The Big Guava Is No Small Wonder

Tampa, Florida. You may know this quaint town as a beachfront resort, an hour away from world-renowned theme parks, or the home of the Buccaneers, but Tampa has a lot more to offer. From its rich history, to the creation of the "Tampa-opoly" board game, a beach town finally puts its place on the map. Here are 7 reasons why I am forever proud to be a Tampanian.

Nationally Ranked Beaches

St. Petersburg Beach, Florida

assets.rbl.ms

Almost every individual associates Florida with beaches, and they would be correct to connect the clear, blue waters with the southernmost US state. I can always count on the Bay Area for crystal clear waters, white, soft sand and picture-worthy sunsets. In fact, as of 2017, Clearwater Beach is the Number 1 beach in the US according to US News!

Arts and Culture

Enjoy a production of "Hamilton" or a orchestra concert at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Perfoming Arts.

upload.wikimedia.org

In the past 10 years, Tampa has begun to increase the number of art expositions and cultural events. If you love posting a picture of playbills, the Straz Center is the place! Home to multiple theatres, the Straz center auditoriums have a serene ambiance, elevated seating, and surround sound to make every "Lion King: The Musical" and Tampa Youth Orchestra performance something spectacular. If you enjoy thought-invoking, abstract paintings, head over to the Tampa Museum of Art for a delight at every corner! I love the arts scene and I know as more cultures enter the expanding metropolis, you are bound to have a good time.

Food Scene

Historic Ybor City is the Origin and Spanish Hotspot of Tampa

upload.wikimedia.org

Florida traces its roots to Native American-Indian tribes, and in the 16th century, Ponce de Leon and other Spanish conquistadors claimed the Flower State for themselves. Tampa was established over 200 years ago, so there are plenty of Spanish, Italian, Cuban, American, Indian and Asian restaurants to explore. Top rated, high-class restaurants that I personally recommend during your visit (if you make one) are: Columbia Spanish Restaurant, Ulele, Oxford Exchange and Bern's Steak House and Dessert Room.

Theme Parks

Dive through the plains and encounter many animals on your ride on Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens

Located in North Tampa, Busch Gardens Theme Park is a place I have gone almost every weekend since I was 4 years old. Children and adults of all ages can be thrill seekers on Cheetah Hunt, Montu and Sheikra, African-themed coasters. Younger children can interact with animals on safari and hold parrots in the bird gardens. Go enjoy Dippin Dots on a gondola ride through the park, or enjoy a splash on the Congo River Rapids and Stanley Falls Flume Log Ride. I will never forget waking up at 9 am on Saturdays to go on the same rides and go on the train throughout the park at the end of the day. Tampa is also one hour away from Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld in Orlando. So thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies, come on by!

Annual Gasparilla Parades

Buccaneers Create a Mock-Invasion Every Year for the Annual Gasparilla Parade

upload.wikimedia.org

Every February, dozens of children and adults rush to the Boardwalk to enjoy the annual Gasparilla Day Parade. Real-life pirates and buccaneers recreate the invasion of Tampa for everyone to enjoy. Floats run by different organizations, youth groups and local community members go through Downtown and throw bead necklaces for people to catch. I remember that when I was little, my mom caught beads from former mayor Pam Iorio!

Higher Education

Bleed Green and Gold at the University of South Florida, Ranked in the Top 60 Universities Nationwide

scontent-iad3-1.cdninstagram.com

The University of South Florida and the University of Tampa are home to many students from across the city, country and the world ready for the next stage of their lives. The University of Florida continues to expand and the Morsani School of Medicine is partnered with Florida Hospital, Tampa General Hospital and the Veterans Administration, all nationally-ranking organizations. In fact, USF received a grant to build a brand new medical facility downtown.

Sports Ventures

Cheer on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Raymond James Stadium, Host of Super Bowls XXXV, XLIII and Future Host of Super Bowl LV in 2021.

upload.wikimedia.org

What's a visit to Tampa without going to a Bucs, Rays or Lightning game? Get tickets to the Raymond James Stadium or Amalie Arena to watch nationally ranked teams live! Although I have not been to a sports game yet, I can't wait to go in 2021 to the Super Bowl, and I have been to conferences and performances in the Amalie Arena, including Disney on Ice!

Whether you know Tampa for being near Orlando, as a beachfront town, or just a city in Florida, I hope that these reasons entice you to visit my humble hometown. I hope you love your stay there!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Barefoot Wine Instagram

Have you noticed that you're drinking a lot more than you used to during the Pandemic? You're not alone.

I too in recent weeks have noticed that I'm drinking more than normal, and earlier in the day. I've started having a glass of wine with lunch a few days a week, something I never used to do. Although, a recent Odyssey survey shows that most Americans are starting to drink between 4 and 8 pm.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These Phoebe Buffay Outfits Prove She's A '90s Fashion Icon — We're Replicating EVERY Single One

In case you needed another reason to love our favorite coffee shop singer.

NBC

I've always been described as the Phoebe of my friend group — not just for being a vegan, animal-loving people pleaser, but also for the false sense of confidence in my singing and athleticism.

I consider it a compliment to be labeled a Phoebe. Besides her general warmth, I was always drawn to her hippy-chic vibes and passion for environmentalism before it was even cool to be vegan or to care about the planet. The way she carelessly ran through parks flailing her limbs without a care mimicked her effortlessly eccentric style.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Elijah McClain's Case Is Being Reopened — His Family Is Still Waiting For Justice

The killing of an innocent Black man will be reinvestigated, and that news that brought me to tears.

9News / YouTube

On August 24, 2019, in Aurora, CO, a 23-year-old Black man named Elijah McClain was walking home from a convenience store after buying iced tea for his brother. He was wearing a ski mask because he was anemic and easily got cold. He was listening to music and dancing while he walked when someone called 911 on this Black man simply walking home.

Keep Reading... Show less

'Tis the season for wedding fun and if you're hosting or helping plan a bachelorette party for the bride-to-be, you're going to want it to be a blast. Whether it's a social distance soiree or a virtual party, games will always spice up the time with the gals, so if you're looking for a fun and easy one to get the party started (and everyone drunk), this game is for you.

What's the name of the game? "Drink If: Bachelorette Party Edition." Here's how it works.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Talked To My Friend About Her Cystic Fibrosis And Wow, CF Patients Are WARRIORS

Not many people can say they've had a double lung transplant.

Alissa Katz

Forty percent of the United States lives with a chronic disease. These diseases are unique in their own way, but one thing is the same — every individual who lives with a chronic condition faces obstacles because of their disease.

Not only do these illnesses require a lot of education for the individuals who have them, but for the community as a whole. The more we as a society know about these diseases, the more well-rounded (and ideally, helpful) we'll be. If anything, we'll have a greater appreciation for the strength individuals with chronic conditions show on a daily basis.

Keep Reading... Show less

We've all been there... your brain was telling you "bad idea," but your heart was saying "but what if..." and now you're heartbroken. Whether you were actually in a relationship with the person or you never made it passed the "talking stage" before he broke your heart, it still hurts!

The good news? You're not alone and things will get better. Here are a few TikToks that will motivate you to move on, no matter what stage of the breakup process you're in.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

How To Create A Summer Reading List On Odyssey

Books are the perfect summer companions.

It's officially summer 2020, and yes, we're still in the middle of a global pandemic, which means a lot of your free time this summer is probably going to involve watching Netflix. But you can't take Netflix to the pool or on the beach.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments