Tampa Attractions

Tampa attractions to enjoy on vacation

What makes Tampa a great destination? Weather, architecture and of course, the many Tampa attractions. The Tampa Cruise Port is world class, and Tampa itself is a wonderful away from home to prepare for a cruise. Also to quarantine after disembarking. So whether you’re about to sail, or looking for a great holiday with the personal touch, Erehwon Retreat is ideal.

Tampa Attractions Erehwon RetreatWorld-Class Theme Parks

You can explore the adrenaline-pumping roller coasters of Busch Gardens (5.4 miles away). Then there’s the magic of the Florida Aquarium (3.8 miles away). And of course the famous Tampa Zoo at Lowry Park (1.1 miles). In conclusion, a world of fun is within easy reach of our vacation homes.

You’re safer in a private vacation rental and 2020 market growth confirms guests agree.

Tampa Attractions Erehwon RetreatNatural Beauty

Our vacation home rentals sit under 90-year-old camphor and Laurel Oak trees. You can take a cool dip in the Gulf of Mexico (23 miles) or sulphur springs Pool (1.5 miles). Let us suggest many quiet hikes and springs within an hour’s drive. Maybe you’d enjoy kayaking on the Hillsborough River, swim with the manatees, or pick up the pace with an airboat ride. Perhaps you’d enjoy a round of golf? In Florida the outdoor possibilities are endless.

Tampa Attractions Erehwon RetreatDowntown Excitement

Amongst the many other Tampa attractions we have brewpubs, fine cuisine, art, dazzling dance clubs and a century of Cuban culture. There are so many treasures to discover. Our vacation rentals are just three miles from downtown. So it’s easy to bike, jog, scooter downtown.  Of course you’ll meet locals and like-minded travelers strolling the Riverwalk. It’s perfect for stopping into Ulele’s for Oysters or riding the Pirate water taxi.

 

Cruise Ships

Tampa Attractions Erehwon Retreat

Start your cruise early or take a few days to recoup at the end of your adventure. Our vacation rentals are within easy access of Tampa’s cruise ship terminal.

 

Tampa Attractions Erehwon RetreatLocal Happenings

Why not be part of annual celebrations like the famous Plant City Strawberry Festival (think 100,000 cake or biscuit shortcakes)?  Other Tampa attractions include the Tampa Bay Food & Wine Festival and Bicycle Bash by the Bay. Finally, there's the Gasparilla Pirate Festival and Parade, held each January since 1904.

So kick off your flip-flops and let the Gulf Shore breeze carry you to sun-kissed fun 245 days a year?

Choosing Exterior Paint Colors For our Historic Homes

Selecting Colors for Erehwon Retreat

                                Choosing Exterior Paint Colors For our Historic Homes Erehwon Retreat                              Choosing Exterior Paint Colors For our Historic Homes Erehwon Retreat          

As a boy in Pasadena, CA, I remember my mother reading Huckleberry Finn.  Huck is an archetypal innocent, able to discover the “right” thing to do despite the prevailing theology and prejudiced mentality of the South of that era.  We were renting a Bungalow in 1949, so that’s when my association of Bungalows and Mark Twain began.

While in college in St. Louis, I made a weekend drive to Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum at 206-208 Hill Street, Hannibal, Missouri, on the west bank of the Mississippi River.  It was shortly after reading that it had been designated  a National Historic Landmark on December 29, 1962.

For historic homeowners, the decision is often more complex than taking a quick trip to the paint store. It’s often important to know what the original exterior and interior colors coated the wall. Architectural historians routinely research and document this type of information.  This can provide owners with a greater understanding of the design tastes of particular periods.  For me, it was looking for an appropriate color after completing the interior restoration of Erehwon. Choosing Exterior Paint Colors For our Historic Homes Erehwon RetreatPrior to moving to Minneapolis in 1982, I used Valspar’s clear Varnish on the restoration of a 1923 Wianno Senior Knockabout Sloop.  My experience over three years in restoration came to a head while standing on a high promitory overlooking Lake Minnetonka.  I was attending a cocktail party hosted by George and Sally Pillsbury.  When former State Senator Pillsbury introduced me to C Angus Wurtele (Chairman of Valspar) and his wife Margaret.  Can you imagine Wurtel’s face when I said “may I introduce you to “Corsair” pointing to out to a nearby mooring buoy—all the Varnish is Valspar.”

Valspar was the first ever clear varnish; developed by L. Valentine Pulsifer. Pulsifer had joined the company in 1903 after earning a degree in chemistry from Harvard University. After three years of experimentation, he created the clear varnish, which went into production by 1905. The Valspar varnish was the company’s main product for more than 30 years. The advertising tagline, “The varnish that won’t turn white” made Valspar a household name.

Famous users of Valspar included Robert Peary in his 1909 expedition, the U.S. military during World War I, Bungalow home owners in the 1920’s and Charles Lindbergh during his 1927 solo intercontinental flight.

Twenty six years after meeting the Wurtele’s, I was deep into the restoration of Erehwon Retreat when I read that Valspar had teamed up with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to create more than 250 historically accurate colors for historic homes.

I was interested in green. Green is the color of life, renewal, nature, and energy.  I think green has a healing power and is understood to be the most restful and relaxing color for the human eye to view.  With the color green’s association with renewal, growth and hope, what a great color for a Retreat. New growth and rebirth, common each spring season the world over when all of the plants are coming back to life with fresh growth.

