Tampa Florida is an influential corporate center as well as a family-friendly town with magnificent beaches and world-class museum collections. Most importantly, it's a fantastic area to live where you can enjoy a lifestyle near the downtown, have a laid-back life in one of the many beach villages, or anywhere in the middle.
If you're considering moving to Tampa, here's everything you need to know about your new home. This ultimate guide to Tampa will tell you about the best neighborhoods in the area, what it feels like to live here, fun things to do, the best places to visit, and stuff to keep in mind before making the move.
Before we move ahead to why Tampa is one of the best places to move in 2022, let us get a sense of the area.
Understanding Tampa can be perplexing because the metro area's list of cities and counties can vary. According to the official US Census Bureau’s definition, Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater MSA comprises not just Hillsborough County in Tampa, but also Hernando, Pasco, and Pinellas counties. Manatee, Sarasota, Citrus, and Polk counties are included in some other classifications.
The area is most commonly referred to as "Tampa Bay" or "Tampa-St. Pete," regardless of which cities and counties come inside your own definition.
As of 2018, this vast territory had a population of more than 3.1 million people, making it the fourth-largest metro area in the Southeast. That means you'll have plenty of options when it comes to finding a place that suits your needs.
Tampa is not only ideal for tourists but also a wonderful spot for relocation. The location has a lot to offer, from a large business district to all of the facilities of a big city, all while enjoying fantastic weather and gorgeous beaches.
Here are the top 5 reasons to move to Tampa:
There are four colleges or universities in the metro area:
University of South Florida- a public university and fourth largest in the state.
The University of Tampa, a medium-sized private university with an urban campus, is located in Tampa, Florida.
St. Petersburg College is a private Presbyterian liberal arts college in St. Petersburg.
Hillsborough Community College is a two-year college in Hillsborough, Florida
Apart from these reasons, there is no state income tax in Florida. This means that if you choose to reside in Tampa or any other Florida city, you will save approximately 6% of your salary. Those who wish to keep more of their money where it belongs–in their bank account–should think about making the switch.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Bay is the 7th hottest metro area for investors in the United States. In fact, investors are bidding for properties in Tampa at an all-time high.
Furthermore, higher-paying professional and commercial services are creating consistent job growth. As a result, Tampa's economy is growing and the housing demand in Tampa and Hillsborough County is rapidly increasing.
Here are some reasons to buy property in Tampa:
According to data from the United States Census Bureau, the population of Tampa (including Hillsborough County) has grown by about 230,000 people in the last ten years. According to the most current population growth statistics, the Tampa Bay metro area is attracting more people than Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or Palm Beach.
Since the beginning of 2021, the Tampa area has added 84,600 new private-sector employment, the most of any metro area in the state (as of September 2021). Key employment areas such as leisure and hospitality, construction, professional and business services, and financial services are all seeing strong job growth as the economy recovers.
Stats on employment:
Tampa is an important transport hub. A coastal city midway down the state's Gulf of Mexico coast, Tampa has major North/South and East/West interstates running through it, giving trucks a few hours' access to the entire state- America's third largest state. Tampa International Airport has service from all major carrier with over 90 direct flights to destinations in the US, Central and South America, Europe and the Caribbean.
The shipping port is Florida's largest and boasts the ability to handle everything from massive container ships to popular cruise lines. Four major cruise lines operate regularly out of the port.
One of the best aspects of living in Tampa is the wide range of professional sports accessible.
If you enjoy football, you can go to the Raymond James Stadium and support the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League.
Do you prefer hockey? Every year between October and April, the Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) takes to the ice at Amalie Arena.
Likewise, if you are into baseball, there are two possibilities for professional baseball in Tampa.
Do visit Tropicana Field to see the Tampa Bay Rays (MLB) or Steinbrenner Field see the Tampa Tarpons (MiLB)—and don't forget that Steinbrenner Field is home to the New York Yankees during spring training!
The city of Tampa lies at the heart of a natural inlet from the Gulf of Mexico. As Florida has grown in population, so has the Tampa market area.
The market includes several new and old housing districts in and around the city. It also extends to the land around the bay that is formed by the inlet. The land around the bay is a large peninsula accessed by highways from the north or directly across Tampa Bay by long, gorgeous causeways.
Our guide below will give you an overview of neighborhoods including their history and their unique characteristics. In addition to Tampa downtown and suburbs, we'll give you a look at the two cities on the peninsula that make up the Tampa market area and are major living and business centers in their own right.
