City Guide: Tampa

Tampa is a city for ''twenty-somethings''.

A luminary of students life – newspaper ''Washington Square News'' – found 20 things to occupy you with in Tampa – a city of thriving outdoors. The main draw of your holiday in Tampa can be the Busch Gardens or Ybor City once famed for its Cuban cigar factories, but today home to nightclubs, bars and shops.

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City Guide: Tampa

Tampa is a city for ''twenty-somethings''.

A luminary of students life – newspaper ''Washington Square News'' – found 20 things to occupy you with in Tampa – a city of thriving outdoors. The main draw of your holiday in Tampa can be the Busch Gardens or Ybor City once famed for its Cuban cigar factories, but today home to nightclubs, bars and shops.

You can find something for yourself in Tampa – a destination for all tastes from backpackers on. Booked.net will assist you with your trip, as in a click you can book any hotel in Tampa listed with maps, photos and secure forms on site.

''Washington Square News'' was the first, but not the last to put Tampa on the maps of must-see cities for every tourist. In 2008, Tampa was ranked as the fifth best outdoor city by ''Forbes'' magazine.

Since that time tourism has contributed hugely to Tampa’s economy along with phosphate mining, citrus processing, shrimping industries and shipping. You are in the commercial and industrial hub of Western Florida, remember?

Thus, volume of shipping and resulting wastes of fabrication make the air a bit tough to breathe and Tampa Bay unsuitable for swimming. However, industrially affected Tampa is, it is the basis of its prosperity, and locals have found better places to swim like St Petersburg to the north or Clearwater to the east.

Despite industrialization, Tampa is constantly attracting new residents, therefore its population is extremely multicultural. Just imagine the ethnic mosaic includes 67.2 percent White, 26.3 percent African American, 0.6 percent American Indian and Alaska Native, 3.6 percent Asian and on. With average annual growth of approximately 97,000 residents per year the city's population hit a mark of 4 million people in 2007.

The first inhabitants of Tampa were the members of the Seminole Indian tribe that relocated there from northern Florida and the soldiers that had to control the reservation. It remained a military town until the 1880s when Tampa was boosted by immigrants from Cuba, Spain and Sicily. Today the most of Tampa's past is reflected in its architecture even though post-modern touches dominate the city. Attractions include;

- Sulphur Springs Water Tower stands 214ft (65m) tall, with a foundation 45ft (14m) deep which makes it visible from the city limits

- The Busch Gardens, an amusement park and zoo

- Tampa Museum of Art preserves collection of Greek and Roman antiquities and contemporary exhibitions

You can find a hotel a stone's throw from any of these attractions easily with the interactive map of Tampa hotels at Booked.net.

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