I’ve been dreaming of warmer weather so decided to take our #travelwithcompass series down south to Florida. Our friend and colleague Bekah Rush of The Rush Collection in Tampa and St. Petersburg has been tempting us with her dreamy waterfront listings on instagram, so we knew who to go to for a Florida fix! She shared her best tips on where to stay, dine, beach and boat in the area. I can second that the Don CeSar Hotel is fabulous. It’s where I started my lifelong relationship with a dirty martini!
Where would you recommend people stay for a visit to your city?
If you’re visiting Tampa, you must stay at the new Edition Hotel in Waterstreet. It’s walking distance to incredible restaurants, shopping, and waterfront walking trails. If you’re visiting St. Petersburg, The Vinoy is a must. It’s iconic St. Pete- built in 1925 as a warm escape for Northern visitors. Like Tampa, The Vinoy is walking distance to everything you could possibly want to do in St. Petersburg during your stay.
What are the not to miss restaurants or dining experiences in your city?
In Tampa, our newest must hit spot is Ponte for an upscale experience and don’t miss the salmon wagyu. Other favorites include, Restaurant BT for French-Vietnamese and true “foodie” experience, On Swann for great atmosphere, food and espresso martinis, Oxford Exchange for Saturday brunch, and Buddy Brew Coffee for breakfast.
Tampa Bay is known for being the birthplace of the cuban sandwich (despite what Miami residents claim) and our favorite BY FAR is Bodega in St. Pete. Other go-to’s in St. Pete are Wild Child (don’t miss the tuna tostadas), Casita Taqueria for craveable street tacos, Brick and Mortar, The Helm at St. Pete Beach for the best lobster rolls in town, and Kahwa coffee is our favorite local brew.
Where should people go to get a great beach day or experience on the water?
Best beach day would be renting a cabana at the Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete Beach, aka the “Pink Palace”. It’s a landmark hotel with famous visitors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, sugar-fine sandy beach, world-class spa, and cocktail servers – what more could you ask for?
What are some other fun or interesting things to do in your city that people may not think of?
Many people may not know, but Tampa Bay has an incredible art scene. Some of our favorites include The Tampa Museum of Art, The Salvador Dali Museum in St. Pete, The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art (St. Pete), The Chihuly exhibit (St. Pete), and the Museum of Fine Arts (St. Pete).
We are also home to a huge craft beer scene- in fact, the largest in the state. Our favorite spots to hit include Cigar City Brewery, Coppertail Brewing Company, Green Bench Brewing Company, 3 Daughters Brewing, and Pinellas Ale Works.
Tampa/ St. Pete now has a Cross Bay Ferry which is an excellent way to see both sides of the bay in one day. Armature Works in Tampa is a cool spot for dining, outdoor entertainment and people watching. In St. Pete we have the new Pier which is an architectural marvel, and St. Pete boat tours are a fun way to see the city by water. For dog lovers, St. Petersburg has also been named the most dog-friendly city in the US.
Give us a flavor of what it’s like working with The Rush Collection?
Mom and I have lived, worked, and played in Tampa Bay for over 26 years. We both have extensive backgrounds in interior design, renovations, and remodels. As founding agents in the St. Petersburg office, we are proud to be in the top 1% of realtors in our area and absolutely love selling real estate here.
Like the Goodharts, we are a mother/daughter team who work all sides of the bay from Tampa to St. Petersburg, and Clearwater down to Sarasota. One of the most unique experiences we like to offer are home tours by boat! It’s a great way to see the city from an all new perspective. Here are a couple of our current listings, in case you are interested in real estate in the area!
692 Bayway Blvd | Clearwater Beach
730 28th Street North | St. Pete (this might be sold by the weekend)