Best Of 2008

BEST WAY TO TAKE A TRIP WITHOUT LEAVING TAMPA BAY: Gram’s Place

The eclectic charms of Grams Place.

Tucked into a Tampa Heights neighborhood, Gram’s Place is the hostel of choice for international travelers staying in the Tampa Bay area. On any given night, adventure-seekers from Russia to Holland stay there for a piece of Key West kitsch, music appreciation (it’s named after country-rock legend Gram Parsons) and European attitude. But locals are welcome, too. For as low as $23, you can grab a dorm-style bed in one of seven rooms, each with a musical theme. There are few amenities other than WiFi and free coffee — no continental breakfast, shuttles or alarm clocks — but travelers don’t come to Gram’s Place to stay in their rooms. They’re here for nights like the Thursday open jams, when even neighbors and local musicians come out to play music or take in the good vibes. 3109 N. Ola Ave., Tampa, 813-221-0596, grams-inn-tampa.com