Tampa Florida

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Location

Tampa is located on the West coast of Florida It is bordered by two bodies of water: Old Tampa Bay and Hillsborough Bay. Both combine to form Tampa Bay.

Tampa is a major United States city located in Hillsborough County, on the west coast of Florida The population within the city limits is approximately  321,772; making it the third largest city in the state, following Jacksonville and Miami.

The weather in Tampa is subtropical to temperate. It usually stays between 65 and 95 year round °F (18 and 33 °C), and lows rarely go below 32°F (0°C). Temperatures are hot June through October. These summer days have highs around 90 °F (32 °C) and high humidity.

Many wealthy people have winter houses there, and the upscale Tampa Palms neighborhood is a favorite destination for retired sports stars.

Tampa is more than just a big city, it is also a place for family vacations and encounters of the natural kind. Situated on Florida’s largest inlet, Tampa Bay, which separates it from sister city St. Petersburg.

Tampa reflects the mosaic of different cultures and influences that made it the dynamic urban center it is today. The coexistence of the quaint historic villages with sleek skyscrapers is evidence of this rapidly growing city’s success at reconciling its rich history with modern-day development. The activities range from its bustling port brimming with shrimp boats, banana barges and cruise ships, to its festive marketplaces, and its multi-ethnic restaurants and shops.

Be sure to stop by historic Ybor City, where 100 years of decayed elegance has been restored to antique splendor. Stroll the quaint streets and breathe in the aroma of freshly baked Cuban bread drifting out of the local bakeries and restaurants. Visit Ybor Square where Cuban cigar makers demonstrate their ancestors’ craft.

The cigar industry, moved to Tampa from Key West, centered in the district of Ybor City. With the factories came immigrant workers from Cuba, Italy, Germany and Spain. The Cuban influence has stuck most tenaciously and today Cuban restaurants, a redolent coffee-roasting plant, cigar shops and lively Latin festivals persist even though the factories are gone. Shopping and entertainment’s Centro Ybor occupies one of the colorful neighborhood’s historic buildings.

Downtown Tampa, the focus in recent years has returned to the harbor and the Hillsborough River that runs through town. Cruise ship business has picked up, and a new trolley transports passengers to Ybor City and other attractions. At the Channelside District, an entertainment-dining multiplex has appeared along with big-name resorts, professional hockey and the Florida Aquarium, a seashell-shaped glass dome with more than 10,000 aquatic plants and animals inside.

Attractions

Tampa Bay Beaches are still is hard to beat.

There are numerous public access beaches left in the Tampa Bay coastal area.

Anclote Key: A four mile stretch of beach near Tarpon Springs, Anclote can only be reached by private boat. Great anchorages and beautiful beaches make this a popular boating destination.

Bellaire Beach: There are four public access areas along Gulf Blvd for this beautiful beach. Keeping in the Bellaire tradition, they are for Bellaire residents only. For more details, call 727-595-4646.

Caladesi Island Park: You have to take a passenger ferry or your boat to get there, but well worth the trip.
Clearwater Beach:
Egmont Key: You have to have a boat to get there, but it’s a great day trip. Egmont is an island of over 400 acres of pristine beach, and boasts the only manned lighthouse left in the U.S. It is located at the mouth of Tampa Bay, just southwest of Fort DeSoto Beach.
Gulfport Beach:
Honeymoon Island: Located on extreme end of Dunedin Causeway, you will find tidal flats, mangrove swamps, and great beachfront here.
Indian Rocks Beach:
Madeira Beach:
North Redington Beach
Pass-A-Grille
Redington Shores:.
St Pete Municipal Beach: Lots of sand here folks, 1/4 mile at it’s widest point,
Spa Beach:
Upham Beach

The most famous landmark is the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Being Florida’s largest bridge, and being the world’s longest Cable-Strayed Bridge, It is the most well known landmark in Tampa.

Busch Gardens  – (Situated eight miles northeast of downtown Tampa )Busch Gardens is the ultimate family adventure park offering an array of fascinating attractions based on exotic encounters with the African continent. A unique blend of thrilling rides, one of the country’s premier zoos featuring more than 2,700 animals, live shows, restaurants, shops and games, Busch Gardens provides unrivaled “real” excitement for guests of every age.

