Art aficionados and cigar experts, salsa dancers, beer enthusiasts and coffee connoisseurs: everyone is welcome in Tampa’s cultural melting pot.
Ybor City, pronounced “ee-bore,” is anything but boring. This is Tampa’s vibrant Latin quarter and the only neighborhood on Florida’s west coast to be given the National Historic Landmark District status. There’s a lot going on here as there has been for over a century. Cuban, Italian, Jewish, and Spanish ancestors all left legacies that continue to thrive today. Walk the cobblestone streets and soak up the atmosphere from the sidewalk cafés and parks.
When something’s happening in Ybor City then it is often happening at Centennial Park. Go from browsing art to picnicking to enjoying cigar, food and music festivals, all in one day, in the same place. Watch as kids run between monuments and statues that honor Ybor’s founding fathers. Did you know that this was once the Cigar Capital of the World? Pass by Ybor City State Museum to find out about this and other historical facts.
If you’d like to get your hands on a cigar, head to East 7th Street. The cafés here are popular places for handmade Cuban varieties. Mixed with the scent of tobacco smoke is the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans and the sound of “buenos dias” ringing in the air. Feast on a Cuban sandwich, a Florida staple stuffed with ham, cheese, pickles, and mustard. The sandwich even has its own annual festival held in Ybor City in late March or early April.
Follow the story of the area’s immigrants as you follow the street art mural that is two blocks long on Adamo Drive. Experience Hispanic cultures through art forms at Hillsborough Community College. Stay with the Latin theme by dancing the night away to the infectious melodies of flamenco, jazz and salsa.