Tampa, Florida is not only a port - it's a destination full of exciting and fun things to do. Experience beautiful beaches, historical sights, arts, entertainment, fabulous restaurants and, if you can find time, the nearby city of St. Petersburg.
Tampa Bay has much to recommend it: Busch Gardens (which predates Disney World), impressive museums, winning sports teams (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning), fishing charters and one of the country's largest ports, rocking nightlife and a wealth of tourist attractions.
Tampa has sharks and rays at the Florida Aquarium and the more lovable manatees at the zoo. At Busch Gardens, you can ride across re-created African plains in a safari truck, stopping to hand-feed roaming giraffes. Or you can go to sea on a fishing charter and try to catch your own wildlife.
In Ybor City, the historic Cuban neighborhood, you can amble down brick streets, following your nose to bakeries to buy fragrant loaves of Cuban bread or to shops where tabaqueros hand-roll fine cigars. Lively Spanish conversation might lead you to an old-fashioned domino parlor where grandfathers with gnarled hands gather to play in friendly neighborhood matches. Antiques shops, boutiques and art galleries beckon. After dark, the nightclubs throw open their doors, and Ybor City metamorphoses into the Tampa hot spot. Stylish young party animals go out to prowl the area's many hip bars.
St. Pete (the local name for St. Petersburg, Florida) is only a 30-minute drive away, and the gorgeous Gulf Coast beaches are about a 45-minute drive. The theme parks of Orlando, Florida, are about 90 minutes to the east.
For a little fun, head down to Ybor City, the Cuban district of Tampa, which used to be the center of production of hand-rolled cigars. Today this restored area is teeming with restaurants, shops and bars. It's also a National Historic Landmark District with amazing wrought-iron balconies, globe street lights, brick-lined walkways and the majestic architecture of the old cigar factories.
The Cuban influence is still strong in Tampa today. It's a great place to sample delicious roast pork, black beans and rice, Cuban sandwiches and other authentic delicacies.
The official currency of the United States is the U.S. Dollar (USD).