Tampa is a beautiful waterfront city that is growing rapidly. It was once the home to Cuban, Italian, and Spanish immigrants in the “cigar city” of Ybor City.
Tampa is where the Cuban Sandwich was founded and hosts the annual International Cuban Sandwich Festival. The Cuban Sandwich has been served in restaurants in Tampa since at least 1905.
Many restaurant chains are located or founded in Tampa and it was once a bastion of these businesses, but is now taking a local turn. Some examples of this are Bonefish Grill, Burger 21, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Checkers/Rally’s, GrillSmith, The Melting Pot, Outback Steakhouse, and PDQ.
One of the most popular events that happens every year in Tampa is Gasparilla, a celebration of the legend of pirates that founded Tampa. This is similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans and features floats, publicly-allowed drinking, and parties all around the city.
Tampa also has a vibrant craft beer scene that really started with Cigar City Brewing in 2007 and has now grown into over 100 breweries over the bay area. It is also home to small but growing startup community that is gaining some traction thanks to lots of local support.
Estimate Population: 385,430
Current Mayor: Bob Buckhorn
Local Reddit page: r/tampa
Tourism Bureau: Visit Tampa Bay
Local Universities: University of South Florida, University of Tampa