Family Days Out Blog
familyDaysOut Jun 12, 2018
Last month, Family Days Out visited the very sunny Tampa, Florida, and stumbled across an incredible part of the city that just amazed us. Yes, we're talking about Historic Ybor City.
This historic neighborhood isn't on the radar of most people who visit this part of the state. There are so many other things to do in Tampa that already busy schedules might just not find the time.
However, a visit to this iconic and fascinating part of the city is a must for any family. Plus, there are wild chickens too! But we'll get to that later!
Let's step back in time, and explore what makes Historic Ybor City truly special.
Back in the 1880s, the city was founded by a man named Vincente Martinez-Ybor, as well as a host of other cigar manufacturers. It was also an area populated by immigrants, predominately from Spain, Cuba and Italy.
Across the next 50 years, the town grew, as did the cigar factories, leading to the production of hundreds of millions of cigars every year.
The town flourished until the Great Depression in the 1930s, and then in the 1970s was all but abandoned. Then, in the 1980s, an influx of artists arrived, and it grew to become an entertainment district. Yet the history still stood strong, with many of the buildings being used for new purposes, whilst still retaining their historic facade.
Today, Ybor City has been designated as a National Historic Landmark District, and has been known as one of the "10 Great Streets In America". And that is really what it is, it's a street. But it's a street filled with music, and food, and an atmosphere that is hard to describe other than just vibrant, infectious, and exciting.
For more history on the city, you can visit the Cigar Museum and Visitor Center. Perhaps you spotted the old Streetcar passing by. These were re-introduced, and you can learn about the history at the TECO Line Streetcar Museum too. There is also the very popular Ybor City Museum State Park too!
And those chickens? Well, the wild chickens you see roaming the streets are actually direct descendants of the chickens that lived in the neighborhood over 100 years ago. They are well loved, and an iconic part of Historic Ybor City!
A must visit for anyone visiting Florida, and Tampa. It's a truly special part of the state just oozing in history and character.