I’m all about touchdown in Florida and heading straight for a piña colada by the seashore… which might be how I managed to dwell within the Tampa Bay space for a 12 months and a half and by no means spend a day in Ybor Metropolis. I imply, actually, how a lot have you learnt about your personal yard till it’s not yours anymore?
So on my current journey to Florida, I enlisted the assistance of Go to Tampa Bay in getting probably the most I might out of a day in Ybor Metropolis.
Slightly about Ybor Metropolis, Tampa
Ybor Metropolis (pronounced E-bore) is Tampa’s historic district, positioned northeast of downtown and simply 6 miles from the Tampa airport.
It’s named for Vicente Martinez-Ybor, a Spanish entrepreneur who introduced the booming cigar trade to Tampa from Cuba (by the use of Key West) within the 1880s. An trade that additionally introduced many Italian, German, Jewish, Spanish, and Cuban immigrants (and their respective sandwich elements) to the world.
Ybor Metropolis is legendary for being a city born solely from the cigar trade and virtually totally populated and efficiently operated by immigrants. Individuals obtained alongside, staff have been well-paid, cats and chickens lived in concord–I suppose you would say life was good below a fedora. And it’s that very same high quality of life you’ll expertise whereas spending a day in Ybor Metropolis.
Clearly, Ybor Metropolis is my jam. I made a video! Watch it right here:
Why spend a day in Ybor Metropolis?
Tampa’s Ybor Metropolis is the unique Miami—or, higher put, the unique Cuban group right here in america.
So, go forward and neglect every part you’ve discovered from Pitbull music movies. 813 is the unique 305; and ladies aren’t naturally constructed like that. Severely, the place does he finds such specimens?
Similar to Aretha Franklin will get all of the credit score and fame for Respect (initially written and carried out by Otis Redding who, in my view, did it so a lot better), so does Miami get all of the credit score for stateside Cuban tradition.
However as Miami’s is fashionable and comparatively current, Ybor Metropolis’s is unique and modern. And it’s a Nationwide Historic Landmark.
For every part else you wish to do in Tampa, the Tampa Bay CityPASS saves you 54% off the worth of admission for the Tampa Bay’s hottest points of interest. To see how I personally used mine, learn my put up on utilizing the Tampa Bay CityPASS.
Spending a day in Ybor Metropolis is like going again in time. Or maybe just a bit farther south. It’s a studying alternative you by no means noticed coming as a result of it’s surrounded by swaying palm bushes and blotted out by the solar.
The act of smoking cigars on a shaded patio and sipping café con leche (or mojitos—hey, you’re on vacay) will disguise the truth that you’re absorbing historical past. Plus it’s one of many coolest issues to do in Tampa.
Methods to Spend a Day in Ybor Metropolis
You’ll study extra from a lunch menu right here than you probably did throughout a complete semester of American Historical past. To spend a day in Ybor Metropolis is to soak up a previous tradition by osmosis–soaking it in by your eyes, your ears, and your straw quite than by a pre-recorded audioguide. So listed below are 10 methods to get the complete expertise throughout a day in Ybor Metropolis.
1. Begin your day in Ybor Metropolis with breakfast at La Segunda
Beginning your day in Ybor Metropolis at La Segunda is extra vital to your day’s success than having even the vaguest thought the best way to smoke a cigar.
This bakery–as soon as a part of a trio: La Primera, La Segunda, and La Tercera—has been working since 1915 and is now the world’s largest producer of genuine Cuban bread.
It was opened by Juan Moré, a Spaniard who, having fought within the Spanish-American conflict in Cuba, fell in love with journey and conventional Cuban bread, the way in which one does. He took his recipe to the thriving Cuban group of Ybor Metropolis and went HAM on his ardour challenge.
My ardour challenge? Consuming all of the cinnamon buns on planet Earth, naturally. Severely, La Segunda’s was top-of-the-line ever.
At the moment, La Segunda is likely one of the few locations left using the labor intensive use of freshly reduce palmetto leaves to create that Cuban bread break up down the center. It’s this care and a spotlight to element that makes every part right here so rattling scrumptious.
