Skyline with Hillsborough river, Tampa, Florida (Guy Vanderelst/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty)

Windsurfing on the Intracoastal waterway, Tampa Bay, Florida (St. Petersburg-Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau)

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What to do in Tampa

If you ask a non-local for a reason to visit Tampa, you’re likely to hear “go to a Buccaneers game” or “take the family to Busch Gardens.” People often even mistake the name as Tampa Bay, which is actually a huge natural harbor ringed by Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg. Along with the daily crossing of bridges to get anywhere, an iconic part of Tampa’s culture is Ybor City, an area built by Cuban cigar manufacturers in the 1880s. The manufacturers brought with them café con leche (Spanish coffee), and together the two aromas fuse an intoxicating introduction to one of America’s most historic neighborhoods. Aside from Tampa’s beloved Bucs, the bay is the main tourist draw. Dine with dolphins and laze with manatees on the waterfront, or spend an afternoon pier fishing while the sun goes down.

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Traveler Reviews of Tampa


Erica rates Tampa
Love this area! So cool to see the skyline on one side and the ocean as far as you can see on the other. The places I like the best are Channelside and International mall near the airport. Channelside is like a huge courtyard surrounded by some great resturants and clubs. The thai resturant is great, very authentic with fantastic food and service and the club splitsville is very cool and unique. Its a classy turn on a bowling alley/ club. And they have a huge Imax movie theatre there which actually severs beer and wine. International mall is the best mall in the Tampa area and probably all of Florida. Its huge and they have every store you can imagine, all the high end stores that are rare in most malls. The outside area of the mall, baystreet feels like you are in Italy and has some fantastic resturants and bars.
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