Hyde Park is an upscale district in South Tampa. There are many fine shops and restaurants in the area as well as a movie theatre.

The Skatepark of Tampa is a world-famous skatepark, with many professional skateboarders flocking to it in January for the Tampa Am, and in March, for the Tampa Pro.

Museum of Science and Industry, – offers interactive educational exhibits as well as an IMAX theater.

The water park Adventure Island offers exciting flumes and slides as well as a leisurely tubing trail.

Along Tampa’s fringes, the Hillsborough River, state parks and other natural kingdoms provide a quiet, bucolic flipside to the city life. The same river that plunges through city center takes canoeists and kayakers on a nature odyssey where alligators, hawks and majestic domes of cypress trees dwell. A 16,000-acre preserve known as Wilderness Park surrounds the river and its branches and was made for paddlers and peddlers. The river also is centerpiece of Hillsborough River State Park, one of Florida’s oldest. Here, the river frolics around limestone outcroppings, providing rapids for experienced canoeists, who can rent vessels at the park. History buffs can tour a reconstructed Seminole War historic site, Fort Foster, and the park has campgrounds, a swimming pool and nature trails.

 

How to get there

BY AIR;     

Tampa International Airport is located just five miles west of downtown Tampa on the east shore of Tampa Bay. Also St. Petersburg Clearwater International Airport .Seven miles southeast of Clearwater.

 

BY ROAD;

You have to have a car in Tampa. The city has recently built a beautifully restored trolley line running from downtown to Ybor. But besides that, the mass transit system is virtually non-existent.

 

BY RAIL;

Amtrak services Tampa via the Tampa Union Station which is near downtown.

 

BY SEA;

Several cruise ships make use of the Port of Tampa, located in the Channel District.

 

BY BUS/COACH;

Hillsborough Area Regional Transit serves the county.

 

Festivals

Florida State Fair – The annual Florida State Fair dates back to 1904. This fair features the best arts, crafts, livestock, entertainment and food found in Florida. It is the largest major fair in the Southeast and features one of the largest midways in the country. More than 94 rides and shows are spread over the 325-acre site located seven miles east of Tampa off of Interstate 4 Exits 4, 5 and 6A

Florida Strawberry Festival. – February/March. Over 60 thrilling rides, country music, puppet shows, two petting zoos and their very own corner for carnival rides. Agricultural shows are a must for every fair and the Strawberry Festival certainly has it share. Some of the highlights include the swine show, steer show, beef breed show, dairy show, lamb show, poultry and rabbit show. Enjoy the deep Florida tradition of a family oriented event with arts, crafts, horticulture, livestock, agriculture, fine arts and more.

Gasparilla in Tampa, Florida: February. Each year, pirates “invade” the city – sailing into Hillsborough Bay by ship with an escort of hundreds of pleasure craft and vessels of all sizes.  The entire city comes out to celebrate a street festival that includes one of the largest art shows in the southeast, street music and entertainment, fireworks and plenty of food.

 

Eating  Dining  Shopping

Tampa’s restaurants reflect its cosmopolitan character. Spanish, Southwestern, Italian, Asian, continental and seafood restaurants abound.

Visit Hyde Park in the upscale district of South Tampa, there are many fine shops and restaurants in this area. You will also find shopping and eating areas in;  International Plaza and Bay Street, located in the Westshore business district-WestShore Plaza one mile away from International Plaza and Bay Street. And University Mall, in the northern part of the city near the University of South Florida.

 

History

The word “Tampa” is an American Indian word used to refer to the area when the first European explorers arrived in Florida. It is sometimes claimed to mean “sticks of fire” in the language of the Calusa, a Native American tribe. Other historians claim the name refers to “The place to gather sticks”. “Sticks of fire” may also relate to the high concentration of lightning strikes that Tampa Bay receives every year during the hot and wet summer months. The name first appears in the “Memoir” of Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda (1575), the author of which had spent 17 years as a Calusa captive. He calls it “Tanpa” and describes it as an important Calusa town.

 

Useful telephone numbers

Emergency Number Tel; 911

Airport Information Tel; (Tampa airport) 813-870-8700

Train station:

Tourist Office: Telephone: +1 813-223-2752

Holiday rents online:

National Transport Line

24 hour medical service

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