Things to Love about Tampa, Florida

If you’re up for some good and warm weather, you can catch the next plane to Tampa, Florida and get soaked up in the sun! There are so many things to love about Florida because of its awesome tourist destinations. Tampa will surely make you want to stay!

Tourists who love animals may visit Busch Gardens for that wild safari feel. Busch Gardens is a theme park with exotic animals, rides, various performances and live music to entertain the family. The animals are in a safe place and you will see them grazing and walking along the plains, which have been converted to an African-themed habitat. The animals are safe, and tourists are often encouraged to bond with the animals. You will also see the Serengeti Night Safari in this tourist spot. Busch Gardens is located at 10165 North McKinley Drive.

Another habitat for animals, but this time for abandoned felines, is Big Cat Rescue. This is a popular wildlife sanctuary in Tampa. It is the home to abandoned (but not unhealthy!) tigers, jungle cats, lynx, leopards, caracals, and bobcats. Unlike in Busch Gardens, however, tourists are not allowed to wander all by themselves in the sanctuary; there must be a tour guide with them. Visitors with children under 10 years of age will have to take the Kids Tour instead. Unfortunately, this feature is available only on particular days.

The Big Cat Rescue facility is located at 12802 Easy Street.
Tourists who want to visit more animals may check out Lowry Park Zoo at 1101 West Sligh Avenue. Not only does the zoo house over 2000 animals, it also features the Florida Wildlife Center, Asian Gardens, Free-Flight Aviaries, Primate World, Florida Manatee and Aquatic Center, and Safari Africa. Think of this zoo as the Big Cat Rescue and Busch Gardens combined!
At 6990 Dickman Road, meanwhile, you will see the Manatee Viewing Center. The manatees swim in the warm waters provided by the Tampa Electric Power Plant just across from the facility.
After visiting animals, you may want to have a movie festival at the historical Tampa Theater. The imposing structure is a combination of Greek, Italian Renaissance, and Byzantine architectural styles. It’s also one of the popular romantic getaways in Tampa, should you want to watch classics with your family or significant other. Tampa Theater is situated at 711 Franklin Street.

Meanwhile, take your historical tour to the next level at Ybor City, which also happens to be a National Historic Landmark district. It was founded by Vicente Ybor, a popular and important figure in the late 19th century. Ybor owned a huge cigar factory in Tampa, with 4,000 employees. However, the Great Depression soon affected the cigarette industry and exacted a heavy toll on Ybor’s company. During Ybor’s heyday, however, the cigarette industry was at its peak in Florida.

You might also want to check out Tampa Bay History Center to know more about the state’s rich industrial and cultural history. There are galleries and sceneries your eyes would feast upon, not to mention a massive glass structure at the Channelside District. You will find the Tampa Bay History Center at 801 Old Water Street.

To complete the historical tour, you may visit the Henry B. Plant Museum near the University of Tampa. Originally, a hotel owned by Henry Plant, the place was then converted into a museum in 1933. The museum features and houses artifacts that retell the history of the Tampa Bay Hotel, as well as the contributions of the railroad magnate to Tampa itself. Visitors would marvel at the luxurious lifestyle of Henry Plant because of the various rooms in the museum: the Garden Room, the Grand Hall, and the Reading and Writing Room.

Art enthusiasts and antique collectors may also take a trip to the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg. Gaze at his paintings in awe, and take pictures of the wonderful façade of the building.

Some Facts You Probably Never Knew about Tampa
· The temperature never hits a hundred degrees despite the hot climate in this state.
· Phosphate is Tampa’s largest export. This is used by farmers for the production of fertilizer.
· Tampa is known by another name: The Big Guava.
· The name Tampa most likely originated from the phrase ‘sticks of fire’, perhaps because of the lightning every summer, and the heat.
· Thanks to Vicente Ybor, Tampa became the Cigar City in the 19th century.
· Some locals believe that the Cuban sandwich was invented here.

There are so many things to do while you’re in Tampa, Florida. You could talk to the locals about these widely-known facts, or you could visit art museums. You could also take a leisurely stroll at the Tampa Riverwalk as you walk to its connecting destinations such as hotels, restaurants, entertainment spots, and museums. Tampa is more than just a cool city of Florida; it’s got a rich culture, too. A trip to Tampa is an educational and entertaining trip altogether.