Are you familiar with historic Ybor City in Tampa? If you’re headed to the Tampa Bay area, you must pay it a visit…but go during the daytime. And I’m going to tell you why. Hint, I don’t so much live for the night life as I do for the day life. Bwah! So, let’s talk about what to do in Ybor City during the day!
My bestie came to visit me in Tampa recently and if you watched our Insta stories you know we had a total blast! It’s always a good time when we hang in the Tampa Bay area because we grew up here together. And while Megan has moved on to the DC area, specifically Annapolis, I’m raising my family in the city where our friendship was born. I just love taking her back to our old haunts so she can see how much they’ve grown and changed…much like us. Sigh.
And on that note, today I’m going to share some of my favorite things to do in historic Ybor City. Not only is it beautiful, like most things in the sunshine state tend to be, but there is a very cool modern vibe mixed in with all that history. And while Ybor City might be more well known for its night life, you’re more likely to find me there during the day. Hey, I’m a busy mama now and not so much into the club scene, but the coffee and lunch scene? I’m ALL in for that. Haha!
Things to Do in Ybor City
Coffee: My first stop in Ybor City is always The Blind Tiger Cafe for a Nitro. They have the best brew around and I love the speakeasy kinda vibe. You’ll find a super cool mix of local entrepreneurs, students and sleep deprived mamas like me! You’re going to want to spend some time browsing their collection of local business wares too. I picked up one of my favorite scarves there! Hello souvenir opp!
Lunch: The Columbia Restaurant is a beloved Tampa landmark and one of my favorite lunch haunts. From their famous 1905 salad, to their Spanish bean soup and the signature paella, if you’re really hungry, you can’t go wrong at The Columbia! They make a pretty solid Cuban sandwich too. And it’s not all about how tasty the food is, although that’s a big part of the appeal, the ambiance is pretty darn fabulous too!
The Columbia is actually Florida’s oldest, having opened in 1905, and you can really feel the history. I’m talking stunning stained glass, Spanish tiles and the like. My favorite room to have lunch in is the Patio Room. It has a skylight roof that makes you feel like you’re dining al fresco!
Wander: That’s right…I like to simply wander around. That’s my number one tip for what to do in Ybor City actually. Once I’ve had my coffee and lunch, I love to wander the streets and see what’s happening. No agenda needed. There’s always something happening. On the day Megan and I spent our day together in Ybor City, there was a street festival going complete with food trucks. You know I had to go for the churros! Churroland did not disappoint!
More Florida Travel
Now that you know what to do in Ybor City during the day or more Florida travel tips, check out our thoughts on what to do in Ybor City with kids! And for more Tampa Bay recommendations, we shared some of our favorite things to do in Tampa Bay. Where to eat, drink and stay in Tampa is on the agenda! Happy travels!
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