Ybor City is Tampa’s Latin Quarter, also called its playground located just northeast of downtown Tampa. Founded by Vicente Martinex-Ybor in 1886, a Spanish immigrant, this historic neighborhood has a rich and diverse populace rooted in a mix of Italian, German, Jewish, Spanish and Cuban cultures; it is the only neighborhood on Florida’s west coast to be designated a National Historic Landmark District. There is a world of things to explore here, from the historical landmarks, cigar factory units, art galleries, timeless structures and monuments to the latest and hip fashion and retail establishments offering the finest entertainment. Read on to know more about all the things to do in Ybor City, Florida - the Cigar Capital of the World.
1. Experience culture and history at Ybor City Museum
Cigar factory mural and exhibit at Ybor City Museum State Park.Posted by Ybor City Museum Society on Thursday, 3 January 2019
Ybor City Museum is a great place to experience the rich cultural heritage of Ybor City. Located across the street from Centennial Park, the museum is housed in a 1923 era Ferlita Bakery, with a Mediterranean-style garden and the casita, which is a typical cigar worker’s family home. You can easily spend an hour or two here as you view interactive displays and murals, and pay a visit to the casitas and exhibits that showcase the social and cultural fabric of Cuban, Spanish and Italian immigrants and the history of the cigar industry.
Ybor City Museum
Address: 1818 E 9th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605, United States
Website: Ybor City Museum
Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 9am - 5pm (closed on Mon & Tue)
Price: 4 USD
2. Feel the Cuban vibe in Centennial Park
Centennial Park is a beautiful central attraction in the heart of Ybor City, a sprawling area surrounded by Ybor Museum and market area/coffee shops, with plenty of shade and spots to sit, relax and enjoy the laid-back Latin/Cuban vibe. Watch some free-range roosters frolic around, grab some Cuban sandwiches from the vendors, check out the commemorative statues which celebrate the history of the cigar industry. The park hosts Saturday Farmers Market and food festivals like The Tampa Cuban Sandwich Festival.
Address: 1800 E 8th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605, United States
Website: Centennial Park
Opening hours: 7am - 7pm (daily)
3. Appreciate the macabre at Dysfunctional Grace Art Gallery
A few new things added to the shop. Swing by today. We are here till 8pm.Posted by Dysfunctional Grace Art Co on Saturday, 21 September 2019
Visit Dysfunctional Grace Art Gallery for a completely different foray into the macabre and shop for oddities and unusual art objects and preserved life forms. This art shop in Ybor City embraces the concepts of Death and Dysfunction and the same reflects in their unique art forms, vintage medical equipment, art frames and taxidermy objects. Popular among oddities collectors and art fans alike, it is a must-visit for anyone looking to scour around some obscure or vintage art, or just pick up a cool souvenir. The owners are friendly and love to welcome old and new visitors, and the place also hosts workshops and events from time to time.
Dysfunctional Grace Art Gallery
Address: 1903 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605, United States
Website: Dysfunctional Grace Art Gallery
Opening hours: Mon -Thu: 11am - 6pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 8pm (closed on Sun)
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4. Buy souvenirs at Ybor City Visitor Center
Ybor City Visitor centerPosted by MacDill Military and Family Readiness Center on Wednesday, 5 October 2011
Enhance your Ybor experience by visiting the Ybor City Visitor Information Center. Located on 8th Avenue next to Centro Espanol, the center has a museum theater that shows informative films, offers tourists assistance with queries, directions, and tips to discover the latest hot spot among the many Tampa Bay attractions. You can take a self-guided tour through Ybor history, pick up a map or take home a souvenir from the well-stocked gift shop. Or hop on a free trolley train that runs every 15 minutes, and have a truly immersive Ybor City experience.