What to order at La Segunda
I had the egg and cheese sandwich and a wholesome portion of my husband’s cinnamon bun as a result of isn’t that what marriage is? Giving your spouse half of your cinnamon bun as a result of she forgot to order one?
La Segunda is a take-away bakery and café so seize your unimaginable handmade breakfast and head over to one of many native parks as a result of it’s January and the solar shines regardless.
La Segunda Data
- Web site: lasegundabakery.com
- Deal with: 2512 N. 15th Avenue, Ybor Metropolis, FL
- Hours: Mon – Fri 6:30 am – 5:00 pm | Sat & Solar 7:00 am – 3:00 pm
- Must know: Don’t neglect the cinnamon bun.
2. Meet the wild chickens of Ybor
My pals and I took our La Segunda breakfast to Ybor Metropolis’s Centennial Park for a quiet begin to our day whereas we fueled up. Simply kidding – there’s nothing quiet about roosters-gone-wild very first thing within the morning. Meet: the Ybor Metropolis Chickens.
Arguably my favourite a part of my day in Ybor Metropolis was attending to know the world’s wild hen inhabitants.
The chickens you’ll meet listed below are direct descendants of the chickens who lived within the backyards of the neighborhood’s residents over 100 years in the past. They’re protected by a metropolis ordinance that makes the town of Tampa a chook sanctuary and they're freaking fabulous:
Shielded from hurt? Sure. Shielded from baby-talk and my persistent digicam lens? Undoubtedly not. Except the busier components of city, they’re virtually all over the place in Ybor Metropolis—digging for bugs, strutting their stuff (you assume I’m kidding), crossing the highway for causes unknown, and, sometimes, humping.
You’ll see them cock-a-doodle-dooing which is hilarious, nesting with their chicks which is cute, and chowing down on the items of egg that fall out of your breakfast sandwich which is disturbing in a manner you possibly can’t fairly describe.
Need extra wildlife?
Need extra wild Tampa animals? Make sure to try Tampa Electrical Firm’s Manatee Viewing Heart — only a brief drive from Ybor Metropolis.
Wild chickens of Ybor info
- Web site: yborchickens.org
- Social: Fb | Instagram | Twitter
- Must know: The great thing about these roosters will shock and amaze you.
3. Ybor Metropolis Museum
Simply behind Centennial Park is the confusingly-named Ybor Metropolis Museum State Park, which is actually the Ybor Metropolis Museum. It’s easy, small, and solely $4.
Beginning your day in Ybor Metropolis right here will present the required basis for every part else you’ll study immediately.
Begin by watching the 20-minute introductory video. I do know this sounds lengthy however will truly present you every part you want to learn about Ybor Metropolis.
What to see on the Ybor Metropolis Museum
The Ybor Metropolis Museum, a former bakery itself, has everlasting displays on:
- the founders of Ybor Metropolis,
- life within the cigar factories,
- the varied immigrant teams,
- and their ethnic social golf equipment.
After watching the video, a visit by the museum will solely take about one other half hour—a few third of the time you’ll collectively spend speaking to chickens.
Subsequent to the museum is a Mediterranean-style backyard with a fountain, stunning tile work, and a inhabitants of outside cats that I used to be instructed depart the birds alone seeing as how they’re massively outnumbered. So who do you assume would win in a combat between one feral cat and ten wild roosters? Please advise.
Extra historic Florida
In order for you extra historic Florida, head up and over to St. Augustine–the oldest metropolis in america. For what all you possibly can see, do, eat, and drink, try my full information to 1 day in St. Augustine.
Ybor Metropolis Museum info
- Web site: ybormuseum.org
- Deal with: 1818 ninth Avenue, Tampa, FL
- Hours: Wed – Solar 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Admission: $Four for ages 5+
- Must know: It’s solely by the museum that you could…
4. Tour a casita throughout your day in Ybor Metropolis
After watching the introductory video on the Ybor Metropolis Museum, a tour information provided to take us on a tour of a casita—a small immigrant house from the early 1900s.
You’ll study all about immigrant life in Ybor Metropolis firstly of the 20th century in entrance of, inside, and out behind a fully-restored casita.
