Tampa is a city located on the popular Tampa Bay, along Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast. In addition to its award-winning beaches and nightlife, Tampa is also a major business center, known for its museums and other cultural features. Tampa is the largest city along Tampa Bay, with a population of approximately 400,000, and is the third-largest city in Florida, behind Miami and Jacksonville.
Residents of Tampa enjoy a laid-back beach lifestyle and the amenities that come from living in a large metro area — sort of like being on vacation all year long. Read on to find out more about life in Tampa, as well as some of the unique things the city has to offer.
Things to do in Tampa
Whether you’re in the mood to hit the beach or prefer to stay indoors, there is no shortage of things to do in Tampa. Some of the top attractions include:
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is a 335-acre African-themed animal theme park located in the city. The park is owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and is the perfect escape for everyone in your family. Enjoy the thrilling rides, take in a show, and stop for some great food and drinks when you need a break. You won’t be disappointed here.
The Florida Aquarium. Another perfect spot for families, The Florida Aquarium is one of the top attractions in Tampa. This large-scale, 250,000-square-foot aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is the perfect way to spend a rainy day. Plan to spend at least a few hours here.
Adventure Island. Tampa’s premier waterpark, Adventure Island is a great, exciting way to beat the heat and spend time together. Get ready for twists, turns, drops, and surprises along the way! Spend the day having fun on all 10 of our adrenaline-fueled water slides. Slow down on the lazy river or relax in the wave pool. And when you’re ready to recharge, stop for your favorite drink and some great food.
Restaurants in Tampa
Tampa is home to some of the best food around. Whether you’re in the mood for a great steak or Asian fusion, Tampa has it. Here are some of our favorite restaurants in the city:
- Bern’s Steak House
- Lolis Mexican Cravings
- Datz Tampa
- Oxford Exchange
- Columbia Restaurant
- Yah Mon
- On Swann
- Eddie and Sam’s NY Pizza
Living in Tampa
Tampa is home to a wide variety of real estate and is a great place to live. The cost of living in the Tampa Bay area is slightly lower than the national average, with the median home price at just under $200,000 — compared to the national average that is closer to $230,0000.
There are several large organizations that are located in Tampa and provide solid employment, including BayCare Health System, MacDill Air Force Base, and Publix Supermarkets. The tourism and hospitality industries are also thriving in Tampa, adding to the local employment base. Unemployment rates have steadily been falling in Pinellas County, making this a great place to work.
Tampa is also home to great schools, including public, private and charter schools. Eighteen of the area high schools are recognized on the US News and World Report’s Best High School rankings. Tampa students score higher on the US News College Readiness Index, compared to students in other similarly sized metro areas. There are also a number of colleges and universities in the Tampa area.