Introduction to Tampa, Florida
As the nation’s 54th largest city, Tampa offers a unique and exciting experience for everyone. Situated off of Florida’s Gulf Coast, Tampa is known for its year round sunshine, great quality of life, a unique cultural heritage and a diverse and expanding business climate. Whether you choose to relax at an outdoor cafe, stroll along the downtown Tampa Riverwalk or just unwind at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Tampa is a beautiful, safe and enjoyable city.
Tampa has great nightlife, a diverse selection of amazing restaurants and some of the world’s best attractions, including The Florida Aquarium, Busch Gardens Tampa, the Straz Center, Tampa Museum of Art and Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo that was named the number 1 zoo in the U.S.A. by Parents and Child magazines.
The Tampa area is broken down into different Districts that include:
Downtown Tampa is the heart of the Tampa area. Many of Tampa’s great businesses are located here. It is home to the University of Tampa, Rivergate Tower, Straz Center, the Tampa Museum of Art, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Glazer Children’s Museum and the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. Also, the Tampa Riverwalk is a great place for a walk or shop by the water.
Channel District / Islands District
The Channel District is currently in the planning stages for a $1 Billion renovation to Channelside, one of the main attractions in the Channel District. Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is the driving force behind the $1 billion plan. His vision is to transform the Channelside district of downtown Tampa into vibrant core were people can “live, work, stay and play.” Mr. Vinik said his vision for Tampa includes a walkable downtown that appeals to millenials and empty-nesters alike. He said, “We’re creating what is in such high demand right now nationally.” “It’s a trend, it’s for real and we’re hopefully going to provide that opportunity in a relatively seamless manner.” Some of the features of his vision include:
- 1.1 million square feet of new office space.
- 660,000 square feet of residential space.
- 570,000 New hotel and meeting space.
- 330,000 square feet for USF’s new downtown medical school and heart institute.
- 250,000 ground feet of ground-level retail space for shops and restaurants.
- Five new parking garages with more than 5,000 spaces
These districts are home to Davis Island and Harbour Island. These islands have some of the most beautiful water views in the Tampa Bay area and are home to some of the area’s most beautiful homes, including Derek Jeter’s famous 30,000 square foot masterpiece on Davis Island. One of the must see features in these districts is the Florida Aquarium. It is ranked as one of the best aquariums in the nation by the Travel Channel. It houses over 20,000 marine plants and animals and everything from sharks to penguins. The Amalie Arena is located in the district and is where the Tampa Bay Lightning play their home games. The arena is also a venue for concerts and other large events. The plan is to have the Amalie Arena remain the central point of the sweeping development. This area is also home to some of Tampa nicest condo complexes that either look over the water or the city or both. The port in Channelside is homeport to the cruise lines of Carnival, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line and Aida Cruises.
Pronounced “EE-BOR”, is the historic former center of Tampa’s cigar manufacturing industry that gave it the reputation as the “Cigar Capital of the World.” Ybor is well known its 7th Avenue strip that offer wonderful daytime lunches, shopping, cigar and coffee shops. At night Ybor transforms into a nightlife mecca with a large selection of bars (that are too many to name them all), retail, Muvico Centro Ybor 20 that is a cocktail-serving movie theater, GameTime video games and the famous Tampa Improv comedy club. Ybor is home to the upscale Columbia Restaurant, that has been serving exceptional Cuban-Spanish food for more than a century.
SoHo / Hyde Park
Hyde Park Village is a walkable area of retail shops and restaurants. It is home to LA Fitness, CineBistro, Timpano’s Chophouse and many other great shops. It is a nice compliment to SoHo’s nighttime entertainment and great restaurants. This area is home to Bayshore Boulevard which has earned the distinction of being the longest continuous stretch of sidewalk in the world. Its 4.5 miles of beautiful waterfront attracts roller bladders, joggers, bikers and walkers. The Bayshore area has some of the most prestigious homes in the Tampa area. Looking for a Presidential meal? Visit Bern’s Steak House. It has the largest wine selection in the world, great steaks, a nice atmosphere and yes has been a favorite stop for a U.S. President.
Westshore / Airport
This lively zone includes the Westshore Plaza Mall, International Plaza Mall and the Tampa International Airport. Travelers and locals are greeted with a cluster of hotels, restaurants and easy one-stop shopping with two vastly different but great malls located barely a mile apart. The International Plaza and Bay Street Mall, is an indoor mall and open air village with 200 specialty shops and some of the best restaurants and bars in the Tampa Bay area. Featuring Brio Tuscan Grille, The Cheesecake Factory, The Pub and The Capital Grill, there is no shortage of great food at the mall. Just outside the mall is Ocean Prime, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Roy’s. Just south is the Westshore Plaza Mall. This is another huge indoor mall with a movie theater and even more great restaurants that include Maggiano’s Little Italy, Mitchell’s Fish Market and PF Chang’s China Bistro.
Seminole Heights is a neighborhood full of old bungalows, shops, gourmet dining, a unique bar scene and a modern bohemian appeal reflected in the artists, musicians, hipsters and young families who live here. The annual Seminole Heights Home Tour showcases the area’s historic and wonderful bungalows. The Victorian house with its wraparound porch is one of the area’s most famed buildings and is now home to the Front Porch Grill & Bar that is a nice casual dining spot.
The University of South Florida is located in North Tampa and one of the city’s biggest attractions. North Tampa is also home to Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, the Museum of Science and Industry, Big Cat Rescue and the world famous Lowry Park Zoo. The north Tampa area has some of the nicest communities in the Tampa area.
List of Things to Do in and around Tampa
- David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts
- Glazer Children’s Museum
- Tampa Museum of Art
- Tampa Theatre
- American Victory
- Busch Gardens
- Dinosaur World
- The Florida Aquarium
- Adventure Island Water Park
- Henry B. Plant Museum
- Lowry Park Zoo
- Big Cat Rescue
- Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)
- Tampa Bay History Center
- Tampa Bay Area Beaches
Access to the world famous Orlando attractions are just a short drive away. Some of these great attractions include:
Sports fans can enjoy all kinds of professional Tampa Bay sports action. The Tampa and Orlando areas are home to the following teams:
- Football: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Baseball: Tampa Bay Rays
- Hockey: Tampa Bay Lightning
- Basketball: Orlando Magic
- Arena Football: Tampa Bay Storm
- Minor League Baseball: Tampa Yankees
Homes for Sale in Tampa, Florida
My team and I are longtime Tampa Bay residents, full-time Realtors and experienced real estate experts. Our jobs are to use our combined expertise to help you find the home of your dreams or sell your home for the highest price as quickly as possible. Using our years of real estate experience and extensive knowledge of the Tampa Bay area, we can make your real estate experience fun and informative while saving you time, money and hassle. If you are a real estate buyer, our services are always FREE! If you are thinking about buying or selling a Tampa Bay home contact us today. We look forward to making this experience an enjoyable one for you.
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