Breakfast at Datz (9am)
Tampa is on the agenda for today, about a 45-minute ride from Clearwater Beach. Bring some swimsuits and towels, which might come in handy over at Florida Aquarium. You’ll start your day at Datz, which have a totally mouthwatering brunch menu. Everything on their menu is amazing.
We like the Chicken ‘n Waffle Benedict because it consists of three of our favorite menu items – all in one. Genius. And nothing beats some Biscuits & Crazy in the morning. Got a sweet-tooth? Try the gooey Monkey Bread or fluffy Spiced Apple Pancakes. Quench your thirst and put a pep in your step with the Salted Caramel Cold Brew.
Explore Tampa’s waterways with eBoats (10:30am – 1:30pm)
After brekkie you head to Tampa Riverwalk where eBoats are based. Be sure to download the Park Mobile app and add your credit card and license plate number prior to arriving for easy parking.
eBoats is a great way to explore Tampa from the water, very easy to use (yes, even first timers) and fun for the whole family. Keep a lookout for dolphins as you cruise along Tampa’s waterways. It holds up to 10 people comfortably and runs on a quiet electric motor, making it super easy to maneuver down the Hillsborough River. eBoats provides life jackets of all sizes and there’s a Bluetooth speaker, so you can play all your favorite jamz.
You can bring food and drinks, but we recommend just bringing a cooler of bottled water, kids’ drinks and an adult beverage or two for the ride, and docking at Armature Works for lunch.
*Note: Operators must be at least 25 years old with valid ID.
Dock for lunch at Armature Works (12 PM)
There are loads of awesome waterfront eateries at your disposal, and the Armature Works concept is by far the biggest. A food lover’s paradise in the shape of a huge industrial-styled market space, here you’ll find tons of cool eateries headed up by some of the best chefs in the Bay Area. From refined burgers, to sushi prepared to perfection, fresh Mediterranean delicacies, Cuban fare and Insta-worthy desserts, there’s something for everyone here.
Grab your food to go and take it out on the boat and each lunch on the river. Armature works is a great place to hang and let the kids run, but remember the meter is ticking on your boat rental. One hr will be enough to check out the market, get lunch and make it back to the boat.
Then cruise on and check out all the amazing views. You’ll pass several bridges and parks as you go along. If you have time left, you can stop at Harbor Island for some shopping before heading back to eBoats.
Marvel at Florida Aquarium (2:15pm – 5pm)
The Florida Aquarium has more than 9000 animals and sea-creatures on display but is also doing a lot of conservation work. The kids usually love watching the gators, sharks and sea turtles up close. And the “touch” tanks with stingrays, starfish and urchins always go down a treat. You can also book a 20-minute VIP experience ‘behind the scenes’ with super cute African penguins, letting you take pics and pet them. (Best booked in advance.)
For the smaller ones there is also The Splash Pad, a water play area letting kids blow off some steam, with plenty of chairs for mom and dad to relax.
Dinner & Chill at Sparkman Wharf (5:30-7:30pm)
Next, head over to Sparkman Wharf – it’s just a short walk from the Aquarium, so you can even leave your car parked there. This waterfront joint is a nice place to chill with family and friends (including doggo), with tons of food stands, yummy desserts, specialty coffee and craft beers on offer. On weekends, they often have live music entertainment as well. As it’s right on the Riverwalk, you have great views of the port with its many cruise ships, there’s also plenty of lawned outdoor space for the little ones to run around.
Enjoy a game of bowling to work up your appetite, then either eat at Splitsville to enjoy classic Southern fare, or take your pick from all the other vendors on offer. If you are in the mood for Mexican, Jotoro is a great kid-friendly option! For dessert, grab some ice-cream over at Jeni’s.
(It makes sense to check their website in advance for any special pop-up events that are happening for your visit.)