"Pine covered sand flats and a one-track railroad" Top 5 Page for this destination Tampa by Ewingjr98

Tampa Travel Guide: 1,044 reviews and 2,356 photos

When President (then Colonel) Theodore Roosevelt visited Tampa in 1898 during the Spanish American War, he described Tampa as merely "pine covered sand flats at the end of a one track railroad." This war, and the 30,000 troops that passed though the city, marked the beginning of Tampa's expansion into the city we know today.

I first visited Tampa as a kid, back in 1985. After spending a few days in Orlando, we drove over to the Gulf Coast and enjoyed a day at Busch Gardens.

I finally returned to Tampa in December 2006. I stayed in Indian Rocks Beach and visited Clearwater, Ybor City, and Busch Gardens.

I made another visit to Tampa for New Years 2008 and got to visit Sarasota, Indian Rocks Beach, and several places in Tampa including Ybor City, Channelside, and downtown.

Visiting Tampa? The two primary hotel areas in the city are on Westshore Avenue near the airport (try the InterContinental or the Doubletree) and downtown (I like the Sheraton Riverwalk and the Marriott Waterside). The downtown area offers lots to do including easy access to the St. Pete Times Forum, a cheap trolley to Ybor City, the Tampa History Museum, Channelside Mall, and the University of Tampa.

Hungry for some local food? The two big restaurant and nightlife concentrations in Tampa can be found at Hyde Park/South Howard and in Ybor City. South Howard, or SoHo, has world famous Bern's Steakhouse, along with a variety of other unique local options like Daily Eats, Cheap, the Lime, the Bungalow, Smoke, Ceviche, Ciccio's, the Rack, the Dubliner Irish Pub, MacDinton's Irish Pub, Yard of Ale, the Retreat, and World of Beer. My favorite places in Ybor City include historic Columbia Restaurant, New World Brewery, the Buddha Lounge, Shrimp and Company, Gaspar's Grotto, the Green Iguana, and the James Joyce Irish Pub.

  • Last visit to Tampa: Jan 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (283)

Comments (4)

  • taigaa001's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    Great video clip about Tampa Zoo. I have heard about the zoo. It seems to be one of the most popular American zoos for Japanese tourists.

    • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo
      Sep 8, 2012 at 1:50 AM

      Thanks for stopping by. Lowry Park Zoo is interesting, because it is so small, but it had consistently been rated as one of the top zoos in the country.

  • atufft's Profile Photo
    Jun 5, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    Outstanding Public Transit coverage for the Tampa Bay area...

  • Lhenne1's Profile Photo
    Jun 10, 2010 at 6:00 AM

    I haven't tried Ramon's yet, but as of today, the Bungalow has my vote for best cuban. Mmmmm...cuban sandwich...drool... ;)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jan 12, 2008 at 1:58 PM

    good page, thanx!


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