Since cigar-maker Vincente Martinez-Ybor created the city in the 1880s, Tampa's historic area has undergone various alterations.
Ybor was once a bustling community populated by Cuban, Spanish, and Italian immigrants who worked in the cigar factory. But once automation took over their jobs, the village suffered economic deterioration.
The mostly abandoned neighborhood became popular with young artists and musicians looking for affordable rent in the 1970s and 1980s, and the first revival began with clubs, art galleries, restaurants, and vintage stores lining the major artery, Seventh Avenue. By the 1990s, developers had discovered Ybor's potential and had constructed a busy New Orleans-style entertainment zone of bars and nightclubs, driving out the previous generation of artists with higher rents.
Many of the shotgun-style houses where cigar-factory workers originally resided have been refurbished. Some apartment complexes in the area are getting popular with young professionals and students, especially on the quieter streets away from Seventh Avenue.
After a large restoration project that reoriented the attention toward the river, Tampa's urban core is now buzzing almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can always find Paddleboarders, and kayakers mixed with Pirate Water Taxis on the now-pristine Hillsborough River, which transport passengers to restaurants, museums, and parks along the 2.6-mile Tampa Riverwalk.
Curtis Hixon Park is a large green park in the city's center that holds festivals, concerts, and family-friendly events all while overlooking the river. Downtown condos and flats are thriving, anchored by “Skypoint and Element”, the first downtown residential towers built after the Great Recession.
The Channel District, also known as Channelside, is a lively and densely inhabited district just east of downtown. It has gone from a gritty warehouse zone supporting the Port of Tampa to a highly populated neighborhood of converted lofts, luxury apartments, and highrise condos.
Sparkman Wharf, nestled along Garrison Channel, is a popular dining and cocktail destination, where you can enjoy your food in open green space or at picnic tables.
Harbour Island is the grand dame of downtown neighborhoods, located between downtown and the Channel District. The island's waterfront has been bordered by enormous mansions for decades. The island is also home to a few hotels, restaurants, and stores, as well as Amalie Arena, the 20,500-seat home of the Tampa Bay Lightning and hundreds of performances each year.
These two man-made islands were excavated from the bay in the 1920s and now house almost 3,000 people, many of whom live on the water.
The neighborhood is friendly to families and takes pride in having no traffic lights. Cyclists and runners enjoy the miles of a paved trail that ultimately lead to the Marjorie Park Yacht Basin. The area features plenty of green space for picnics and frisbee sports, as well as a popular dog park and beach where residents bring their four-legged friends for some fun.
The village's "downtown" has quaint, mid-century modern-style shops and restaurants. However, the lifestyle on the island is expensive, with the average property costing approximately $800,000.
Westchase is a large master-planned community with about 30 "villages" and subdivisions, as well as country clubs and golf courses.
West Park Village, the city's main shopping, dining, and entertainment district, is constructed in the spirit of Hyde Park Village, combining excellent dining with casual drinking establishments and upscale boutiques.
Miles of walking and bicycling routes make their way through the Westchase communities, which have homes, apartments, and condos ranging in price from modest to executive and luxury. The villages are home to about 25,000 people, and while families make up the majority of the population, younger professionals are also drawn to the area because of its active lifestyle and proximity to Tampa International Airport and downtown.
Tampa lies at the heart of an inlet that is bounded by a peninsula to the west that is home to some of the world's top ranked beaches and neighborhoods.
The two largest cities on the peninsula are Clearwater and St. Petersburg.
Clearwater has an average home price of $350,000 (in 2022). The market consists of single-family ranch homes, often with pools, as well as extensive condo developments both inland and by the beaches. Several of the condo developments are age-restricted. Clearwater is home to a large retirement population.
The city sits on an inlet protected by barrier islands. This gives the area the ability to have beautiful beaches as well as sheltered marinas that are home to sailors, fishermen and cruisers.
St. Petersburg occupies the tip of the peninsula. Though technically in the Tampa market area, this city of 264,000 is a housing and employement center in it's own right and not really a commuter area of Tampa proper. Here you can find urban waterfront living with a view to the ocean and Tampa Bay, or suburban living just outside the downtown core. St. Petersburg hosts one of the largest Salvador Dali collections in the world.
Just outside of downtown is Fort De Soto Park. This barrier island park features miles of protected areas to kayak on the Eastern side. On the Southwestern side lies Fort De Soto Beach- consistently ranked one of the most beautiful in the world.