Ybor City Visitor Center
Address: 1600 E 8th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605, United States
Website: Ybor City Visitor Center
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 12pm - 5pm
5. Enjoy award-winning Spanish and Cuban cuisines at Columbia Restaurant
Taste the finest of Spanish, Cuban, and South American delicacies at Columbia Restaurant, one of Florida’s oldest restaurants. Winner of multiple awards in excellence and operational since 1905, the restaurant offers century-old family recipes quintessential to Columbia, with entrees like Paella a la Valenciana, Red Snapper Alicante and Pompano en Papillo. There are also flamenco dance performances every evening (Monday - Saturday). You can also visit the store for unique gifts and souvenirs like hand-painted Spanish ceramics plus 1905-brand salad dressing.
Address: 2117 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605, United States
Website: Columbia Restaurant
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 11pm; Sun: 11:30am - 9pm
6. Enjoy a coffee at The Blind Tiger Cafe
The Blind Tiger Cafe celebrates the historic speakeasy vibe of the prohibition era and provides a one-of-a-kind cafe experience in Tampa Bay. Much more than a cafe, it is a unique combination of a coffee shop and a retail store that offers coffee supplies, quality textiles and more. The extensive coffee menu includes classic Espresso, Cafe Bombon, Eiskaffe, Cafe Con Leche and other specialty beverages. There is also a fine selection of teas. The ambiance is perfect for chilling out with friends, reading, playing board games or getting some work done online.
The Blind Tiger Cafe
Address: 1901 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605, United States
Website: The Blind Tiger Cafe
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 7:30am - 8:30pm; Fri: 7:30am - 10pm; Sat: 8:30am - 10pm; Sun: 9am - 8:30pm
7. Take a stroll down 7th Avenue
7th Avenue forms the core of the city’s cultural fabric. Known fondly by locals as “Broadway” or “La Setima”, its origins are aligned with the origin of the cigar manufacturing process itself in the 1880s. This ethnic heritage of immigrants is evident in the architecture of the buildings- formed by two-story apartments with classic tile design, ornate wrought-iron balconies and street furniture. The shop windows and streets are adorned with works of local artists, and the iron benches are ideal to sit and people watch with a cup of coffee and Cuban toast.
Address: 7th Avenue, Tampa FL
Website: 7th Avenue
8. Visit the historic cigar factory building at Ybor Square
Ybor Square is a fun and central spot to hang around and enjoy the festivities in the air. Enjoy a host of sights and sounds and flavors here - from the historic cigar factory building to other landmarks to wall art and graffiti to the free city trolley service (which takes you from Ybor Square to the downtown area). Located in the Ybor City Historic District and designed by architect C.E. Parcell, Ybor Square and building have seen many phases of cultural evolution through the decades (as an office space, tobacco warehouse and restaurant), and since 2010, the building has been home to the Church of Scientology of Tampa, and also hosts social events, chapel services, meetings and wedding receptions.
Address: 1901 N 13th St, Tampa, FL 33605, United States
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 10pm; Sat - Sun: 9am - 6pm
9. Get a bargain at Revolve Clothing Exchange
Revolve Clothing Exchange, a Thrift/Consignment store located on 7th Avenue, is a great place to buy, sell, swap your clothes and accessories. Apart from all the latest fashion brands, handmade objects, shoes, purses, accessories, jewelry and gifts, this fun retail experience also offers some great deals on hand-picked vintage stuff from all eras. Once you bring in clean and gently used clothes, you get store credit that you can use to buy new items from the store. So whether it’s a hidden treasure that you are looking for or the latest fashion trend that you follow, Revolve CX is where you want to be.
Revolve Clothing Exchange
Address: 1620 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605, United States
Website: Revolve Clothing Exchange
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 7pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 8pm; Sun: 12pm - 6pm
10. Get your essential retail needs fulfilled at Ybor Supermarket
Located on 7th Avenue, Ybor City Supermarket is a vintage mini-mart that provides a quintessential retail experience to anyone touring in this Historic District. They sell a range of adequately stocked and priced products in many categories, like groceries, souvenirs, cigars, food products, cosmetics, cellphone accessories and they also offer electronics repair. The hosts are warm and provide a homely shopping experience. They are open late into the night, and the spirits section is elaborate with multiple brands on offer.
