Tampa, Florida: Culture, Entertainment and Shopping for All
What makes a tourist destination interesting? For me, it has to attract me with its charm, history and a variety of activities! Each year, Tampa welcomes tourists with its landscapes enriched by surrounding natural beauty and an "extensive menu" of fun. It was my first time visiting, and Tampa welcomed me with open arms and did not disappoint! This destination was a true pleasure, especially since each activity provided me with a new and refreshing experience.
Walking Through Ybor City
Curious about the culture and history of Tampa, I toured through a wonderful area called Ybor City. This neighbourhood has been strongly influenced by the Cuban and European immigrants of yore. While walking the classic streets of Ybor, I could not help but to appreciate the artistic details and architecture of this well-preserved historic town. The smell of authentic Cuban cigars filled the air, and for a brief moment, I felt I was living in the olden days.
Formerly, this was the capital of the cigar industry, founded in 1885 by a Cuban cigar factory entrepreneur, Vicente Martinez Ybor. I experienced Ybor’s history through authentic street art and even through the unique style of the restaurants. All around me, I could sense the pride that residents have for the town’s origin. I had the opportunity to dine at the oldest restaurant in Florida, The Columbia, which has served the community since 1905. There, I got to enjoy Cuban and Spanish cuisine accompanied by a Mojito and an exciting, live Flamenco show!
Entertainment at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Excited by the vibrant energy of Tampa, I decided to check out the famous Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Here, there was no shortage of options for entertainment. As one of the largest casinos in the country, with countless slot machines and poker tables, this busy paradise does not have “time to close” – operating 24 hours a day. I found myself mesmerized by the walls decorated with celebrity memorabilia, a key component of the distinguished, rock-and-roll style that makes this casino so special.
The complex has many attractive bars and restaurants, such as the Hard Rock Café, legendary for its classic American cuisine, and the Council Oak, a fancy seafood restaurant with a sophisticated menu. I stayed at the luxurious hotel my last night. In Tampa. The hotel was very comfortable and provided extraordinary customer service.
Shopping at International Plaza & Bay Street
I could not have ended my journey without doing some shopping at the grand International Plaza & Bay Street. I lost myself in all the wonderful deals and found all the latest fashion trends at very reasonable prices. You can’t help but find something interesting to suit anyone’s taste! The best part of the day was enjoying a delicious lunch at Bay Street – an open breezy outdoor food court located just outside of the mall.
Despite being one of the busiest metropolitan cities in Florida, what really attracted me to Tampa was the natural beauty of the city surrounded by peaceful bay views. The charming city of Tampa is a traveller’s dream – offering an exciting array of gorgeous natural sights and the perfect combination of culture, history and fun activities.