Monday, October 31, 2011

Tampa Staycation: Sailing, swimming, drinking and eating

This is part of our ongoing attempt in 2011 to explore Tampa Bay!

A few months ago, a groupon deal came through for Atlantis V charter – a full day sailboat trip. The girls and I jumped at the chance. It was a beautiful day. The four of us boarded the 45 foot sailboat and headed out to the islands just outside Tarpon Springs. Atlantis V charters offers half day or full day trips to help support their youth program. The program gives kids a chance to learn to sail for free. We felt really good about supporting a local charity and getting a day on the water. The icing on the cake was that we were able to follow a pod of dolphins for at least forty-five minutes.

The Refinery

The Refinery is a local restaurant that has been getting rave reviews. We headed there for brunch.  We were not disappointed. The meal was fantastic – bold flavors, local ingredients and a menu that changes weekly. Glenn had the biscuits and gravy and I had a great pulled pork eggs benedict.

We love beer. We finally made it over to the Cigar City Tap Room. Cigar City is an outstanding local brewery and the Tap Room is the place to be. They have revolving taps with between 6 -8 beers that you can take home in growlers and then an additional 10 – 16 beers you can try just in the Tap Room. After our first visit, we have ended up back there at least once a month to try a new beer or load up on growlers to take home for Football Sunday. It also has become the go-to spot when we have visitors in from out of town.

After a long work day a few months ago, I sat on the plane dreaming about heading out to the Caribbean or Mexico just to have a day relaxing on the beach. DUH!! I live 45 minutes from a beach!!! After a little internet research, we decided on Pass-A-Grille – the end of the line in Pinellas County. We headed out on a Saturday morning. We easily found parking and a spot on the beach. The waves were kicking so we had a great time bobbing in the ocean. After a few hours, we headed to a local restaurant for grouper sandwiches and margaritas. I was really impressed with the ample parking, the public beach and the nearby local park with bathroom and picnic tables. We definitely will be headed back!