Tampa, Florida, isn’t just a prime vacation spot lined with stunning beaches and theme parks. This cultural hub comes with a colorful and extensive history, covering everything from the Cuban sandwich to the cigar industry.
Top Tampa Digs
- Tampa is known as “Cigar City” and was once a major producer of Cuban cigars
- Ybor City is a famous historical landmark and a vibrant part of Tampa
- The Cuban sandwich was invented in Tampa, Florida
- Tampa is home to the popular theme park, Busch Gardens
- You’ll find ZooTampa at Lowry Park in Tampa
- The longest continuous sidewalk is in Tampa
- Tampa Bay hosts the iconic Gasparilla Pirate Parade
But don’t feel left out if you’re still a little curious about the origins of Tampa’s hype. It’s famous for many things that can be hard to keep track of!
Below, we’ll let you in on the seven of the most important things you should know about this iconic city.
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#1.Tampa’s Ties To The Cigar Industry
Tampa is known for many things, including its countless glorious beaches and diverse lifestyle. But if you truly want to understand the complex culture and personality of Tampa, then you need to dive into its rich history.
If you weren’t aware, Tampa is already known for its ties to the cigar industry. Cuban cigars are a big staple in Tampa. Even the cigar shops alone are enough of a tourist attraction for visitors!
The Start Of Tampa’s Cuban Cigar Industry
It all started many years ago when a major cigar factory opened in Tampa in 1886. Finding a home in Ybor City, the Sanchez y Haya factory was the first major Cuban cigar factory in Tampa.
At its height, the city was able to produce 500 million cigars per year.
Since then, more than 200 other cigar factories popped up, earning Tampa the nickname “Cigar City.” Cigars from Tampa were made and shipped around the world.
Though cigar production isn’t a major priority nowadays, it’s still a prominent aspect of Tampa’s history and current culture. It’s something you should definitely remember!
#2. Ybor City Is A Rich Historical Part Of Tampa
If we’re discussing Tampa’s cigar history, then we need to dive into Ybor City.
As we said, the first cigar factory was founded in Ybor City. That quickly established it as a bustling and prominent area of Tampa. Many immigrants came to the area in search of a job looking to make the most of the flourishing cigar industry.
However, the history of Ybor City doesn’t start and end with Tampa’s ties to the Cuban cigar industry. It’s a famous landmark that’s named after entrepreneur and cigar baron Vicente Martinez Ybor.
Ybor City’s Stunning Cuban Charm
Ybor City has a unique charm made possible by its Cuban, Italian, and Spanish influences. Its streets are lined with colorful architecture, brick-paved roadways, and wrought iron balconies. The looks alone are enough to bring in plenty of tourists!
This national historic landmark district is still a popular place for modern folk to visit, even if you’re not a history buff. There are plenty of trendy shops and delicious restaurants, including the country’s oldest and biggest Spanish eatery, Columbia Restaurant.
If you’re in Tampa or even anywhere in Florida, it’s worth it to visit this historic town!
Making Your Trip To Florida Permanent
Countless tourists come to the great state of Florida each year to soak in the warm sun, relax on gorgeous beaches, and enjoy a rich culture.
But you don’t need to wait for those few days a year so that you can take PTO and come to the iconic city of Tampa. Instead, you can effortlessly make it your forever home!
Rather than visiting, why not move to Tampa or even anywhere in Florida? All you need are some professional movers by your side to ensure your relocation is a success. Then, you can get to living the life you deserve!
Making YOur Upcoming Move Effortless
With The Movers Moving and Storage, it’ll be easy to call Florida your forever home. Our team of experienced and reliable movers is able to handle everything from packing to transporting all of your personal belongings.
You won’t need to worry about a thing. We’ve got this!
#3. The Cuban Sandwich Was Invented In Tampa
Tampa is known for its amazing culture and its influences from Cuba. Cuban culture is found in Tampa’s art, music, architecture, and coffee. But most importantly, it’s found in the food.
The famous Cuban sandwich was created here in Tampa, Florida. Otherwise known as the Cubano, this sandwich is delicious and loaded with meat and cheese.
It’s normally made with Cuban bread, ham, pork, Swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles. Yum!
