Summer = trips! This summer I’ve already had 2 great trips. My first trip was to Central Florida during Memorial Day weekend. I visited Tampa, St. Petersburg and Lakeland. It was great because I got to see a side of Central Florida that I didn’t expect. Here’s my Central Florida itinerary for a weekend trip with your girls 💁🏻
Day 1 — Tampa and St. Petersburg
I drove to Tampa early in the afternoon. Before I headed out, I had my classic tortellini and strawberry banana smoothie at Panera. This is where I met up with a friend to pick her up. I ate at her house once I arrived. I’ve already been to Tampa several times, so I didn’t explore this time around.
We drove to St. Petersburg in the early evening. We met with another friend that came in from Lakeland and had dinner at Hawker’s Scratch Asian Street Food. It’s a cute lil market style restaurant with legit asian food. Some of our favorites of the night were steamed pork belly baos and Korean twice fried wings 🤤 Japanese beer Sapporo was also yummy 😋
We walked around the strip where Hawker’s was and just soaked in St. Petersburg’s evolving nightlife. Before it got too late, we drove about one hour to Lakeland. And of course we stayed up late catching up. I was enjoying the calmness of Central Florida so far in comparison to Miami!
Day 2 — Lakeland
We had a quick breakfast at my friend’s place to get the day started. My friend took a scenic route on our way to the Frank Lloyd Wright Museum. Lakeland is beautiful, and it’s a breath of fresh air compared to Miami. I really enjoyed getting a feel of Florida beyond skyscrapers and highways. The museum ended up being a gem, and it’s cool to think that Florida has a historical treasure like the Usonian house. It’s a must see if you’re in Central Florida!
We ended up chilling for a bit and headed to Fred’s Market for lunch. Omg, it was a foodie’s dream come true. It was the best Southern Food I’ve ever had!! Great service and buffet style as well. I never wanted to leave. I need Fred’s Market to expand beyond Central Florida and venture into Miami!
Quick trip back to my friend’s place to pick up another friend and head to Hobby Lobby. We decided to have some boozy crafts! We picked up supplies for embroidery and used Pinterest to pick our design and quotes.
After a few wine glasses and hours of embroidery, we decided to grab some dinner. We headed out to Palace Pizza. They closed at 9, and we showed up around 8:20. Most of their speciality pizzas were out, so my one of my friends and I opted to share a cheese pizza. We ordered a large cheese pizza, and it looked like an extra extra large. Believe me when I say that this pizza is comparable to Joe’s Pizza in New York, their #1 pizza. I was sooo impressed by their cheese pizza!!
It was big enough for all 4 of to share, but our other friends already ordered their own slices. We saved the leftovers for tomorrow. We also had their garlic rolls, which were also divine. If I lived in Tampa, I’d definitely make the hour drive to get this pizza regularly!
Day 3 — Tampa
It’s my friend’s birthday!! We decided to have a hip brunch Miami style (cute outfits, poppin’ restaurant and a mini photoshoot) at Oxford Exchange. But of course, I had a slice of last night’s pizza for breakfast before heading out for the 1 hour drive to Downtown Tampa. We made our reservation a month in advance (my project manager is showing), and it was definitely worth the wait!
Oxford Exchange is vintage and modern at the same time. The service was also great and made me feel like a special guest. I had a black bean burger, one friend had eggs benedict and another friend had fried avocado wedges accompanied by a breakfast flatbread.
Not to mention there was a bookstore and Warby Parker, so we were all in our happy place. A wedding was also about to take place, so our inner hopeless romantics were soaring. I really enjoyed this place!!
For dinner, my friend from Lakeland went back home, and I stayed with my friend from Tampa to have dinner with her family at Miller’s Ale House for her birthday. I’m lowkey obsessed with their sweet thai chili Zinger mountain melt, so I was remained happy the whole night.
Day 4 — Tampa
LAST DAY UGH. My friend and I decided to stop by Keke’s Breakfast Cafe, a breakfast hot spot in Tampa and Orlando. It was amazing!! I had turtle french toast, turkey sausage and a large glass of apple juice. My friend has her signature breakfast choice — eggs benedict — and a large glass of OJ.
We were stuffed and ready to make the best of our short day. We headed to Best Buy and Target for some last minute shopping, and then I was on my way back to Miami in the early afternoon.
I consider my weekend pretty successful! After thinking about it critically, here are some suggestions and things to keep in mind to get the most out of your trip:
- Have a plan B. My friends and I heard rumors about storms touching Florida that weekend, so we had additional things to do just incase. Boozy Crafts was our back up for our original plan to go to Apollo Beach. It all worked out!
- Pick comfy and cute outfits. Whenever I explore a new area, I prioritize comfort. It’s not worth being uncomfortable for a cute picture. Plan your outfits around your comfort, so you can enjoy all of your activities!
- Try local food spots. I can guarantee there’s probably a McDonald’s in every corner of the modern world. Unless you’re in a pinch and need a quick meal for whatever reason, opt to try local cuisine! Lakeland had different things to offer compared to Hispanic Miami, so I indulged. The perfect example was Fred’s Market. Seriously, come to Miami!!
- Another must try foodie spot is Armature Works in Tampa. Think of it like a market with different vendors and restaurants. Miami peeps, think of Wynwood Yard.
- Some Lakeland suggestions: Black ‘N Brew, Mission BBQ and Born & Bread.
- Bring sunscreen and bug repellant no matter what. It wasn’t particularly sunny in Lakeland because of the rain, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a sunburn. The humidity brought out all the bugs, so I regret not bringing bug repellant. It’s best to think ahead and put it on if you’re wearing anything that exposes your skin.
What do you think of my Central Florida itinerary? We all loved the girl’s trip and want a repeat! What are some things you enjoy doing in Central Florida with friends? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!