(Casita is Spanish for “little home” btw) You’ll tour the lounge, bed room, youngsters’s room, kitchen, and again yard (yeah, that’s the place the toilet is) of a household introduced right here by the cigar trade.
You’ll study fascinating stuff like how they obtained ice in southern Florida back-in-the-day, why there was a loaf of bread nailed to their porch each morning, and why they wore wood sneakers with three heels.
The information will clarify many of the gadgets in the home and train you the early 20th-century methods of life and ironing—one thing I nonetheless don’t know the best way to do as a 21st century lady with electrical energy.
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Heading west? For those who’ve obtained seashores on the mind, remember to try my put up on my favourite methods to spend a weekend in Clearwater, Florida.
5. Take a self-guided strolling tour
Okay, so “self-guided strolling tour” is a time period I exploit loosely right here. You possibly can additionally consult with it as “taking the lengthy strategy to lunch.”
Regardless of how casual it's, you’re nonetheless going to see a whole lot of cool websites you’ve seen within the films. And by “films” I imply the Ybor Metropolis Museum’s introductory video.
I’ve included my strolling route within the map firstly of this put up so you possibly can observe in my digital footsteps. I principally looped round Ybor Metropolis, stopping at a couple of notable websites.
From the Ybor Metropolis Museum and the casita, I walked west on 9th Avenue to the Cuban Membership on 14th Avenue—one of many many ethnic social golf equipment from the late 19th/early 20th centuries.
Ybor Metropolis Mutual Support Societies
These social golf equipment—also called Mutual Support Societies—performed a serious half in early immigrant life. They have been based by immigrants, for immigrants and offered medical care, social actions, and a way of group right here in Ybor Metropolis for residents with widespread backgrounds.
These golf equipment contained cantinas, gymnasiums, leisure venues, and doubtless a boat-load of white linen fits. For those who’re picturing Ricky Ricardo enjoying Babalu on the Tropicana Membership, I’m instructed it’s not totally in contrast to that.
Cigars and Cuban sandwiches
From there I crossed 9th Avenue and made a really bizarre cease—the Church of Scientology. The constructing being what it was, I supposed on merely taking a look at it from the road and swiftly shifting on. Nevertheless, the constructing can be one thing else.
What's immediately the Tampa chapter of the Church of Scientology, was as soon as the town’s first cigar manufacturing facility, constructed again in 1886. It’s additionally the place Cuban freedom fighter Jose Marti made a handful of historic speeches and an unknown somebody ate a mouthful of the primary ever Cuban sandwich.
A lot of the unique constructing has been preserved however safety is toight. Although I admit that upon coming into I wasn’t positive if I’d ever make it out, it was very cool to step inside. (It pays to have pals
in excessive locations at tourism boards.)
I walked across the Church of Scientology and over to Jose Marti Park. (I’ll get to that in a minute so I’mma skip proper over it.)
What to see on seventh Avenue in Ybor Metropolis
From there I made my manner over to 7th Avenue, the heart of Ybor Metropolis’s business heart. Right here you’ll discover the road lined with classic clothes shops, cigar chops, tattoo joints, cafés, and doubtless a woman on trip who’s already drunk earlier than lunch.
Strolling down 7th Avenue you’ll see lots of the buildings from the museum’s video and every kind of well-preserved, historic structure. A day in Ybor Metropolis is ideal for historical past lovers since virtually every part right here is unique. Additionally on 7th Ave you’ll come throughout L’Unione Italiana—the social membership for Italian immigrants.
And at last, on the nook of seventh Avenue and 21st road, lunch!
6. Go to Cuba
…with out leaving Florida, that's. Taking the lengthy strategy to lunch, you’ll go by Jose Marti Park on the nook of 8th Avenue and 13th Avenue. Stroll by the iron gates and also you’re in Cuba!
The 0.14-acre park is known as for Jose Marti, who some consult with as the George Washington of Cuba. He was a poet, a journalist, a professor, and a soldier who died combating for Cuban independence in 1895.
The park has been owned by the Cuban authorities since 1956. And although it’s barely larger than a basketball courtroom, you don’t want a passport to get there. Wow, Cuba is actually stunning this time of 12 months.
