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The word "Tampa" may mean "sticks of fire" in the language of the Calusa, a Native American tribe that once lived south of today’s Tampa Bay. This might be a reference to the many lightning strikes that the area receives during the summer months.

Not much is known about the cultures who called the Tampa Bay area home before European contact. When Spanish explorers arrived in the 1520s, they found a ring of Tocobaga villages around the northern half of Tampa Bay from modern-day Pinellas County to Tampa and Calusa villages along the southern portion of the bay in modern-day Manatee County.

During the 1950s and 1960s Tampa saw record-setting population growth that has not been seen since. This amazing growth spurred major expansion of the city’s highways and bridges bringing thousands into the city and creating endless possibilities for Tampa business owners who welcomed tourists and new citizens alike into their neighborhoods. It was during this time period in the city’s history that two of the most popular tourist attractions in the area were developed – Busch Gardens and Lowry Park. 

In 1956, the University of South Florida was established in North Tampa, spurring major development in this section of the city and offering many new job opportunities. Tampa continued to expand as new hospitals, schools, churches and subdivisions all began appearing to accommodate the growth. Many business offices began moving away from the traditional downtown office building into more convenient neighborhood office plazas.

Tampa displays a wide variety of architectural designs and styles. Most of Tampa's high rises demonstrate Post-modern architecture. The design for the renovated Tampa Museum of Art, displays Post-modern architecture, while the city hall and the Tampa Theatre belong to Art Deco architecture. Several residential and mixed-development high-rises have been constructed.  Several museums are part of the plan, including new homes for the Tampa Bay History Center, the Tampa Children's Museum, and the Tampa Museum of Art.  



Community Links


  • College Hill
  • Courier City/Oscawana
  • Drew Park
  • Florence Villa/Beasley/Oak Park
  • Forest Hills
  • Grant Park
  • Gray Gables
  • Highland Pines
  • Lowry Park
  • North Bon Air
  • Northeast Macfarlane
  • Northview Hills
  • Oakford Park
  • Old West Tampa
  • Ridgewood Park
  • Rivergrove
  • Riverside Heights
  • Stoney Point
  • Sulphur Springs
  • Temple Crest
  • Terrace Park
  • University Square
  • Wellswood
  • West Meadows
  • West Riverfront
  • Woodland Terrace




Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center

Come see the endangered manatee in its own environment.

Big Cat Rescue

A wildlife refuge thats serves  displaced large cats. Here you can see Ocelots, Tigers, and Leopards.

Busch Gardens

Theme park with rides and offering a tour of the Busch Beer brewing facility.

Lowry Park Zoo

Parents Magazine named this zoo the "#1 Zoo in the U.S." Featuring over 2,000 animals.

Tampa Theatre

A national treasure on the Register of Historic Places, this 1926 movie theater will transport back to a time before "talkies" when Wurlizer Organs preceded shows - a practice they still employ today.

Henry B. Plant Museum

Explore the history of Tampa and the Spanish-American war in a building that at one time was the Tampa Bay Hotel.

Tampa Museum of Art

Displaying contemporary and other art forms from all over the world.

Tampa Pitcher Show

Theater offering liquor and dinner. Includes a lounge and showcases first run and independent films.

Bayshore Boulevard

A nice walkway along the bay. Popular with rollerbladers and joggers.

Ybor City

The one-time Cigar Capital of the World.

Morris Bridge Park

An off-road system of bike trails offering varying degrees of difficulty for the beginner to advanced riders.

Legends Field

The name says it all: the spring training field for the New York Yankees.

Westchase Golf Course

A 6710-yard par 72 golf course that has wn many awards.

Florida Aquarium

A larger variety of the animals and birds that inhabit the Floridia waters.

Adventure Island

30 acres of water rides where patrons are happy to get soaked.

Historic Hyde Park

Architecture of the pre-1940s defines this historic neighborhood which rests south of downtown.

Hillsborough River

A state park with a campground on the river.

Gonzalez y Martinez Cigar Factory

Take a tour and watch professional torcedores roll your favorite cigar.

Metropolitan Cigars

Good prices and better cigars. Family owned and operated, you will find the cigar you're looking for.

Museum of Science & Industry

This community-based and non-profit museum offers a great family learning experience.

Old Hyde Park Village

Offering over 70 shops and restaurants. This outdoor center has something for everyone.

St. Pete Times Forum

Located in the Cahnnelside District, this arena is home to the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning, events and concerts.




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