I purchased tickets to see Ed Sheeran in concert in Tampa, FL many months ago. However, it was only two weeks before the show that my concert buddy and I decided that it might be a good idea if we got a room for a night after the show. Driving to Tampa from Orlando takes about 90 minutes in the best circumstances, not taking into account post-concert traffic. We didn’t know what time the concert would end, but we knew it would be late.
Since we waited until the last minute, hotel rooms weren’t cheap. Raymond James Stadium in Tampa is located right off a local main road; great city planning there, Tampa. The nearest set of hotels are located about three miles away, across the street from the Tampa Airport. I looked at the available options and every hotel with rooms was charging over $250 a night. That was way too much for a single night stay where I just needed a bed for a few hours before driving home the next morning.
I decided to check if any of the hotels had rooms available for points and luckily I found one that did.
Continue reading “What To Do When You Need A Place To Stay When The Concert’s Over”
We know that lots of theme park fans don’t like to go off theme park property when they vacation in Central Florida. We used to be like that, too. Eating at a theme park is usually faster than traveling off property to dine, it keeps you immersed in the theme park experience, etc. And we get it – there are indeed some really nice places “on property” that give you awesome food and/or theming, and you get to maximize your time in the parks. But if you limit yourself to just eating on property, you are denying yourself some incredibly good eats that usually cost a fraction of Disney’s and Universal’s prices and often taste even better than anything you can get in the parks or on property.
These are some of our most favorite “off property” restaurants. We’ve listed them in alphabetical order, since it would be almost impossible to put them in order of which is
best, second best, etc., and they run the gamut in terms of price point, food type, dress requirements and distance from the parks. Many offer meals throughout the day (i.e. breakfast, lunch, brunch, high tea), although we’re specifying our experiences with them for dinner. Most are places you can’t find anywhere else (or at least have only limited locations), they’re all “not to be missed” and some, we admit, are really just for adults (we’ve included level of “kid friendliness,” based on our observations, in each of the narratives). Continue reading “Our Favorite Restaurants In Central Florida That Are Off Disney/Universal Property”
As Joe said in his post earlier today, we enjoyed our short stay at the Epicurean Hotel. However during our visit, I think I discovered one of THE most poorly designed bathrooms in the state.
We were hanging out on one of their 2nd floor terraces when nature started calling, so I walked to the elevator and up to the 4th floor. Since there was a bar (“Edge”) there, I figured there would therefore would be facilities, as well. And I was right – there was a mens’ room and a ladies’ room right off the elevator.
I opened the door to the ladies’ room and the room was dark but as I stepped in to look for the light switch, the light suddenly went on automatically. I was then able to see that the “regular” light switch had been replaced with something different, so I surmised that in an attempt to
save money on electricity when no one was actually in the bathroom be green, the light was controlled by a motion sensor. Interesting. Continue reading “My Unusual Toilet Encounter At The Epicurean Hotel”
We try to visit Bern’s Steak House in Tampa, Florida at least once a year. It’s one of our favorite places to eat, anywhere. We love going with friends and introducing them to the Bern’s experience but when we get the urge to go, we’ll make it a date and take the hour (or three hour with bad traffic) drive on I-4. Most time we’ll go earlier in the evening and then head home afterwards. For this trip, we also had to be in Tampa the following evening so we decided to make a mini-vacation out of the visit to the Florida west coast.
I knew what hotel I wanted to book. In 2013, the owners of Bern’s Steak House helped open a hotel across the street. The four story, 137 room hotel is focused around fine food and great wine. It’s the perfect place to stay if you’re eating at Bern’s because after the steak and a trip to the dessert room upstairs, all you need to do is make it across the street and fall into bed.
Continue reading “Hotel Review: Epicurean Hotel, Tampa, FL”