Downtown Tampa, the best area to say in Tampa
If you want to experience all the sights and attractions that Tampa has to offer, a hotel based in the Downtown Tampa is ideal. This area provides the gateway to the historical neighbourhoods of Ybor and Old Hyde Park, while also giving good access to public transport such as local buses, the streetcar and taxis. They will take you around the Downtown area and over to the historical neighbourhoods quickly and easily, making visiting all the different attractions a breeze. A renewal in Tampa’s historical and artistic scene has spurred a cultural revival throughout the area.
You can venture to the bottom of the ocean at the Florida Aquarium, which boasts more than 20,000 aquatic plants and animals from Florida and across the globe, and is one of Tampa’s top sights.
Dominating the Tampa skyline is the former Tampa Bay Hotel, a National Historic Landmark. This lavish Victorian palace with Moorish features was previously owned by business and railroad magnate Henry Plant and was turned into a museum in 1933 in order to tell the story of his life, his influence on the city and its role in the tourism industry.
You can also delve into Tampa’s compelling history at the Tampa Bay History Center and gain an insight into the area’s the first native inhabitants, Spanish conquistadors and other historical figures who shaped the city’s history. There is also a reconstruction of a 1920s cigar store, in keeping with the city’s longstanding history of rolling cigars that ended during the Great Depression. The Cigar Factory is located in the Ybor area and at its height was rolling by hand more than 900,000 cigars per month.
A hip restaurant and bar scene has emerged in recent years, attracting foodies, as well as a burgeoning craft beer scene that has come into its own. You can taste it in Ybor and Old Hyde Park, the historical part of Downtown, which has both the first licensed brew-pub in Florida, the Tampa Bay Brewery Company and America’s oldest beer-brewer, the Yeungling Brewery.
As the sun sets, you’ll find that Tampa offers an intriguingly varied nightlife with no shortage of places to go for entertainment, whether you are searching for live music, performing arts, fine eateries or simply a movie, there is something for everyone. You can watch the sunset from the pier or Grand Hyatt rooftop, from where you can also admire the stunning feat of engineering that has gone into the Sunshine Skyway bridge. This sleek 12-mile long highway “on stilts” has its middle suspended by giant pylons in order to let enormous cargo ships pass through.
There are many restaurants in the area to go for dinner and post dinner activities could include hitting some of Tampa’s major hot spots to see a band at one of the many live music venues. Alternatively, you could catch a movie at the wonderfully atmospheric Tampa Theatre built in 1926.