Ybor City, located in Tampa, Florida, is a place teeming with beautiful architecture, rich history, and culture.
The Ybor City Historic District, for example, is a National Historic Landmark District dotted with various old establishments.
The city is also called the “Cigar Capital of the World,” thanks to the cigar factories built during the turn of the 20th century.
There’s much to do here for every tourist, from the foodie to the history buff.
If you plan to visit this historic city, here is the list of the best things to do in Ybor City:
Explore 7th Avenue
Spend your morning wandering around the shops on 7th Avenue, a historic neighborhood in Ybor City.
Buy a cup of coffee and enjoy strolling 7th Avenue, also known as "La Setima" or "Broadway," while marveling at the views of the tall palm trees lining the sidewalks.
Take time to admire the works of local artists displayed on the shop windows lined in the street.
Sit back and relax at one of the benches available on the street and enjoy the view of people walking down the street, the sky, and the sound of Latin music.
Shop and Dine at Centro Ybor
There should always be room for shopping in your itinerary!
Centro Ybor is one of the most famous malls in Ybor City, where you can shop for unique finds, eat delicious local food, and pamper yourself.
Enjoy a movie night with your loved ones at their AMC Cinemas.
After a day of exploring the complex, you are bound to get hungry.
There are plenty of restaurants to choose from, from fine dining restaurants to brewpubs, so you are sure to find something that will suit your taste.
The complex is open throughout the week.
You can visit Centro Ybor from 10 am to 8 pm every Mondays through Wednesdays.
If you plan on going on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, their operating hours are from 10 am to 10 pm.
For those who are planning to drop by on a Sunday, they are open from 11 am to 7 pm.
Those who want to stay longer and have a glass of beer do not worry as the restaurants and bars have extended hours.
Step Back in Time at Ybor City Museum
Have you ever wondered what it was like in Ybor City 100 years ago?
Step into a Casita, a small house built for cigar factory workers and their families, to experience what it is like to live in the homes of cigar workers during that time.
Take a tour of the Casita’s living area, the kitchen, and even the children’s bedrooms to see what the workers come home to after a day of working at the cigar factory.
After exploring the Casita, check out the 1920s-era Ferlita Bakery building, which houses the park’s main museum, to learn more about how Ybor City was founded, the cigar industry’s birth, and the town’s advancement.
Do not forget to visit the Mediterranean-style garden before ending your trip to the museum.
Enjoy the refreshing views of the fountain and the different flowers and plants scattered around the garden.
Feel the fresh air while you take photos of the beautiful scenery and enjoy the calmness that the place brings.
If you want something to bring back home to remember this beautiful place by, you can drop by the Museum Store for some books, cigars, and other souvenirs.
Go on a Cigar Factory Tour at Tabanero Cigars
A trip to the “Cigar Capital of the World” will not be complete without going to a cigar factory.
Whether you are into cigars or just simply curious about how they are made, Tabanero Cigars’ factory tour is worth attending.
Tabanero Cigars offers its guests an insight into how cigars are made.
Be amazed by how their Cuban artisans work precisely with the best quality tobacco leaves and turn it into what is now known as the “Best Cigars in Tampa.”
So, if you are looking for something fun to do or maybe would like something nice to give to a loved one, Tabanero Cigars is the place to go.
Get to Know Ybor City’s Baseball Legends at Tampa Baseball Museum
Be inspired by the lives of the baseball players that shaped the growth of the sport in Tampa, Florida, when you step inside Al Lopez's house, a casita that was built in 1905.
Al Lopez is Tampa's first Major League baseball player.
It is said that it is in the four corners of this house where he started to dream of playing the game that he loved.
Today, the casita not only showcases Al Lopez's journey to becoming a Hall of Fame inductee, but it also features 130 years of local baseball heritage.
To know more about baseball history in Tampa, drop by the museum with your friends or family.
Just make sure to check their website to buy timed-entry tickets in advance for a hassle-free visit.
