Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon first arrived in the Tampa Bay area in 1513, but the Spaniards focused their attention on settling eastern Florida and left the western areas alone. In 1824, only two months after the arrival of the first American settler, four companies of the U.S. Army established Fort Brooke to protect the strategic harbor at Tampa Bay.
WHAT MAKES TAMPA UNIQUE . . .
As far as I'm concerned, this is as close as I'm going to get to living in paradise. There are warm breezes, gone is the humidity, the daily afternoon tropical thunderstorms or threats of an impending hurricane and only the occasional cold day and night (what I call cold) . . . this is winter in Tampa, the best time to visit my part of the world. We occasionally get a freeze at night, but it never snows and cold fronts usually move fast and last a day or two, then back to warm and sunny Florida weather.
Ybor City is an experience that takes you back to another era, known as Florida's Latin Quarter, wrought iron balconies, globe streetlights, brick-lined walkways and the majestic architecture of cigar factories, social clubs and other unique buildings. It provides a glimpse into an era rich with culture and history . . . famous for Spanish Flamenco dancers, Cuban sandwiches, hand-rolled cigars, shopping at Centro Ybor by day and when the sun goes down, party at the many restaurants, nightclubs and bars that line the streets of Ybor City that are so reminiscent of New Orleans.
For those into sports, Tampa is home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning and winter home of the New York Yankees and served three times as Super Bowl host.
Busch Gardens website
Cross Tampa Bay and you will find white, sugar sand beaches, sport fishing, jet skiing, parasailing . . . there is nothing like walking the beach at dawn or watching a spectacular sunset on the Gulf of Mexico.