Johnny Was Blog
Just in time for summer, we opened up our Johnny Was flagship store at International Plaza in Tampa, Florida. While this city may get eclipsed by the bells and whistles of other state hot spots like Miami and Key West, we think Tampa has a great mix of museums, food and the chic downtown is super easy to walk, jog or cycle thanks to the city’s 300 rental bikes. So, here’s how we rolled, snacked and enjoyed The Big Guava (yes, that is the official nickname).
Where to stay
We love the Hyde Park Hotel for many reasons, but our top two would be that it’s packed with charm and in the centrally-located Hyde Park neighborhood where you can walk to tons of cool restaurants and shopping spots. Another great option is the classic Tahitian Inn, which has been in operation since the 50’s and features a classic Tiki bar, poolside lounging and amazing spa.
What to eat
Don’t miss Ybor City, a national historic district that started out in the 1800’s as a cigar-making mecca but has now bloomed into a great area to wander and check out the gorgeous Art Deco and Victorian architecture. While there, grab lunch at Columbia Restaurant, which is not only the oldest restaurant in Florida but also serves up traditional Cuban and Spanish dishes in a stunning courtyard setting. For dinner, make a reservation at Ulele, which is housed in a striking 100-year-old water plant, has its own brewery as well as the best locally-caught seafood in the city. If cocktails are more the order of the evening, hit up the old-school speakeasy vibe of Ciro Stampa, where you call ahead to get the day’s password to enter and can choose from a dizzying array of drinks and bar snacks (don’t miss the duck fat fries).
Where to go
One of our favorite cultural visits is the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in downtown Tampa. This strikingly-designed building collects, preserves and exhibits historic and contemporary works by different photographers, and always has a refreshing mix of recognizable and unknown images. Next, jump on one of the classic Teco streetcars as it’s a unique way to see the city. Another one-of-a-kind experience is to take the half hour drive over to St. Petersburg and visit the Salvador Dali Museum which features an unsurpassed permanent collection of over 2,000 works by the surrealist artist. When you’re done pop into their restaurant, Cafe Gala, for a glass of cava and some Spanish olives.
Finally, no trip is complete with a few of our favorites from our Johnny Was spring collections. Here are some of our favorites. Enjoy