July 14, 2024 2:12 PM
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What’s the D.E.A.L with Tampa?

by Kerstan Szczepanski

Dining

Malio’s Prime Steakhouse (400 N Ashley Dr) is just a short walk from the Convention Center in Tampa’s historic Rivergate Tower. Upscale and classic, the dress code is business casual. Modern classic décor with soft lighting and intimate seating create a very romantic atmosphere, perfect for a high end special occasion. A Tampa institution since 1969, the restaurant moved to its current location in 2007. The menu features a variety of cuts of beef, as well as fresh seafood, chicken, and pork with classic American sides. The elegant sophistication of the  dining room’s ambiance makes for a great business dinner. While Malio’s has a full bar, it is well known for its extensive wine list, featuring Californian, French, and Italian reds. Free parking at North Ashley garage with validation, just make sure to ask.

Cafe Dufrain (707 Harbour Post Dr) is across from the Convention Center on the other side of Garrison Channel. A casual waterfront restaurant known for its fresh, local ingredients and affordable prices. The menu is a variety of sandwiches, salads, and entrees, with a selection of beer and wine. This includes gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan options. Try the shrimp tacos and kale caesar salad. And don’t forget the lobster paella. A great place for a quick lunch or dinner that does not sacrifice deliciousness.

Entertainment

The Tampa Bay History Center (801 Water St) is a few blocks from the Convention Center. An absolute must for history buffs. From the area’s Native American origins thru Spanish conquistadors, the Civil War, cattle ranchers, and the cigar industry, you’ll learn more about Tampa Bay than you thought possible. The History Center has the Touchton Map Library, Columbia Cafe, and nearly 100,000 artifacts. The museum offers interactive displays, multimedia presentations, and guided tours and hosts a variety of special events throughout the year. Open 10am to 5pm.

The Attic (1510 E 8th Ave) is a live music venue located in the historic Ybor City neighborhood. An intimate venue that features local and national artists including Tampa native Matt Hires, blues rocker Anders Osborne, and Canadian folk duo Ocie Elliott. With its excellent acoustics there’s not a bad seat in the house. The Attic also serves food and drinks, ideal for an adult night out. Above the Rock Brothers Brewery, tickets are sold on eventbright.com.

Attractions

Glazer Children’s Museum (110 W Gasparilla Plaza), a fun and educational attraction that’s a short walk from the Convention Center. If traveling with family, the museum will entertain children up to age 10 with various hands-on exhibits and interactive activities. This includes a play firehouse and Publix, an engineer’s workshop, play children’s hospital and vet clinic. There’s also water play in Kidsport and Tugboat Tots. They offer workshops, camps, and other programs throughout the year.

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park (600 N Ashley Dr) is 8 beautiful acres along the Hillsborough River, a short walk from the Convention Center. In addition to the playground and splash pad, they have a dog park! The park is also home to numerous public art installations, including the iconic “LOVE” sculpture. Relax, have a picnic during one of the food truck rallies, or just walk along the river. The performance pavilion hosts a variety of concerts and festivals, throughout the year.

Lodging

Hilton Tampa Downtown (211 N Tampa St), a modern hotel within walking distance of the Tampa Convention Center, the Riverwalk and just a half mile from the University of Tampa. This pet friendly hotel features 520 guest rooms with modern free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and mini-fridges. They also provide a fitness center, outdoor pool, and the 211 Restaurant and 211 Lounge. Easily accessible from Tampa International Airport via the nearby I-275 and I-4 highways, the hotel is a perfectly central location for visiting the city, not just the Convention Center.

The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk (111 W Fortune St), this boutique hotel is located north of the convention Center just beyond the Riverwalk, in the heart of downtown Tampa. featuring 332 newly renovated rooms, each with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and complimentary Wi-Fi. There’s a fitness center, outdoor pool, and you can eat and drink at Gaudin Kitchen and Bar. This location is in the midst of downtown, within walking distance of the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Kiley Garden, Tampa Theatre, Tampa Museum of Art, the Florida Aquarium and much more.

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