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Tampa, the third largest city in Florida, is cozily located on the shores of Tampa Bay. According to one version, the city got its name from the Indian word “tampa,” which meant “fiery sticks” – “lightning” to the Indians. Indeed, this natural phenomenon occurs here very often during summer storms.
Tampa has its own international airport along with the largest sea port in Florida. Lowry Park Zoo is in town with a large aviary where birds live in a natural habitat; there are also places here where visitors can pet the animals and even feed them.
The reptile exhibit and terrarium are especially popular, too. While touring Tampa, you can ride on a very old tram that rolled the city’s streets about 50 years ago. Incidentally, several main servers of Wikipedia are located in Tampa, and one of the four Salvador Dali museums of the world is here – this one known eponymously.
The oldest district of Tampa is called Ybor City; it once had a large diaspora of Hispanics and was famous for its cigar factories – which produced some of the best cigars outside of Latin America.
Now the district is a tourist resort area, and there are a lot of museums dedicated to the city’s history. Among them is an excellent cigar museum where you can trace the complete history and process of making the one-time best cigars in all of Florida – possibly of the whole U.S.
Another favorite spot is “Adventure Island” water park. On this 30-acre territory there are all kinds of water slides and activities. If you love adrenaline rushes, there are several high-speed slides – one a 25-meter plunge named “Water Typhoon.”
For kids, there is an entertainment paradise called “Splash Attack.” This place has plenty of carousels, swings, water slides, and other exciting rides.
Tampa is a fun city. The Gasparilla Pirate Festival, the most anticipated of the year, takes place at the end of January. According to legend, a pirate named José Gaspare (Gasparilla) once sailed in the waters of Tampa Bay.
This event was organized in honor of his brave and grandiose adventures. In 2015, the parade was the third largest in the United States, and the celebration had a $23 million impact on Tampa’s economy.
One of the largest architectural/engineering sites here is the Sunshine Skyway Bridge: at a length of nearly 7 kilometers, it is one of the longest continuous bridge spans in the Western Hemisphere. It connects St. Petersburg (yes, there is a city in the USA named St. Petersburg) with Terra Ceia on the southern shore of Tampa Bay.
This bridge was opened in 1987 to replace an old one of the same name, which collapsed in 1980 when a freighter collided with a support column.
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge looks fantastic from any angle. Its pylons are painted yellow, a symbol of sunlight – since Florida is called the “Sunshine State.” At night, the pylons are backlit in gold, emphasizing their graceful shape.
The bridge connects the main resorts along the Gulf Coast of Florida and is a spectacular sight from both land and sea.
Because of the excellent climate, this nice sunny town attracts a large number of tourists every year. If you get tired of wandering and sightseeing, you can just loll on the white sand beach and enjoy the emerald waters of Tampa Bay.