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Tampa Bay Blog

  • Memory Makers Wally Reyes
    April 17, 2017
    Tampa Bay is filled with people who make it their job to help visitors have a good time and make great memories during their stay here. Some of them work in the spotlight, having daily interactions with visitors. Others work behind the scenes, making sure you experience the best visit you can. Either way, take a moment and thank them for their efforts. They're doing it for you. Wally Reyes Historian, Ybor City expert Cigar Industry History Tours Take a walking tour of historic Ybor City...
  • Nicahabana Cigar Roller
    April 13, 2017
    Few things are as deeply rooted in Tampa Bay as the humble cigar. Since Cuban cigar baron Don Vicente Martinez Ybor opened his first factory here in 1886, hand-rolled cigars have been a staple of Tampa history and culture . A Tampa cigar may have even carried the secret message to start the Cuban revolution against Spain in the 1890s. It's safe to say Tampa was literally built by cigars. Until Ybor arrived, Tampa was a tiny outpost of a few hundred people best accessed by ship. Cigars...
  • Memory Makers George Guito
    April 10, 2017
    George Guito General Manager Columbia Restaurant As George Guito tells it, the Columbia Restaurant "saved my life." Guito was 15 in 1962 and headed the wrong way when he met Cesar Gonzmart, owner of the landmark restaurant in the heart of Ybor City. Gonzmart put Guito to work cleaning up. Fifty-five years later, Guito still calls the Columbia his home. Over the years, he has worked nearly every job the restaurant has. So today he works for Cesar Gonzmart's sons as the...
  • TLPZ Dinos Alive
    April 3, 2017
    Spring just started, but summer is just around the corner. And that means it's time to conquer Florida's Most exciting place for summer -- Tampa Bay. Here's how to do it. Get up close with dinos and rhinos Got one of those kids who can't read yet but schools you every day on the difference between a Dilophosaurus and a Diplodocus? Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo has the perfect experience for you. "Dinos Alive" sprawls across the zoo, creating a garden of terrible...
  • Jose Marti Park Statue
    April 3, 2017
    April is Poetry Month, and in Tampa Bay, no poet is más fuerte than José Martí (1853-1895), the Gilded Age poet, journalist and orator who inspired his fellow Cubans to revolt against the Spanish Empire at the end of the 19th Century. Known as the Apostle of the Cuban Revolution, José Martí (and his fabulous mustache) made many trips and gave many speeches in Ybor City, including on the steps of the sprawling cigar factory owned by his fellow Cuban exile, Don Vicente...
  • Memory Makers Justin Toomey
    March 31, 2017
    Tampa Bay is filled with people who make it their job to help visitors have a good time and make great memories during their stay here. Some of them work in the spotlight, having daily interactions with visitors. Others work behind the scenes, making sure you experience the best visit you can. Either way, take a moment and thank them for their efforts. They're doing it for you. Justin Toomey Lead Bartender Fodder & Shine Justin Toomey found his way to Tampa Bay via Flint, Michigan, and
  • Ybor History Tour
    March 31, 2017
    Tampa Bay has a long and colorful history (long for Florida, anyway), much of it is waiting for you to discover. Here are some things you probably never knew about Cigar City: 1. The cigar industry built Tampa Bay. For the first 50 years of its life, Tampa Bay was a sandy little garrison town barely connected to the rest of the U.S. That changed in the 1880s when Cuban cigar magnate Vicente Martinez Ybor moved his operations from Key West to a patch of scrub just east of downtown. The port
  • Memory Makers Dianne Montes
    March 20, 2017
    Tampa Bay is filled with people who make it their job to help visitors have a good time and make great memories during their stay here. Some of them work in the spotlight, having daily interactions with visitors. Others work behind the scenes, making sure you experience the best visit you can. Either way, take a moment and thank them for their efforts. They're doing it for you. Dianne Montes Patron Services Representative Tampa Theatre Dianne Joy Montes is a relative newcomer to Tampa Bay,
  • Jose Marti Park Ybor City Cuba
    March 16, 2017
    Have you booked your ticket yet on Southwest Airlines upcoming flights from Tampa International Airport to Havana? How about your Royal Caribbean cruise to Cuba aboard the Empress of the Seas, which will leave from Tampa Bay starting in June? OR your Carnival cruise that to Cuba that also begins in September? While South Florida usually gets all the attention when the subject of Cuba comes up, Tampa Bay's relationship with Cuba goes back to the 1880s. Tampa Bay had ties to Cuba before Miami...
  • Salt Lake City skyline
    March 15, 2017
    Folks living west of the Rockies just go another non-stop route to sunny Tampa Bay! This week, Delta Airlines and Tampa International Airport announced a new flight from Salt Lake City starting at the end of this year. The new flight links the deserts of Moab with the lush green cypress-lined Hillsborough River and the mountains and canyons of Park City with the peaks and valleys of Busch Garden Tampa Bay's roller coasters. Tampa Bay can also be the gateway to manatee encounters in Crystal