The city of Tampa is located on the west coast of Florida on the Gulf Coast. It is the county seat of Hillsborough County and has a population of about 350,000. It is the 53rd largest city in the United States. The city of Tampa, together with the cities of St. Petersburg, Largo and Clearwater, is part of the Tampa Bay Area metropolitan area, which has about 3 million inhabitants.
In 2008, Tampa was ranked the eighth cleanest city in the United States. A survey by an American newspaper called Tampa one of the best places to live. The city and its surroundings have 165 parks and beautiful beaches covering an area of 9.25 km2. Northeast of Tampa is Hillsborough River State Park, which is a popular excursion destination for locals. Tampa also has a number of attractions and theme parks, such as Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Adventure Island, Lowry Park Zoo and the Florida Aquarium.
The local Lowry Park Zoo houses over 2,000 animals, there are interactive exhibits, horseback riding and various educational programs for children. The zoo is the economic, cultural, entertainment and educational center of Tampa. The Florida Aquarium covers an area of 23,000 m2 and presents visitors with over 20,000 species of aquatic plants and animals. It is also attractive for its unique glass architecture.
According to Liuxers, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is located near the University of South Florida. Opened on March 31, 1959 and thematically focused on Africa, it is also home to a variety of African wildlife. It is divided into 10 separate areas and there are 4 reservations. The first is The Serengeti Plain, which opened in 1965 and features giraffes, zebras, ostriches and many other typically African animals. A special train passes through the entire reservation. Other reserves include Myombe Reserve with gorillas and chimpanzees, Egde of Africa and Curiosity Caverns, where you can see bats, snakes, lizards and more. Popular attractions of the park are 4 roller coasters. Today, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is one of the most popular destinations in all of Florida and is visited by more than 4 million tourists a year.
Well-known shopping malls in Tampa include Bay Street, International Plaza and Westhore Plaza. However, there are also religious monuments in the city, the first church was built here in 1846. The most famous secular building is the Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart, which was officially opened in 1905. The oldest church in the African-American community is St. Paul AME Church, founded by the Rev. Thomas W. Long in 1870.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park consists of an archipelago of seven small and low islands, located about 110 km southwest of the coast of Florida. They cover an area of 262 km2 in the Gulf of Mexico, so the park mainly protects the water area. The site is known for its rich underwater life with colorful corals, sunken shipwrecks and lost treasures. The park is sought after mainly by lovers of diving, snorkeling, but also fishermen and water bird watchers.
The islands were discovered in the 16th century by the Spanish sailor Juan Ponce de Leon, who was passing through at the time. The area was named after the rare species of turtles that live here. The attribute Dry was given to the islands as a warning to other sailors that they would not find drinking water here. Dry Tortugas Park was declared in 1992 and today protects not only the unique untouched nature, but also Fort Jefferson.
The fortress standing on the island of Garden Key is a kind of dominant feature of the whole archipelago and also one of the biggest tourist attractions. It was built of red brick in 1846 and can therefore be seen from a distance. The fort served as an American prison for many years, where deserters from the North-South War were imprisoned. But there was also, for example, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln – Samuel Mudd.
Thanks to this stronghold, the United States had control over which ships left the islands and which, in turn, arrived in the Gulf of Mexico. The fortress was to continue to be used as a military base, but with the invention of modern firearms, its importance gradually began to decline. Fortunately, people were aware of its historical value, and the islands also rose in value due to their natural attractions. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared the fort and its surroundings a national monument.
The beauties of this place come here every year to admire the crowds of tourists. Here you will find white beaches, crystal clear water, a beautiful underwater world and the romance of tropical islands. You have half a day to explore the fortress and its surroundings – but if you want to stay on the island longer, you can spend the night in a tent on the beach, which is also an unforgettable experience.