Take a step back in time and discover Ybor City, a once flourishing Latin community that existed in Tampa during the early 20th century. Today visitors can tour a restored home and beautiful Mediterranean gardens and learn more about Don Vicente Martinez Ybor and the “Cigar Capital of the World.”
Ybor City Museum State Park is dedicated to the remembrance of this unique cultural site located at the corner of 9th Avenue and 19th Street on the outskirts of Tampa. Guests enjoy visiting the historic Ferlita Bakery (now the museum), several restored cigar worker’s houses, ornamental gardens, and the museum store.
Visit unique Ybor City Museum State Park and learn more about the flourishing Latin community that existed here from 1886 until the Great Depression.
Bring a picnic lunch, a good book or a game and relax in the picturesque garden area. Tables and benches are scattered throughout the ornamental gardens providing a peaceful setting for a picnic lunch, bird watching or just taking a break. The gardens also provide an ideal backdrop for special events. The Museum Store carries books, toys, jewelry, music, and premium hand-rolled cigars.
Here are some of the activities that you can do during your visit to Ybor City Museum State Park:
Historic Site at Ybor City Museum State Park
Ybor City was once known as the cigar capital of the world and the best place to buy quality hand rolled cigars. It all began in 1885, when Don Vicente Martinez Ybor fled Cuba and arrived in this area. He then created the Ybor Cigar Factory, which would become the largest in the world.
Visit La Casita, an early 20th century cigar worker’s house, and learn more about Don Vincente Martinez Ybor (the influential cigar manufacturer) and the flourishing Latin community that once existed here.
Gardens at Ybor City Museum State Park
Ybor City Museum State Park’s ornamental gardens and patio are stunning. They were both designed in a traditional Mediterranean style, similar to what might have been found in Cuba and Spain during the late 1800s. A bust of the late Don Vicente Martinez Ybor sits among the ornamental garden. This peaceful area is ideal for weddings, special events, picnicking or just relaxing.
Museum at Ybor City Museum State Park
The historic 1896 Ferlita Bakery houses the park’s museum. Inside this old building, that was once the heart of the community, guests will discover displays and exhibits about Ybor City’s history, culture, and the cigar factories.
A gift shop is also located within this building. Several casitas are located outside, these little houses are where the workers lived.
Birding at Ybor City Museum State Park
Bring your binoculars, cameras and bird checklists when you visit this serene area. You may be rewarded with a glimpse of a bald eagle, hawk, dove, gull, bluebird, woodpecker, hummingbird, cuckoo, duck, egret, ibis, osprey, owl, American kestrel, Brown Pelican, Northern Mockingbird, or a Great Blue Heron.
Nature and Wildlife at Ybor City Museum State Park
During your visit to Ybor City Museum State Park and its surrounding areas of pine scrub and marshland you will discover many signs of nature and wildlife. Keep an eye out and you just might see White-tailed deer, squirrels, birds, snakes, rabbits, frogs, butterflies, foxes, alligators, gopher tortoises, otters, raccoons, armadillos, possums, and bobcats.
Pets at Ybor City Museum State Park
Pets are allowed at Ybor City Museum State Park as long as they are well-behaved and remain on a hand held leash no longer than 6 feet. Pets are not allowed inside any park buildings, including the museum and the La Casita.
Camping Near Ybor City Museum State Park
Learn more about this unique historical landmark and then head over to one of these nearby state parks to spend a cozy night tucked up in your tent or RV.
Hillsborough River State Park, located at 15402 US-301 in Thonotosassa, just 22 miles north of Tampa, has campsites, glamping sites and primitive group camping areas.
The main campground area contains 112 sites, each with electric and water hookups, a picnic table, a fire ring and access to restrooms, hot showers and laundry facilities. The primitive group camping areas, available for organized groups, are located within a wooded section of the park. They come equipped with picnic tables, grills, a fire ring, water and restrooms with cold showers.
Timberline Glamping, the park’s concessionaire, offers guests a unique camping experience – rustic camping with all of the comforts of home. They take care of the tent setup that includes a comfortable bed, furniture and air conditioning.
Visitors to this state park also enjoy paddling, fishing, hiking, bird watching and exploring a living history site that is a reproduction of the 1836 Fort Foster that once existed here.
Alafia River State Park, located at 14326 S County Rd 39 in Lithia, offers peaceful wooded camping areas for RVs, tents, groups, equestrian and glamping.
Their family style campground features RVs or tent campsites with electric and water hookups, picnic tables and access to restrooms and solar heated showers. The equestrian campground has stables, paddocks, tie-outs, and a barn area that has extra parking for trailers.
Comfy Camping Glamping Rentals, the park’s concessionaire, offers fully furnished glamping campsites year round. These sites also include solar power and potable water.
This beautiful rustic park also features more than 20 miles of multi-use hilly trails that wind through the forest and along the river and lakes. Guests also enjoy fishing, paddling and nature loving.
Ybor City Museum State Park
1818 E 9th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605
Here is a short YouTube video with some history on Ybor City Museum State Park: