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As the biggest city in West Central Florida, Tampa has a city population of 347, 645, with a metropolitan population of 2.8-million. It can be found on Tampa Bay, and it is within reasonable proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. In terms of both history and current attractions, Tampa is without question one of the most significant cities in the entire state. As part of the Tampa Bay Area, Tampa has a reputation for being one of the best outdoor cities in not only the state of Florida, but throughout the entire United States, as well. In 2008, Forbes Magazine labeled it the fifth best outdoor city in the entire country.
Meaning “Sticks of fire”, the true history of Tampa prior to European interaction is hazy. Once the Europeans arrived in the area in the 1520s, the modern history of Tampa began to take shape. However, the area wasn’t formally settled into the Tampa that stands today until 1823. It was formally and permanently incorporated as a city in 1887.
Building itself on such elements as the cigar industry, as well as connections to the railroad, Tampa eventually became one of the most important cities in that particular part of the country. Visitors to the city of Tampa in the present will find more than enough to keep them occupied.
This culturally diverse city has a thriving downtown. Some of the highlights of Downtown Tampa include Channelside, the Florida Aquarium, the Tampa Museum of Art, and the Tampa Theater. It is certainly worth noting that Downtown Tampa is also the location of the University of Tampa. A small-but-fantastic museum can be found within the university. Downtown Tampa also offers the Davis Islands and Harbor Island.
North Tampa is just as thriving and engaging as the downtown area. Visit North Tampa, and it is possible to check out such locations as the Lowry Park Zoo, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the University of South Florida. In particular, the Lowry Park Zoo is considered by many to be one of the best zoos in the United States.
Ybor City is another region of Tampa that’s worth exploring. The Ybor City State Museum, the Ybor City Cigar Museum, and Saturday Market are amongst its highlights. Those who want to experience the nightlife of Tampa FL will definitely want to make time for Centro Ybor, which offers a number of exciting bars and nightclubs. The Saturday Market is great for local Tampa color.