Tampa & St. Petersburg, FL
January 14-16, 2019
Florida is known as the state of beaches, sunshine and all things warm. However, my mission was to take a planned detour and try the great food and dive into the African American culture of Tampa and St. Petersburg. Let’s get ready to Learn, See, Do…
- Carter G. Woodson African American Museum: Located on the African American Heritage Trail in St. Petersburg, the museum is the pseudo entry point of the historic black neighborhood. Dr. Woodson is known as the Father of Black History and the museum allows for events to be held to display cultural artifacts and paintings. I visited the museum on a Monday, which is traditionally the one day of the week it is closed. I got lucky on this particular Monday, due to a special event being held. During my visit I saw several sculptures and paintings, but no local history about the people who helped to build the neighborhood the museum resides in. If you plan to visit the museum yourself, operating hours are Tuesday-Friday from 12PM to 5PM.
Munch Tip: This museum is not in a tourist centric area, so a car a is a definite requirement. Plus there’s free parking available if you should decide to visit.
- St. Petersburg Museum of History: Originally known for being an oddities exhibition, this museum is a mix up of different aspects of St. Petersburg. The highlight is the Little Cooper Baseball Collection. Every baseball is cleverly organized based on categories ranging from the Negro Baseball League to the iconic Major League Baseball Hall of Famers.
Munch Tip: The $15 price is a little steep for this small museum. Make sure to utilize one of the discounts the museum offers (i.e. student or military) to the lower rate to $9.
- Ybor Historic District: The district is nostalgic and reminiscent of the town squares that I saw when I traveled to Cuba. Filled with roaming roosters and historic buildings, Ybor Market Square gives you a glimpse as to how Tampa looked when it was booming with cigar factories and Floridians rushing to get to their destination. A few blocks away is 7th street which is the main traffic area of Ybor City. This is a great place to go during the evening because it has New Orleans vibe where you can walk in out of bars while enjoying the atmosphere.
Munch Tip: Tabanero Cigars is a local establishment where you can get a hand rolled cigar for as low as $5. This is a great souvenir to take home as reminder of your trip to Tampa.
- Mama’s Soul Food Restaurant : This was the highlight of the trip! Shout out to the Hungry Black Man for suggesting this restaurant. I wish I could have tried everything, but I settled on the oxtails with gravy and rice. The two sides I chose were candied yams and cabbage. Delicious beyond measure and reasonably priced, I almost licked my plate, but stopped myself from the fear of looking greedy.
Munch Tip: Don’t skip dessert. I took the key lime cake to go, so I could enjoy it as an afternoon snack. Other deserts offered are red velvet and banana pudding cups, which I was dying to try but would have to add to my wish list for my next visit.