We had the opportunity to partner with Embassy Suites Downtown Tampa for a hosted stay this past weekend and had the best time. It was our first time in downtown Tampa and we loved it! There is so much to do and see in Tampa and we are sharing all of the details about our stay and places to visit while in Tampa.
We had the opportunity to partner with Embassy Suites Downtown Tampa for a hosted stay this past weekend and had the best time. It was our first time in downtown Tampa and we loved it! There is so much to do and see in Tampa and we are sharing all of the details about our stay and best places to visit while in Tampa.
Embassy Suites is a beautiful hotel made up of all suites. We got to stay in the King Suite and it was so gorgeous. All of their rooms have a full living room area with a couch, chairs, desk area, and a tv. They also have a full length mirror and a small kitchen area with a fridge, microwave, sink and storage for food. Their bathrooms are super spacious with a walk in shower. Each suite is complete with a comfy bed, window with a view of the bay, and another tv.
Some of our favorite amenities include their beautiful heated pool with a view, Starbucks shop, complimentary breakfast, and Taste their full restaurant. The complimentary breakfast was amazing and complete with an omelet station. The best complimentary breakfast we’ve ever had. We also loved having a Starbucks to grab our coffee both mornings before heading out on our adventures.
Taste is their full restaurant that has some delicious food. We got to try items from their upcoming summer lunch menu and it was amazing! So many great flavors and they also made all of the dishes gluten and dairy free for me. My favorite was the plantain cups that had fish, avocado, and spices in it. Corbin’s favorite was definitely the ahi nachos and bread pudding. Sharing some photos below of all of the delicious food.
The Embassy Suites Downtown Tampa is connected to the convention center and conveniently located near the Amalie Arena, River Walk, Sparkman Wharf, and the Aquarium. The street car stops right in front of the hotel as well for easy access to different places in downtown Tampa.
Things to do
There are so many different activities in the downtown Tampa area from restaurants, to events, to shops, to fun activities. We got to enjoy Zoo Tampa and the Florida Aquarium while visiting and both are such fun activities! We also got to sail with Yacht Starships and experience their dinner cruise. The riverwalk is also close by and is always hosting different events.
Disney Springs has so much to offer from restaurants to shops to events and great photo spots. We love visiting Disney Springs and hopping in for a quick dinner date or after a day at the park. I wanted to share our favorite spots. You really can’t go wrong with any of the restaurants in Disney Springs.
The Boathouse (this is our absolute favorite restaurant, it has great food, music, and outdoor eating.)
Raglan Road (this is a great atmosphere, they have Irish dancers, amazing fish and chips that they can make gluten and dairy free, and outdoor dining too)
Paddlefish (we haven’t eaten here yet but have heard the food is great and it’s on a boat)
Blaze Pizza (if you’re looking for a more casual option and affordable this one is great! It’s a make your own pizza place that offers gluten and dairy free options)
Frontera Cocina (has great mexican dishes)
There are so many great shops to check out!
The World of Disney Store (this is a must and you can’t miss it, it’s the biggest store and has so many cute disney items)
Disney’s Days of Christmas (this one is so cute and great to find Christmas ornaments)
Francesca’s (this is one of my favorite stores and they have a lot of clothes in this one)
Star Wars Store (Corbin loves going in this one and always finds some fun stuff there)
Lego Store (this is also a neat store if you enjoy looking at legos)
There are so many great places for dessert and I really wanted to share our favorites with you all!
Erin Mckenna’s (this is my favorite and has the best allergy friendly desserts, I love the cookie sandwiches)
Sprinkles Cupcakes (this is my husbands favorite!)
Ghiradelli (this is so good if you love chocolate, they don’t have any allergy friendly options though)
Gideon’s Bakehouse (we haven’t gotten to try it yet but I keep hearing really good things about it)
These are just a few of my favorite places in Disney Springs. One thing I love about Disney Springs is they have a lot of live music that is free throughout Disney Springs and they also just opened back up Cirque du Soleil. Stay tuned for more travel guides and places we visit throughout Florida this year.
