I headed to the Gulf side to visit with a friend but that never came to fruition. That said, I had a much more fun time in Tampa than expected starting with some very interesting people from all over the world.
Days were spent playing tourist (mostly by bike) & I almost wished for a rainy day so I could go to the art & history museums. My favorite spot was the former Tampa Bay Hotel which boasted the first electric lights in Tampa and the first elevator in Florida. You can see the minarets from quite a distance but I biked to the University campus to take a closer look.
Thanks to Jeff (of Maryland!), I also cycled along gorgeous waterfront areas of Harbourside and Davis Island with views of the city skyline. While I did cruise through the famous Ybor City neighborhood, I was underwhelmed; it's now too famous to be "quaint". In Tampa Heights, across from my hostel, is the Woodlawn Cemetery where I decided to stroll for an hour and catch some interesting late 1800s styles.
Evenings were spent in conversation with fellow travelers who were great company to keep. The photos tell the rest of the story, but I have to say that I was quite pleasantly surprised by the beauty and livability of this city. Who knew?
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover