Your guides will board your bus at the boarding zone on 9th Avenue located between 16th street and 17th street. There is a reserved space for bus boarding on the south side of the street and is marked with a sign.
Bienvenidos! You will be touring Ybor City, a recognized National Historic Landmark District. Many of the landmarks that you will see today are on the National Register of Historic Places. Ybor City is a unique district where early Spanish, Cuban, Italian, German and Jewish immigrants came at the end of the 19th century and contributed to a vibrant and colorful society based on the Cigar Industry. Vicente Martinez Ybor is credited with bringing this very important industry to the area in 1896.
Your ride will begin on 9th Avenue and go East where you will see original “Casitas” or cigar makers houses moved to this site for the Ybor State Museum complex.
The Ferlita Bakery houses the Ybor City State Museum. It was the site of one of the many bakeries that provided the residents of Ybor City with the famous Cuban Bread.
On the right is Centennial Park dedicated to the immigrants whose names appear on the wall.
As your bus turns onto 19th street you will view a typical streetscape of original Bungalows moved here for preservation.
As your bus turns onto Eighth Avenue you will see the Electric Streetcar that connects Ybor City to downtown. The streetcar ran on Seventh Avenue in the old days.
Your bus will turn right at 21st street and will turn right again onto the famous “La Setima” or Seventh Avenue, which was the commercial street for the residents. As you turn onto Seventh Avenue you will see on the Southeast corner the famous “Columbia” Restaurant. It was started on this location in 1905 and is in the fifth generation of family ownership. It is the largest Spanish Restaurant in the world.
As you cruise down “La Setima” you will experience a street scene that takes you back in time with beautiful brick buildings, balconies and street lamps where the people of Ybor shopped, dined and wined long ago.
Some of the sites your guides will point out to you are:
Naviera Coffee Mill, Tropicana, L’Unione Italiana or the Italian Club.
Kress Department Store, La France in the Marcos Building, Central Ybor Complex, Centro Espanol, Ritz Theatre, Las Novedades and to the south the restored Florida Brewery which today houses the Law firm of Swope Rodante.
Your bus will turn right onto Nebraska Avenue where you will see the Centro Astruiano once called the most beautiful building in the south and on the National Register of Historic Places.
As you bus turns right onto Palm Avenue look to the left where you will see a white building that was once the German American Club.
Your tour continues on Palm Avenue and turns right onto Fourteenth Street of La Avenida de Cuba.
This is a significantly historic street and your guides will tell you about the historic sites:
El Circulo Cubano, El Pasaje, Don Vicente Martinez Ybor Cigar Factory and the original Ybor Land Development building that today houses the beautiful Don Vicente Inn.
On the steps of the Ybor Factory the Cuban Patriot, Jose Marti, gave a famous speech that eventually led to a revolution in Cuba. This event was soon followed by the U.S. involvement in the Spanish American War.
Your bus will continue to Eighth Avenue and turn left, as it does you should look to the right down Eighth Avenue where Jose Marti Park stands today. The money for the park was donated in part by the people of Cuba and contains soil from each of the provinces of Cuba.
Your bus will continue to 15th street and turn left at the light and then will turn right onto 9th Avenue. Your guides will leave you at the Bus Boarding Zone where they stepped on.