Looking for a great quiet place to stay In Clearwater, FL as a couple? We have your back and are sharing all of the details on this gorgeous hotel below. We had the opportunity this past weekend to be hosted by The Karol Hotel located in Clearwater, FL and we had a great time. This has been one of my favorite stays so far.
The hotel is located in Clearwater about 30 minutes from Clearwater beach and 30 minutes from St. Pete. It’s about 15 minutes from the Tampa International Airport as well. This stunning hotel is a AAA Four Diamond hotel has an elegant and modern look to it with beautiful rooms and lots of amenities. Those amenities include a lobby bar and restaurant, rooftop bar, resort-style pool, a fitness center and a beautiful event space for conferences and weddings. One of our favorite things about the hotel is even though it was busy, it didn’t feel too busy and was nice and quiet.
The restaurant is amazing and has the most delicious and decadent food. They were also excellent with my food allergies as well. I got the Salmon Cedar Plank dish and Corbin got the Filet Mignon. Both were very delicious entrees with lots of flavor. We also got to try a Charcuterie Board for the first time and it was amazing. The dessert was Corbin’s favorite part! He got a cookie dessert with ice cream and whipped cream and they even brought me some sorbet. I highly recommend dining at their restaurant while you visit.
The staff was all very friendly and they had great customer service.
We loved that the hotel was only 30 minutes from Sand Key Beach which is one of our favorite beaches to visit while there. We would love to go back and visit again soon and would highly recommend that you check out The Karol Hotel for a nice quiet couples getaway!
Follow us along as we share more destinations and things to do in Florida for couples!
It has been such a blast getting to know our new home town Ocala, FL and finding all of the fun activities and best places to eat around the area. I wanted to share with you all why you shouldn’t miss Ocala, FL when visiting FL and also share with my local audience some fun things to do in the local area. If you live in Orlando, Tampa or Gainesville visiting Ocala would be a great day trip as we have a lot of things to do and see here.
Things to do:
Kayaking at Silver Springs or Rainbow Springs
We love both of these springs and they each have something different to offer, if you do go kayaking I recommend booking through Get Up and Go Kayaking as they have clear kayaks that you can see through.
W.E.C (World Equestrian Center)
This is such a neat experience and one you don’t want to miss! They have several free shows throughout the year, restaurants, a five star hotel, pool, and don’t miss their Christmas Spectacular at Christmas time.
Ocala Civic Theatre and Appleton Museum
These are right next to each other and are both great experiences. The Civic Theatre has theatre shows year round to see. The Appleton Museum is a neat place to view art.
Downtown Art Walk
This is such a neat experience. There is music in the town square and tons of different artists there each time and the shops downtown are open at night. It happens the last Friday of every month.
This is our favorite park to visit and there is so much to see here. It’s great for a nice walk outside or a picnic.
Biking on Greenway Baseline Trailhead and Santos Trailhead
You don’t want to miss biking or walking on either of these trails. The Greenway includes part of the FL National Forest and Santos is beautifully covered with tons of trees as well. They are both unique trails and we love biking on them.
Light up Ocala
This event is a must see in our area! Several people travel from places in FL to see this event. Our whole downtown is lit up in Christmas lights and we have several vendors at this event.
Zip the Canyons
This is a really fun experience right in Ocala, FL. There are several zip lines on this course and the views are amazing.
There are so many different restaurants here in Ocala. I wanted to share my top favorites along with places that are great with Gluten and Dairy Free options.
The Gathering Cafe (this is my absolute favorite! It’s a local coffee shop that has amazing coffee and breakfast)
First Watch (this is a chain, but has such great food!)
