Tampa, a major city in and the county seat of Hillsborough County, Florida is on the west coast of Florida on Tampa Bay, close to the Gulf of Mexico, and is the biggest city in the Tampa Bay Area. In 2018, Tampa’s population was 392,890, making it the third-largest city in Florida, after Miami and Jacksonville. Tampa Bay’s port is the largest in Florida and is located close to the Channel District in downtown.
When the area close to the United States Army base of Fort Brooke was incorporated in 1849, it was called “Tampa Town”. But, in 1855, name was shortened to “Tampa”. People from Tampa are mostly called “Tampans” or “Tampanians”. Immigrants of Cuban, Italian, and Spanish descent started to arrive in Tampa in the late 1800s, where they found work in the original communities of Ybor City and West Tampa. By approximately 1900, these immigrants came to be known as “Tampeños” (or “Tampeñas” for females). This terminology is still sometimes used to refer to their descendants living in Tampa. Thereafter, all residents of Tampa were referred to as “Tampanians” irrespective of their ethnic background.
Towns and unincorporated communities became different neighborhoods. For the most part, Tampa is separated into the following areas: Downtown Tampa, New Tampa, West Tampa, East Tampa, North Tampa, and South Tampa. Well-known areas include Ybor City, Forest Hills, Ballast Point, Sulphur Springs, Seminole Heights, Tampa Heights, Palma Ceia, Hyde Park, Davis Islands, Tampa Palms, College Hill, and non-residential areas of Gary and the Westshore Business District.
The Sulphur Springs Water Tower is a landmark in the Sulphur Springs neighborhood, standing 214 feet tall. It was constructed by Grover Poole in the late 1920s. During this same time, construction began of the Tampa Theatre, a lavish movie palace mimicking a Mediterranean revival on Davis Islands, and Bayshore Boulevard, which borders Hillsborough Bay from downtown Tampa to neighborhoods in South Tampa. Bayshore Boulevard has a six-mile uninterrupted sidewalk on the east side, the longest in the world.
The Ybor City District is the center of several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places with a declaration as a National Historic Landmark. Renowned edifices are El Centro Español de Tampa, Centro Asturiano de Tampa, and other social clubs that were constructed in the early 1900s. One of these clubs is L’Unione Italiana or the Italian Club in Ybor City. The mission of the Italian Club “is to preserve and honor the culture, traditions and heritage of the Italian Community and to maintain the historical facility as a functioning memorial to the working-class immigrants.”
A public painting by Lynn Ash, The Story of Tampa, is a four-by-eight-foot oil on masonite mural that encompasses many of the well-known features of Tampa’s distinctive character and identity. Located in the lobby of the Tampa Municipal Office Building, the painting was commissioned in 2003 by Tampa’s Public Art Program.
Completed in 1973 and located in downtown Tampa is the first significant skyscraper, which is now known as Park Tower. Park Tower was originally the First Financial Bank of Florida. Until 1981, Park Tower was the tallest skyscraper in Tampa. When the One Tampa City Center was completed in 1981, it became the tallest skyscraper in Tampa. Another notable structure is The Rivergate building, a cylinder-shaped structure known best as the “Beer Can Building,” was included in the movie The Punisher.
Other Tampa landmarks include the Tampa Riverwalk, a 2.6-mile-long open space and pedestrian trail development along the Hillsborough River, and Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.
The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa Theatre, Gorilla Theatre, and the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre next to the Florida State Fairgrounds Tampa are great venues and theaters for stage and performing arts.
The Florida Orchestra, Opera Tampa, Jobsite Theater, the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, Stageworks Theatre, Spanish Lyric Theater, Tampa Bay Opera, and the Tampa Bay Symphony Performing arts also call Tampa home.
Rated sixth on Maxim magazine’s list of top party cities, Tampa nightlife can be found in Channelside, Ybor City, SoHo, International Plaza and Bay Street, and Seminole Hard Rock.
Tampa is home to over 165 parks and beaches covering 2,286 acres within city limits and 42 more in surrounding suburbs covering 70,000 acres that are supported by Hillsborough County. Hillsborough River State Park, just northeast of the city is one of those parks. Additionally, many attractions and theme parks, such as Busch Gardens Tampa, Adventure Island, the Lowry Park Zoo, and the Florida Aquarium are found in Tampa.
Also home to Tampa, The Lowry Park Zoo features over 2,000 animals, interactive exhibits, rides, educational shows, and more. The zoo is an economic, cultural, environmental, and educational local and tourist attraction.
The Florida Aquarium, a 250,000 sq ft aquarium in the Channel District, is home for over 20,000 species of aquatic plants and animals. It is renowned for its distinctive glass architecture. Near the aquarium is the SS American Victory, a World War II Victory ship maintained as a museum ship.
The Tampa Port Authority maintains three cruise ship terminals in Tampa’s Channel District. The Port of Carnival Cruise Lines’ MS Carnival Inspiration and MS Carnival Legend are docked in the Port of Tampa. In 2010, Tampa also became a seasonal port for Holland America Line’s MS Ryndam and Royal Caribbean International’s MS Grandeur of the Seas and MS Radiance of the Seas.
One of the most renowned and anticipated events come from Tampa’s annual celebration of “Gasparilla,” specifically the Gasparilla Pirate Festival, a mock pirate invasion held in late January or early February since 1904. The Gasparilla Pirate Festival is often referred to as Tampa’s “Mardi Gras.” The event attracts over 400,000 attendees, which subsequently contributes tens of millions of dollars to Tampa’s economy. There are many Gasparilla festivals that take place each year between January and March, such as the Gasparilla Children’s Parade, the Sant’Yago Knight Parade for adults, the Gasparilla Distance Classic, Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, and the Gasparilla International Film Festival. The Gasparilla parade, which is included in the Gasparilla Pirate Festival, is the third largest parade in the US.
Other prominent events, such as the Outback Bowl, which is held New Year’s Day at Raymond James Stadium attracts large crowds. Every February, The Florida State Fair draws in a large amount of attendees from all over the state of Florida, while “Fiesta Day” celebrates Tampa’s Cuban, Spanish, German, Italian, English, Irish, Jewish, and African-Cuban immigrant heritage. Also taking place in February is The India International Film Festival (IIFF) of Tampa Bay. In April, the MacDill Air Fest performs as one of the largest military airshows in the United States. Guavaween, a nighttime street party, instills Halloween with the Latin spice of Ybor City. The largest anime convention in Florida, Metrocon, also happens in Tampa. It is a three-day event that is held in either June or July at the Tampa Convention Center.
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Call us at 1-877-777-1721 or fill out the form below to make an appointment at our Tampa location:
602 South Howard Avenue
Tampa, FL 33606
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Town ‘N’ Country
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