by Dirk Baumgartl
A new brochure “Visit Tampa Gay” informs about the different neighbourhoods and attractions and gives insider tips from prominent members of the local LGBTIQ* community.
Tampa has long been a popular stopover for gays and lesbians on a tour of Florida with its diverse gay scene and nearby beaches. “We have broken down barriers and become known as a place that welcomes the LGBTIQ* community,” said Kevin Beckner, the first openly gay man elected to an official position in Hillsborough County to which Tampa belongs. The annual Tampa Pride Parade attracts tens of thousands of visitors, and Ybor City, east of downtown, is Tampas ultimate trendy neighbourhood (“GaYbor”) hosting dozens of bars, nightclubs, restaurants and shops.
Trendy agencies, microbreweries and boutique hotels can be found in these days where in the olden days Cuban immigrants produced cigars in small and large factories. According to Nick Cardello, who has lived in Tampa with his husband Kurt for 31 years, a tourist should not miss a visit to Tampa Theatre: “The theatre is one of the last remaining cinema palaces built by John Eberson. Here a Wurlitzer organ is being played before the curtain rises,” says Nick. A visit to Busch Gardens with its breathtaking roller coasters is an absolute must for lovers of amusement parks. If you prefer to relax on a beach by the Gulf of Mexico the white sandy beaches of St. Petersburg and Clearwater are only a few minutes away by car.