Tampa, Florida? You’re going to love it here! Whether you just come to visit or you have long-range plans that include settling down for a while, few places compare to the city of Tampa. With its great climate and convenient beach access, laid back lifestyle, eclectic mix of art, culture, shopping and restaurants, the Tampa Bay area might just put its spell on you like its done to countless others!
Fun in the Sun
In terms of size, Tampa ranks #2 in the state of Florida and is the fourth largest city in the Southeastern United States! It’s a city with big aspirations that’s for sure! Whether it’s large-scale events like the Gasparilla Music Festival or Tampa Bay Beer Week or small events like the Strawberry Festival or the Bay Area Renaissance Festival you’d be hard-pressed not to find something to do on a weekend. And no matter what you do or where you go, chances are the sun is always out! Yes, summers can get a little wet and muggy, but later in the year when everyone else in the country is bundling up and shoveling their driveways, you’ll love average temps in the 70′s. Yeah, it’s a tough life.
Did you know that Tampa was once known as the Cigar Capital of the World? Believe it, baby! Back in the day this Tampa neighborhood was out-producing Cuba in terms of cigars. In modern times, Ybor (pronounced ee-bor) is a popular historic hub that respects its past but also offers culture and cuisine for the here-and-now. A visit to Tampa wouldn’t be the same without a visit and walk through Tampa's Historic Latin Quarter. Take a stroll down historic 7th Avenue, indulge in a café con leche at a sidewalk café and of course enjoy a cigar if the feeling moves you! As the sun sets, there’s great entertainment and a vibrant late-night club scene. You can still see master cigar-rollers creating cigars just like they did a generation ago. And the doors are always open at J.C. Newman or Tampa Sweethearts, the Bay area’s two cigar factories, where you can enjoy a wide selection of choice local smokes.
Art and More
Where else can you find an entire month dedicated to art and culture! Gasparilla Arts Month kicks off the art season during the first weekend of March. The crowds flock to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, where a fine arts festival attracts an average of 250,000 annual visitors. Gasparilla extends throughout the month with a well-attended music and film festival which continues to draw well-known and not-so-well-known musical acts. There’s also a film festival to enjoy during the month as well. Culturally, Tampa displays a wide variety of architectural designs and styles. Most of Tampa’s high rises including the Museum of Art demonstrate Post-modern architecture at its best. Another city favorite, the Tampa Theater is a great example of the Art Deco style. Both are must-see on anyone’s to-do list!
Playground for Young and Old
Did you know the city of Tampa operates over 165 parks and beaches? It’s like one big playground for young and old alike! Not only are there awesome public areas like the Hillsborough River State Park. And don’t forget the big-ticket items like Busch Gardens theme park, the Lowry Park Zoo which is home to over 2,000 animals and counting, the Florida Aquarium with over 20,000 aquatic plants and animals and the 30-acre water park better known as Adventure Island.
And it doesn’t stop there! When you add in Tampa’s many sports teams, universities, great shopping locales, restaurants which are too numerous to mention and of course the ocean, you get a package deal like no other!
Tampa, Florida? Well of COURSE you’re going to love it here! Was there ever any doubt?