It’s the most wonderful time of the year….. That’s the song that was playing last month around our house and will continue to play on through January. Why, you ask? Obviously it’s because January means only one thing to the TRUE locals here in the Bay Area, GASPARILLA!
The countdown has begun and since Ryan and I were absent from Gasparilla last year due to a close friend’s New York wedding, we are back in full force and ready to take on the drunken pirates stumbling up and down Bayshore Blvd. We have our out-of-towners booked in their “guest quarters” and have begun “bootifying” the house so to speak to be ready for the big day. Beads, pirates, skulls, treasure, and parrots are definitely a must when you think of the staple Gasparilla decorations. But where can you find these hidden gems around the Bay? Look no further! Just like last year, I have compiled a list of some great local spots that offer true pirates at heart a chance to dabble in all the Gaspy fun!
Disclaimer: In honor of Gasparilla, I totally pirated some of these pics from Instagram and Facebook! ENJOY!
Salt Pines: Located in Hyde Park Village, Salt Pines has tons of unique gifts and fashion merchandise. We love the skull and crossbones design fitted with a sweet bowtie tee! And for the ladies, Bourbon and Boweties has also designed an EXCLUSIVE Gasparilla bangles at Salt Pines. So AWESOME!
Why Not Boutique?: This boutique, located on W. Bay to Bay, has TONS of girly garrrghb for all the pirate gals out there. Check out their Facebook page for updated pics of their coolest pieces.
Gasparilla Pirate Poster.com by Nick Gulick: This online site, also a shop on Etsy, offers an annual Gasparilla poster. If you are looking to ad some original art to your home this year or if you are trying to find that unique gift to bring to a pirate party, then you should DEFINITELY snag a limited edition poster from Nick’s site. Since 2012, Nick Gulick has been designing and producing these really cool Gasparilla inspired pirate posters. This year’s design is being finalized and is available for pre-order now on the website. If you aren’t looking to spend a few bucks for an original Gasparilla poster, no worries here. Nick has even added FREE IPhone Wallpaper to his site. Just add it to your cart and it will download, FREE OF CHARGE. You will be stumbling around in style come January 31st! Also, check out the awesome video below of how last year’s pirate poster was created!
The Making of a Gasparilla Pirate Poster from Creative Motion Inc. on Vimeo.
Blind Tiger Cafe (Black & Denim) Located in Ybor, Blind Tiger Cafe boasts not only the Black and Denim clothing line, but also Cowork Ybor and a coffee shop featuring Buddy Brew Coffee and baked goods from Piquant. While stopping in last week, we came across a few Tampa Bay original tees and lightweight scarves for guys and girls just in time for Gasparilla. Spoiler alert: I will be wearing my black v-neck tee this year thanks to the guys at Black and Denim. Additional designs will be released closer to the big day too!
Pinky’s: A breakfast favorite here at NHIE, Pinky’s also has a small “annex” next store to the restaurant. On my stop in, I found a few quirky items to help take your Gasparilla gear to the next level!
Squaresville Tampa: If you have lived in South Tampa as long as we have, you know this place really well. Formerly located on S. Howard Ave, Squaresville offers retro decor and clothing options. Each year, they are an easy stop to find pirate coozies and Gaspy tees for both guys an girls. Beware though, they typically wait until closer to Gasparilla to put out all of their tees.
The Gifted Fig: This small shop located on W. Bay to Bay was one I happened to stumble upon this year. A new stop on my route around town, The Gifted Fig has items for people both big and small. From baby gear to pirate rings, they had tons of unique items at really reasonable prices.
Creme De La Creme: Located right next door to The Gifted Fig, you can kill two birds with one stone by stopping here. This shop offers wreaths, jewelry, clothing, pirate swords and much more. Not to mention, they had tons of other fun items to snag along the way.
Oh Whatever/ Forty Three Oh 3/ Summer House Marketplace: Located on S. Manhattan and an antique favorite of ours (See our other adventures here), we stopped in to surprisingly find TONS of cool Gasparilla gear. The coolest part… most of it was vintage and reasonably priced! Our favorites were the sweet skull glasses, the VINTAGE Gasparilla charm bracelet and the ceramic pirate cookie jar (I snagged the cookie jar on my way out). Updated daily, these spots are all right next to each other and share the same parking lot. If you are looking for really cool gifts for those party planners, look no further!
Ki Custom Designs: Another NHIE staple, we LOVE the original, handmade items Kimy creates. If you are stuck on what to get or don’t have the time to go on an adventure to find something fun, check out the website and order online!
Crave Spa: And since the ladies aren’t breaking the bank with these awesome steals around town, they might as well stop in at Crave to take advantage of the January Special: The Gasparilla Pedi!
I don’t know about you, but it’s DEFINITELY a pirate’s life for me!