Day One: Commerce Club at Oxford Exchange
I love the design of Oxford Exchange, so this was tops on my list and the first place I went this week. But, guess what - there's no public wifi to work from Oxford Exchange. For that, you'll get sent upstairs to their paid ($15 day pass) co-working space, Commerce Club. The light and facilities are gorgeous, and you can order lunch from Oxford Exchange to be delivered to you. There are also several gorgeous conference room spaces to rent.
The downside, from my perspective is that it was sooooo quiet. There were a handful of other people working from there, but no one spoke or looked up. I think that works for some people's brains, but mine needs a bit more external stimulation.
Great spot to work from, particularly if you're downtown and want total silence.
Day Two: Station House, St. Petersburg
I immediately vibed with the Station House style when I walked in the door. In the entry, there is a coffee shop, several hang out locations and conference rooms - and fun music. For wifi access, I paid for the day pass ($20) and took a tour of the space. On the fourth and fifth floors, there are a lot of indoor and outdoor work spaces with a fun vibe. And people talked to each other.
I also had an incredible katsu chicken sandwich for lunch at Ichicoro Ane which is located in the basement. Everyone was incredibly friendly. If I was in St. Pete more often, I'd hang here. As it is, I'm usually more in Tampa, so I'm excited for their upcoming Hyde Park location.
If you are a social-creative, you'll love this spot.
Day Three: Blind Tiger SoHo
At home in DC, I often choose coffee shops or hotel lobbies over co-working spots, so I decided to focus on these locations next. I had a coffee meeting with an old colleague at Blind Tiger Coffee on South Howard.
It was the best cup of coffee I had while in the area. And, after my meeting I ended up staying for another hour working. Their wifi was solid and I didn't have to pay a day rate to hang. There were also other creatives working from there which lent a buzzy vibe that helps me get more done.
Perfect low maintenance go-to spot when in South Tampa
Day Four: Union Coffee at Armature Works
I was meeting a friend for lunch and arrived early, so I found a perch at Union Coffee & Tea Bar. I love Armature Works, so this was a great spot to hang for a bit. But, I think if I was to stay longer, I'd want to sit outside on a nice day or grab one of the comfy couches.
Just avoid trying to co-work during the lunch rush or you'll end up fighting for tables with dozens of moms in yoga pants with giant strollers.
It got so jammed that I jumped ship...
Awesome lighting and work space - as long as you're not there during lunch or dinner rush.
Day Four, Part Two: DI Coffee Shop
My friend Grace told me her favorite spot to work was DI Coffee Shop on Davis Island, so I zipped over the bridge. It was pretty perfect for me - good coffee, snacks, tons of seating areas that work well for laptops, a good amount of people, but not mobbed.
Of all of the coffee shops I visited on this trip, this is the one I could see myself working from most often.
Chill vibes, large farmhouse work tables, interesting people and good tunes.
It looks like I'll be back in Florida to do some work this fall. Let me know what spots I should check out next.