Florida: Hillsborough County

Hillsborough County (pop. 1,229,226) is Florida’s fourth-largest county in population. It has gained about a million residents since 1950.

The only other Hillsborough County is in New Hampshire.

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.

“The Cigar Capital of the World”

Since 2002, the 2.7-mile TECO Line Streetcar has connected Ybor City with downtown Tampa.

11 stations

The NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers play at Raymond James Stadium (1998), located northwest of downtown.

“Ray Jay” for short

New York Mets pitching great Dwight Gooden was born and raised in Tampa.

1985 Cy Young Award winner

The former Federal Courthouse (1905) in downtown Tampa is now Le Meridien Hotel.

Opened in 2014

Union Station in Tampa (1912) serves Amtrak’s “Silver Star” trains, which operate between New York City and Miami.

Restored and reopened in 1998

Tampa has “The World’s Largest Bowling Pin,” near the waterfront.

Erected in 2003

The former Tampa Bay Hotel (1891) is now Plant Hall on the University of Tampa campus. It contains the Henry B. Plant Museum.

It had Florida’s first elevator.

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.”

Home of the Florida Strawberry Festival

Plant City is also home of Dinosaur World, with more than 150 life-size dinosaur sculptures. Other Dinosaur Worlds are in Texas and Kentucky.

It opened in 1998.

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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