Tampa, Florida Travel Guide

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My husband and I are in dire need of a mini-vacation, so we’ve decided to plan a weekend trip to our old stomping grounds in Tampa and St. Petersburg. To make the trip even better, my BFF Stephanie from Diary of A Debutante and her boyfriend Kyle live in nearby Clearwater, so we’ll be dragging them along for as much of the trip as possible. Sorry Stephanie, but you really don’t have a choice! Today I’m sharing our itinerary for our trip to Florida’s west coast. Plus, I’m sharing how you can enter to win a free wedding, honeymoon transportation, and $2,500 towards your wedding with the Marry Me on A Megabus giveaway. It’s easy to enter, and if you’re engaged, you’re DEFINITELY going to want to enter this contest!

Our Tampa, Florida, Mini-Vacation Travel Itinerary

How to Get There:

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Photo courtesy of Megabus.com’s Facebook page.

I’ve made the long drive from Orlando to Tampa and back agin way too many times for my own good, and I have absolutely no desire to battle the I-4 traffic once again. Instead of spending hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic with the sun glaring in my eyes, I will be plotting our trip with Ryan and enjoying a snack or two. I might even catch up on Grey’s Anatomy or take a nap. And no, Ryan won’t be driving either.

Instead of putting the miles on our car and our mental stability, we will be taking a trip with MegaBus.com. MegaBus is a safe, convenient, low cost bus service that offers express bus service to over 100 destinations across North America – including Tampa, Florida. The cost is incredibly reasonable (basically what we’d normally pay in gas), and I am so looking forward to laying back and relaxing instead of stressing in traffic. I cannot wait to start our trip, and I will be sure to come back and update this post with pictures and details about our journey.

Where to Go:

Once we arrive in Tampa, we will be busy little bees trying to soak up as much of the area as possible. Here is a list of a few of the activities we’re hoping to fit in during our trip.

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St. Petersburg Boardwalk: The St. Petersburg Boardwalk is only a short drive from Tampa, and I cannot wait to be reunited with the charming shops, breathtaking water views, and beautiful streets. When we lived in St. Pete, we used to come to the Boardwalk at least twice a week, and it’s one of the things that I miss most about the area.

International Plaza: While the natural beauty of Tampa Bay is obvious, you might not know that Tampa is also home to some pretty killer shopping. International Plaza is one of my favorite malls, and one of the first item’s on my agenda is to head to Nordstrom and do some serious damage! I love this mall because it has an easy-to-navigate layout and a great mix of stores. In fact, there are quite a few stores in this mall that we don’t even have in Orlando yet!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Game at Raymond James Stadium | Tampa Florida Travel Guide | Marry Me on A Megabus Giveaway | Affordable Travel Options | Florida Travel Blogger Ashley Brooke Nicholas |
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Game
: I used to drive by Raymond James Stadium nearly everyday on my way to work, and I’m so excited at the possibility of catching a game while we’re in the area. We still haven’t locked down dates for our trip, so I don’t know if it will align with football’s schedule… but a girl can dream! The games are so much fun!

The Florida Aquarium: Even after living in the area for nearly a year, Ryan and I never visited The Florida Aquarium. I’m such a sucker for animals, and I can’t wait to explore every inch of this aquatic masterpiece.

Where to Eat:

My friends know that I take my food very seriously. When we arrive at our destination, there’s no question that we will immediately head to one of our favorite local eateries. Here are a few of our favorite restaurants in the Tampa area.

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Latte Art and Kale Salad at Oxford Exchange | Tampa Florida Travel Guide | Marry Me on A Megabus Giveaway | Affordable Travel Options | Florida Travel Blogger Ashley Brooke Nicholas |
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Oxford Exchange
: Oxford Exchange is my favorite restaurant in Tampa. In fact, it’s probably my favorite spot in Tampa because it’s just so cool. It’s a hybrid bookstore- coffee shop- restaurant – ultra stylish hangout, and I’m completely obsessed with the entire space. I would live there if I could. While I’d be happy just to walk through Oxford Exchange again, I will most definitely be inhaling at least one plate of their delicious brussels sprouts.

Pretty Latte Art, Frosted Scone, Pink Lip Balm, and Tortoise Shell Cat Eye Sunglasses at Buddy Brew Coffee in Tampa | Tampa Florida Travel Guide | Marry Me on A Megabus Giveaway | Affordable Travel Options | Florida Travel Blogger Ashley Brooke Nicholas |
Buddy Brew Coffee: I’m not even a huge coffee person, but I love, love, love Buddy Brew Coffee. Both locations are such charming spaces, and the coffee is seriously good. I had a vanilla latte there that blew my mind, and I can’t wait to repeat my order on our trip.

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Portillo’s: Ok, ok… I never said this list included fine dining establishments. Portillo’s Hot Dogs in a Chicago legend, and I’ve been hooked ever since my first visit to the Windy City. Then I got even more obsessed when I found their location in Anaheim, and now there is not one, but two locations in the Tampa area. My husband and I already have our order planned out: large cheese fry, chopped salad, Italian beef sandwich, Chicago hot dog, and two large Diet Cokes. Yum!

Marry Me on A Megabus Giveaway

Now that I’ve shared my itinerary for our trip to Tampa, I want to give YOU an opportunity to take a trip as well! Megabus is hosting an amazing giveaway through tomorrow, February 21st, called Marry Me on A Megabus. They are providing a free wedding on a Megabus, including honeymoon transportation (2 round trip tickets) and $2,500 to spend at your discretion! If you’re engaged, you should definitely enter to win this amazing experience, and I’d love for you to share the information with anyone you know who might be interested. Entering is easy- just fill out the form here! P.S. You can stay up to date with MegaBus other offers by following them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Are you planning any mini-vacations soon?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of megabus.com. The opinions and text are all mine.

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