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localbaysics

22 Things To Do On Anna Maria Island, FL

Posted in Travel
on July 21, 2017
Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island has easily become my favorite beach town. As soon as I stepped foot on the white powdery sand beaches and looked out onto the long stretch of turquoise water, I was immediately hooked. Despite having grown up in Tampa Bay, I’m still in awe of the breathtaking beach views each and every visit.

The locals call it AMI and have done a great job of maintaining the island’s charm as it’s grown into such a popular tourist destination. No chain restaurants. No high rises. Even most of the large new builds stay true to the “feel” of the island. However, nothing could ever replace the old beach cottages found throughout the island.

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The Reading Room Restaurant: A Foodie Heaven

Posted in Eat + Drink, Tampa Bay
on June 13, 2017
Burrata at The Reading Room in St. Pete

After only two visits, The Reading Room restaurant has easily become one of my favorite dining destinations in St. Pete. Everything about this place excites me: the beautiful outside gardens, cool vibe, hip decor and especially the fantastic FOOD.

Seriously, what’s not to love?

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Downtown Dunedin Day Trip

Posted in Tampa Bay, Travel
on June 7, 2017

Downtown Dunedin is about a 45-minute car ride from downtown St. Pete. In the past, my whereabouts in this town have consisted of one type of place: breweries (which they have plenty of and all are amazing). So despite having made the day trip to Dunedin numerous times, I had never spent the day exploring Main St. or the surrounding shops.

Knowing it’s a beach town, I half expected tourist-y stores full of cheesy souvenirs.  But what I found was quite the opposite; the shops are just as charming as the town itself.

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Ocean Hai at the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach

Posted in Eat + Drink, Tampa Bay
on May 4, 2017
Lobster Fried Rice at Ocean Hai

I was recently invited to dine at Ocean Hai at the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach. The upscale restaurant located amidst tourists and beach-goers stands out as one of the more high end places to dine on Clearwater Beach. Head Chef John Capponi (previously of On Swann) and his kitchen staff carefully prepare Asian-inspired dishes that add a fine dining twist to the dishes you’ve come to know and love. The Asian-fusion cuisine combines flavors from many different regions and even includes a separate sushi menu.

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A Local’s Guide to St. Pete: Quickest Lunch Spots Downtown St. Pete

Posted in Eat + Drink, Tampa Bay
on March 25, 2017

It’s no secret that there are an overwhelming amount of St. Petersburg restaurants to choose from to satisfy those pre-lunch time hunger pangs. We all want the same thing: food that is both delicious + quick because let’s face it, we’re all busy people. So I’ve put together a list of my favorite quickest lunch spots downtown St. Pete (or in the surrounding area) that won’t take all day.

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A Local’s Guide to Tampa: Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen

Posted in Eat + Drink, Tampa Bay
on January 4, 2017

So this really cool thing happened to me a couple months ago. I was approached by BestFoodTampa (My Fab 5 if you are familiar with that) to be one of their community leaders. What did I say? Heck YES. So be sure to follow along find on Instagram as I (along with a couple others) find YOUR foodie photos to feature the local restaurants in Tampa Bay. Part of the role includes going to restaurants + events on their behalf so I’m sharing my first experience at Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen with you here on the blog… Enjoy!

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Hidden Gems: Old Southeast Market

Posted in Eat + Drink, Tampa Bay
on November 27, 2016

If you haven’t been to the Old Southeast Market yet, you need to check it out NOW. The part deli, part food + drink mart has recently added a “make your own” Poke bar. Yep, that’s right! Foodies and health nuts alike can rejoice.

If you don’t know what Poke is, it’s basically like creating your own sushi roll sans the roll. I have to admit I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect upon my first visit. I had seen and heard about Poke bowls but never actually had one. I decided to just go with a few of my favorite items and the results were d e l i s h.

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Eat Here: Noble Crust in St. Pete

Posted in Eat + Drink, Tampa Bay
on October 27, 2016

Simply put – I love Noble Crust in St. Pete. The menu is both southern comfort food and traditional Italian with a focus on seasonal ingredients. Right now, during Fall, you can try the sweet potato ravioli in sage brown butter with BBQ spiced pecans.

Of course there are the staple menu items that aren’t going anywhere. The fried chicken, for instance, is what they’re known for and damn is it good. And they’ll always have pizza but the toppings may change from season to season.

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Explore Here: Saturday Morning Market

Posted in Eat + Drink, Tampa Bay, Travel
on October 20, 2016

The Saturday Morning Market has become sort of an institution in St. Pete. Thousands of people come out every Saturday to visit their favorite vendors who set up shop at the weekly market. It’s become one of the largest outdoor markets in the country that operates year round (in the summer months, the market moves a few blocks away to the more shaded area of Williams Park).

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