Hillsborough County (pop. 1,229,226) is Florida’s fourth-largest county in population. It has gained about a million residents since 1950.
The largest city in Hillsborough County is Tampa (pop. 336,846), third-largest city in Florida.
From the 1880s to the 1930s, the Ybor City area of Tampa was a worldwide center of cigar manufacturing. Immigrants from Cuba, Spain, and Italy filled the neighborhood.
Since 2002, the 2.7-mile TECO Line Streetcar has connected Ybor City with downtown Tampa.
The NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers play at Raymond James Stadium (1998), located northwest of downtown.
New York Mets pitching great Dwight Gooden was born and raised in Tampa.
The former Federal Courthouse (1905) in downtown Tampa is now Le Meridien Hotel.
Union Station in Tampa (1912) serves Amtrak’s “Silver Star” trains, which operate between New York City and Miami.
Tampa has “The World’s Largest Bowling Pin,” near the waterfront.
The former Tampa Bay Hotel (1891) is now Plant Hall on the University of Tampa campus. It contains the Henry B. Plant Museum.
Plant City (pop. 34,721) was not named for agricultural products – it was named for railroad developer Henry B. Plant. Plant City is known as “The Winter Strawberry Capital of the World.”
Plant City is also home of Dinosaur World, with more than 150 life-size dinosaur sculptures. Other Dinosaur Worlds are in Texas and Kentucky.
The unincorporated community of Gibsonton, south of Tampa, was known for many years as a winter and retirement home of circus and sideshow performers.
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