If you don’t know the first, here’s a clue: Are you ready for some football?
The Big Game will be broadcast live from on Sunday, Feb. 1, giving owners of Tampa vacation homes a chance to capitalize on the thousands of out-of-towners looking for more comfortable accommodations than hotel rooms. If you’re one of the lucky holders of tickets for the game, well good for you. Raymond James Stadium is super fun, especially from Buccaneer Cove, which comes to life whenever the home team scores a touchdown with cannonball fire. The rest of us will be rallying the friend with the largest flatscreen TV to hold the bash at his house. (Not to be sexist, but in my living room, my husband controls the remote that day.)
But the clash of the NFL titans won’t be the only party in town that week.
On Feb. 7, the beloved tradition of Gasparilla invades Tampa Bay–literally. Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla barrels in through South Tampa via pirate boats, bringing more cannonball fire, swashbucklers, wenches and all. Like Mardi Gras, the festival takes its rowdiness to the streets. Locals squish on Bayshore Boulevard, a tony waterside strip fronted by million-dollar homes, to catch beads and people watch. It’s always a hoot.
Whatever party you attend that week, make sure to consider a vacation home, like this North Tampa rental by owner located just 10 minutes from the airport. The house, which has an in-ground pool and jacuzzi and sleeps 11 guests, is only $130 a night during the week and $140 a night on weekends.
At that affordable rate, you’ll feel like the pirate walking away with the loot.