We have lived in Tampa, and continue to visit there today on road trips to Florida.
It was a while back, but we fondly recall pizza at the intimate Maria's on Westshore Boulevard and sangria at Pepe's. We taught school at Hillsborough High School, served at the air base, watched Gasparilla, and had fun at a party on Davis Islands. We shopped at the new Westshore Shopping Center, bought shoes at Britton Plaza, and did furniture shopping at Kane's on Gandy Boulevard. We picked fresh strawberries in Plant City, and watched sunsets in nearby Clearwater. And it was fun to furnish that first apartment on Marlin Avenue near Gandy Boulevard and MacDill Avenue. And what a perfect anniversary celebration we had at Bern's Steak House!
We explored the new Tampa International Airport at its opening in April of 1971, and walked through a new Boeing 747 of Eastern Air Lines.
Being young and new to Florida, we took lots of road trips exploring cities and attractions in all directions. We picked up shells at Sanibel Island, and visited St. Armand's Key in Sarasota, Cypress Gardens, Fort Lauderdale, and Daytona Beach. We dined at the Kapok Tree in Clearwater, and walked the beaches at Fort DeSoto Park and hiked at Hillsborough State Park. It was a thrill to watch the Apollo 14 launch at Cape Canaveral.
So .... What was Tampa like in its earlier years, as residents and visitors enjoyed the temperate climate? What did all the restaurants, motels and public buildings look like when they were new? What did the traveling public experience? We wonder such things when we travel back to Tampa today.
Those earlier times in the 1930s, 40s and 50s were not always captured on film. But the use of colorful postcards was common in those decades. These portray Tampa in past times and help us to visualize, and appreciate, "earlier times" as we visit the Tampa Bay area today. Included below a sampling of our collection of vintage travel postcards dealing with Tampa in its earlier years.
We have also included travel resources for the area today, and links to more Tampa area resources.