Mural in Tampa, Fla.

Courtesy of Visit Tampa.

Miami and Orlando may well be the tourist locations that appear to head when travelers feel of Florida, but Tampa is starting to be a rival. It’s also a well-liked conference spot, so you may obtain by yourself there on company.

If that is the case, and you will not have the time or the inclination to make it to the seashores that the spot is identified for, you are not out of options: The metropolis has its own appeal past water actions, with Cuban cuisine, craft beer, athletics and a laid-back again culture that celebrates pirates and cigars.

“Enterprise tourists are the bread and butter of Tampa Bay’s visitation,” explained Santiago Corrada, president and CEO of Pay a visit to Tampa Bay, adding that “they’re going to locate the town created to make sure you and easy to check out.”

Anchored by a riverfront convention heart and the 2.6-mile-extensive Riverwalk, Tampa’s downtown district and encompassing neighborhoods offer you people loads of means to expend cost-free time outside the house a enterprise assembly. 

Below are some strategies to assistance you make the most of a number of additional several hours in Cigar Town.

Wherever to go

Commence the working day with a wander or operate on the Riverwalk, a 2.6-mile-very long pedestrian path alongside the Hillsborough River. The bronze and marble busts you may move are part of the Historical Monument Path, which honors 30 men and women who performed an critical role in the city’s heritage.

Riverwalk path in Tampa, Fla.

Courtesy of Check out Tampa.

Say yes to a breakfast meeting at Oxford Exchange, housed in a restored 1891 constructing close to the downtown University of Tampa campus. This hip, club-inspired house residences a bookstore, a champagne bar, coffee and tea bars, a coworking space and a restaurant that has an artwork-loaded principal eating room, a conservatory with a retractable roof and a menu that incorporates every thing from healthy kale scrambles to sinful Nutella babkas.

The College of Tampa, across the street, has two attractions well worth a stop by:

A plaque honors Babe Ruth’s longest home operate (587 ft), strike on April 4, 1919 at what was then Plant Area, during a baseball recreation among the Boston Crimson Sox and the New York Giants.

The Henry B. Plant Museum is in this article, as well, housed in the former south wing of the opulent 511-home Tampa Bay Hotel, built in the early 1880s. Now a National Historic Landmark, the museum gives a glimpse at the hotel’s unique furnishings that rich visitors ended up able to love just before the lodge closed in the early 1930s.

For far more artwork and historical past, quit at the Tampa Bay Historical past Middle or the Tampa Museum of Artwork. Each are very easily accessible from the Riverwalk. The history museum closes everyday at 5 p.m., but the onsite Columbia Café, an casual outpost of the legendary Ybor City cafe, stays open a great deal later on. The art museum stays open until 8 p.m. on Thursday evenings, when admission is “fork out-as-you-will.”

Cuban sandwiches, cigars and chickens

If you have a number of several hours in the afternoon, explore the compact and historic Ybor Town neighborhood, northeast of downtown Tampa.

Get there by Uber or the free of charge TECO Line Streetcar. Halt at the Customer Data Centre to get a map, make way for the community’s no cost ranging chickens and “be guaranteed to see the iconic Cuban Club, 1 of the social golf equipment that supplied assist, ease and comfort, recreation and health treatment to the Cuban populace,” suggests Lonnie Herman, owner of Ybor Town Background Walking Tours. Jose Marti Park, on the only Cuban-owned land in the United States, is a need to-see cease as well, says Herman, as is Tabanero Cigars, “wherever you can get a Cuban coffee and see cigars staying hand-rolled.”

Ybor City Cigars

Courtesy: Stop by Tampa

Far better still, sign up for one particular of Herman’s scheduled tours. He’s bought the keys and the behind-the-scenes tales for many of Ybor City’s historic structures.

Right before leaving Ybor City, stop for lunch at Columbia, the iconic Spanish and Cuban cafe that initially opened in 1905 and is properly-recognized for its classic acquire on the cuban sandwich it calls “The Mixto.” What started off as a 60-seat café is now a block-extended location with 15 eating rooms, seating for 1,700 and a flamenco dancing present each and every evening besides Sunday.

Other destinations to consume and consume

Tampa is effectively known for craft beers produced by Cigar Metropolis Brewing, Coppertail Brewing and other individuals. Prevent by their respective taprooms or consider one particular of the 34 rotating beer options on tap at the out of doors Fermented Fact Biergarten at Sparkman Wharf. In addition to eating and retail retailers in colorfully painted shipping containers this spot is property to Splitsville, an upscale cafe and gaming middle with ping pong, billiards, foosball, darts and shuffleboard.

And for a exclusive, luxe, previous-world eating experience, be confident to make a reservation way in advance at Bern’s Steak Property, throughout the street from the Epicurean hotel.

The 8-eating-room, 350-seat food palace has a globe-popular wine cellar and an complete flooring just for desserts and immediately after-evening meal drinks. 

Sparkman Wharf in Tampa, Fla.

Courtesy of Go to Tampa

Where to Keep

Convention and small business tourists may land in a massive downtown resort, this kind of as the 260-area Embassy Suites Tampa Downtown the 520-place Hilton Tampa Downtown, or the 727-space Tampa Marriott H2o Road, home to the Anchor and Brine bar and cafe which has equally foyer seating and terrace dining on the Riverwalk. New inns, these types of as the 519-area J.W. Marriott, are getting readied in progress of Tremendous Bowl LV, which Tampa will host in 2021.

Tampa’s record of boutique hotels is increasing, too. A century previous previous federal courthouse now properties Le Méridien Tampa. And there are two Autograph Selection hotels: the Current, with panoramic Tampa Bay views and a rooftop bar and the food items-and-wine-themed Epicurean, in the Hyde Park district, which boasts a rooftop bar, a culinary classroom and the elegant Élevage cafe. In the foyer bar, guests might purchase a Dram ‘n Shine, consisting of Glenfiddich 12-12 months Scotch, a craft ice dice and a complimentary shoeshine.

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