You might not know it, but Ybor City is one of the hottest spots in Florida. This historic site sits inside Tampa, offering a piece of culture and history for visitors looking for an enriching family vacation.
Founded in the 1880s by Vincent Martinez-Ybor, the area quickly became known for cigar manufacturing and its rich immigrant roots.
To this day, it still holds these ties to the past, offering visitors a number of interesting experiences that are unlike any other in the state.
That makes this spot a great destination for a family vacation – even if it’s only for a day. There’s so much to uncover in this old neighborhood. It seemingly transports you to a new era entirely. Its size also makes it a compelling pin to put in the map for a quick afternoon of immersion.
Here are 6 fun and exciting things to do in Ybor City.
6 Things to Do in Ybor City that Are Fun for the Whole Family
1. Explore Ybor Square
The first thing anyone should do when heading to Ybor City is to check out Ybor Square. This spot is full of history, culture and activities that immerse visitors into the years of old.
At the heart of the square is an old cigar factory which is a historic site in the city of Tampa.
The factory and its surrounding buildings take up the area between 8th and 9th avenue, creating a historic center to the town that is inviting and rich with culture.
This should be the first stop on any trip to Ybor City and Tampa as a whole. It combines the love of the old with the excitement of innovation all in one easy-to-walk space.
2. Soak Up History at the Tampa Baseball Museum
For all those baseball lovers out there, Ybor City is a must-visit destination. It’s home to the Tampa Baseball Museum, meaning you can immerse yourself in the history of the town itself as well as the famed game.
Baseball means something different in Tampa, Florida. The museum itself is housed in the home of Tampa’s first-ever Major League player. It celebrates the hard work and dedication of the young boy who would grow to be a baseball Hall of Famer.
If baseball is a passion for you and your family, there’s no reason not to add Ybor City to your list. And once you’re there, you’ll find it even harder to leave thanks to all the city has to offer!
3. Get a Lesson in Cigars
Ybor City is known for its cigars. It has a history of cigar making. At one time, the neighborhood produced hundreds of cigars each and every day, rolled by hand of course.
Luckily, visitors today can learn more about this process – and can even buy cigars of their own.
The old factory at the center of the square is a great place to start. Here, visitors can learn about the painstaking process of rolling these cigars as well as the history of the town itself and why this cigar-making was so crucial to their culture.
4. Go on a Ghost Tour
There are a number of tours offered in Ybor City. These tours include walking tours, food tours and even wine-tasting tours. But the best tour of all – and the one that will keep the family most on their toes – is the ghost tour.
As I’ve said, Ybor City is full of history, culture and excitement. So, it would make sense then that the square is also home to a number of celestial beings, right?
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, a fun, lighthearted ghost tour is the perfect answer to a family of bored teenagers. Who knows, you might even find a little something extra in that next photo you take!
5. Learn about the Neighborhood’s Rich History
In addition to the ghost tours, Ybor City is also home to a number of history tours where visitors can learn about the history of the town itself, the cigars that made the city famous, the rich baseball heritage, its cultural significance and more.
That makes this spot great for those history buffs out there. There’s so much to learn about this small area. It’s just yards away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Tampa that it’s hard to believe it’s all really true.
6. Immerse Yourself in Diverse Cultures
Ybor City is one of the first truly immigrant places in the United States. It was founded thanks to the hard work of these immigrant populations including Cuban, Italian, Columbian, Mexican and more.
These cultures are celebrated today thanks to a number of clubs and organizations that keep this culture alive and well throughout the city.
Enjoy a number of restaurants, bars and more from each of these cultures to get a taste of what Ybor City is really about.
Add Ybor City to Your Vacation Bucket List Today
Ybor City is a great spot for a family vacation. Whether it’s tacked on to a larger Florida vacation or being explored on its own, there are so many things to do in Ybor City. You won’t get bored. In fact, you’ll feel like you’re in an entirely new world.
Try something new this year and check out this historic site. You won’t be disappointed.
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