Although the museum just opened last September 25, 2021, it has already become one of the most frequented spots in Ybor City, so do not forget to add Tampa Baseball Museum to your itinerary for an enjoyable trip.
Be Transported to Spain in Columbia Restaurant
If you are a foodie, you should not miss Columbia Restaurant.
It is the oldest eatery in Florida, which has been operating for over 115 years now.
The restaurant gained popularity among cigar workers in its early years because of its famous Cuban coffee and authentic Cuban sandwiches.
Once a 60-seater cafe, Columbia Restaurants is now the largest Spanish restaurant in the world and has won multiple awards in excellence.
Try their Paella a la Valenciana if you are in the mood to eat seafood.
There are also different kinds of steaks on their menu, so you are sure to find something that will suit your taste.
For a memorable dining experience, pair your delicious meal with a glass of Sangria or their Original "1905" Martini, and then finish your meal with a Flan for dessert.
Whether you are out on a date night or just want to spoil yourself, a visit to Columbia Restaurant is always a good idea.
Enjoy a Glass of Craft Beer at Tampa Bay Brewing Company
If you are looking for a place where you can unwind after a busy day.
Then, look no further.
Bring the whole gang to Tampa Bay Brewing Company for a refreshing glass of craft beer.
While you're here, don't forget to try one of their beer-infused food, which they are known for.
Enjoy the beautiful city views and the fresh air when you stay on their large patio.
You can even bring your fur babies with you to the brewpub's patio for a more enjoyable time.
If you want a brewery tour, you can ask the manager in charge if they can accommodate you and your group as there is no fixed schedule for the tours.
For those who want to enjoy a glass of craft beer at the comforts of their own homes, the pub offers packaged products that you can purchase.
Have a Picnic Under the Trees at Centennial Park
Spend a peaceful afternoon eating savory snacks, admiring statues, and resting under the trees at the 2.5-acre Centennial Park.
Take a stroll at the park and look at the monuments featured in the park to know more about Ybor City's history.
After touring the park, you can take a rest at the picnic area, where you can read a book and drink a refreshing beverage while enjoying the fresh air.
If you're lucky, you might even witness a local festival or an event while you're here.
For those who are driving to the park, do not worry as there are parking spaces provided here.
There are also restrooms available here for a more comfortable visit.
Find Beauty in the Most Bizarre Things at Dysfunctional Grace Art Co.
Dysfunctional Grace Art Co. has an eerie quality that makes you want to know more about it and step inside its doors.
When you walk in, you’ll be surrounded by bizarre but fascinating pieces with various themes, all of them far from the mundane.
A lot of the pieces, however, seem to touch on the topic of death, and you’ll find everything from skeletons to sculptures that depict it.
If this is just what you’re looking for, you can visit the shop from 11 am to 5 pm from Mondays to Fridays, and 11 am to 6 pm on Saturdays.
It’s closed on Sundays, though.
Make sure to also visit their website for cool finds, like merch and gift cards.
You can even get yourself a bereavement box filled with random goodies for you to discover.
Stay on Track with Your Fitness Goals at Jose Marti Park
Jose Marti Park’s namesake is a revolutionary poet and national hero who is well-known for his contribution to Cuba’s independence from Spain.
The park can be found next to a quiet river, and it is a place for recreation, perfect for family bonding or games with friends.
You can access the gym on weekdays from 6 am to 10 pm for a small fee, and there are tons of facilities that come with it.
You can have a nice workout in the fitness center, practice your moves in the dance/aerobic room, and shoot some hoops on the basketball court.
If you come to swim, there’s a lap pool too.
The pool’s schedule is as follows: it’s open to adults on weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm and weekends from 10 am to 12 pm and open to kids on weekends after 12 pm.
Enjoy a Hot Cup of Coffee at The Blind Tiger Cafe
The Blind Tiger Café has a long and rich history; it has been serving customers since the 1920s.
A Blind Tiger is another name for a speakeasy or an establishment that served alcohol illegally during the Prohibition Era.
This café offers aromatic coffee and tea, as well as different kinds of delicious vegan pastries.
