Everything you need to know about South Tampa and Tampa Bay!

Things to do:  Get the latest Tampa Bay Area event, concert and activities information here!

South Tampa:  Boasting prestigious addresses, stylish neighborhoods, eclectic areas and lots of personality South Tampa is located just minutes outside of downtown.

South Tampa is a very desirable community. Featuring easy access to shopping, entertainment, attractions and more.

This picturesque area of Tampa is home to the famous Bayshore Boulevard Sidewalk. The Sidewalk has a distance of 4.5 miles and is the worlds longest continual sidewalk. The Bayshore Boulevard Sidewalk is a popular spot to run, walk, roller blade or just to sit and drink in the beautiful Hillsborough Bay scenery.  Other neighborhoods and areas in South Tampa include:Hyde Park Fountain Tampa Florida  Hyde Park, Davis Island, Palma Ceia, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Maryland Manor, Virginia Park

FAST FACTS: TAMPA BAY

  • The City of Tampa is the largest city in Hillsborough County
  • The 3rd most populous city in Florida
  • It is located on the west coast of Florida
  • Located approximately 200 miles northwest of Miami, 180 southwest of Jacksonville, and 20 miles northeast of St. Petersburg.

Tampa's economy is founded on a diverse base:

  • Tourism
  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Finance
  • Health care
  • Government
  • Technology
  • Port of Tampa
  • The community’s success is a result of businesses, City government, and citizens working together to make Tampa a better place to live.

HISTORY LESSON:  The Tampa Bay area was visited by many Spanish explorers, beginning with Panfilo de Narvaez in 1528.

  • Long term permanent settlements were created in 1824 when the US federal government created a reservation for north Florida Seminole Indians.
  • The 1880s saw the town's first population boom.
  • In 1883, phosphate was discovered in the area, spurring the development of the mining and shipping industries in the area.
  • Shortly after, Henry B. Plant completed work on his railroad linking Tampa to Jacksonville.
  • He began promoting Tampa as a holiday spot and built the grand Plant Hotel as a luxury resort destination.
  • In 1886, Jose Martinez Ybor opened Tampa's first cigar factory in Ybor City which encouraged the immigration of many Italian and Cuban factory workers.
  • During the Spanish American War at the turn of the century, Tampa was the main port of departure for troops heading for Cuba.
  • During this time, the Plant Hotel was converted into officer's accommodations, housing the Rough Riders and Teddy Roosevelt.
  • MacDill Air Force Base was created in 1939
  • The University of South Florida was established in 1956.
  • Tampa has grown into the center of a large metropolitan area; it now hosts the regional headquarters of many international companies, has acquired numerous professional sports teams, and has even bid for the summer Olympics.

TAMPA BAY: PEOPLE

  • Diverse
  • The first residents were the members of the Seminole Indian tribe relocated there from northern Florida
  • In 1880s when Tampa saw its first major waves of immigration from Cuba and Italy.
  • The major growth of the area did not occur until air conditioning became common in the years after World War II, but the region has been growing steadily since then.
  • Tampa is now home to many native Floridians, including Seminoles, Cubans and Italians.
  • Many 'transplants' from the Midwest and other areas of the states and new immigrants from the Caribbean and central America.
  • Tampa's population swells during the winter months with the arrival of the 'snowbirds,' retired persons from the northern U.S. and Canada who come down for a few months to enjoy the relative warmth.

ENTERTAINMENT, THINGS TO DO, THINGS TO SEE

Florida Aquarium

701 Channelside Drive, Phone: (813) 273-4000

Lowry Park Zoo
1101 West Sligh Avenue, Phone: (813) 935-8552

  • One of the top-rated zoos in the country
  • Features children's areas, restaurants, a manatee hospital, and first-rate encounters with animals from around the world.

Busch Gardens
10165 McKinley Drive, Phone: (888) 800-5447

  • More than just an amusement park -- also a top-notch zoo.
  • Enjoy rides, shows, and the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales!
  • This is a fun place for all ages, kids, teens, and even adults. It has a family friendly atmosphere with lots of things to do and see.
  • The scenery is amazing; it has a feel of different places as you travel throughout the park.
  • INSIDER TIP: Make sure to tour the aviary and feed the lorikeets.

Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)
4801 E. Fowler Ave., Phone: (813) 987-6100

  • Hands-on children's science museum
  • IMAX dome

Tampa Museum of Art
120 W. Gasparilla Plaza, Phone: (813) 274-8130

  • An extensive collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, as well as contemporary and traveling exhibitions.
  • Check the website for monthly "Art After Dark" exhibitions.