Jose Marti Park info
- Deal with: 1303 E. eighth Avenue, Tampa, FL
- Hours: Mon – Friday 8:00 am – 1:30 pm | Closed Sat & Solar
- Must know: Take a very good have a look at these hours; this place closes early.
7. Get pleasure from lunch at Columbia Restaurant throughout your day in Ybor Metropolis
Columbia Restaurant is Florida’s oldest restaurant and the oldest and largest Spanish restaurant in america; in fact you’re consuming lunch right here. The Columbia was based in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez Sr. and stays within the household to this present day.
Spectacular historical past apart, the meals right here is phenomenal and virtually every part we ordered—sangria, mojito, gazpacho, the 1905 salad—was ready table-side. The costs are manner decrease than they in all probability ought to be, particularly for a joint using a tuxedo-clad waitstaff.
The menu right here reads like probably the most attention-grabbing historical past e book on this planet and nothing I ordered wasn’t totally described intimately, and infrequently with black and white photos of immigrants previous.
What to eat at Columbia Restaurant
I opted for probably the most traditional of traditional Ybor Metropolis meals: a mojito, a facet of Cuban bread (baked that morning at La Segunda), the “1905” salad, and a Cuban sandwich. 5 days later I’m nonetheless dreaming of that salad, of all issues.
It was right here on the Columbia that I had my first ever Cuban sandwich—a sandwich created right here in Ybor Metropolis within the 1890s for the Cuban cigar staff to eat on their strategy to and from the factories. Because the immigrant inhabitants of Ybor Metropolis modified, so did the sandwich—an virtually good analogy for the town.
Spanish immigrants introduced the ham; Italians introduced the salami; Cubans introduced the pork; Germans and Jews introduced the Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard. La Segunda brings the bread and Ashley brings her huge ol’ urge for food.
Columbia Restaurant info
- Web site: columbiarestaurant.com
- Deal with: 2117 E. seventh Avenue, Tampa, FL
- Hours: Mon – Thurs 11 am – 10 pm | Fri & Sat 11 am – 11 pm | Solar 11:30 am – 9 pm
- Must know: Make a reservation! Sure, even at lunch. | No tank tops, guys. (This is Florida.)
8. Expertise the fashionable cigar trade
The cigar trade in Ybor Metropolis isn’t even a fraction of what it was, however it nonetheless exists. Seventh avenue is lined with cigar retailers—all respectable, I’m positive—however we stopped on the most extremely advisable: Tabanero Cigars.
Right here you possibly can watch the cigar makers hand-rolling cigars, take pleasure in one in all your personal, and ask all of the cigar-related questions you possibly can consider since you’re infinitely curious and well mannered sufficient that nobody shoos you away.
You'll be able to discuss to and take photos of the employees (however go forward and ask first), smoke inside or out, and even sip some Cuban espresso so sturdy it virtually introduced my 6’4” buddy to his knees.
Watching the workers hand-rolling the cigars with such pace and precision was mesmerizing. Attempting to smoke my first ever cigar was hilarious.
Tabanero Cigars info
- Web site: tabanerocigars.com
- Deal with: 1601 E. seventh Avenue, Tampa, FL
- Hours: Solar – Wed 10 am – 10 pm | Thurs – Sat 10 am – 11 pm
- Social: Fb | Instagram | Twitter
- Must know: They provide manufacturing facility excursions!
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For those who like native cultural hubs, you may be to know the U.S.’s largest Greek group is in close by Tarpon Springs, Florida. Take a look at my put up on the Tarpon Springs Spongedocks right here.
9. Journey the streetcar
The one factor on this listing that I didn’t do personally is experience the streetcar, although it wasn’t for lack of need. Having grown up in Memphis, Tennessee I really like a very good, outdated timey streetcar that can get you someplace—finally—for reasonable.
Even when that “someplace” is solely again the place you began. They’re not quick; they’re not fancy; however they're dwelling historical past—Tampa’s first electrical streetcar strains having been in-built 1892.
