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Gateways to the Caribbean: Mapping the Florida-Cuba Connection

Presented by Tampa Bay History Center at Tampa Bay History Center, Tampa FL

Gateways to the Caribbean: Mapping the Florida-Cuba Connection

Rare, original maps chart 500 years of the Florida-Cuba connection.

For some, the connections between Florida and Cuba begin with Fidel Castro’s takeover in 1959. For others, especially in Tampa, they begin 70 years earlier with the arrival of the cigar industry and the founding of Ybor City in 1886. Or, maybe it was back in the 1850s when the McKay family started shipping cattle from Tampa’s Ballast Point to Havana.

The more than 50 maps, lithographs, artwork and documents that make up “Gateways to the Caribbean,” however, date back five centuries – to 1511 – and highlight the Spanish and British occupations of Cuba and Florida in the 15th and 18th centuries, the development of rail and steam ship lines that fostered trade and travel in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and tourist maps of Cuba printed both in the 1930s and as recently as 2016.


  • Adults – $12.95
  • Senior (65+) – $10.95
  • Youths (13-17) – $10.95
  • Students (with ID) – $10.95
  • Children (4-12) – $7.95
  • Children (3 and under) – Free
  • Military Discount: The History Center participates in the Blue Star Museums program. All active duty military and their family receive free admission between Memorial Day and Labor Day. $2.00 off regular admission rates all other times.*

Contact: 813-228-0097

    Official Website


Tampa Bay History Center

801 Old Water Street, Tampa, FL 33602


    • Braille
    • Closed Caption
    • Info
    • Sign Language
    • Wheelchair Access

Sign Language Interpretor for the hearing impaired and tactlie guided tours for blind or low vision guests can be arranged.

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