Ybor City Tampa's Cultural Jewel
Vincente Martinez-Ybor made a crucial decision in 1885 that was to change the course of Tampa history forever. The Cuban cigar baron facing labor unrest in his Key West cigar factories was scouting for a friendlier environment to make his cigars. He eventually chose 40 acres northeast of downtown Tampa resulting in this city’s decades-long reign as “Cigar Capital of the World.”
Trace with us the dramatic story of the ascent of Ybor City and the thousands of Cuban, Spanish, and Italian immigrants that came here as other cigar manufacturers joined the thriving industry. See the wrought-iron balconies, dramatic social clubs, brick-paved streets and casitas (little houses) that set this National Historic District apart as a Tampa treasure.
Along the way, we visit the Ybor City Museum State Park and its preserved buildings and historic exhibits. We also encounter a couple of surprises that offer you a “taste” of the cultural contributions that this little town has made to the area. So, as they might have said in the old days in the cigar factories, “let’s get rolling.”