The River's Edge - Official Blog of The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk

Gasparilla and Barrymore hotel featured in Roanoke Times

Photo: Dr. Bill Carson courtesy of

January isn't only the beginning of a new year, but it's also the month one of Tampa's biggest festivals takes place - but only if you're willing to dress and talk like a pirate. The Gasparilla Pirate Festival on January 28th celebrates the legendary pirate Jose Gaspar and his invasion of Tampa, complete with a reenactment of the siege - it's basically Tampa's answer to Mardi Gras, but with pirates and yes, beads. 

The event is family-friendly, with a parade through the streets of South Tampa after the mayor "surrenders" the key to the city when the Gasparilla, Tampa's replica pirate ship with functioning cannons, docks at the Tampa Convention Center. Local bars and nightlife also partake in all the swashbuckling fun for landlubbers and seafarers alike. 

The Roanoke Times recently published an article about the Gasparilla Festival, featuring the Barrymore Hotel, which is located along the Riverwalk and near much of the Gasparilla action in Tampa. 

Enjoy the full article on the Roanoke Times website.

Tampa Ranks in Top 10 Best Oktoberfest Cities, Barrymore Hotel Official Oktoberfest Sponsor

undefinedPhoto credit: Oktoberfest Tampa

Fall is in the air - well, almost. In Florida, that means a slight decrease in humidity and less rain, but it also means Tampa's Oktoberfest celebration is right around the corner. According to a recent article by WalletHub, Tampa ranks #7 on the list of the best cities to celebrate liederhosen while drinking a German beer. The list compared the 100 largest cities in the US and based the determination on certain criteria, including price of festival tickets, which Tampa also ranked well. Ranking 7th out of 100 is not to shabby!

Tampa's Oktoberfest celebration on its own ranks #5 on's list of best Oktoberfests across the country. This year's event features an enhanced VIP experience which will include a Concierge where guests can charge their cell phones, leave message post-it's for other VIP friends on the Missed Connections board, coordinate a last-minute hotel stay downtown, or submit any other requests. Plus, VIP offers free Stein refills and no lines. Everyone is invited to kick off the event with the inaugural keg tapping on Friday October 7th, with the whole event running through Sunday October 9th. 

undefinedThe Barrymore Hotel is the official hospitality partner of Oktoberfest Tampa for the second year in a row. The hotel's close proximity to the event in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park (less than 0.5 miles), makes it an economical and logical choice for festivalgoers seeking to indulge responsibly. Walk the short distance or, The Barrymore offers free shuttle service within 2 miles from 7AM until 11PM daily.



Buy Oktoberfest Tampa Event tickets at

Prost and cheers!


Pedal the Pavement: Barrymore Hotel Earns Bronze Level Bike-Friendly Business Designation


During National Bike to Work Week The Barrymore Hotel coasted right along into a Bronze Level designation as a League of American Bicyclists Bike-Friendly Business (BFB℠), joining the ranks with 14 others who also earned Bronze Level. Tampa is now the largest Bicycle Friendly Business city in the state of Florida, with 1 Gold and 8 Silver Level businesses on the roster as well, making that a total of 24 BFB's.

To be a bike-friendly business, certain attributes must be present. For example, BFB's have incentive programs encouraging employees to bike to work, or they host organized staff rides and encourage employees to participate in other social rides.

Bike-Friendly Businesses also provide secure and ample parking for bicycles, or participate in a bike sharing program, such as locally operated Coast Bike Share. The Barrymore Hotel is slated to be a future hub for the program. The sky blue bikes will be parked out in front of the hotel, directly next to the new Zipcar car-sharing parking spots. Getting around Tampa from The Barrymore has never been easier for guests.

As a BFB, The Barrymore Hotel is looking forward to becoming a Coast Bike Share hub. With a location right along Tampa's Riverwalk, gaining the hub will allow guests to not only get around town faster and easier, but also without a carbon footprint. Plus, having the bicycles readily available encourages guests to enjoy the city, experience the scenic Tampa Riverwalk, and even get a little exercise.


See the list of all current Bike Friendly Businesses here.  

About the League of American Bicyclists The League of American Bicyclists is leading the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. As leaders, our commitment is to listen and learn, define standards and share best practices to engage diverse communities and build a powerful, unified voice for change.

Barrymore Hotel to be One of New Downtown Tampa Zipcar Hubs


TAMPA FL: The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk announced today that they will be home to one of downtown Tampa’s newest Zipcar locations, with two Zipcars on-site. Now, when you stay at The Barrymore in downtown Tampa, renting a car only for a few hours or for the entire duration of your stay just got a lot easier.

undefined“We are extremely excited to be one of this innovative company’s first downtown locations, bringing more transportation options to the city center and beyond with ease,” stated Larry E. Collier, Jr., General Manager of The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk. “We know our guests want the most convenient and hassle-free way to enjoy their visit and we believe Zipcar’s product offers just that.