Ybor City Supermarket
Address: 1618 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605, United States
Website: Ybor City Supermarket
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 8:30am - 2am; Fri - Sat: 8:30am - 3am; Sun: 9am - 11pm
11. Go dancing at The Castle
Just another Friday night at the best and longest running (coolest) nightclub in Tampa. #provemewrongPosted by The Castle on Wednesday, 15 May 2019
The Castle is a costumed-themed nightclub in the style of Goth, punk, future pop and industrial dance music. Located on 16th St close to Palm Avenue in the historic Ybor district, The Castle started in 1992 as a small saloon, and it has developed into a popular dance club that creates a hypnotic atmosphere through multi-storied dance floors, three different areas for music and five for hanging out, and distinct medieval-themed music. The bar offers a diverse selection of single malts, tequilas, bourbons and imported beers. With frequent eclectic events and an immersive experience to offer anyone looking for a wild night out, it is not a stretch to say that every night is a Halloween night at The Castle!
Address: 2004 N 16th St, Tampa, FL 33605, United States
Website: The Castle
Opening hours: Fri - Sat: 10:30pm - 3am (closed from Sun - Thu)
12. Attend an event at The Centro Asturiano
The Centro Asturiano is a historic event venue in the Tampa Bay Area, steeped in culture, architecture, tradition and heritage. Located on the historic 1913 Nebraska Avenue, and originally created as a social club for immigrants from Asturias, Spain, to take care of all their needs throughout their lives, the site has developed into a prime and sought after venue for weddings, events, parties, corporate functions and grand galas. The building, which was recently renovated, is the hallmark of migrant history, with elaborate chandeliers, woodwork, vintage decor, and was inducted in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
The Centro Asturiano
Address: 1913 N Nebraska Ave, Tampa, FL 33602, United States
Website: The Centro Asturiano
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9:30am - 4pm (closed on Sat & Sun)
13. Enjoy a meal at The Stone Soup Company
#keto #zerocarbbread #comingsoon #stonesoupcompany #ybor #blacknbluePosted by The Stone Soup Company on Friday, 27 September 2019
The Stone Soup Company serves comfort food in the heart of Ybor City - award-winning Cuban sandwiches, homemade soups, salads, desserts, vegan food options, gourmet dinner selections, late-night appetizers, gelato and hot and cold beverages. Located on 7th Avenue, this is a popular spot among locals and tourists for the warm service, friendly staff, lively ambiance (there is a secret room upstairs called Spook Easy) and high quality and hygiene standards. They also added a full bar called Library of Libations in 2019, offering a variety of alcoholic beverages including local craft beer, Stone Island Ice Tea and house-made Sangria Wine. This Bar & Grill also offers gluten-free options and they also do their bit in giving back to the society by donating soup weekly to local shelters.
The Stone Soup Company
Address: 1919 E 7th Avenue, Tampa, FL 33605
Website: The Stone Soup Company
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 10:30am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 10:30am - 11pm
The best way to know the Tampa area and its interesting history and food is on foot. Starting on 7th Avenue in front of Jimmy John’s, this food tour takes you on an enriching walk through famous local eateries where you can sample up to six food and drink tastings over three hours. You get to learn about the origin of the food and how it connects to the local culture and history, witness monuments like Statue of Mr. Vincente Martinez-Ybor, and get to know about all the must-visit restaurants that you can later visit during your stay in Ybor City. The guides who speak in English and Spanish, make sure you have a memorable time and advise that you come hungry in order to make the most of the tour.
