Victorian Tampa-- a guided tour
The Itinerary (Three to three and one-half hours):
n Ybor City, and tales of cigar factories, rum-running gangsters, cavorting diplomats in ‘gentlemen’s clubs’, and the haunted ruins of the Florida Brewing Company;
n Palmetto Beach, the site of an old fishing village and a Gay Nineties recreation beach;
n Port Tampa, the location of Henry B. Plant’s Port Tampa Inn (where guests could drop fishing lines into the Bay from their hotel room windows), and the ill-starred staging depot for Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders on their way to the Spanish-American War;
n Bayshore Boulevard, its scenic length spanning four miles of coastline and two hundred years of history. The Ballast Point Pier and Pavilion, historic homes and families, a Civil War skirmish site, the ‘disappeared’ Spanishtown Creek, financing the ‘Boulevard of Dreams’ with hijinks and trolley tracks;
n Old Hyde Park, with its beautiful and historic homes and churches;
n The Tampa Bay Hotel (now University of Tampa) and the H.B. Plant Museum. A guided tour of the Museum and its fabulous treasures. Shopping in the lavishly stocked Museum Store.
n An optional Victorian Tea on the veranda of the H.B. Plant Museum.
With the witty, irreverent commentary of ‘Annie the Maid’
keeping you company every mile of the tour, you’ll feel Tampa in the Gilded Age come alive! The autocratic and quirky ‘first families’, the intrigues of early developers and government, the hard conditions and triumphant ingenuity of Tampa’s Victorian citizens – all these will seem as real to you as your next-door neighbors. Don’t miss this journey into the past with ‘Annie’!