Map of Tampa Florida Area
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Tampa is a bayside city affectionately known as the Big Guava. Affordable housing, low unemployment, and easy access to the beach make it one of the fastest-growing U.S. cities and Florida’s best place to visit. There’s enough to do there to make any vacationer happy. Whether that’s rooting for its sports teams, golfing at one of its many links, or eating BBQ, there’s something here for everyone.
Where is Tampa located?
Tampa is part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area in Florida. Part of Hillsborough County, Tampa is located on Tampa Bay, right next to the Gulf of Mexico. With a population of 399,700 and an MSA population of just over 3 million, Tampa is a city that continues to grow.
Originally called Tampa Town when it sprung up just outside Fort Brooke, the name was shortened to Tampa in 1855. The Spanish, however, had been using Tampa Bay since the 16th century.
What is Tampa’s climate?
They don’t call it the Sunshine State for no reason. Gorgeous weather is one of the most common reasons people visit and move to Tampa. Temperatures rarely drop below 60°. Summer and fall are humid and wet, winters and spring are sunny and warm, and since Tampa is on the Gulf of Mexico side, the ocean is warmer.
But it’s not all good news. June through November is hurricane season, with September seeing the most activity. If you’ve never experienced a hurricane before, and you plan on moving to this area, it’s best to familiarize yourself with some preparation tips.
What is Tampa known for?
Tampa has something for everyone, but it is most well known for its beaches, shopping districts, cigars, and nightlife.
There’s a lot there for families as well. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has spin coasters, wild animals, and live shows. ZooTampa in Lowry Park has everything from giraffes to orangutans to alligators. If you’re in the Channel District, be sure to meet the penguins close up at The Florida Aquarium.
Gulf Coast Beaches
It goes without saying that Tampa is located right near some of the best white-sand beaches in the world. If there’s only one thing you do while in Tampa, make sure it’s swimming in the clear warm waters of the Gulf Coast.
Ben T. Davis Beach is your nearest option. It is located along the causeway between Clearwater and Tampa. But head out to the shores near St. Petersburg for the best spots. Fort de Soto Park and Honeymoon Island are only about 40 minutes away. The beaches here are more relaxed and better for families.
Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach are more tourist-friendly locations, with everything from cabana rentals to tiki bars and great nightlife and shopping opportunities within minutes of the sand.
If a cruise is more your thing, you’ll have plenty of options. Port Tampa Bay has many terminals for all the major cruise lines.
Northeast of Downtown Tampa is the district of Ybor (ee-bor) City. This historic district was founded in the 1880s and was the industrial powerhouse of the region, famous the world over for its cigar manufacturing.
These days, Ybor City is the Latin quarter of Tampa, and it features some of Tampa’s best restaurants and vintage boutiques. The TECO Streetcar will run you from either Downtown Tampa or the Channel District right to central Ybor. And yes, you can still buy cigars, hand-rolled in many of the district’s local shops. Tabanero Cigars might be the best of the bunch.
You’ll also find tons of unique stores and restaurants in the area. Buy vintage clothes at Revolve Clothing Exchange, denim at Black and Denim Apparel Company, or pirate-themed dining at Gaspar’s Grotto. And watch out for the wild chickens!
Sports fans are well served by Tampa’s teams. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play at Raymond James Stadium, and the Tampa Bay Lighting hit the ice between October and April at Amalie Arena. Tropicana Field hosts the Tampa Bay Rays, with nearby Steinbrenner Field hosting rival New York Yankees during their spring training season.
Is Tampa a good place to live?
While Miami’s cost of living is sky-high, Tampa is an excellent alternative for those who want to live on the coast of Florida. Median home prices are about 4% lower than the national average at about $172,100, and the cost of living equals the national average. Entry-level homes continue to be added throughout the metro, so now is an excellent time to buy a house in Tampa.
However, keep in mind that this is hurricane country, and things like flood and hurricane insurance will add to your expenses. Regardless, the Tampa Bay Area is still a very affordable place to live.
Home to more than 21,000 veterans
It’s no secret that many military veterans retire to Florida. Tampa itself is particularly hailed as one of the best cities for military vets, bar none. Zero state income tax means no military pension tax.
Also, there are many Veterans Association facilities throughout the city. MacDill Air Force Base is nearby, as well as the American Victory Ship and Museum and Veterans Memorial Park and Museum.
What are the neighborhoods of Tampa?
Tampa is a great place for families to visit and seniors to retire, but many young professionals find it the perfect place to live or travel to. These Tampa neighborhoods are a must-see if you’re visiting the city.
Located on the east side of Downtown, this is one of the best neighborhoods in all of Tampa. Budding residents, high-rise condos, fantastic shopping, and restaurant opportunities are everywhere. It’s also an incredibly walkable area. Check out Maven Market, Sparkman Wharf, and Ginger Beard Coffee while you’re there.
A more peaceful area than Downtown, this is an affordable neighborhood right near Hyde Park. With only a ten-minute drive to Downtown, it’s a convenient place to live and stay. Some of the best bars in Tampa are located right here, as well as a plethora of trendy restaurants. Check out CineBistro, The Paper Seahorse, Cask Social, and Yard of Ale to get a taste of the local flavors.
Neighboring the Channel District is Downtown Tampa. Close to the cities top employers, there is easy access to the Tampa Riverwalk and some of the best dining and nightlife available. It’s also your place to go for a bit of culture. Don’t miss the Tampa Museum of Art or the Tampa Theatre, and cap the night off at CW’s Gin Joint, the local speakeasy.