick T Cooper
Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort Photo Courtesy of Patrick T Cooper
Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort Photo Courtesy of Patrick T Cooper

We have your travel guide to treasures in Orlando, Florida. Beyond Mickey Mouse did you know you can eat, shop, stay and play in Orlando while making memories. Here is a simple plan to make central Florida your next travel stop.

EAT

Filet Mignon at Todd English's Blue Zoo Photo Courtesy of Patrick T Cooper
Filet Mignon at Todd English’s Blue Zoo Photo Courtesy of Patrick T Cooper

While staying at the Swan and Dolphin, you can choose from 17 restaurants and lounges. The Todd English Blue Zoo is a favorite hence we are sharing the details with you. Designed by renowned Jeffrey Beers the restaurant is elegantly appointed with precision lighting to accompany the architecture and hand blown glass creations. This dining experience is unique and delicious.

Coltorti Boutique EU
Dinner at Todd English's Blue Zoo Photo Courtesy of Patrick T Cooper
Dinner at Todd English’s Blue Zoo Photo Courtesy of Patrick T Cooper

SHOP

Orlando shopping is pure luxury. Giorgio Armani, Boss, Prada, Bottega Veneta, Saks and Neiman Marcus are just a few of the name brands. With 2 premium outlets shopping will be a treasure with discounts up to 75% of retails and over 160 designers. Open daily until 11pm, the outlets allow plenty of time for travelers to eat, shop and play while discovering the treasures of Orlando.

STAY

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is an awesome location. Centrally located to stroll or boat to the Walt Disney World EPCOT, Hollywood Studios and Boardwalk Entertainment will be easy and accessible. More affordable than many Disney resorts, you will get the perks of extra magic hours . Relax or play, it’s your stay! The Swan and Dolphin is a Marriott-operated resort with 2,267 spacious rooms and sparkles after the completion of a $140 Million overhauling the entire property. Purposefully, designed this hotel is built in a wave pattern with soft blues, grays and with crisp white bedding equaling a sleep sound.

Coltorti Boutique EU

PLAY

Orlando has a multitude of entertainment options. One destination that is ofter overlooked is Sea World. SeaWorld is a blast! Prepare for the thrill of the Mako rollercoaster and scream with excitement.

Hilton Pensacola Beach

Travel Photography Hilton Pensacola Beach during Foo Foo Festival Photo Courtesy of Patrick T Cooper
Travel Photography Hilton Pensacola Beach during Foo Foo Festival Photo Courtesy of Patrick T Cooper

It’s travel photography! Follow our travel pursuits  and practice of photography. Travel is education and  supersedes the knowledge of any book. With adoration, allow the eye to wander and capture the culture of destinations is our mantra.  What does this architecture and cocktail photography communicate to you? 

WHO

We are novice, we are not perfect we are not the people toting huge camera bags and professional lenses. Strapped with camera phones we capture sometimes imperfectly perfect imagery.

WHAT

No specific initiative. Although we love art, design, architecture, food, music, luxury automobiles and all things sexy we are passionate about snapping the sensational.

WHEN

There is no time like the present. There is so much beauty in the world. Get beyond the narcissism of the selfie and pay attention your surroundings. Your current location is a work of art. Be present and capture the moment.

WHERE

The world is a work of art. GOD made no mistakes. All things are beautiful!

WHY

Having cared for individuals with physical ailments, pictures serve as sources of inspiration. We continue to focus the lenses in an effort to encourage people to not live with a bucket list.

Getting lost in regions of the world is what we strive to do and to share. The world is smaller than you think. Food, art, design, music and celebration is always near. Why not enjoy life starting NOW?

The purpose of travel is to learn and be stretched. The stretch allows experiences to become a part of your DNA. The opportunity to see the world is a privilege. In an effort to exhaust the privilege we click to capture a moment while building a lifetime of memories.

It is said, “A picture is not just a picture. A picture is a story without words.”

Tampa Museum of Art

Tampa Museum of Art is a perfect cultural stroll Tampa, Florida Photo Courtesy Patrick T Cooper
Tampa Museum of Art is a perfect cultural stroll Tampa, Florida Photo Courtesy Patrick T Cooper
Tampa Museum of Art is a perfect cultural stroll Tampa, Florida Photo Courtesy Patrick T Cooper

Tampa Museum of Art is a perfect stroll of installations and artistic expression. It’s travel photography! Follow our travel pursuits  and practice of photography. Travel is education and  supersedes the knowledge of any book. With adoration, allow the eye to wander and capture the culture of destinations is our mantra.  What does this architectural structure communicate to you? 

WHO

We are novice, we are not perfect we are not the people toting huge camera bags and professional lenses. Strapped with camera phones we capture sometimes imperfectly perfect imagery.

WHAT

No specific initiative. Although we love art, design, architecture, food, music, luxury automobiles and all things sexy we are passionate about snapping the sensational.

Ecooking

WHEN

There is no time like the present. There is so much beauty in the world. Get beyond the narcissism of the selfie and pay attention your surroundings. Your current location is a work of art. Be present and capture the moment.

WHERE

The world is a work of art. GOD made no mistakes. All things are beautiful!

WHY

Having cared for individuals with physical ailments, pictures serve as sources of inspiration. We continue to focus the lenses in an effort to encourage people to not live with a bucket list.

Getting lost in regions of the world is what we strive to do and to share. The world is smaller than you think. Food, art, design, music and celebration is always near. Why not enjoy life starting NOW?

The purpose of travel is to learn and be stretched. The stretch allows experiences to become a part of your DNA. The opportunity to see the world is a privilege. In an effort to exhaust the privilege we click to capture a moment while building a lifetime of memories.

It is said, “A picture is not just a picture. A picture is a story without words.”

Ecooking

Oxford Exchange

Biting into Breakfast at Oxford Exchange in Tampa Florida Photo Courtesy of Patrick T Cooper
Biting into Breakfast at Oxford Exchange in Tampa Florida Photo Courtesy of Patrick T Cooper

Biting into Breakfast at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida. It’s travel photography! Follow our travel pursuits  and practice of photography. Travel is education and  supersedes the knowledge of any book. With adoration, allow the eye to wander and capture the culture of destinations is our mantra.  What does this architecture and cocktail photography communicate to you? 

WHO

We are novice, we are not perfect we are not the people toting huge camera bags and professional lenses. Strapped with camera phones we capture sometimes imperfectly perfect imagery.

WHAT

No specific initiative. Although we love art, design, architecture, food, music, luxury automobiles and all things sexy we are passionate about snapping the sensational.

WHEN

There is no time like the present. There is so much beauty in the world. Get beyond the narcissism of the selfie and pay attention your surroundings. Your current location is a work of art. Be present and capture the moment.

WHERE

The world is a work of art. GOD made no mistakes. All things are beautiful!

Roadtrippers.com

WHY

Having cared for individuals with physical ailments, pictures serve as sources of inspiration. We continue to focus the lenses in an effort to encourage people to not live with a bucket list.

Getting lost in regions of the world is what we strive to do and to share. The world is smaller than you think. Food, art, design, music and celebration is always near. Why not enjoy life starting NOW?

The purpose of travel is to learn and be stretched. The stretch allows experiences to become a part of your DNA. The opportunity to see the world is a privilege. In an effort to exhaust the privilege we click to capture a moment while building a lifetime of memories.

It is said, “A picture is not just a picture. A picture is a story without words.”