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The thriving west coast city of Tampa is out to prove that not all the action in the warmly-welcoming southern state of Florida happens at Miami Beach or Cape Canaveral. At the heart of its revitalization is Ybor City, the historic heart of the old cigar industry.

It's also living testimony to the fact that not every Floridian has an incurable predilection for Gloria Estefan, and a sartorial insensibility that teams B-Grade actors, five-o'clock-shadows, and pastel jackets with rolled-up sleeves. Miami Vice, you have a lot to answer for.

While it's true that Tampa, in combination with nearby St Petersburg, is energetically promoting the sundry pleasures of holidaying off the annoyingly pleasant Gulf of Mexico, it's also attempting to throw off the big-haired, buffed-bod, rollerbladding stereotype that sticks like fake tan to any city south of the 30° parallel.

Facts for the traveller
Off the beaten track
Getting Around
Further reading

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