Symmetry Coffee (they have great coffee and some good brunch too! I love their lunch options too)
Pie O’ Mine and Greens (they have great build your own salads and wraps)
Latinos Y Mas (they have great salads as well)
Brick and Iron Cafe (great smoothie bowls)
Ivy House (they have a great lunch menu with salads, sandwhiches, burgers and such a cool atmosphere)
Salyulitas (they have great tacos and guac)
Braised Onion (this is by far one of my favs here and so good with allergies)
Latinos Y Mas (has great mexican food and you can sit outside)
Mojos (they have a great menu and you can eat here at lunch or dinner)
Mesa de Note (this is a great Italian restaurant and they were great with my allergies)
Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille (this has great seafood and New Orleans style food)
Pie O Mine (great stone fired pizza, they have Gluten and Dairy free pizza options)
Blue Highway Pizza (great casual place and great pizza, they have Gluten and Dairy free pizza options )
Sarafey’s Gluten Free Bakery (I love this place and they have great gluten and dairy free baked goods)
Happy Pineapple (amazing dole whip)
La Dolce Vita Gelato and Pastry (don’t think they have non dairy options)
Hope you all enjoy exploring Ocala and all of the many things to do and see in our local area. Check back for more travel guides coming this month!
As many of you know, we are huge Disney fans as are many people we know. We continuously get questions about our favorite restaurants, rides and things to do in Disney. We have season passes so we go about once to twice a month. I figured it was time to share a complete guide to Disney. We will share our favorite highlights from each park in this post. Stay tuned for a specific blog post on each park that will go into more details. If you travel like we do, we love to have the best recommendations from people, especially from people who go all of the time. I realize that some people like to use vacation and travel guides for their trips and that is totally okay to do, but just wanted to provide another way to share the must see and things to do there from going often.
Let’s start with the top favorite park! First of all would say that if you can plan a trip in the off seasons it’s the best time and also if you are able to go during the week, that is best too. Off seasons are January-February, September-October. I would also avoid going when they have special events if you can and aren’t going for that. You’re going to want to download the Disney app and make sure to link your tickets etc. Also, Genie+ will come in handy for any of the really big attractions, but I think if you do Magic Kingdom two days you can cover all the rides without Genie+. Also, another way around the really long lines on rides like Mine Train, Rise of Resistance, Slinky Dog, and Passage of Flight would be to get there for rope drop which is 30-40 minutes before the park opens. We also have often waited in those lines right before park closes and the lines have seemed less then. Now onto the fun part our favorite rides, restaurants, and things to do.
Big Thunder Mountain (this one is fun and a coaster, so I think you have to be a certain height for this)
Pirates of the Caribbean (great ride for anyone, just be careful about lifting your feet under the seats, I lost a toenail one time doing that)
Seven Dwarf Mine Train (would be smart to get a Genie+ for this one or go first thing in the morning once rope drops)
Space Mountain (this is a fav for most adults, honestly not my fav cause it’s jerky, but has a cool vibe)
Buzz Lightyear (we love this one and usually the line is a shorter wait)
Peter Pan’s Flight (this is a great kids one and is nostalgic to me)
Jungle Cruise (this one is often glossed over, but is such a fun ride and they’ve updated it)
Splash Mountain (you have to do it once, but honestly not my fav, I always get soaked)
Under the Sea (this one is Ariel’s journey and is fun)
These would be the one’s I would recommend the most at the park. They have several others for young kids like Winnie the Pooh, which unashamedly I like. My absolute favorite ride at Magic Kingdom would have to be Big Thunder Mountain and Corbin’s favorite is Mine Train.
There are so many great places for food at Disney but I wanted to share our favorites and also the most affordable and GF friendly ones.
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe (has great mexican type food, they are always great with my allergies and have great prices)
Be our Guest (this is obviously more on the expensive side, but has amazing food and a great atmosphere)
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe (one of my favorite quick places in Magic Kingdom, they do a great job with GF/DF options and have a great menu)
Aloha Isle (I love the dole whip here, definitely need to try it out)
This is my absolute favorite park at Disney World. I love all of the animals, rides, and trees. It’s a really beautiful park. Most of the time animal kingdom is the first park that closes at Disney so you want to get there earlier in the day. The only ride you might want a Genie + pass for is Flight of passage, but besides that it’s not necessary for the rest of the park. Flight of passage usually has a long wait, but if you get in when the rope drops or wait till the end of the day you can just wait in regular stand by line. It’s so worth the wait!
Flight of Passage (this is my favorite ride at any of the parks and is so much fun)
Everest (probably my second favorite ride at Disney, this is a fast coaster that goes forwards/backwards)
Kilimanjaro Safari (this is a great one for kids and so much fun seeing all of the animals)
The Lion King Show (you need to make sure to see this show! It’s so good!)