As an environmentally-conscious business, we appreciate that car-sharing programs can reduce the amount of personally owned vehicles on the road, the demand for gasoline and pollution in the air we breathe.”

undefinedZipcar can be described as a “micro rental,” service, but with maximal flexibility. If you need a car for only an hour, rent it for an hour and return it to the same pickup location. If you need it for 5 days, rent it for 5 days. Each rental includes the cost of gas, insurance, and up to 180 miles per day.

According to Zipcar’s website, 10% of the population is expected to participate in car-sharing in the future instead of owning their own vehicles. Car-sharing can not only reduce humankind’s carbon footprint, but it also opens up the potential for more green space instead of parking space – less concrete jungle and more actual jungle.

The other downtown hubs will be located at the Tampa Convention Center and Skyhouse Channelside (with two Zipcars each). On Wednesday April 27th from 9:15-9:45am at the Tampa Convention Center’s parking lot (on the south side of the center), there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the launch of Zipcar’s new downtown locations. All are welcome to attend.

5 Romantic Ways to Spend Valentine's Day in Downtown Tampa

Love is in the air in downtown Tampa. Our city's downtown has lots of romantic things to do with your sweetheart. Whether you love food or adventure, Tampa is a city that will surely win your heart.


Picnics in the Park

Our downtown is filled with lots of public green spaces, like Curtis Hixon Park, Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park and Lykes Gaslight Square Park. Pack a lunch, pick up sushi at Publix on Bayshore, or grab a bite "to go" at one of the many downtown gastropubs and restaurants, then cozy up on a warm blanket for an afternoon enjoying the outdoors together. Cotanchobee Park and Curtis Hixon Park both are directly on the Riverwalk, so a post-lunch stroll would definitely have to be in order after the picnic. 
photo credit:


Take the TECO Line Streetcar to Ybor City

We don't know about you, but we think the streetcar is loads of fun to ride. However, it isn't only just entertaining; it's also a convenient way to travel between downtown Tampa and historic Ybor City. After your picnic in the park, hop on at one of the many stops in the southern part of the city (or, in front of Hattrick's Tavern on Franklin Street; this would be the closest place to embark if you are in Lykes Gaslight Park) and ride over to our quirky, Cuban-influenced area of town filled with the scent of cigars and home to one of Tampa's top breweries, Tampa Bay Brewing Company. Sample some local brews with a tasting flight, then head over to....
See the streetcar's schedule and maps
photo credit:


Dinner at the Iconic Columbia Restaurant
Columbia Restaurant is the oldest restaurant in the state of Florida, owned and operated by 5 generations for over 110 years. Their nightly flamenco dance show is a must-see and the "1905 Salad" is a must-try. If you love authentic (and did we mention) delicious Cuban food, Columbia is a must-visit for you and your Valentine. Sip sweet sangria with your sweetheart and share one of their many delicacies such as their signature "Paella de la Valenciana." 
photo credit:

See a Film at the Historic Tampa Theatre

Historic places emanate romance! "Upon entering under the Theatre’s “blade sign” marquee, audiences are transported to a lavish, romantic Mediterranean courtyard, replete with old-world statuary, flowers and gargoyles." Over it all is a realistic night sky filled with twinkling stars. See the theatre's current showings here - however, this Valentine's Day they're showing Shakespeare in Love!
photo credit:


Activities on the Water

There's no shortage of amusing ways to get out on the water for those who prefer a nature-centric approach to their Valentine's Day. There's always our favorite spot along the Hillsborough River, Urban Kai, to rent kayaks and stand-up paddle boards, eBoats Tampa for an eco-friendly way to cruise and those crazy-looking "water bikes" for an unconventional way to paddle around and burn off some calories from all that Valentine's chocolate you've been eating.
photo credit:



Great Places to Enjoy the Water Around Tampa Bay That Aren't the Beach

1). Weedon Island State Preserve


You want mangroves? They've got mangroves. On your paddle board or kayak, weave through the untouched beauty of nature at Weedon Island State Park. There is also a kayak rental place close to the boat and kayak launch if you don't own your own gear.
Photo from


2) Hillsborough River at Waterworks Park


Literally located right outside our back door, Waterworks Park is technically within walking distance of our hotel. The recently opened park features plenty of place space for kids with a water park themed playground and the new boat docks and kayak/paddle board slips that were recently opened. Even if you don't like to get out on the water, the park is a great spot to relax and enjoy a bite at the new, trendy Ulele Restaurant on site.


3) Lithia Springs Park


This park is a great attraction because the water temperate stays around a steady 72 degrees year round. This is also a popular spot for camping.
More about Lithia Springs:


4) Courtney Campbell Causeway


This stretch of Highway 60 features a paved trail perfect for biking, running and walking that runs alongside the causeway. The trail starts near Ben T. Davis Beach (if you want to visit a bay beach, this is an option) and runs all the way across Tampa Bay to Clearwater. If you want to log some serious miles, enjoy great views of the water and enjoy the outside, the Causeway is for you. The recent completion of the Courtney Campbell Trail gives pedestrians a safe way to get from the Tampa side of the Bay to the Clearwater side, and also makes it much easier to sync up with the nearby Pineallas trail on the Clearwater side for those looking to go the distance.
Photo from


Home ← Older posts