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Photos: Enchant Christmas kicks off at St. Pete's Tropicana Field

With a proclamation from the City of St. Petersburg and the flip of a switch to light up a towering tree inside…

By Chelsea Zukowski

Enchant covers St. Pete's infamous indoor baseball stadium during the offseason with millions of Christmas lights.
27 slides

Breaking bread: A culinary history of Tampa in 10 meals

If food defines culture, then what kind of city is Tampa? The answer can be found in these 10 notable meals, which…

By Andrew T. Huse

Tampa Bay Hotel opens, 1891
When tycoon Henry Plant brought his railroad to Tampa in 1884, he found a pathetic hardscrabble town of 700 people. But in the years after the railroad connection, Tampa’s elite clamored for Plant to open a luxury hotel in his latest terminus. On Feb. 5, 1891, Plant’s Tampa Bay Hotel opened with a grand ball. At 9 that evening, the capacity crowd enjoyed an opera. Then Mayor Herman Glogowski led a grand procession to the dining room for a reception and dancing. At 11, a buffet offered oysters, fish, cold roasts, salad and desserts. The party didn’t wind down until 1 a.m.; the guests slept on couches and chairs in the lobby, as the bedrooms had not yet been furnished.
The Tampa Bay Hotel frequently made headlines, especially during the Spanish-American war when journalists and generals commiserated from the veranda’s rocking chairs. The kitchen served up lavish meals with menus written entirely in mangled French. But with a short tourist season of just four months, the hotel never really flourished. The old Tampa Bay Hotel is now home to the University of Tampa and the Henry Plant museum.

Photo via Burgert Brothers/USF
11 slides

23 under-the-radar Tampa Bay taco spots you need to try before you die

When it comes to tacos, Tampa Bay has some very classic, well-known haunts. But there are also smaller spots with some cult…

By Alexandria Jones

Hector’s Mexican Food 
3121 E Hillsborough Ave., Tampa, 813-234-3646
Looking for a midnight snack? Hector’s extensive menu will get you right each and every time. Find this hidden gem close to two other Tampa gems: Sanwa Farmer’s Market and basically across the street from Esther’s Cafe.
   Photo via Hector’s Mexican Food/Google
23 slides

20 legit Hillsborough County dive bars, and why you should get a drink at all of them

The local watering hole has long been a source of comfort for what ails you. There's just something about the sight of…

By Jourdan Ducat

123 S Hyde Park Ave., Tampa, 813-254-2014
At this long-running bar across from the University of Tampa, you’re likely to be sitting next to a service industry worker who’s either just finished a shift or is having some liquid courage before starting one. It can get pretty packed with the college crowd on nights and weekends, so your best bet is grab a seat at happy hour if you’re looking for a more relaxing experience. This is another spot that allows smoking indoors, plus all day specials and bar snacks to soak up that Rumplemintz shot you just did with the bartender. 
   Photo via Retreat/Facebook
20 slides