So it’s Florida? But please not as superficial and youthful as Miami? And not as overcrowded 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” already indicates that the weather is not an issue here or anywhere else in Florida.
The city has almost 350,000 inhabitants and is the third largest in the state after Miami and Jacksonville. If you like, you can “just” go on a beach holiday here. All those who want to experience something beyond that and be inspired have plenty of opportunity to do so. In the old town, for example, the past of cigar makers who had a lot to do with Cuba not far away comes to life. Art and theatre lovers will find Tampa just as much to their liking as families with smaller children. The city offers more than just a zoo and – after all, you are in Florida – one or the other adventure park. If that’s not enough for you, let me tell you that the city, together with St. Petersburg and Clearwater, belongs to a metropolitan region that has almost three million inhabitants and therefore a lot to offer outside its own borders.
“and every beginning is enchanted” – also in Tampa
Especially if one lands in another time zone after a flight, it is not a bad idea to first get an overview of the holiday destination. In Tampa, the Bayshore Boulevard, which leads directly along the Gulf of Mexico, is a good place for this. The fresh air from the sea cools even when it is very hot and with a little luck you can even spot dolphins in the morning. From Bayshore Boulevard, the visitor also has a view of some of the city’s most beautiful houses and many of their inhabitants. They are here at any time of the day. Alone, in groups, with children, with dogs, in the cooler hours, they also come here for jogging and cycling. All in all this is a wonderful and very authentic start into a stay in Tampa. Bayshore Boulevard is said to be the longest footpath in the world with a length of over seven kilometres. If you want to start with a higher bang, you can also go to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. This masterpiece of engineering offers breathtaking views during the crossing. At some point during the holiday there should be time for it.
With the animal world on you and you
Tampa lies directly at the sea, there must not be missing an aquarium. But the “Florida Aquarium” (701 Channelside Drive) does not only offer classic water basins, behind whose glass panes colorful fish can be admired. Daily shows are offered here, there is the possibility to feed penguins and touch sharks. If the weather permits, ships depart from the Aquarum, which lead far out into Tampa Bay where visitors can watch wild dolphins.
Animal-loving landlubbers must make their way to the “Big Cat Rescue” (12802 Easy Street). In a huge area wildcats live there, which had to be rescued from private collections, circuses and small zoos, which were closed. The visit is only possible as part of a guided tour to avoid risks. But then there are also lions, tigers, leopards, ocelots and many other, even threatened wild cat species as close and authentic to see as otherwise only on a safari would be possible.
For the sake of completeness, there is also a classic zoo in Tampa. “Lowry Park Zoo” (1101 W. Sligh Avenue) is a recommendation, although smaller children belong to the travel group. It is a zoo of short distances, which offers a lot of shade besides many animals and also helps to bridge smaller crises with rides and food stalls.
Tickets for sightseeing and activities
Tickets for sightseeing and activities in Tampa can be found at www.getyourguide.de
Art and Culture
Tampa’s “Museum of Art” (6600 North Ashley Drive) is probably the best way for connoisseurs to see what’s inside. The ultra-modern building actually has a permanent one that has focused on modern and contemporary art as well as photography since 1980. In addition, the building also regularly hosts sophisticated special exhibitions with works from earlier eras as well as activity days where children and young people are welcome. A real must in Tampa is the “Ybor City State Museum” (1818 Ninth Avenue), which revives the craft of cigar makers and the associated era of the twenties. In Ybor City, cigars made of Cuban tobacco were shot and exported all over the world thanks to their quality. The house is surrounded by a lush Mediterranean garden that is also open to the public.
The rest of Florida isn’t out of the world either.
Despite these (and many other) tourist highlights, Tampa is not as commercial and overcrowded as parts of Miami and Orlando. For those who prefer these places, a trip to Tampa Bay is worthwhile. From Orlando it is 120 kilometres to there; Miami is 420 kilometres away.