Weekend getaway: Tampa Bay

Emilie Cole  |  February 8, 2024

Weekend getaway: Tampa Bay

Wonder. Wander. Repeat.


Maine winters can be long (this one hasn't been too bad, tho!). Pre-covid, I had a practice of escaping for a long weekend each month for a change of scenery and dose of vitamin D (and vitamin "sea"). Getting back to that routine, I booked a long weekend to visit a client near Tampa and invited a longtime friend to join me. 

We loved exploring our way through Hyde Park Village after landing ("Can you imagine bumping into Tom Brady here?" We could!) shopping and eating, and seeing the local Sotheby's office. We went for the water and warmth (er, I did wear my winter jacket the whole time, unfortunately), so opted to stay at the Wyndham Grand on the beach in Clearwater about 45 minutes away.  

Our room had perfectly soothing and serene sea colors, luxury amenities (oh, the spa!!), unspoiled soft sand across the way, and an Asian-fusion restaurant we may have visited three times. 

Our second day we drove to horse country in Ocala to see my client and observed fanciful live oaks, rolling fields and impressive estates. 

Later I linked up with the lovely Michelle Digiore of the Premiere Sotheby's International Realty office who showed me her and business partner Carol Pooley's picture-perfect rental bungalow in the darling town of Dunedin. Over coffee and then a driving tour of town I learned how similar our markets are (growing in popularity, beautiful new construction, a focus on high end redevelopment, and an overall increase in prices despite low inventory). Did you know there's a Maine-based Sea Love candle bar location there? 

After a spa day, hitting up a local's recommendation for crabcakes and some bubbly, we caught an early flight home - a quick 5 hour journey back to Portland by noon!




Michelle Digiore & Carol Pooley, Tampa Bay luxury living

Wyndham Grand Clearwater

Ocean Hai don't skip their brussels

Pallavi Spa

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