Dinosaur (this one isn’t too bad of a ride, it’s just really jerky, but if you have a kid who likes dinos then definitely check it out)
I also love their Gorilla trail and all of the other animals you can see on their trails near the Safari ride. Make sure to grab photos at sunset in the tree. There is a trail to go up in the tree at Animal Kingdom that is right next to the stroller spot for It’s tough to be a bug and it’s such a pretty trail and a good quiet photo spot. Corbin and I’s both favorite ride at Animal Kingdom is Flight of Passage.
Animal Kingdom has some good places to eat. They are more limited but Avatar World is definitely the place to hit up for good food in Animal Kingdom.
Satu’li Canteen (by far my favorite in Animal Kingdom, they make these delicious buddha type bowls and they are so good for GF/DF allergies.
Flame Tree Barbecue (has great barbecue and very good with allergies)
Besides those two I would recommend hoping on over to Disney Springs. I’m sharing my favorite restaurants and things to do in Disney Springs in another post coming soon!
This park is a lot of fun and filled with a lot of rides, especially for your older kids with Star War’s Galaxy Edge. This is Corbin’s favorite park because he is the biggest Star Wars fan! You’ll definitely want to make sure you have Genie + for the bigger attractions, unless you’re a passholder. Rise of Resistance is always pretty long and slinky dog dash as well.
Rise of Resistance (this is a must and so much fun! It’s very realistic too)
Toy Story Mania (this is a really unique and fun ride, great for any age)
Millennium Falcon (this is also a great one with a lot of action and fun)
Slinky Dog Dash (this is a coaster, but definitely fun for kids too)
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad (I haven’t rode this one yet, but keep hearing good things about it)
Rock n Roller Coaster (this is a fun fast paced roller coaster in the dark)
Tower of Terror (Corbin and I don’t like this one and never ride it, but a lot of people really enjoy it.)
Backlot Express (this is great for a quick meal and will be affordable too, they have lots of GF/DF options)
Sci-Fi Dine in Theatre (this is definitely more pricey but is such a neat experience)
Ronto Roasters (this was recommended by family)
50’s Prime Time Cafe (also a really cool experience, but higher priced food)
Olga’s Cantina (you need to get the blue milk here, it’s not a food place but has amazing drinks in Galaxy’s Edge)
If you want really great food and a unique around the world experience then Epcot is your place to go. They are always adding new restaurants here too. We haven’t tried a couple of them, but will share all our favorites and others as well. You might want to consider Genie + for Test Track and a couple of those bigger rides on a busy day, but should be fine with the waits for most of the rides.
Frozen (I have yet to ride it, but hear great things)
Test Track (this is a really fun one and unique)
Soarin (you need to ride this one at Epcot, it’s such an amazing ride)
Remy’s Ratatouille (this one is super cute and different, definitely wait to get in line at the end of the day)
Mission Space (there are two versions of this ride, one that spins and one that doesn’t. I always ride the one that doesn’t)
Living with the land (this one is surprisingly cool to see especially around Christmas time)
Food is the highlight at Epcot and you have so much to choose from! Some of my favorites and allergy friendly places below. Don’t forget to check out Food and Wine festival and the flower festival as well.
La Cantina De Sangel (has great mexican food, they don’t have as many options for allergies though, but have some)
San Angel Inn Restaurant (is a fancier sit down but has great mexican food and great with allergies)
Space 220 (is a new restaurant and I have not visited yet, but have heard amazing reviews about it)
Tangierine Cafe (has moroccan food, not sure about allergy options here as I haven’t eaten here since)
There are so many other restaurants I haven’t tried yet in Epcot. I do know they have a couple of Italian restaurants that offer allergy friendly options too.
Hope you all enjoyed this guide and let me know in the comments if I missed any restaurants. Let me know which rides are your favorites too. I am going to share my Disney Springs Guide in the next couple of weeks. I hope that you all enjoy your visits at Disney and let me know if you have questions and be sure to follow me and check back for more travel guides on my blog, instagram, and Tik Tok (@autumnmturner).