Happy Birthday Tampa! Our city turns 130 years old on Saturday, July 15th and will celebrate a day early on Friday, July 14th. The City of Tampa will be handing out FREE Whatever Pops popsicles (while supplies last) from 11AM-2PM at Lykes Gaslight Square Park. The Tampa Bay Lightning & Tampa Bay Buccaneers will also be on hand to help celebrate with give-a-ways, music, and more!
While you are there, be on the lookout for Tampa’s birthday Snapchat filter and share your photos on social media using #TampaTurns130!
In celebration of 130 years of Tampa, here are 13 things I love about living in Tampa – one for every decade our city has existed:
- Walking on the Tampa Riverwalk and stopping along the way at restaurants and bars for a drink with an eventual stop at the Oxford Exchange.
- Watching the sunset at Curtis Hixon Park especially after one of the many food, music, art, cocktail, or craft beer festivals happening at the waterfront park with the beautiful University of Tampa in the backdrop.
- Relaxing at the MLK Fountain on the University of South Florida – Tampa campus – honestly one of the most peaceful and tranquil places in the middle of a busy public university.
- Enjoying Thai food on Sundays when the weather is cool or in the shade in shorts and a tank top at The Wat Thai Temple off Palm River Road. Nothing beats Kanom Krok, Fried Thai Bananas, and $1 Thai Tea. Sitting on the benches there or on the dock waterfront and letting the wind blow in your face.
- Dining on the rooftop of The Refinery with friends for special occasions and birthdays and watching their reaction when they taste the food for the first time.
- Visiting The Florida Aquarium for the annual SeaGrapes Fine Wine & Food Festival – one of my top events of all time…tons of great food and wine!
- Any visit to the Tampa Theatre – basking in the beauty of the outside and inside of the historic building. My favorite experience? Watching Jiro’s Dreams of Sushi on the big screen.
- Studying or doing work at Foundation Coffee‘s courtyard in Tampa Heights or viewing the Tampa skyline at The Attic Cafe.
- Spending an evening at Anise Gastrobar with friends for delicious cocktails and truffle tator tots. Many of my best nights have started or ended at Anise with friendly bartenders that make great drinks. Not even mention the DJs spinning great music on vinyl.
- Indulging in all the Filipino culture and food annually at PhilFest – one of the biggest Filipino cultural celebrations in the country that draws over 10,000 people over 3 days. Lumpia and Carioca take all my money and I do not care! Not to mention the annual hip-hop competition between schools and teams from around the state. Go AFS at USF.
- All the great Cuban Sandwiches. Miami has nothing on Tampa. Our annual International Cuban Sandwich Festival puts the others to shame and we can enjoy these excellent sandwiches daily. Don’t forget the Cafe con Leche.
- Craft beer. I’ve taken an increased interest over the last few years. Touring Cigar City Brewing was an excellent experience and having an endless supply of great beer around the city and bay area is awesome. I don’t know if I’ll ever make it to all of them, but I’m definitely going to try. Also don’t forget all the awesome craft beer festivals that happen nearly ever 2 weeks or so around the bay.
- Sunset Music Festival. I love EDM music and it is great that SMF and the promoters keep a constant flow of top notch DJs coming throughout Tampa Bay all year long eventually leading to this annual music fest. My first visit to Sunset Music Festival 2 years ago, where I saw legends like Tiesto, blew me away. Through all the fans and music – there are also great food trucks and food vendors every year at the festival to keep you energized and dancing.
We are pretty lucky to call Tampa our home. The best thing is every year our city gets a little better! Here’s to many more years of growth and success for the City of Tampa and all of our citizens.