Tampa Theatre
711 Franklin Street, Phone: (813) 274-8982

  • Opened in 1926 and located right downtown, the Tampa Theatre is a historic movie palace featuring a wide range of independent, foreign, and documentary films on a daily basis.
  • Architecturally stunning both inside and out, it is no wonder that the Tampa Theatre has become both a city and national landmark being listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1978.
  • It is Tampa's only non-profit theatre and operating costs are largely covered by its membership program, various corporate sponsors as well as ticket sales.
  • Various film festivals take place at the Tampa Theatre several times a year.

Ybor City

  • Historic Spanish district located near downtown featuring a wide range of nightclubs, bars, and shops making it a popular evening and weekend hotspot.
  • Originally home to Cuban and Italian immigrants the city was famous for its many cigar factories and is where the Cuban Sandwich first popularized in the United States.
  • Ybor City is also a National Historic Landmark District and can be easily visited by catching one of its famous streetcars that connects downtown Tampa to Ybor City.
  • Don’t miss eating at The Columbia Restaurant

Channelside
615 Channelside Dr.

  • Entertainment complex in the revitalized Channelside district near the Port of Tampa.
  • Numerous upscale restaurants, several mid-range chain restaurants and bars, an IMAX movie theater and a trendy (if you can believe it) bowling alley.

Gasparilla Pirate Festival
Annual event consisting of several parades, live entertainment, and fireworks. The event is also known as the Mardi Gras of Tampa, and normally takes place on the last two Saturdays in January.

Krewe of Sant' Yago Knight Parade
An illuminated nighttime parade that takes place one Saturday in February in Ybor City.

Guavaween
Offers daytime events and nighttime parade on the last Saturday in October in Ybor City.

Lettuce Lake Park
6920 E. Fowler Ave., Phone: (813) 987-6204

  • This park has boardwalks that go through a nearly pristine area with 700 year old cypress trees, alligators, egrets and herons. One end of the boardwalk overlooks the Hillsborough River in its original state, a far cry from what it looks like in the downtown area.

Sports:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers is an American football team whose home field is Raymond James Stadium (off Dale Mabry a couple of miles north of I-275).

Tampa Bay Lightning is an NHL (ice hockey) team who won the Stanley Cup in the 2003-2004 season. Their home is in the St.Pete Times Forum. Season includes 41 home games and lasts October-June.

Tampa Bay Storm is an Arena Football League team playing in the St.Pete Times Forum. They have won more Arena Bowl titles than any other team in the AFL. Season lasts March-June.

New York Yankees do their spring training at Legends field during the month of March. However, tickets are usually sold out several weeks before a game. Tampa Yankees, a minor league baseball team, plays their games at Legend's Field from April-September.

Easy Drives to:  Tampa Bay Rays Who both play and hold spring training at Tropicana Field in St.Petursburg. Once the biggest laugh in all of Major League Baseball, they had a stellar season in 2008.

Spring Training Baseball:

  • Philadelphia Phillies (Clearwater)
  • Toronto Blue Jays (Dunedin)
  • Detroit Tigers (Lakeland)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates (Bradenton)
  • Tampa Bay Rays (St.Petersburg)

Golf

  • Ace Golf/Pebble Creek Golf Club: 10550 Regents Park Drive, Phone: 813-973-3870
  • Babe Zaharias Golf Course: 11412 Forest Hills Drive, Phone: 813-631-4374
  • Bloomingdale Golfers Club: 4113 Great Golfers Place, Phone: 813-685-4105
  • The Claw at USF: 13801 N 46th Street, Phone: 813-632-6893, Fax: 813-975-6695,
  • Emerald Greens Golf Resort and Country Club: 13941 Clubhouse Drive, Toll-Free: (866) 974-7336, Phone: (813) 961-9400
  • TPC Tampa Bay: 5300 W. Lutz Lake Fern Road, Phone: 813-949-0090

International PlazaShopping

International Plaza, located near the airport, would be worthwhile if one is trying to spend a few hours. The usual stores are present, plus a collection of boutique shops in the outdoor area. Lots of food and drink options as well.

Westshore Plaza Mall, also near the airport, has a movie theater and shops.

Beside the cruise terminals downtown, Channelside has a shopping complex with many diverse stores.

Insider Tip: Take the streetcar into Ybor City for more shopping and restaurants, the ride takes about 10 to 15 minutes.