Visit one of the Top 5 Most Exciting Cities in Florida, Tampa
A Tapestry of Cultural DiversityTampa's cultural landscape is as diverse as its population, reflecting the influence of various communities that have shaped the city's identity. From the historic Ybor City, once known as the "Cigar Capital of the World," to the contemporary art scene in the Tampa Bay area, the city is a melting pot of different cultures and traditions. Visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant Cuban, Spanish, and Italian heritage, evident in the local cuisine, architecture, and lively festivals that celebrate Tampa's rich multicultural tapestry. Some of the most unique areas of Tampa to visit are Downtown Tampa, South Tampa/Bayshore, Ybor City, and Citrus Park.Ybor City is a vibrant, historic district filled with attractions, unique restaurants, and plenty of entertainment opportunities. The area is known for its Cuban heritage, evidenced by the many cigar factories and Cuban restaurants, bakeries, and cafes. Ybor City also has numerous antique stores and specialty shops, accompanied by a variety of museums, art galleries, nightclubs, and music venues. The area holds several festivals, such as the annual Cuban Sandwich Festival, as well as performances from the Tampa Bay Rowdies soccer team. Ybor City is also home to the world's largest fireworks display, held on the Fourth of July every year. It's also home to many popular restaurants, like The Columbia Restaurant and The Bricks of Ybor City. Overall, Ybor City is an ideal destination for visitors who appreciate culture, history, and a unique atmosphere.A Paradise for Nature Enthusiasts For nature enthusiasts, Tampa offers a myriad of opportunities to explore its breathtaking natural beauty. The city is renowned for its stunning beaches, including the famed Clearwater Beach and the picturesque Honeymoon Island State Park, where visitors can indulge in water sports, sunbathe on pristine sands, or enjoy a stroll along the shoreline. For Class II rapids, check out Hillsborough River State Park.Additionally, the nearby Florida Aquarium and the Lowry Park Zoo provide immersive experiences for wildlife lovers, showcasing an array of marine life and exotic animals worldwide. On hot summer days, don't forget to visit Adventure Island and Water Works.Urban Excitement and Entertainment GaloreBeyond its natural allure, Tampa is a bustling urban hub that never fails to impress with its dynamic entertainment options. The lively Riverwalk, flanked by trendy restaurants, bars, and shops, offers a scenic backdrop for leisurely strolls and exciting evening activities. For shopping, and hanging with friends, visit Hyde Park, Armature Works, Centro Ybor (Historic District), Sparkman's Warff, and Channelside. Hyde Park offers a vintage experience with rustic cobblestone streets, and the yummy treats you will find within the village cannot be overstated. In addition, Bayshore Blvd has many trails to explore. Tampa has its very own large-scale amusement park, Busch Gardens. As Florida's premier amusement park, Busch Gardens is an excellent option if you want the whole family to be involved. From roller coasters to shows to animals, you can spend your entire day smiling and laughing. If you like escape rooms, Breakout Games Escape Room is the best escape room I have ever been to. Armature Works is a historic building & outdoor event space in the historic Heights district on the banks of the Hillsborough River. The historic building is a vibrant space containing bistros, bars, boutiques, and a full-service restaurant. Here, visitors can experience the rich culture of Tampa, the best of the city. Sporting Events Gone WildSports enthusiasts can catch a football game at the iconic Raymond James Stadium or a hockey game at the Amalie Arena, home to the city's professional football and hockey teams, respectively. Fun fact about Amalie Arena- students who show up in Lightning apparel and present their student ID can get into the "student rush," where they will place you in empty seats. You could be sitting right behind the glass!Stay like a CelebrityThe most unique hotel to stay in when in Tampa is the national landmark hotel, the Floridan. Located on 905 N Florida Ave, the Floridan was officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places on March 12, 1996, and is Tampa's only historic grand hotel still standing. Developed by architect Francis Joseph Kennard from 1926 to 1927, the hotel reflects a roaring 20s vibe. It shows the rich oasis that was inhabited by orange juice barons and other business tycoons, as well as high-ranking Military officers, Mafia members, and movie stars. The hotel is also a base for the Cincinnati Reds baseball players during Spring Training!Drinks and ClinksSome of our favorite breweries include Tampa Bay Brewing Co. (located in Ybor and Westchase), Coppertail Brewing Co. (located in Ybor), Brew Bus Brewing (they have buses that take you all over Tampa to different breweries), Cigar City Brewing Co. (located in South Tampa), and Six/Ten Brewing (located in Central Tampa by the airport). Bru is a 16-tap taproom that sells beers from only Florida Breweries. They have games and trivia. They are dog-friendly