Tampa Delights: So it should be Florida? But please not as superficial and youth-obsessed as Miami? And not as crowded as Orlando? Then Tampa would be an excellent choice. The city with its almost 350,000 inhabitants is located directly on the Gulf of Mexico and the nickname “Sunshine City” suggests that the weather is not an issue here, as anywhere else in Florida.
The city has a population of almost 350,000 and is the third largest in the state after Miami and Jacksonville. If you like, you can “just” go on a beach holiday here. Anyone who would like to experience something beyond that and be inspired has plenty of opportunity to do so. In the old town, for example, the past of cigar makers comes to life, who had a lot to do with Cuba, which is not far away. Art and theater lovers will get their money’s worth in Tampa, as will families with small children. The city offers more than one zoo and – after all, this is Florida – the odd adventure park.
If all that isn’t enough for you, it should be noted that the city, together with St. Petersburg and Clearwater, is part of a metropolitan region that has almost three million inhabitants and therefore has a lot to offer even outside its borders.
“And there is magic in every beginning” – even in Tampa
Especially if you land in a different time zone after a flight, it’s not a bad idea to first get an overview of your vacation destination. In Tampa, Bayshore Boulevard, which runs directly along the Gulf of Mexico, is ideal for this. The fresh air from the sea cools you down even in very hot weather and with a bit of luck, you can even see dolphins here in the morning.
From Bayshore Boulevard, visitors also have a view of some of the city’s most beautiful houses and many of their residents. They are out and about here at any time of the day. Alone, in groups, with children, with dogs, in the cooler hours, they also come here to jog and cycle. Overall, this is a wonderful and very authentic start to a stay in Tampa.
At over seven kilometers long, Bayshore Boulevard is said to be the longest sidewalk in the world. If you want a higher bang at the beginning, then you can also head to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. This masterpiece of engineering offers truly breathtaking views during the crossing. There should be time for this at some point during your vacation.
On a first-name basis with the animal world
Tampa is right by the sea, so an aquarium is a must. The “Florida Aquarium(701 Channelside Drive) doesn’t just offer classic water pools with colorful fish behind the glass panes. Shows are also offered here every day, and there is the opportunity to feed penguins and touch sharks, for example. When the weather permits, ships depart from the aquarium and head far out into Tampa Bay, where visitors can observe wild dolphins.
Animal-loving landlubbers, please make sure you go to “Big Cat Rescue(12802 Easy Street). Wild cats live in a huge area that had to be rescued from private collections, circuses, and small zoos that were closed. The visit is only possible as part of a guided tour to avoid risks. But you can also see lions, tigers, leopards, ocelots, and many other wild cat species, even endangered ones, up close and authentically in a way that would otherwise only be possible on a safari.
For the sake of completeness, it should be said that there is also a classic zoo in Tampa. “ZooTampa at Lowry Park(1101 W. Sligh Avenue) is recommended if the travel group also includes smaller children. It is a zoo with short distances that, in addition to lots of animals, also offers a lot of shade and also helps to bridge small crises with rides and food stalls.
Arts and Culture
Tampa’s “Museum of Art(6600 North Ashley Drive), those in the know can probably see from the outside what can be seen inside. The ultra-modern building has a permanent one that focuses on modern and contemporary art as well as photography since 1980. In addition, there are regularly sophisticated special exhibitions with works from earlier eras as well as activity days to which children and young people are also welcome.
A real must in Tampa is the “Ybor City State Museum” (1818 Ninth Avenue), in which the craft of cigar makers and the associated era of the 1920s are revived. At that time, cigars made from Cuban tobacco were rolled in Ybor City and, thanks to their quality, were exported all over the world. The house is surrounded by a lush, Mediterranean-style garden, which is also open to the public.
The rest of Florida is not out of the world either
Despite these (and many other) tourist highlights, Tampa is not as commercial and crowded as parts of Miami and Orlando. For anyone who prefers these places, at least a trip to Tampa Bay is worth it. It’s 120 kilometers from Orlando; Miami is 420 kilometers away.
Tampa at a glance
- At seven kilometers, Bayshore Boulevard is the longest promenade on the Gulf of Mexico
- The “Museum of Art” offers modern and contemporary art and photography
- Animal lovers will get their money’s worth at the Florida Aquarium, Big Cat Rescue, and Lowry Park Zoo
- The historic heart of Tampa beats in Ybor City
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