Departing from the Tampa Convention Center in the middle of downtown Tampa, your tour begins in Fort Brooke – Tampa’s first settlement. From here, we warm up with a loop along the water down the Riverwalk and around Harbour Island before we connect back onto the mainland. This is where the real history of the city begins as our first section of Tampa is downtown.
Downtown Tampa packs several key sites such as the Tampa Theatre, Old City Hall, Sacred Heart Church, and the Floridan hotel. In the first couple of miles, you’ll get a full tour’s worth of knowledge!
From downtown, we will make our way towards Ybor City through the trendy Channelside area. It features impressive murals from famous artists in the city, such as Artist Esh (Eric Hornsby) and Saint Paint (Derek Donnelly). Coming into Ybor alongside the Streetcar, we’ll see the Cuban flag off in the distance flying from the former Tampa Brewing Company (Florida’s first brewery). We’ll then zigzag 7th and 8th avenues passing by more murals, several social clubs such as the Cuban Club and the Italian Club, the famous Columbia Restaurant, and of course we’ll stop by “Cuba” (Jose Marti Park).
Your tour then heads back downtown through Perry Harvey Sr. Park and into ‘The Heights’ area, where you can find Tampa’s best murals. We’ll head over to the Riverwalk again. From here, we’ll run along the water down to the Platt Street Bridge, which has one of the best (if not the best) views of the Tampa skyline! (Bonus – if you run this tour early or at night, you can catch the neon lights that change every 20 seconds under the bridge).
We’ll continue on the Bayshore Blvd, where most races are held, and the majority of people go running). After reaching the Davis Islands, we will make a scenic loop around the island and learn exciting facts about the islands – specifically about the fascinating life of its founder, David P. Davis. And if you’re really motivated, we can add in Tom Brady’s house at this point, but be sure to bring plenty of water if you want that add-on.
Heading back onto Bayshore Blvd, the last part of the tour takes us to Hyde Park. A quaint area not far from the downtown, Hyde Park has trendy shops, lovely murals, fountains, and a bit more history as always coming from your guide. From here, we’ll take Swann back down to Bayshore as we make our second and final pass by of the stunning Gasparilla Pirate Ship and back to the convention center. If you genuinely want to see and learn about ALL of Tampa in just a couple of hours, this is the best way to do it!
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