Along these cobbled streets the trolley cars are somewhat iconic as well as these roosters that you can find roaming around Ybor City. It’s things like this that make up the charm and history of the area, a history locals know well, especially if you’re Max Herman.
“The beautiful El Pasaje this was originally Mr. Ybor’s personal social club,” Herman said walking along next to the El Pasaje.
Herman grew up in the Tampa Bay area, so the history has been ingrained in him since childhood — in large part due to his father who was so much of a history buff he decided to open up a tour company in 2005. Later bringing his son on as an apprentice to the business. Herman eventually took over as owner and now walks these streets full time giving detailed walking tours of the area.
“It’s an amazing job to meet people and introduce them to Ybor City. This is in my opinion the best kept secret in the entire south and everyone who comes this way by the end of the tour they say I would have walked right through this town and never known what an impact Ybor City had on America,” Herman said.
On the 90-minute walking tours Herman will explain the rich history of how Ybor City was founded in 1885 by Vincente Martinez Ybor, who purchased 40 acres of swampland and began turning the area into what it is today. Eventually more than 230 factories were in the area, employing some 12,000 cigar makers and producing over half a billion cigars a year.
“This a place that will shock you at how amazing it is as far as the stories are concerned. You know you can find this information in books but we put showmanship behind it people love the fact that we have the passion and creativity behind our stories,” Herman said. “We created a script that makes people want to come back over and over again.”
The unique and storied history of this iconic town enchants, especially with a seasoned guide like Max Herman, taking you through the streets that come alive on these Tampa Bay Historic Tours.
Tampa Bay Tours runs a host of different tours and experiences all of which can be booked online or by calling. To get that information just head out to their webiste, https://tampabay-tours.com/