I selected Valspar’s Olive Green (#6001-2A).  And Pittsburgh Paint’s Cherokee Red Taliessan created by Frank Lloyd Wright.

You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus – Mark Twain

 

Rediscovering the Front Porch

Rediscovering the Front Porch

Rediscovering the Front Porch Erehwon Retreat

A guest recently said, ” the Bungalow’s front porch is the perfect cure all to all the digital screens we look at daily. How we’ve become used to the increasing hum and fans of electronics in our lives. We so enjoyed the renewal that came with this holiday home’s Front Porch along with the ease of a chat face to face with passing neighbors. Oh that Southern Hospitality! ”

The image of the front porch remains “as one of the few semi-public outdoor spaces associated with community and neighborliness,” says Victor Deupi of the Institute of Classical Architecture. Porches link us to an idealized past—one before e-mail (or even the telephone), when face-to-face interaction formed the core of communities. Then there are the practical considerations that have long kept the porch in favor: “Porches add beauty to a streetscape,” Depui says, “and they also offer environmental advantages by providing shade and breeze in the summer, and, if oriented south, allowing low winter light to enter the house.”

In contrast to many other American architectural traditions, however, the roots of our porches don’t appear to be found in Europe, but rather in the architectural heritage of colonial trading partners. Traders en route from the Caribbean to the British, French and Spanish colonies were influenced by island architecture, rich with large open porches to accommodate the humid climate.

Bungalows, were the last major historic architectural style in the United States to incorporate the porch. Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes made great use of porches, which reach out from under his signature cantilevered roofs. Wright, however, had a tendency to reorient the porch from the front of the house to the side or back, wishing to maintain the privacy desired by the modern family while also preserving his belief in the importance of a connection to the outdoors.

This Old House writes, “Soon, streets filled with Model T’s and the twin indoor delights of television and air-conditioning, and a middle class focused more on work than leisure conspired to dethrone the porch from its prominent place in American culture. But the underlying love for porches and their associations with the American identity never waned, and recent decades have seen a revival of porch-building. The classic image of a front porch filled with family and friends on a hot summer evening has long been a symbol of traditional American values, and it’s one that still holds true today.”

1000 Guests at Erehwon Retreat

1000 guests are right

Sophie Tucker’s record ‘Fifty-million Frenchmen can’t be wrong’ alludes to the  free-and-easy attitude to drinking in France seven years into Prohibition in the U.S.A. A historian friend mentioned Tucker’s hit, after Erehwon Retreat’s 1000th guest checked out.  1000 guests are right because 2020 marks our tenth season. We’ve enjoyed a decade of:

  • welcoming vacationers,
  • practicing the skills of hospitality,
  • offering a relaxing, inspirational home base from which to explore Tampa and the wider central Florida region.

A thousand vacations … what makes Erehwon Retreat so special?

It’s been a decade of hard work to make Erehwon Retreat unique. Florida is full of places to vacation, so it’s been our mission to combine the t charm of a vacation home rental with superb features. We offer more space, safety, security plus white glove cleaning /disinfection, alongside a personal welcome and on-site concierge.

Wilcox Nursery and I planned to build a Florida native plant garden, to show visitors native plants and wildlife. Now they can spot them on local hikes. I hope that those in Executive Transfer while looking for a Florida home learn to help the environment and support wildlife. My dream has become a reality, delivering dozens of different native birds and butterflies to Erehwon Retreat’s doorstep.

Awards for Erehwon Retreat

This year the garden was designated a Wildlife Habitat by the National and Florida Wildlife Federation. It’s a huge honor, but more importantly,  vacationers who stay with us experience the best of Florida on their doorstep. My Grandmother said, “planting a garden is to believe in tomorrows.” Our garden is the tomorrow of our vacation rental.

The universal language of hospitality

I’ve always worked in the performing arts – so I have know music and dance are ways to communicate across boundaries. Since developing Erehwon Retreat, I’ve learned that hospitality is a universal language too. When Erehwon opened, it was aimed at Americans; today 12% of our guests are from overseas. Their expectations are different. Whether they come from America or Asia, it’s important to know their particular likes and dislikes – it makes for fascinating new discoveries.

Online hospitality for 1000 guests

Offering an experience of the 1920s to people from around the world is a joy. As part of our 10th anniversary, I developed a stronger guest experience, which is why, since December 8 we’ve made Erehwon Retreat  available in 25 different languages. I chose them through having hosted at least one guest from each language. For example, Erehwon Retreat hosted two guests from Argentina, and one each from Spain, Paraguay, Mexico and the Dominican Republic – hence our Spanish language site is  very popular! Looking back it’s hard to believe we’ve welcomed guests from so many countries.

The Erehwon Retreat perspective

From period decorative details to wildlife-watching opportunities over breakfast on the deck, I’ve designed my holiday house to be truly special and unique. Luxury one meant three-piece-suits and starched shirts, but that’s changing and our guests want a  genuine approach to service rather than formalities. Many people agree that I’ve achieved my aim.

This year, Erehwon Retreat won the Tampa Award for Vacation Rental Agency. What makes my vacation home unique is my commitment to service. Just as AirBnB is moving to AirBnB Plus to offer guests a more valuable, unique rental experience, I know every future visitor will discover just what makes 1000 guests right. Erehwon Retreat is special, and whatever language you speak,  we’ll share the language of hospitality.

Give it up for Sophie Tucker …