Tampa, Florida, has much to recommend it: Busch Gardens (which predates Disney World), impressive museums, winning sports teams (Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tampa Bay Lightning), fishing charters and one of the country's largest ports, rocking nightlife and a wealth of tourist attractions.
Multi-ethnic Tampa on the Florida peninsula’s west coast is a thriving city where quaint historic neighbourhoods co-exist happily with sleek skyscrapers, and shrimp boats vie with cruise liners for space in the busy port. It was the Cuban immigrant community, led by Vicente Martinez Ybor, who put Tampa on the map when they introduced the cigar industry in the 1880s and developed Ybor City, now fully restored to its Latin Quarter elegance and a favourite neighbourhood for tourists to explore, by day or night.
Most visitors to the Tampa area stay in the resorts of St Petersburg and Clearwater, across Tampa Bay from the city. Most pay at least one visit to Tampa itself, however, for the exciting attractions and excellent museums on offer, particularly families with children in tow. The most popular attraction is the Busch Gardens entertainment park. Tampa is also within easy reach of Orlando, site of the world-famous Walt Disney World's theme and adventure park.