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

National Running Day

With today being National Running Day, we started thinking about all the fantastic ways you can stay fit and healthy in downtown Tampa, whether you're an avid runner or want to try other workouts. Exercise doesn't always have to feel like work; staying active in our city is actually pretty easy.

 

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1) The Tampa Riverwalk

This is a given! Our hotel sits only steps from the northern end of the Riverwalk (right where it stops just above the Straz Center) so you can actually get a decent jog, walk or even bike in. If you run from our hotel and back along the 1.8 mile trail, you can complete a good distance in our urban setting. The Riverwalk is well-paved, well-lit and it even has Wi-Fi so you can stream music without having to worry about chewing up your own mobile data plan. 

 

 

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2) Tampa Bay Water Bikes
These quirky-looking contraptions are actually quite fun and are a great way to scope scenic views of our city and the Hillsborough River, all while raising your heart rate. Find out more about renting them at www.tampabaywaterbikes.com.

 

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3) Zumba in the Park

Is dance-inspired cardio your thing? Then Zumba is for you. Again, you get great views of the River, as these free classes are held every Tuesday night (weather permitting) at 6:00 PM at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Presented by the Downtown Tampa Partnership and the Downtown Tampa YMCA. Check out Zumba in the Park's Facebook page.

 

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4) 813 Fit Club At The Barrymore

Every Tuesday night, step into our hotel for free BeachBody/P90X group fitness classes. Yes, this class is free too, and they are challenging. Meet in our Monarch Ballroom every Tuesday night at 6:30 PM. Sometimes, they hold their classes outdoors also in Curtis Hixon Park, lead by an 813 Fit Club Fitness Coach. Check out 813 Fit Club's MeetUp page and Facebook page.

 

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4) Bamboozle Fit Club

The popular downtown Vietnamese fusion restaurants with a menu that's equally delicious as it is healthy also has their own fitness meet-up group. Also FREE and at Curtis Hixon Park at 6:00 PM on Wednesdays. The classes range from Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates to Boot Camp. More info.

 

5) Tampa Urban Run Club at Duckweed Urban Grocery
Made possible by Duckweed Urban Market and Sweatshop Fitness downtown, run a 5k on Thursday nights. Meet at Duckweed Market at 5:30, run starts at 6PM (weather permitting). Stick around at The Duck for tasty beverages and snacks afterwards! 

Local Tampa Bay Breweries You Need To Visit

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No matter where you turn, it seems like a new microbrewery is popping up here, and there, and everywhere. That isn't a bad thing however, not for the beer connoisseur that wants to imbibe unique flavor profiles and support the local economy - all in the name of good booze. Here's some of our favorite Tampa breweries (in no particular order) to check out on your next weekend off or if you're visiting the Tampa Bay area. Drink local!

 

1) Tampa Bay Brewing Company: Nestled right in Historic Ybor City, Tampa Bay Brewing Company features 8 core and 38 seasonal proprietary beers, all made right here in Tampa. TBBC isn't only a brewery, but also houses a restaurant with a menu full of items far from your typical "bar food", and many are infused with their own beers. If you love hoppy, try an Old Elephant Foot IPA or a Reef Donkey IPA for a fruitier twist. If you're into deep, dark beers, try a Iron Rat Imperial Stout. It's much more than drinking a loaf of bread. Definitely try their True Blonde Ale - it's very crispy and dare we say refreshing. TBBC also features cask conditioned ales, which are naturally carbonated, unfiltered and served at cellar temperate. Find out more about TBBC at www.tampabaybrewingcompany.com

 

2) Coppertail Brewing Company: One of the newer breweries, Coppertail is also near Ybor City and uses the tried and true old-fashioned techniques such as whole-leaf hops and never filtering their brews. Kick back with a Free Dive IPA for that crisp, cool kick of hops or take a sip of the dark side with their rich and chocolately Porter. More about Coppertail Brewing Comapny at www.coppertailbrewing.com

 

3) Cigar City Brewing and Cigar City Brewpub: A Tampa favorite, Cigar City Brewing is known for some of its most popular beers including the Jai Alai IPA and Florida Cracker Ales, plus a wide array of seasonal beers, like the Cucumber Saison. Now that's one to try. The brewery is located just off I-275 and Dale Mabry, but for those hungry beer-lovers, Cigar City Brewing operates Cigar City Brewpub in Carrollwood. The Brewpub is also on North Dale Mabry, only a few miles from the brewery. Of course the menu isn't your typical run-of-the-mill tired bar food. Try the Swordfish Tacos, Chorizo Stuffed Peppers, the Yucca Fries, or even a Cheese and Charcuterie Board. More about Cigar City Brewing at www.cigarcitybrewing.com and more about Cigar City Brewpub www.cigarcitybrewpub.com

 

4) Angry Chair Brewing Company: That's a pretty unique name right? This brewery's name is about finding your "angry chair" - whether it's sitting in traffic, at work, at home - and getting away from it. It's about escaping the monotony of everyday life and things that make you "angry" - and getting back to things that make you happy. In this case, beer makes Angry Chair's staff very happy. Located in quirky and cool Seminole Heights, ACB brews up seasonal beers, currently featuring their Roundabout IPA, 3 Little Birds Florida Weisse and - are you ready? - a Germany Chocolate Cupcake Stout. We're heading straight for that one when we visit. More about Angry Chair Brewing at www.angrychairbrewing.com 

 

 

Row Tampa Christens Rowing Scull in Hotel's Honor

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This past weekend Lisa Reilly-Covington (Director of Sales) and Sherri Pearson (Front Desk Supervisor) attended the prestigious Tampa Mayor's Cup Regatta to accept the christening of a rowing scull in The Barrymore Hotel's honor.

"The Mayor’s Cup is one of the preeminent early-season rowing events featuring many of the top crews and athletes from around the country. With its inaugural event in 1975 as The University of Tampa’s President’s Cup Regatta, the races have become a key training event for many of the top universities and high schools such as The United States National Team, Yale, Dartmouth, Marietta, Temple, and The Kent School."

We are grateful to accept this honor as proud supporters of The Tampa Stewards Foundation/Row Tampa and are delighted to be the host hotel for many excellent rowing teams from around the country!

 

Source: USRowing.com

Barrymore Hotel's John Lennon Statue Featured in Article on TBO.com

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This week, our hotel was featured in an article by TBO.com about our John Lennon statue, featured on our hotel grounds. Sure, there may be no obvious ties of Lennon to our city, but surely everyone can relate to "giving peace a chance" in some way or another. As a downtown Tampa Arts District hotel, our acquisition of the statue, created by Cuban sculptor José Villa Soberón, coincides with our passion for the arts - all art: national, international and especially local Tampa area art. 

“When you came around the corner and you saw it, it just drew you right to it,” Cathy Ferguson said. “It was almost like he was going to talk to you. That was the kind of feeling.’’ Many passers-by stop and snap photos next to "Lennon," along with the Tampa skyline and Straz Center for the Performing Arts in the background. 

“Once it catches people’s eyes they are absolutely surprised when they see it there,” said Larry Collier Jr., general manager and director of hotel operations for H.I. Development, the Barrymore’s development and management company. “We’ve seen numerous people stop and take pictures with it. We’ve seen cars drive by, stop and turn around.’’

Read the full article on TBO.com.

The Best Beaches for Collecting Shells Near Tampa Bay

The month of March is here and if you're a Floridian, that means perfect beach weather is pretty much here. If you're not from around here, now's the time you probably have already started thinking about your next trip to the beach. One of our favorite pastimes is collecting shells on the powdery shores of our beaches. It's truly a wonder of nature just how many different shapes, colors and variations of even the same type of shell can exist. Grab your beach bag, your sunscreen and a keen eye - it's time to expand your shell collection.

 

1) Caladesi Island State Park:

undefinedLocated near Dunedin, this little snippet of Gulf Coast paradise is surrounded by crystal blue waters, loads of marine life and is draped in powder-fine white sands. This beach is only accessible by boat or personal watercraft, so the peaceful serenity of shell-hunting is all yours.

 

 

2) Honeymoon Island State Park undefined
Also located in Dunedin, this state park island is actually right next to Caladesi Island and features a pet-friendly beach. It is accessible via car across the Dunedin Causeway, with plentiful parking. You can also explore the Osprey Trail, which provides visitors without 2.5 miles of grounds to explore.

 

 


3) Fort Desoto State Park undefined
Fort DeSoto is made up of 3 miles of white sandy beaches, with the North Beach being the most popular for shelling, swimming and relaxing. This beach is located near St. Petersburg and also boasts ample campgrounds for overnight getaways at the shore.

 

 

4) Anna Maria Island and Egmont Key
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Near Bradenton, Florida, Anna Maria Island is a splendid taste of Old Florida island life, only about an hour's drive from the Tampa area. The best way to search for shells is by knowing the tides. Find out more about shelling in Anna Maria Island and the ferry to Egmont Key.

 

5) Marco Island
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Marco Island is about 3 hours from Tampa Bay (near Naples), but we had to add this destination to the list. If you love shells, get ready. And you better bring TWO beach bags to put them in. The amount of shells and variety available on the shores along Marco Island are astounding, and the sands are even finer than our Tampa Bay Gulf Coast Beaches. If you can't make it this far south on your trip this time, we highly recommend penciling it in your next vacation.

 

Sources: Florida State ParksFlorida RamblerIslandAnnaMaria.com

7 Mardi Gras Facts

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1) Mardi Gras actually means "Fat Tuesday," for those of us who don't speak French.

2) The first parade for Mardi Gras was held in New Orleans in 1857.

3) The Mardi Gras colors are purple, gold and green. Purple stands for justice, green stands for faith and gold represents power.

4) Masks were originally worn in early celebrations so all people could mingle and enjoy themselves without the constraint of different classes.

5) Bead-throwing originated with the purpose of tossing a strand to a person who stood for what each color meant. You're a faithful person? Have some green beads. These beads were originally made of glass, which we can imagine would have been quite a mess when not intercepted.

6) King Cakes are baked in honor of the "three kings." Made from twists of cinnamon dough, the cakes are oval in shape, to represent the unity of faiths, and are decorated in the traditional purple, gold and green colors. Each cake contains a small plastic baby, to represent the baby Jesus. The person who finds the plastic baby in their slice of cake is said to have good luck.

7) Carnival and Mardi Gras are not the same thing. Carnival refers to the fun that begins on January 6, The Feast of the Epiphany. Mardi Gras is the Tuesday before Lent begins on Wednesday, the next day.

 

Sources:

IB TimesNew Orleans ShowcaseUSA TodayMardi Gras New Orleans

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