and kid-friendly and have a kombucha and cold brew for non-alcoholic options.Culinary Delights and Epicurean AdventuresTampa's culinary scene is a tantalizing fusion of flavors, reflecting the city's diverse cultural influences and its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. From traditional Cuban sandwiches and Spanish paella to fresh seafood delicacies and farm-to-table dining experiences, Tampa offers a culinary journey that caters to every palate. Visitors can indulge in gastronomic adventures at the local farmers' markets, upscale restaurants, and charming cafes, savoring the delectable creations of talented chefs and experiencing the warmth of Southern hospitality at every turn.Hidden Gem Foodie FavoritesMichael's Grill has impressive authentic Italian food. Ulele has super cheesy macaroni and cheese in Tampa and has won several awards. King of the Coop is the spot for Nashville Hot Chicken. Bahama Bucks has top-notch shaved ice, and Jeremiah's has the best Italian ice. Green Lemon has excellent Mexican food, and Loli's Tacos has the most authentic tacos that are served in a little shack. La Teresita Restaurant was established by Cuban immigrants in 1972 and has served presidents, governors, senators, mayors, and other movers and shakers. The Floridian has the best Cuban sandwich around (pork, swiss cheese, mustard, pickles and salami).The Alessi Bakery evolved from a small bakery on Cherry Street in 1912 to a full-scale dining establishment with a bakery, deli, and distribution center. Alessi has long been a household name in Tampa. Founded by Nicolo Alessi, this Tampa landmark has been passed on down through the generations and remains a family-owned and -operated company today.Tavern FoodiesMaloney's Irish Pub has incredible $7 burgers on Wednesdays and trivia nights as well. Burger Culture is a food truck that serves fresh burgers to order. They have great fries, too. Eddie and Sam N.Y. Pizza is top-notch pizza. Front Porch and Bart's Tavern is located in a two-story Victorian house on Florida Ave. They have string lights and frequent live music.Deli DelectablesMott and Hester's Deli has the best cheese ziti and meaty sandwiches. Datz is a deli that serves eclectic food, from sandwiches to bacon-stuffed meatloaf. They also have a chocolate shop that makes incredible little truffles and a bakery called Datz Dough (two locations, one in Downtown Tampa and the other in St. Pete). Upscale EatsColumbia Restaurant is a renowned upscale restaurant, famous for its 1905 salad and amazing traditional Cuban food. Daily Eats is very fancy and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Bern's Steakhouse and Dessert Room is phenomenal, and you can also just come by to try their specialty desserts. On Swann is located in a renovated historic home in south Tampa. Comfortable yet classy, industrial and vintage, On Swann is unique and trendy. On the menu, you'll find everything from shareable dishes like wings and flatbreads to entrees like sea bass and risotto. There's also a fantastic selection of cocktails and wines, as well as several vegan and vegetarian options. The pork chop is my personal favorite. For those with dietary restrictions, On Swann has something for everyone. Whether you're vegan, gluten-free, or lactose intolerant, the staff goes above and beyond to ensure that each diner enjoys a delicious and enjoyable meal. But that's not all — On Swann also has a unique game room. Here, you can play pool, darts, foosball, and other classic games. The unique ambiance of On Swann makes it an excellent spot for date night, as well as a great place to hang out with the girls.If you're looking for a chic stop for lunch or brunch in Tampa, look no further than Oxford Exchange! Located in a historic 19th-century building, Oxford Exchange is a beautiful and inspiring oasis of food, goods, and services. Dining-wise, guests can choose from breakfast, lunch, grab-and-go items, and espresso and tea beverages. The menu features dishes from hand-flipped trout and fried green tomato sandwiches to the mega-popular breakfast burrito. Dinner and a book are also available, you can order up some delectable red wine and a tasty dinner and browse their selection of books. Oxford Exchange's goods selection features gifts, books, and home decor. Whether you're looking for the perfect tea towel to give as a gift or a cozy candle to light up your own home, this eclectic selection is sure to satisfy you. Finally, Oxford Exchange offers signature cocktails, private dining and events, full-service catering, gift wrapping, and more. Whether you're looking for an enjoyable evening or a cool place to grab brunch, Oxford Exchange is the spot to go!Tampa, Florida, is a city that seamlessly blends history, culture, nature, and modernity, creating an enchanting tapestry that leaves a lasting impression on all who visit. With its warm climate, welcoming locals, and an array of attractions for every interest, Tampa promises an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking a perfect blend of relaxation, adventure, and cultural exploration. Plan your next getaway to Tampa and immerse yourself in the allure of this coastal gem in the heart of the Sunshine State!