A Delicious And Humble Beginning
This sandwich was believed to be invented by the blue-collar immigrants working in the cigar factories of Florida. This savory treat pairs well with other Cuban comfort foods like ropa vieja, a beef stew in wine sauce.
#4. It’s Home To Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
When you think of Florida, you likely think of gloriously white beaches and vibrant outings. But one of the best places to spend your time is at the Busch Gardens theme park!
If you’re thinking of things that Tampa is famous for, then this theme park should be one of the first things to pop into your mind. Since its opening in 1959, it’s been a great place for people to spend their free time.
But this animal theme park isn’t like any regular zoo. It spans over 330 acres and contains plenty of attractions. For starters, it features intriguing African- and Asian-themed landscapes, as well as plenty of roller coasters and exciting rides.
From Exotic Animals To Thrilling Rides
For the major thrill seekers out there, feel free to check out the Iron Gwazi roller coaster at Busch Gardens. From its insane 206-foot peak to its heart-wrenching 91-degree drop, you’ll be sure to feel the rush. But hang on, because its speed reaches up to 76 miles per hour!
However, if you’re looking for a more family-friendly area to go to, there are plenty of places for you to discover still. Feel free to head to Sesame Street Park to start with.
If you don’t want to hit the roller coaster rides, there’s still so much to do at the iconic Busch Gardens theme park. You can see plenty of amazing animals like rhinos, sloths, and giraffes. It’ll feel like you’re on a safari in the park!
#5. Here You’ll Find ZooTampa
There are plenty of places in Florida to enjoy nature and see some fantastic animals. From inland attractions to beaches, there’s no shortage of places to bask in Mother Nature!
If you’re looking to visit some amazing animals, you should take a trip to ZooTampa. But this place isn’t just any zoo.
An Animal Preservation And Tourist Attraction In One
At ZooTampa, the mission is to preserve, protect, and even rehabilitate animals when necessary. It’s a top-notch zoo that is even considered one of the most famous landmarks in Florida.
There are over a thousand animals there, with species varying from hippos to tortoises. You can start your day by watching manatees get cared for and then finish up by going on a safari ride.
But the animals aren’t the only intriguing part of this place. You can also enjoy tours, keeper talks, and amazing special events.
#6. Tampa Has The Record For The Longest Continuous Sidewalk
Florida is well known for its seemingly endless sunny days. There are very few overcast moments, and that means you can easily enjoy the beaches often.
But in Tampa, a great way to soak in some sunshine is by taking a walk on the longest continuous sidewalk in the world. Clocking in at four and a half miles, this sidewalk gives you plenty of legroom.
You can find this sidewalk at Bayshore Boulevard, a walkway that offers amazing views of Tampa Bay and Hillsborough River.
Found Weaving Through The Gorgeous Bayshore Boulevard
The Bayshore Boulevard Greenway passes through the most gorgeous parts of Tampa. Whether you want to simply walk or bike ride, locals and tourists alike love staying active in such a stunning place.
The path of Bayshore Boulevard is perfect if you’re looking for a walk filled with gorgeous views of sparkling waters, impressive mansions, and warm weather!
#7. Tampa Bay Has Front Row Seats To The Gasparilla Pirate Parade
Even though we’re living in 2023, we still need to worry about pirate invasions! But only in January in Tampa Bay, Florida. That’s because Tampa hosts the Gasparilla Pirate Parade at that time.
This parade is all about pirates and is one of the more intriguing and interesting parts of Tampa’s culture. It began in 1904 and was originally inspired by the influential pirate Jose Gaspar. From the 1780s to the 1820s, it was said that Jose Gaspar terrorized the west coast of Florida.
The parade kicks off each year with the only fully rigged pirate ship in the world, known as the Gasparilla Floatilla, making its way into Tampa Bay. Following this masterpiece are hundreds of other boats looking to join the festivities.
But the boats aren’t the only notable part of these parades. Once the boats hit the deck, hundreds of pirates wearing swashbuckler gear jump onto the beaches. They then claim their honorable key to the city from the mayor and celebrate their victory!
After, the third-biggest parade in the country takes place in the city along the gorgeous Bayshore Boulevard. And the festivities then continue for two more lively months.
Tampa is one of the most iconic cities in America, finding a home in the sunny state of Florida. If you’re curious about what Tampa is known for, you don’t need to even look deep into its rich and diverse history and culture to discover some amazing aspects.
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