Tampa has grown and changed considerably since 1891, but despite the skyscrapers, Tampa has a much stronger sense of its past than any of Florida’s other big cities. This history is found in both well-preserved pockets (Ybor City) and less so (some of the dilapidated warehouses and neighborhoods just outside of downtown) and is quite prevalent.
While it suffers from its share of sprawl and freeway congestion, Tampa’s vitality, fueled by its natural surroundings and by a vibrant and diverse community, is inescapable.
Getting to Tampa
Tampa International Airport (TPA, 4100 George J. Bean Pkwy., Tampa, 813/870-8770, www.tampaairport.com) is only a few miles from downtown. The airport is well-served by major domestic and international carriers; several low-cost carriers such as Southwest and Spirit fly into TPA also. There’s a flat fare of $25 for taxis from the airport to downtown Tampa and the Port of Tampa.
The smaller St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport (PIE, 14700 Terminal Blvd., Clearwater, 727/453-7800, www.fly2pie.com) is 21 miles (30 minutes’ drive) away and is mainly served by charters and seasonal routes from Canada and the northern Midwest. However, low-cost carrier Allegiant Air also utilizes the airport for flights to and from 15 cities.
Amtrak’s Silver Star train arrives and departs daily at the Amtrak Station (601 N. Nebraska Ave.) on its route along the U.S. East Coast; Amtrak also offer connecting bus service to and from Orlando. The Greyhound Station (610 Polk St.) has multiple daily buses in and out of their terminal.
© Jason Ferguson from Moon Florida, 1st Edition