The 2021 Super Bowl will be held in Tampa, Florida this weekend and will be the focus of the sports world for the first week of February. It’s Brady and Tampa Bay’s beloved Buccaneers against Mahomes and the reining, defending Super Bowl Champion Chiefs.
The 55th Annual Super Bowl will be held on February 7th, 2021. But the City of Tampa Bay is much more than the Super Bowl. There is plenty of history, food, nightlife, and great places to live and visit in and around Tampa also.
Right after the United States took over Florida from Spain in 1824, Fort Brooke, at the mouth of the Hillsborough River, began what is now known as Downtown Tampa Bay. But, it took a while for Tampa to thrive. It wasn’t until the late 1800s when railroads came and a thriving phosphate and cigar industry before Tampa started to see real growth.
Organized crime, cigars, Cuban Sandwiches, the Gasparilla Pirate Festival are all pieces of the rich history of Tampa that includes the 5 municipalities of North Tampa, Ybor City, Fort Brooke, West Tampa, and Port Tampa.
Jim Thorpe led the Tampa Cardinals against Red Grange’s Chicago Bears in 1926. The First professional game played in Tampa. Tampa Bay has been hosting Spring Training for baseball since 1913.
Ybor City in Tampa is considered the home of cigars. It is also considered the home of the Cuban Sandwich.
The ingredients inside a Cuban sandwich are simple: ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and if you’re in Tampa, salami (Miami argues this is not a “proper” Cuban, it’s a bit contentious). But, it’s not what is inside that makes a Cuban, it’s the bread.
Family-owned La Segunda Central Bakery, which has been around since 1915 and chops nearly 60,000 palmetto leaves by hand each day. Then they moisten the leaf and place it on top of the dough before baking. They make about 18,000 loaves which are used in Tampa and shipped across the country, including Miami.
But it isn’t just Cuban Sandwiches people crave in Tampa. Seafood spots abound with fresh oysters and more. Terra Gaucha Brazillian Steakhouse is a great place for you meat-eaters. For local cuisine, Datz and Gaspar’s Grotto are cool hangouts. For those looking to spice it up a bit there is a strong Jamaican culture and places like Yah Mon are easy to spot. And for those just craving a BBQ plate, well, Al’s Finger Lickin Good BBQ should do the trick.
Whether you are visiting or looking to move to Tampa, there are plenty of options for everyone.
One of the best ways to get a feel for Tampa is by taking the Tampa Riverwalk. The 2.4-mile pathway takes you to places like the History Center and The Florida Aquarium. And, also by some great eateries.
Of course, some prefer the Bay’s hottest waterfront hotel at The Godfrey Hotel .
Outdoorsy type? Zip Lining, multiple trails, and more can be found in Tampa.
And of course, for the kid in you, there is always Busch Gardens.
Just remember we live in different times, so check ahead to see what is open and what the regulations are. A great resource for all things Tampa is VisitTampa.com
And remember Southern Airways proudly serves Tampa International Airport.