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Introduction to Tampa, Florida
From theme parks, beaches, sports, and nightlife, there is no shortage of entertainment options for those moving to the Sunshine State. A little bit of everything can be found in Tampa, which combines the advantages of living in a metropolitan area with the feeling of being on a perpetual vacation.
While you may have heard the terms Tampa and Tampa Bay used interchangeably, there is a difference.
Tampa is the largest city in the greater metropolitan area of Tampa Bay (the body of water), which includes the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and some of the surrounding counties.
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Relocation Guide for Moving to TAMPA
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Quality of Life in Tampa
Tampa Bay is becoming more and more popular with people looking for a place that offers a high quality of life. According to the annual “Best Places to Live” list published by U.S. News & World Report in 2019, the bay area scored No. 56 among metros, up from No. 75 the previous year. The ranking stated:
- “Living in the Tampa Bay area is like being on vacation all year.”
- “Tampa Bay residents get the best of both worlds: a laid-back beach lifestyle with the conveniences of a huge metropolis.”
A study conducted in 2019 by Numbeo (which is a database of user-contributed data about cities and countries worldwide) compared several large cities across the country on factors like cost of living, traffic commute time, purchasing power, house price-to-income ratio, climate, health care, and pollution, etc.
Tampa made a strong showing, climbing to # 16 on the list!
Tampa was placed first in the United States, ahead of cities such as Oakland, Minneapolis, California, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Boston, and St. Louis, Missouri.
A Brief History of Tampa, Florida
Humans have inhabited the Tampa Bay area for thousands of years. When Spanish explorers arrived in the early 1500s, the Tocobaga and the Pohoy were the major tribes residing along Tampa Bay’s northern shore.
The building of Fort Brooke near the mouth of the Hillsborough River in today’s downtown in 1824, represents the beginning of Tampa’s modern history. The station attracted a small population of citizens, and the town of Tampa was founded in 1855.
Wars, Cigars & the Railroad
The American Civil War and Reconstruction were particularly difficult periods, but with the installation of the first railroad ties to the town and the establishment of booming cigar and phosphate industries in the 1880s, Tampa’s fortunes changed rapidly.
Tampa’s population grew from less than 800 in 1880 to more than 15,000 in 1900, making it one of Florida’s major cities.
Tampa City Data
Below are some of the basic city data for Tampa as of late 2020. The population is a mix of all ages and education levels. The city itself is quite large, but even more so when you consider the entire nearby metro area of St. Pete and Clearwater too.
- Population – 407,599
- Median Age – 35.5
- Median Home Price – $306,900
- Homeowner rate is 49.3%
- Median Household Income – $43,740
- Unemployment Rate – 5%
- Poverty Rate of 17%
- Crime Rate – 198 (per Citydata.com)
- Average Family Size – 3.28
Like much of Florida, healthcare is a massive industry here with Baycare Health System being one of the areas biggest employers. Followed by Publix Supermarkets as well as the Hillsborough County School District.
Demographics & Education
Tampa is a reasonably educated city. Less than 5% have below a 9th grade education, while almost 50% at least some college or a bachelors or masters degree.
For additional demographic data about Tampa, check out the US Census Bureau for the following:
- Demographics (age, etc.)
- Family & living arrangements
- Computer and internet use
- Income & poverty
Cost of Living in Tampa
Overall the cost of living in Tampa is slightly higher than the average of the US and just a bit lower than the Florida average. The cost increase in Tampa is primarily due to groceries and housing and even transportation. However, utility costs are lower in Tampa than in the rest of Florida and the US.
100 = USA Average Cost of Living
103.1 = Florida Cost of Living
103.7 = Tampa Cost of Living
|Median Home Cost||306,900||$294,900||$231,200|
Climate and Weather in Tampa
Many people relocate to Tampa not to seek a better career or a better life but rather to take advantage of the fantastic weather. Tampa has a humid subtropical climate. Tampa is a paradise on earth for individuals who prefer not to handle the harshness of the winter and enjoy warmer weather. Winters in Tampa are pleasant, with temperatures in the low 60s.
- Rainfall – Average of 51 inches per year vs. 38 rest of USA
- Sunny Days – Average of 246 vs. 205 for the US
- Hottest Month – July
- Coldest Month – January
- Most Comfortable Months: November, March, April
- Most Uncomfortable Months: July and August
- Check out the current 10-day Tampa Weather Forecast Here
The negative aspect of Tampa’s weather is that the city is prone to thunderstorms and hurricanes throughout the summer months. As a result of global warming, the sea level is likewise increasing.
Things To Do in Tampa
Activities & the Arts
No matter if you’re single, retired, or a family with school-aged children, Tampa, Florida, has something to offer everyone. From the Tampa Symphony, to the oldest family-owned cigar company in America, to popular theme parks.
Here is an overview of the most popular attractions and activities that Tampa residents can enjoy.
Festivals & Events
- Florida Strawberry Festival
- Gasparilla – Pirate festival and pirate parade
- Fiesta Day in Ybor City
- Florida State Fair
- The Mayor’s River O’Green Fest
- Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park
The International Cuban Sandwich Festival
To see more Tampa Events of all kinds, click here to visit the official events calendar.
