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What to Do in the Host Cities of the Republican and Democratic Conventions

Republican Convention & Democratic Convention
cities

Three things you didn’t know about the host cities of this month’s political confabs.

Tampa, Florida

It’s the birthplace of the Cuban sandwich, invented in the suburb of Ybor City in the 19th century by cigar-factory workers, who stuffed flaky white bread with ham, pork, salami, Swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles. Try one at the Columbia (2217 E. Seventh Ave.; $), Florida’s oldest restaurant.

Set on the waterfront, Bayshore Boulevard has the world’s longest continuous sidewalk, measuring 4 1/2 miles. It’ll take you by the marina and some of the city’s most historic houses.

The largest collection of works by Salvador Dalí outside of Spain is on display at nearby St. Petersburg’s Dalí Museum (1 Dali Blvd.). The surrealist would have loved the geodesic design, complete with a three-story, DNA-like spiral staircase.

Charlotte, North Carolina

The city is a hotbed of craft brewing, particularly in the artsy North Davidson neighborhood. Birdsong Brewery (2315 N. Davidson St.) experiments with different flavors weekly, while NoDa Brewing Company (2229 N. Davidson St.) reimagines porters and IPA’s.

The Hunger Games was shot around here. The treats Katniss and Peeta ate in the movie en route to the Capitol of Panem were made by Amélie’s French Bakery (330 S. Tryon St.). But you don’t have to kill anyone to sample their tea cakes, honey buns, and chocolate croissants.

The country’s first documented discovery of gold took place in nearby Midland in 1799. Explore the tunnels at Reed Gold Mine (9621 Reed Mine Rd.; 704/721-4653)—and even try your luck at panning.

Photo © Jose Fusta Raga / © Richard Cummins / Corbis

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