Historic Ybor City Food and Drink Walking Tour
Duration: 3 hours
15. Explore the city on a Segway
If not on foot, a great way to explore the historic Ybor City is on a Segway. The Ybor City Electric Glide Tour offers a great experience for visitors to see the sights from up close and take their own time to absorb the historical vibe on a Segway. The guides are warm and make sure you are quickly onboard the easy to learn Segway ride. You can stop on the way and take pictures of the famous sights and monuments. Started by the husband-wife couple of Russell and Kristy, this tour takes around two hours and provides a safe and fun personalized tourist experience.
Ybor City Electric Glide Tour
Address: 1805 E 9th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605, United States
Website: Ybor City Electric Glide Tour
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 5:30pm; Sun: 1pm - 5:30pm (closed on Mon)
16. Enjoy live music at Crowbar
Crowbar is a popular local music and events venue in Tampa, an ideal spot to enjoy the best bands up close and personal in an intimate space. Famous for attracting regulars with its edgy downtown nightclub vibe, it also has a beer garden which serves as a fine venue for live music. The line up is filled with diverse musical talents in multiple genres and DJ acts; there is an inside and outside patio bar with affordably priced beverages and good service. The sprawling outdoor courtyard hosts Ol’ Dirty Sundays, The Beer Garden Sessions, comedy shows and other famous events.
Address: 1812 N 17th St, Ybor City, FL 33605, United States
17. Appreciate contemporary art at Hillsborough Community College Art Gallery
The Hillsborough Community College Art Gallery showcases the best of contemporary art from local and nationally recognized artists. Located in the Hillsborough Campus and funded by Hillsborough County Art Council and Student Government Association, these visual art galleries - 221 & 114, have been working to create a local impact and appreciation hub for the finest of artworks, and they also encourage student art across diverse media.
Hillsborough Community College Art Gallery
Address: 4001 W Tampa Bay Blvd, Tampa, FL 33614, United States
Opening hours: Mon - Wed: 9am - 4pm; Thu: 9am - 7pm; Fri: 9am - 2pm (closed on Sat & Sun)
18. Laugh your heart out at Improv Comedy Theater
Join us for Open Mic Night on Thursdays at 8:45pm! Enjoy the free show or sign up to perform at 8:30pm!Posted by Tampa Improv on Monday, 14 May 2018
Tampa Improv is a great spot for comedy in the Tampa Bay area. Located on 8th Avenue, this Improv Comedy Theater hosts some of the most entertaining local and national stand-up comics accompanied by good food and drinks to make your night memorable. There is an upper-level seating area for a better view of the acts, though it is recommended to arrive early for a good seat. They also host Open Mic Nights every Thursday. Head over to this comedy club for a great line up with good sound, affordable food and beverages, warm service and a wonderful atmosphere.
Improv Comedy Theater
Address: 1600 E 8th Ave C-112, Tampa, FL, United States
Website: Improv Comedy Theater
Opening hours: Thu: 4pm - 8:30pm; Fri: 4pm - 11pm; Sat: 11am - 10:30pm; Sun: 3pm - 7:30pm (closed from Mon - Wed)
To make your visit to Ybor City complete, you can’t miss the Tampa Cigar Factory Tour. With a group size ranging from 2 to 10 and lasting roughly an hour, this tour begins from Habaneros Cigars Factory and Lounge in West Palm Beach and covers how the city of Tampa was built around the manufacturing of cigars. Watch the world’s finest cigars being crafted by artisans from Cuba in the factory boutique and learn about their aging process as you feel the different scents inside the walking humidor, with informative tidbits about the history of Tampa from expert guides. You can also enjoy some fine Cuban Coffee, complementary with the tour.
Tampa Cigar Factory Tour
Duration: 50 minutes
Experience history in Ybor City
Take a break from beach surfing in Florida and take a walk down history in Ybor City, Tampa’s Latin Quarter. You will have an enriching and enchanting experience in vintage city squares, museums, and art galleries. Witness the pages of immigrant culture in cigar-making factories, relish the best of Spanish delicacies at retro restaurants, and soak in the finest of retail experience in its shopping streets.
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