Recreation & the Outdoors in Tampa
Outdoor Fun Year-Round
Tampa, Florida, is home to loads of places where you can relax alone or with your family.
Spend some quality time outdoors – There are countless opportunities to spend time outdoors and discover new things. Besides relaxing on one of the many white-sand beaches nearby, here are some other outdoor activities you may enjoy.
- At Hillsborough State Park, you can explore bayous, marshes, and mangroves.
- Take a stroll along the Tampa Riverwalk
- Rent a boat to go fishing, watch for dolphins, or even waterskiing
- Go for a kayak tour along the bay
- Learn to kite surf, there is a huge community who enjoy doing this all over the Tampa Bay!
- Cool off at Adventure Island Water Park
Beaches Near Tampa
While Tampa does not offer a beach in the city, there are plenty within a 15–45-minute car ride. And yes, you can swim all year!
Clearwater Beach – is located right on the Gulf of Mexico west of Tampa. The beach is famous for its beautiful sand, blue water and Pier 60 – where they hold nightly “sunset celebrations.”
Indian Rocks Beach – Located west of Tampa, the beach sits along the Gulf Coast. Besides the gorgeous beach, you can rent paddle boards, bikes, surfboards, and kayaks.
Pass-a-Grille Beach – south of St. Pete Beach, this adorable “village” area has shops, restaurants, and great places to stay.
St. Pete Beach – This funky beach town is known for it’s amazing powdery white sand and crystal blue water! Water activities are abundant here, including parasailing!
100+ Golf Courses in the Tampa Area
Tampa is home to many world-class and championship golf courses and country clubs. In fact, a number of golf pros live in the Tampa area – so you know the courses are good!
Below are a few of the most popular:
- The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook
- The Dunes Golf Club
- The Palmer Course at Saddlebrook Resort
- Rocky Point Golf Course
- Fox Hollow Golf Club
- TPC Tampa Bay
- Westchase Golf Club
- Cove Cay Golf Club
- Cypress Creek Golf Club
- Seminole Lake Country Club
- Temple Terrace Golf and
- Country Club Pebble
- Creek Golf Club
- The Claw at USF
- Rocky Point Golf Course
- The Eagles Golf Club
- Babe Zaharias Golf Course
- The Club at Cheval
- Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club
Transportation in Tampa
There are five major highways for traffic in and around Tampa. I-4 that goes west to Orlando, I-75 which goes north to Georgia and south to Naples, I-275 which goes through Tampa and west to St. Pete and south over the Bay via the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Leroy Semon Cross Expressway (FL 618) which crosses south Tampa and The Veteran’s Expressway (FL 589) which is a toll road on the west side of Tampa that goes north.
You can also find Amtrak stations in Tampa that connect to other cities such as Orlando, Miami and Fort Lauderdale. There are also buses, local taxis and ride shares (such as Lyft or Uber) and also the historic TECO tram system that goes from downtown Tampa to the historic Ybor city area.
Two international airports serve Tampa Bay, including the top-rated Tampa International Airport. Once you’ve arrived in Tampa, moving around is a breeze thanks to a diverse range of motorcoach, limo, and taxi services, as well as streetcar and trolley systems, shuttle systems, and rental cars.
Airports in / Near Tampa
Sarasota has two airports nearby to choose from. But you can always drive a bit further to cities like Orlando if you want even more flight options.
Tampa International Airport (TPA) – 65 miles north of Sarasota and has even more airlines with more chances of a direct flight.
St. Pete – Clearwater Airport (PIE) – is growing with more options for leisure travelers recently.
Hospitals in Tampa
A wide range of high-quality hospitals and medical services are available to Tampa Bay residents. Tampa General Hospital, St Joseph’s Hospital, and Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater are some of the best hospitals in Tampa Bay, according to the American Hospital Association.
Named one of America's Best Hospitals and the highest-ranked hospital in Florida for gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, by U.S. News & World Report for the years 2021-22.
Known for advanced medical technologies, cutting-edge clinical research and outstanding patient care, Morton Plant Hospital is nationally recognized as a leader in the field.
Schools in Tampa
Tampa is served by the Hillsborough County School District, which is the eighth largest school district in the U.S. and serves younger kids. Students have access to a plethora of resources and extracurricular activities thanks to the extensive network available to them.
In the Tampa Bay area, one of the most popular high schools is Tampa Prep, which is a school for children in grades 6-12 that focuses on college preparation. Given that it is one of the few private schools in Tampa, the school is well-known for its competitive application procedure.
Tampa Real Estate for Sale
There are many different areas to live in Tampa and the nearby area, depending on your budget and lifestyle. From traditional neighborhoods in town without HOA’s or magnificent developments and master-planned communities with resort-style amenities or even apartments for rent in Tampa. You may also choose to live on the water along some of the rivers, canals, waterways, or even direct on the Tampa Bay itself!
Browse our current listings of homes for sale all around Tampa and click on any property to view more details and inquire about any properties you are interested in.
License # SL3486473
Shark Tooth Realty