The Channel District, or Channelside, is a well-known restaurant, shopping, nightlife, and cultural area of Tampa that is on the rise. The Port of Tampa also occupies several of the channels in this area including Garrison Channel, Ybor Channel, Sparkman Channel, and East Bay Channel, with operations focused on Hooker's Point, across the water from Harbor Island. The area that is now the aquarium and Channelside were formerly part of the port, and cruise ships are often hosted at nearby cruise terminals.
The Port of Tampa is Florida's largest port, handling some 50 million tons of cargo annually. Tampa is the largest full-service American port to the Panama Canal.
Here you can see 'Time for West Tampa' Ybor City. September to the end of October, it can get a bit cooler, so pack a couple of light jumpers or jacket for those chiller evening. Don't bring babies yunger than two years in the months of July and August, its is quite simply too hot.Don't forget your suncream.
Spanish-American War Mem Park - Port Tampa City
Spanish-American War Memorial Park is a small, generally triangular park in the Port Tampa City area of southern Tampa. The park has limited facilities, with just picnic shelters, a gazebo, grills, and restrooms, but it is next to the Port Tampa Playground and the Rollins Baseball Field.
The Tampa area was an essential staging area for the troops heading off to Cuba to fight in the Spanish-American War in 1898. The seeds of this war were in the Cuban independence movement and the eventual sinking of the USS Maine. The war against Spain began on May 1, 1898, when Commodore Dewey's naval squadron defeated the Spanish squadron at Manila in the Philippines. The war continued with the capture of Guam on May 2, 1898, and the attack on Puerto Rico began on May 12, 1898.
Though the US maintains control over Puerto Rico and Guam until this day, the invasion of Cuba is the most famous chapter in this war's history. Theodore Roosevelt, then the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, worked with Colonel Leonard Wood to organize the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, which became known as the "Rough Riders;" Roosevelt was appointed a Lieutenant Colonel and the unit's second in command. On May 29, 1898, 1,060 men of the Rough Riders traveled by rail to Tampa, Florida, where they made camp at various sites in and around the city, alongside some 30,000 other troops sent for the invasion. Seven military camps were established in the Tampa area: Fort DeSoto, Fort Brooke, Palmetto Beach, Tampa Heights, Ybor City, West Tampa, and here at Port Tampa. The fancy Tampa Bay Hotel (now the University of Tampa's Plant Hall) was the headquarters for the expedition while awaiting the invasion of Cuba.
In late June, about 15,000 troops sailed to Cuba to begin the assault. The famous Battle of San Juan Hill took place on 1 July 1898, resulting in a siege of the city of Santiago de Cuba. On July 3, the US Navy attacked the Spanish squadron in this port city, destroying the fleet. Yellow fever took a huge toll on the soldiers occupying Cuba, and by early August they were ordered to withdraw from the Island. On August 12, 1898, the Protocol of Peace between the United States and Spain was signed, ending the war.
A historical marker at the park memorializes the site's Spanish-American War history:
Tampa as Port of Embarkation for Spanish American War
From April to June, 1898, Tampa served as port of embarkation for U.S. troops on their way to Cuba. Some 30,000 troops arrived in Tampa and 16,000 embarked from Port Tampa on June 7. The Tampa Bay Hotel was headquarters for the force's leaders including Generals Miles and Shafter and Colonel "Teddy" Roosevelt. The city also swarmed with visiting civilians including author Richard Harding Davis and Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross.
Take A Hike
There are tons of hiking trails around Tampa - our terrain is flat so hiking is relatively easy. Trails range from a half a mile to over 45 that I know of.
Hikes also range from waterfront to wilderness and we even have quite a few long paved trails that are also suitable for biking or roller blading.
For references of the best hikes for you see the two websites below or check out the following books.
60 Hikes within 60 Miles, Tampa by Carolee Boyles
The Hikers Guide to Florida - By M Timothy O'Keefe
If you live in the area buy the books and you can check off the hikes as you do them - otherwise stop by Borders or Barnes and Knobles book stores in the area and take a quick peak to see what interests you.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember to bring water, sunscreen, a hat, good shoes and a light snack
Ybor city is home of most all of the clubs in Tampa. You can find a club to suit virtually every mood. Ranging from Techno to Goth to Disco to Blues. Centro Ybor just opened about a year ago smack in the center of everything. There's a huge movie theatre, shops, restaraunts, GameWorks (A very cool game room) and The Improv comedy theatre. Pretty much anything goes in Ybor.