To add to that, you’ll find breakfast options, sandwiches, and salads here too.
There are even acai bowls available, with lots of toppings available.
If you want to pay a visit, you can dine in the café from 7:30 am to 5 pm from Mondays to Thursdays, 7:30 am to 7 pm from Fridays to Saturdays, and 8 am to 5 pm on Sundays.
Aside from great food and drinks, you can also get coffee subscriptions and shop on their website.
Their lifestyle brand, Black & Denim, features stylish, casual outfits that are made completely with raw materials sourced in the USA.
Watch a Show at Ybor Square
If you are a history buff, Ybor Square is a site that you should not miss.
The building assumed a lot of roles throughout history, making it an important part of Ybor City's development.
It was once known as The Martinez Ybor Cigar Factory Complex, the largest and oldest cigar factory in Florida, established by Vicente Martinez-Ybor in 1886.
The factory was huge that he was able to employ over 4,000 workers from Cuba who produced millions of cigars a year.
During the 1900s, the cigar industry has started to decline, so it began housing different stores like antique shops and restaurants, which eventually led to its name changing to Ybor Square.
In 2010, the Church of Scientology bought and restored Ybor Square.
In March 2011, they finally opened its doors to the public.
Now, you can go to Ybor Square to watch events and attend seminars.
You can check out their Facebook page to see the upcoming events that might interest you.
Buy Locally Produced Goods at Ybor City Saturday Market
Thinking of having fresh fruits for breakfast or simply looking for affordable yet delectable snacks to munch on?
Then, go straight ahead to Ybor City Saturday Market for some locally produced items.
This weekend market has been operating since 2000 and has been one of the most popular spots to go to since then.
The market is open all year round from 9 am to 3 pm for October to April, and 9 am to 1 pm for May up to September, so make sure to plan your trip accordingly to make sure that you do not miss any items on your shopping list.
The market also features unique items made by local artists, so if you are looking for one-of-a-kind items that you can't find anywhere else, this is the place to go.
Best of all, customers are given a chance to meet the local artists here to ensure that they are well informed about the products that are being sold.
If you have a green thumb, there are plants that you can purchase here as well.
For those who love arts and crafts, there are stuff that you can find here too that you will surely like.
Wander the Halls of Centro Asturiano de Tampa
Centro Asturiano de Tampa was a social club for the immigrants from Asturias, Spain, and their descendants.
They used to provide a hospital, cemetery, and health insurance to their members, seeking to help them from birth until after their deaths.
Today, this historical site is a sought-after event venue, hosting weddings, parties, galas, and even corporate functions.
The property boasts a grand ballroom, a theater, rooms with a dance floor, and a cigar lounge and cantina to ensure that they can accommodate any event.
Whether you are hosting an event or would just like to admire the historic site, Centro Asturiano de Tampa is worth visiting.
Taste and See the Flavors of Ybor with Ybor City Food Tours
If you are looking for a fun activity to do with the whole family, Ybor City Food Tours offers a lot of packages that will allow you to explore and experience the neighborhood of Ybor City in an exciting way.
If it is your first time visiting Ybor City, you might want to avail of their Original Historic Ybor City Food Tour, a 3-hour walking tour that features 5-7 food and drinks tastings.
Expect to visit Ybor City's signature restaurants, such as the famous Columbia Restaurant, the oldest restaurant in Florida.
While on this tour, you will be able to taste an authentic Cuban sandwich and drink a Columbian coffee as well.
The tours are led by locals who are also knowledgeable in Ybor City's history, so this is perfect for foodies who are also history buffs.
Bayfront houses, business centers, and art and performance centers are only a few of the things that Tampa is known for.
One of Tampa's quaint neighborhoods, Ybor City proves that it can also be a popular tourist destination for historic sites, mouthwatering Cuban and Latin food selections, and unique finds made by their talented local artists.
This neighborhood's every corner is filled with tourist spots that are sure to leave every visitor in awe.
If you plan on going on a vacation to this neighborhood soon, make sure to check this list for an unforgettable trip to Ybor City.