Ybor Metropolis’s streetcar system is cute, traditional, and a good way to get to downtown Tampa after one-too-many mojitos. For those who actually have nowhere to go, I nonetheless all the time recommending driving the rails, even when simply in a calming loop across the metropolis.
For every part you ever wished to know in regards to the TECO line streetcar system (that’s actually what this web page is named which is nuts as a result of I needed to look elsewhere to seek out out after they have been constructed), click on right here. For extra on the best way to dwell that hobo life-style, hit me up. We will discuss beans.
10. Check out some native brews
As a result of no Wanderlusty itinerary ever ended and not using a cease at a taproom or two, neither does this one. Particularly, Cigar Metropolis Cider and Mead and Coppertail Brewing Co. And since we’re in Ybor Metropolis I can say: Cock-a-doodle-brew!
Cigar Metropolis Cider and Mead
Confession: I’m allergic to apples. Due to this, plus the truth that I don’t actually like them, I keep away from cider in any respect prices. I've but to style a cider I even mildly take pleasure in—till I visited Cigar Metropolis Cider and Mead, a slight off-shoot of the Cigar Metropolis Brewery.
The choice right here was bananas (lol, I haz fruit jokes) and I liked all of them! Completely value all of the itching. I attempted:
- Smart Prick | 5.5% ABV | Cactus and elderflower cider
- Strawberry Acai | 5.5% ABV | You guessed it, strawberry and acai cider
- There’s At all times $$$$ within the Banana Stand | 5.5% ABV | Chocolate-covered banana cider that was far more wonderful than it sounds. Plus, props for the hilarious identify.
Whereas right here I additionally tried my first ever mead (which is nuts since I’m a beekeeper and my husband is a homebrewer. Youda thunk these two issues would’ve overlapped in some unspecified time in the future, no?).
Up so far I used to be mildly afraid of mead, considering it will be harsh, sturdy, and total disagreeable. However being 6% Viking I used to be positive I might deal with it. I attempted:
- San Juan Hail | 11% ABV | Brazilian Pepper Honey + Pineapple + Habanero + Serrano Pepper + Agave | …and it was easy as hell.
- Forex | 14% ABV | Crimson & Black Currants + Orange Blossom Honey | At 14% I actually went all in on my first mead however I can’t say I hate being known as “badass” by the group of grown males down the bar from me.
Cigar Metropolis Cider info
- Web site: cigarcitycider.com
- Deal with: 1812 N. 15th Avenue, Tampa, FL
- Hours: Wed 3-9 pm | Thurs 3-11 pm | Fri & Sat 12 pm – 12 am | Solar 12 – Eight pm | Mon & Tue Closed
- Must know: All Florida elements and 100% pure merchandise
Coppertail Brewing Firm
Having the ability to nonetheless stand and kind sentences after Cigar Metropolis Cider and Mead, we thought it an incredible thought to go to Coppertail Brewing Firm for some scrumptious native beer however largely as a result of we heard they'd meals.
Coppertail’s wall artwork, balcony, and beer kinds have been proper up my alley but additionally, there was an enormous Bavarian gentle pretzel state of affairs.
In addition to that, we have been instructed by many different people who the meals at Coppertail is top-notch and that I’m a idiot for simply getting a pretzel. Hiya? Does a lunch heavy sufficient for a grown-ass manufacturing facility employee imply something to you? Subsequent time, I’m saving room for drunken shrimp.
Coppertail Brewing Firm info
- Web site: coppertailbrewing.com
- Deal with: 2601 E. 2nd Ave, Tampa, FL
- Hours: Mon – Thurs 11 am – 11 pm | Fri & Sat 11 am – midnight | Solar midday – 9 pm
- Must know: The meals is seemingly the mack daddy of taproom meals.
Extra data in your day in Ybor Metropolis
Heading to the Tampa Bay space? Discover nice locations to remain right here.
Wish to see extra? The Tampa Bay CityPASS saves you 54% on the town’s prime points of interest.
Digital camera I used for this put up? Olympus OM-D EM-5 Mark II with 12-40mm lens
What else have I lined within the space? Take a look at these posts.
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Particular because of the parents at Go to Tampa Bay for displaying me round this superior city and for masking my museum admission though I attempted to get them to not. 🙂