10 Things to Do in Tampa

With the weather cooling down in most parts of the country, it’s time to start thinking of your winter travel plans to somewhere warm. Tampa is the perfect warm-weather, winter destination! If you’ve never been before, now is the time to go! Rates for our Tampa property start from $239.99 per week, and there is more than enough to see and do in Tampa to keep you busy for seven days!  Here are ten ideas to get you started:

10. A Walk in Lettuce Lake Park
Start your morning off with a light run or walk through the beautiful Lettuce Lake Park. If you’d like to get out on Lettuce Lake, there are canoe and kayak rentals available in the park.

9. Tour the City by Streetcar
Tampa’s network of old-fashioned style streetcars are a fun and inexpensive way to get your bearings in the city. The streetcars cover a lot of the city’s best sights. Don’t forget to bring your camera. Grab a window seat and snap away.

8. Visit the Florida Aquarium
You can easily spend a day exploring all of the exhibits Tampa’s Florida Aquarium offers. In addition to exploring what the aquarium has to offer on a regular exhibit, there are a couple of great add on adventures that are truly worthwhile. Get up close and personal with a penguin, or face your fears and go Scuba diving with sharks!

7. Ruin a Perfectly Good Walk by Golfing
You could spend an entire week in Tampa just golfing, and you still wouldn’t cross off every golf course in the area. From everyday public courses to some of the best clubs in the country where the pros play, Tampa is a golfer’s paradise.

6. Shop Till You Drop in the SoHo District
Tampa’s SoHo district is filled with lots of little boutiques, cool shops and funky art galleries to duck in and out of. Extend your day in SoHo by having dinner at one of the city’s most popular restaurants, Bern’s Steakhouse.

5. Cool off at the Tampa Bay Skating Academy
If Tampa is too sunny for you, have a small taste of winter with some indoor ice-skating at the Tampa Bay Skating Academy.

4. Explore Ybor City’s Cuban Influences
Ybor City is a historic area of Tampa that is heavily influenced by Spanish and Cuban cultures among others. If you’re a cigar aficionado, take a tour of one of the cigar factories, they make some of the best cigars in the country. Bring your appetite too, the district serves up some incredible Cuban food.

3. Have a Screaming Good Time at Busch Gardens
Get your adrenaline going with a day of Roller Coasters at Busch Gardens. The theme park is home to some amazing thrill rides, including the flying roller coaster Shaikra. The park is also home to a host of wild animals.

2. Enjoy the Spectacle of a Professional Sports Game
Tampa Bay is home to three professional sports teams! Depending on the time of year you visit, you can watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL Football team, the Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Hockey team or the Tampa Bay Rays, MLB Baseball team play a home game. You’re going to have a good time, whichever sport you end up seeing.

1. Hit the Beach
You’re almost always guaranteed to have a sunny day when you’re in Tampa, so take advantage of the year-round good weather and head to one of the areas many beaches. Nearby Clearwater and St. Petersburg have some of the most popular beaches in the state, but a little closer to home, we like Ben T. Davis beach.

We look forward to seeing you in Tampa this winter!

An InTown Suites Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays of the year, combining family, football and food, all on one day! If you’re away from home this year, not to worry. You can do a quick search for restaurants serving a Thanksgiving meal, or you can put together a fun and festive Thanksgiving dinner of you own, when you stay in one of our One-Bedroom Apartments. These guestrooms come with a full size fridge, microwave and an oven with four burners. Here’s our menu for a no-fuss (yet delicious) InTown Suites Thanksgiving dinner.

Turkey Legs with Roasted Root Vegetables

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes with Chives

Lemony Green Beans with Fried Onions

Pumpkin Pie

Here’s how to do it:

At the Grocery Store
Instead of picking up a whole turkey, when you’re at the grocery store, pick up a package of turkey legs. Most people love the extra flavor in the dark meat, and it’s always fun to eat with your hands caveman style. In the prepared section of the produce department, look for a package of cut-up root vegetables. If you can’t find any, no worries, picked up some peeled carrots (mini carrots will work fine), some shallots and ask if the store will cut up a butternut or acorn squash for you.

Also in the produce department, grab a bag of French-style green beans, 1 lemon, a package of microwave mashed potatoes and a bunch of fresh chives.

After picking up a can of fried onions, and a small bottle of olive oil, swing by the spice aisle to pick up some salt and pepper. In the dairy aisle, grab a small tub of sour cream.

Finally head to the bakery section and pick out the best looking pumpkin pie.

In the Kitchen:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

While the oven is heating, spread the root vegetables on a baking tray. If you had to buy shallots, unpeel them first. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper, add a nice glug of olive oil and then mix with your hands. On top of the vegetables place your turkey legs, season with salt and pepper and rub the legs with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Slice the lemon in half, and squeeze the juice of one half of the lemon over the turkey legs.

Place the tray in the oven and roast for 1.5 hours.

Relax, you’ve got over an hour to chill out and catch the game on the big screen television.

When there is about 15 minutes left for the turkey legs to finish cooking, heat up a frying pan or skillet over medium heat and add about a tablespoon of olive oil. When the olive oil shimmers in the pan, add the green beans and sautee until bright green. Remove from the heat, take the remaining half of the lemon and squeeze it over the green beans. Sprinkle the green beans with the fried onions.

For the mashed potatoes, reheat in the microwave according to instructions. When the time is up, remove from the microwave. Add a giant spoonful of sour cream and mix in, to make the potatoes extra decadent. Sprinkle some cut up chives on top.

Once the turkey is cooked, remove the baking tray from the oven, turn the oven down to 200 degrees, and slip in the pumpkin pie

The best part about cooking only the turkey’s legs is that there is no carving required, everyone gets their own leg! Serve the legs with the roasted root vegetables, mashed potatoes and green beans.

After enjoying your Thanksgiving meal, clean-up is a breeze, since the kitchen has a dishwasher. After the main dishes are put away, and any leftovers are stored in the fridge, shut off the oven and remove the pie.

Enjoy a nice warm slice of pie while catching the rest of the football game and enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving Day!

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