By: Andrew Silverstein

If it weren't for cigars, Ybor City probably would not exist today.

This now nightlife and restaurant haven of ours was founded by an adventurous businessman and Key West cigar factory owner, Vincente Martinez Ybor.  Tired of the labor issues and transportation costs of having a factory in Key West (remember no bridge yet in the 1880's), Ybor found, and established a new plant, and subsequent town, in the area we now know as Ybor City.

Today, 800 million cigars are still produced in this tiny corner of Tampa and you can bet that cigar culture still permeates like thick smoke across this historic city. King Corona Cigars on 7th Avenue is the perfect example of what cigars, and the people who smoke them, are all about.

King Corona is a mecca for all things cigars in this city deemed by many as the "cigar capital of the world."  Here you can pick from a dizzying assortment of hand-rolled and manufactured cigars, sip on a tall beer or glass of wine from their extensive menu, and enjoy Ybor City the way it was meant to be enjoyed.

Or, make a stop at El Sol Hand Made Cigars and grab a cigar like no other, hand-rolled right there in the store.  Open since 1929 and still operated by the same family, El Sol uses only the finest tobacco in their cigars from locales like Tampa, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.

Of course, in a city knee-deep in cigars and the culture that surrounds them, there's bound to be a festival celebrating this piece of smokable luxury.  The Ybor City Heritage and Cigar Festival is just that.

Celebrating the history and diversity of this historic city, the Heritage and Cigar Festival is one of the many festivals in Ybor offering a day of fun perfect for the entire family.  Attractions include traditional foods, a sports zone, kid's zone, antique car display, beer and wine garden, and an outdoor cigar exhibit.

As you can see, cigars are likely here to stay for a long time in historic Ybor City.  Stop by today, try one for yourself, and see why everyone calls Ybor "the cigar capital of the world."