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Tampa

Tampa's downtown skyline is the product of the 1980s and 1990s booms. (©Tampa Bay & Company) Tampa's downtown skyline is the product of the 1980s and 1990s booms. (©Tampa Bay & Company)
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  • Orlando

    Orlando

    After the Magic Kingdom's unveiling back in 1971, Orlando quickly and indisputably became one of the world's preeminent vacation destinations.More >>
    After the Magic Kingdom's unveiling back in 1971, Orlando quickly and indisputably became one of the world's preeminent vacation destinations.More >>
  • Miami

    Miami

    Sunny Florida skies, a buzzing nightlife and the insistent rhythm of Cuban culture have electrified this sultry polyglot of a city fronting the Atlantic Ocean.More >>
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  • YSU Stem College Dean cut from list of presidential candidates

    YSU Stem College Dean cut from list of presidential candidates

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:12 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:12:22 GMT
    Dr. Martin AbrahamDr. Martin Abraham
    The Youngstown State UniversityBoard of Trustees has revealed the names of the six finalists seeking the YSU presidency.Althoughformer Ohio State and YSUcoachJim Tresselmade the cut, Dr. Martin Abraham's name is absent from the list.Below are the names submitted by the Youngstown State University Presidential Search Advisory Committee: Mary Cullinan Gary L. Miller Gayle L. Ormiston D. Marshall Porterfield Steven M. Rothstein James P. TresselTressel, who interviews for the University of Akron...More >>
    The Youngstown State UniversityBoard of Trustees has revealed the names of the six finalists seeking the YSU presidency.Althoughformer Ohio State and YSUcoachJim Tresselmade the cut, Dr. Martin Abraham's name is absent from the list.Below are the names submitted by the Youngstown State University Presidential Search Advisory Committee: Mary Cullinan Gary L. Miller Gayle L. Ormiston D. Marshall Porterfield Steven M. Rothstein James P. TresselTressel, who interviews for the University of Akron...More >>
  • Part time Lowellville policeman charged with abduction

    Part time Lowellville policeman charged with abduction

    Thursday, April 24 2014 5:19 PM EDT2014-04-24 21:19:29 GMT
    A part-time Lowellville police officer faces charges of abduction and unlawful restraint.The Mahoning County Grand Jury handed up a two count indictment against 46-year-old Roger Vance.According to the indictment, Vance used force or a threat to restrain a 40-year-old womanin lateFebruary.The case was investigated by the Mahoning County Sheriff's Department after Lowellville's Police Chief received the initial compliant and asked the outside agency to get involved.Sheriff Jerry Greene says th...More >>
    A part-time Lowellville police officer faces charges of abduction and unlawful restraint.The Mahoning County Grand Jury handed up a two count indictment against 46-year-old Roger Vance.According to the indictment, Vance used force or a threat to restrain a 40-year-old womanin lateFebruary.The case was investigated by the Mahoning County Sheriff's Department after Lowellville's Police Chief received the initial compliant and asked the outside agency to get involved.Sheriff Jerry Greene says th...More >>
  • Youngstown man sentenced for slashing and stabbing woman and her daughter

    Youngstown man sentenced for slashing and stabbing woman and her daughter

    Thursday, April 24 2014 4:34 PM EDT2014-04-24 20:34:48 GMT
    A Youngstown man has been sentenced to ten years in prisonafterpolice say he tried to murder a woman and her daughter. 32-year-old Jamar Berry plead guilty earlier to charges of attempted murder, assault and burglary.Berry was accused of slitting the throat of a woman and stabbing her 16-year-old daughter at their Craiger Avenue home last December.Both victims survived the attack.More >>
    A Youngstown man has been sentenced to ten years in prisonafterpolice say he tried to murder a woman and her daughter. 32-year-old Jamar Berry plead guilty earlier to charges of attempted murder, assault and burglary.Berry was accused of slitting the throat of a woman and stabbing her 16-year-old daughter at their Craiger Avenue home last December.Both victims survived the attack.More >>

200 miles SW of Jacksonville; 85 miles SW of Orlando; 254 miles NW of Miami

Even if you stay on the beaches 20 miles to the west, you should consider driving into Tampa for a mild taste of metropolis. If you have children in tow, they may demand that you go into the city so they can enjoy the rides and see the animals at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Once there, you can also educate them (and yourself) at the Florida Aquarium and the city's other fine museums. Additionally, historic Ybor City has the bay area's liveliest and hottest nightlife.

Tampa was a sleepy little port when Cuban immigrants founded Ybor City's cigar industry in the 1880s. A few years later, Henry B. Plant put Tampa on the tourist map by building a railroad that ran into town and by constructing bulbous minarets atop his garish Tampa Bay Hotel, now a museum named in his honor. During the Spanish-American War, Teddy Roosevelt trained his Rough Riders here and walked the Ybor City streets with Cuban revolutionary José Martí. A land boom in the 1920s gave the city its charming, Victorian-style Hyde Park suburb, now a gentrified redoubt for the baby boomers just across the Hillsborough River from downtown.

Today's downtown skyline is the product of the 1980s and 1990s booms, when banks built skyscrapers and the city put up an expansive convention center, a performing-arts center, and the St. Pete Times Forum (formerly the Ice Palace), a 20,000-seat bayfront arena that is home to professional hockey's Tampa Bay Lightning. The renaissance hasn't been as rapid as planned, given the recent economic recession, but it is continuing into the 21st century with redevelopment of the seaport area east of downtown. There, the existing Florida Aquarium and the Garrison Seaport Center (a major home port for cruise ships bound for Mexico and the Caribbean) are joined by office buildings, apartment complexes, and a major shopping-and-dining center known as Channelside (in the Channel District) at Garrison Seaport.

You won't want to spend your entire Florida vacation in Tampa, but it offers a lot as a somewhat fast-paced, modern city on the go.

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