Staycation Ideas: Fun Things to Do in Tampa Bay

Read on for my take on fun things to do in Tampa Bay and staycation ideas like a stay at the Epicurean Hotel.

Fall is such a hectic time for us parents. Am I right? The first quarter is nearly over and we have barely stopped for a moment of rest the entire time. We’ve been racing around to countless after school sport practices, games, dance lessons, school plays…you name it. In a word we’ve been BUSY. And whether you find this jam packed time of year overwhelming or revel in the chaos, the fact is you need a break. Everyone needs a break every once and a while! It doesn’t always have to be a huge break, but every parent deserves some me time.

One of my favorite ways to snag some me time is to take a little staycation. I don’t have to even leave my city in order to step away from the mania and decompress. In fact, exploring the fun things to do in Tampa Bay was on my agenda recently when I stayed overnight at the Epicurean Hotel a few weekends ago. That’s right. The hubs and I dropped the kids off with my parents, checked into this gorgeous boutique hotel and decided to play tourist for a couple days. 

And since I know you fellow ‘rents in the Tampa Bay area could probably use an overnight of your own, I decided to round up some of my favorite things to do in Tampa and they’re all relatively close to the Epicurean Hotel. Who wants to spend the whole day driving? Staycation time is precious! With this guide, you can hop from hot spot to hot spot in mere minutes! But before we get to my staycation ideas for fun things to do in Tampa Bay, let’s talk about where to stay.

woman with long dark hair sitting on orange striped bench

lobby area of epicurean hotel with bottles of wine under front desk

striped couches with orange pillows on rooftop deck

tropical pool area with pool chairs and palm trees

florida pool with brown wicker patio furniture

bald man and woman with long dark hair standing in front of red and orange mural

Why You Should Stay at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa

First, the Epicurean Hotel is conveniently located in Historic Hyde Park in the South Tampa area, which is the hub for hip things to do in Tampa. And when you’re sans kids, you want to seem somewhat hip. Bwah! This property is beautifully decorated, has world class customer service and comes complete with a resort style pool area, rooftop bar and an elegant restaurant. In fact, having a glass of champs on the roof at Edge and brunch at Elevage were probably my favorite parts of our whole weekend! There is something so relaxing about both activities.

old fashioned telephone on desk against collage wall

hotel bedroom with bed with brown headboard, white comforter and brown pillows

All I can say is the Elevage’s take on Eggs Benedict, their Avocado Benedict to be exact, was the best version of my favorite breakfast dish that I have ever eaten! And I am still dreaming about the acai bowl you might have caught in our Insta stories. Sigh. The hubs and I don’t often have a chance to sit down alone and catch up for as long as we want. Enjoying a drink while looking out at our city and a leisurely brunch gave us two opportunities to do just that. I would book another stay at the Epicurean Hotel simply based on those experiences alone!

elevage restaurant collage wall

woman with long brown hair drinking a cup of coffee in front of a white brick wall with colorful paintings on it

eggs benedict on gray plate

woman with brown hair wearing sunglasses sitting on striped couch on rooftop

woman in blue and white tie dye maxi dress sitting on brown wicker chair by hotel pool

woman wearing green jumpsuit sitting on striped couch holding a glass of champagne in front of a wall of lights

Fun Things to Do in Tampa

Armature Works: This is the kind of place that has something for everyone. There is an open market with food and retail stalls, as well as sit down restaurants, bars and an outside play area. I’m a big fan of grabbing a snack or drink, or both, at the Heights Public market and enjoying a view of the water from the conveniently located adirondack chairs! If you’re feeling like something healthy the Soho Juice Co. has incredible smoothies. And for something more decadent, I’m partial to the Campfire S’mores Sundae at Astro Ice Cream!

brick armature works building with striped lawn umbrellas

thirty something woman sitting on white adirondack chair

woman with long curly brown hair standing with fall leaf photo prop

Tampa Riverwalk: The Tampa Bay area is absolutely beautiful, plain and simple. And its beauty is never more evident than when you take a stroll along the Riverwalk that runs right next to the Hillsborough River. And it’s a great way to walk off those calories you took at Armature Works. You can pick up the Riverwalk right past those adirondack chairs I mentioned. Haha!

hillsborough river with land in the distance

woman in white tshirt and denim skirt outfit standing next to the Hillsborough River

Shopping in Tampa

Oxford Exchange: Next up we have another multipurpose destination complete with a restaurant, the newly opened Champagne Bar and shopping areas. I suggest grabbing a glass of bubbly and milling around The Shop and The Bookstore. Seating is limited in the Champagne Bar, but if you are lucky enough to grab a table, do that. They were full when we stopped by, so I just placed my order and shopped. I have to say I don’t know if I can ever shop another way. Champs definitely upped the charm factor! Of course, I’m always happy when faced with a wall full of books too!

gold champagne bar sign on brick wall

bartender pouring champagne cocktail on wood bar

champagne bottles with flutes piled on top

Hyde Park Village: I’ve been shopping in Hyde Park since I was a kiddo. Megan and I might have even to skipped school for a little lunch and shopping action there. Shhhh. Don’t tell our parents. I think I’ll wait another decade until I drop that truth bomb. Bwah! Seriously, though. Expect charming independent boutiques alongside favorites like Anthropologie and Sur la Table. Hyde Park also offers the best restaurants, like bartaco, and my go-to local java joint, Buddy Brew! Oh and you have to stop for a refreshing popsicle at The Hyppo. Trust me!

couple taking selfie in front of white brick building

woman with nude nail polish holding watermelon drink

woman wearing camo tee and denim skirt standing in front of brick wall

So, the next time you find yourself in need of a break, consider a staycation in your hometown! Even if that just means taking the afternoon off and doing something you have always wanted to try. Now is the time. Treat yourself. If you’re in the Tampa area, these staycation ideas for fun things to do in Tampa Bay should give you plenty to keep you busy! And if you can get a sitter, you won’t regret staying at the Epicurean Hotel. Checking in will totally elevate your staycation. Just sayin’.

Remember, my friends, the holiday season will soon be here. And as much fun as it is, life is only going to get more hectic. Now is the time to take a beat and sneak in the break that will help you get through all that holiday magic! 

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This is not a sponsored post. Accommodations were provided by the Epicurean Hotel.

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