Fun Facts about Greater Tampa Bay - Guide to Greater Tampa Bay
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Fun Facts about Greater Tampa Bay

Fun Facts about Greater Tampa Bay

fun tampa facts

Enjoy our collection of fun facts that will expand your Greater Tampa Bay knowledge and inspire you to learn more.

Cigar Rolling

How did Tampa earn its nickname?

Tampa became known as Cigar City in the late 1800s when more than 200 cigar factories popped up around the area, turning the once-small city into a booming metropolis.

St. Petersburg was almost named Detroit.

The two men who purchased and incorporated the land flipped a coin to name the city, and St. Petersburg won over Detroit.


Tarpon Springs has more Greek residents than any other place in the United States.

Parque Jose Marti

Want to check out Cuba without leaving American soil?

Head over to José Martí Park in Tampa Bay’s Latin Quarter. It is technically owned by the Cuban government and contains soil from each Cuban province.

Kumquat Fruit

St. Joseph is known as the Kumquat Capital of the World.

Nearby Dade City hosts the annual Kumquat Festival.

Teak St. Pete

St. Pete’s popularity is pier-reviewed.

The St. Pete Pier is one of the most visited piers in the country.

Tampa Bay was for bootleggers.

More illegal alcohol was sold in Tampa during prohibition than any other city.

The Sunshine Skyway bridge

The Sunshine Skyway bridge spans over three counties:

Pinellas, Manatee and Hillsborough.

Tampa is home to the world’s longest continuous sidewalk, Bayshore Boulevard.

It clocks in at 4 ½ miles long and 10 feet wide.

Pilot Tony Jannus flew the first scheduled commercial flight in the world from St. Petersburg to Tampa in 1914, taking 23 minutes.

Today, there is a plaque outside of St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport that reads, “The Birthplace of Scheduled Air Transportation.”

Ybor City, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Tampa, is also known as one of the most haunted towns in the country.

Official ghost tours go through the historic buildings.

The bay area has never reached temperatures in the three-digits.

The hottest temp ever recorded was 99 degrees.

Go Bolts!

Greater Tampa Bay is known as the Lightning Capital of North America because of the daily thunderstorms in the summer created by sea breezes.

Cuban Sandwich


The Cuban sandwich was actually invented in Tampa by a Cuban-Spanish-Italian immigrant, at the La Joven Francesca Bakery.

La Segunda Bakery

Speaking of bakeries, La Segunda Bakery is the world’s largest producer of Cuban bread, with 18,000 loaves coming out of the ovens each day.

The original location has been a staple in Ybor City for over 105 years.

Tampa has its own pirate festival, known as the Gasparilla Pirate Fest.

It takes place every January and features a huge parade and a U.S. Navy ship being “attacked” by pirates.


Some of the movies filmed in Greater Tampa Bay include “Cocoon,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “The Parent Trap II,” “Lethal Weapon 3,” “The Punisher,” “Ocean’s 11” and “Magic Mike.”

Keep calm and rock on.

Tampa takes the title of Death Metal Capital of the World.

GTB is home of the rich and famous.

Celebrities who call Greater Tampa Bay home for part or all of the year include John Cena, Hulk Hogan, Kirstie Alley and Jerry Springer.

GTB Beaches

Life’s a Beach in GTB!

The beaches in St. Pete and Clearwater have topped several lists naming the most beautiful beaches in the entire world.

This is elemental.

The biggest export out of Tampa is phosphate, a mineral that is used to create fertilizers for the production of food.

Babe Ruth hit his longest home run — 587 feet — in April of 1919 in Tampa against the Boston Red Sox.

Babe hit this homer in Plant Field, which used to be in downtown Tampa where the University of Tampa is now located.

Columbia Restaurant

The oldest Spanish restaurant in the world, Columbia Restaurant, is located in Tampa.

It was founded in 1905 and takes up an entire city block.

What’s in a name?

The name Tampa comes from the Calusa Native American tribe’s language and means “sticks of fire.”

Ybor City Chickens

There is a community of wild chickens that roams around Ybor City that are protected by city ordinances.

They are descendants of the chickens that Cuban immigrants brought to Florida over 100 years ago.

By Jen Clark

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