Florida is one of America’s favorite places to play, so it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that many people are moving to the Sunshine State. Many of those 900 people are moving to Tampa. Why are folks attracted to Tampa? Hint: it’s not just because there’s no state income tax.
What Makes the Tampa Bay Area a Good Place to Live?
Located on Florida’s west coast, the Gulf of Mexico narrows into Tampa Bay and creates the beautiful, world-famous beaches of the Tampa Bay area. The three most prominent metro areas of the bay are Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater.
Tampa is one of the fastest-growing cities in the state of Florida. Living in Tampa doesn’t quite have the finesse and glamor of south Florida life, but that’s hardly a downside. The city offers a fantastic combination of entertainment, big-city amenities, and world-class attractions for Tampa residents.
Tampa is the largest city in Hillsborough County, and it is easy to get to, thanks to Tampa International Airport.
As with any place, this Florida city has its pros and cons. Here are a few areas to keep in mind when you’re thinking about moving to Tampa, the good and the bad. You’ll have to be the judge in the end.
What’s So Great About Living in Downtown Tampa, Florida?
The Tampa Bay area has a lot going on, such as a bubbling job market. Here are just a few things that make Tampa, Florida, a good place to live.
Tampa Bay hosts some of the most well-rated beaches found on US soil. In fact, many of the beaches around Tampa Bay boasts a world report for the finest beaches around. The Sunshine State is famous for its white-sand beaches, and for those living in Tampa, it’s an easy drive.
There are beach options if you want to stay close to town too. Local favorites include Fort DeSoto Beach, St. Pete Beach, and Clearwater Beach. Davis islands offer a great dog beach, too, if that’s your thing.
Activities and Things to Do
Locals will appreciate the endless list of “things to do” around Tampa, from the Tampa Bay History Center to the Florida Aquarium.
If you like strolling the town and seeing the sights, visit Ybor City, the old cigar manufacturing district directly east of downtown Tampa. Ybor City is known for its lively nightlife scene, but it’s also an area for good eats, local farmers’ markets, and an exciting look into Tampa’s history. In fact, many tourists come to the Tampa area just to visit Ybor City.
Downtown Tampa offers plenty of things to see and do. Check out the Straz Performing Arts Center for a show, the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park for a scenic walk along the Hillsborough River, and the many fine-dining establishments located downtown. And while you’re downtown, hop on over to one of the David Islands to take a look at this unique area.
Busch Gardens is also one of the area’s premier attractions. Nestled in the heart of Tampa city, not far from the University of South Florida, this theme park offers all-day entertainment options with rides, zoo enclosures, and live performances.
Another thing you’ll want to take advantage of is Tampa’s professional sports teams. Not only does Tampa itself play host to the Stanley Cup champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning, but you can also catch a game from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the Tampa Bay Rays over in St. Pete.
There are also plenty of gorgeous state parks to visit if you’re into outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking along the Hillsborough River. And if the outdoors aren’t your thing, no fear. Try heading over to the International Plaza and Bay Street, Tampa’s premier shopping mall.
What’s Not-So-Great About Living in Tampa, Florida?
In addition to fighting the Tampa home traffic every day, a few cons come with moving to Tampa. Chief among them is the current real estate market and the weather.
The Real Estate Market
Home prices in Tampa are rising, so if you’re considering moving to Tampa, it’s worth your while to take a look at the housing costs.
If you can afford it, spots like Bayshore Boulevard and Hyde Park Village in South Tampa will make an excellent home for newcomers. Or check out the Davis Islands for older, tree-lined neighborhoods.
Other popular Tampa neighborhoods are the Channel District and Ybor City are other popular Tampa neighborhoods, also known as “Cigar City.” These are great spots to set up a homestead within walking distance from downtown Tampa and are especially attractive to young professionals.
Quieter areas such as Seminole Heights along the Hillsborough River and Tampa Heights offer great Tampa homes for young families, but they are still close enough to lively amenities. And sure to check areas such as Westchase, Carrollwood, Brandon, and Riverview for other great quiet and diverse neighborhoods.
Wherever it is that you land, be sure to consult a sinkhole map and maybe even consider flood insurance before you purchase any Tampa homes. You’ll be fine most of the time, but Tampa does get some nasty weather during hurricane season and is prone to sinkholes.
When it comes to living in Tampa, the weather can be both a plus and a minus. Year-round warm weather sounds excellent, but the truth is that all that sunny weather plus high humidity can make for very uncomfortable summers.
Tampa’s climate doesn’t get too cold, and you’ll usually end up worrying about the heat rather than a potential frost. With the absence of humidity, though, the winter and spring months are usually quite pleasant.
Summer weather will typically begin in May and last until around October. During this time, the mornings can be hot and humid, and then you can expect a heavy rain shower in the afternoon.
One thing is for sure: you can expect to be using air conditioning for at least six months out of the year in Tampa Bay.
Is Tampa, Florida a Good Place to Live? Final Thoughts
The Tampa Bay area is chock-full of entertainment, amenities, and unforgettable experiences. It’s a place where literally anyone can come and find something that suits their fancy, especially with a visit to downtown Tampa.
Living in Tampa is a bit more complicated. The potential downsides—such as heavy Tampa traffic, humid weather, and soaring home prices—are factors to contend with.
If you’re considering a move to Tampa, FL it’s definitely worth your while to pay a visit. And almost nobody has been disappointed after a visit with all that Tampa offers.