We visited Ybor City on a weekday, during the day. There were tourists and locals present, but it was not busy. We have been to Cuba many times, and found this area to be reminiscent of Cuba. There is a cigar shop with recent immigrants from Cuba, rolling cigars. We don't speak Spanish, and they don't speak English, but we were still able to communicate a bit, and find out about their cigar shop. It was a neat experience, quite authentic. It did not feel like we were in Florida. We visited the Visitor Information Centre, where they present a movie which documents the history of Ybor City. My teens thought it would be boring, but it was quite informative. We visited Columbia restaurant for lunch. The food was delicious, made just like in Cuba. It is a bit pricey, very busy, but well worth the visit. There are a few stores and coffee shops. There is an Italian cultural centre as well, which documents early Italian settler experiences there. However, there are mainly a lot of bars, restaurants, and night clubs here. Ybor City likely would appeal to a younger, partying crowd in the evening, but it's a fun half day trip for families during the day. There is also a farmer's market here on Saturdays. We also drove around the historic district. If you enjoy architecture, you might like to do the same. There are some old historic homes and buildings to see. However, some parts had rather shady looking characters wandering around, which lead us to believe it was not exactly the safest part of town.
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