Tampa, FL is an attractive, laid-back city of around 400,000 people located right on Florida’s gulf coast. There is a wide variety of attractions and amenities and a diverse population. Residents have the benefits of a large metro area and a relaxed, small-town atmosphere.
In the past few years many people around the country have been flocking to Florida, and Tampa is one of the top destinations. Tampa is one of the most desirable places to visit and to live in the Sunshine State. It offers pleasant weather, low cost of living, many beaches, and plenty of indoor and outdoor recreation opportunities.
If you move to Tampa, it won’t take long to discover the many benefits of living in Tampa. But there are some downsides, just like anywhere. This post will describe the pros and cons of living in Tampa and some things you might want to know before moving, so you can be prepared for when you arrive.
Pros and Cons of Living in Tampa
Here are some advantages of living in Tampa:
Many Employment Opportunities
Tampa has a robust economy based on multiple industries, including finance, healthcare, agriculture, technology, construction, and tourism. The Port of Tampa is the largest in the state. Tampa has also been called one of America’s top 20 tech towns. The city enjoys significant job growth, particularly in finance, construction, and manufacturing.
The unemployment rate decreased by 50 percent from 2021 to 2022 and is now 2.6 percent. So, if you’re moving to Tampa searching for work, you can feel pretty confident about your prospects. But Tampa’s salaries are lower than the national average.
Tampa has an abundance of recreation and entertainment options. There are many museums, theaters, shopping centers, beaches and parks. To name just a few, there is the 335-acre Busch Gardens, the Tampa Zoo with 2,000 animals, Lettuce Lake Regional Park where you can see native wildlife in their natural habitats, and Hyde Park Village featuring local shops, eateries, and boutiques.
For a break from the Florida heat, you can cool off at Adventure Island, a water park. There are also four pro sports teams based in Tampa. And, every year huge festivals, including the Sunset Music Festival and Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival, draw people from all over the city,
If you love art and music, Tampa has many museums and performance venues. The Dali Museum features works by Salvador Dali, while the Tampa Museum of Art at the waterfront has rotating exhibits. There’s also the Straz Center for the Performing Arts which puts on Broadway plays and musicals, and Amalie Arena which has a continual lineup of internationally famous performers.
Proximity to Other Great Locations
If the numerous entertainment options in Tampa aren’t enough for you, other popular attractions are not too far away. About an hour drive northeast are the famous theme parks of Orlando. Two hours’ drive east is Cape Canaveral, where the space shuttle launches. Four hours’ drive south is Miami, with its beaches, museums, natural scenery, and nightlife.
As you’d expect from a city on the Florida gulf coast, Tampa has some great beaches. Tampa’s beaches have been rated among the best in the world by TripAdvisor and U.S. News. They feature white sand, spectacular sunsets, and crystal-clear waters. The most popular is Clearwater Beach, but Caladesi Island and State Park, Fort Desoto Park, and Pass-A-Grille Beach are less crowded alternatives.
Tampa was ranked the 10th top foodie city in the nation by WalletHub. It has everything from delicious local eateries to cafes, coffee shops, and upscale restaurants. Tampa is the birthplace of the Cuban Sandwich, which is served in almost every establishment. Tampa is also known for crab and fish sandwiches, Southern barbecue, and Spanish bean soup.
People in Tampa are friendly and welcoming. It may be a combination of the warm weather and Southern hospitality. Don’t be surprised if strangers strike up a conversation. Although Tampa is a family-friendly city, there’s also a very active nightlife and social scene.
Multiple Neighborhoods to Choose From
Tampa has 73 neighborhoods, each with a distinct character. Ybor City is historic and trendy and attracts younger people, while Hyde Park is a residential area with many restaurants and bars, tree-lined streets, and brick sidewalks. In the suburbs, there’s Carrollwood, about nine miles northwest of downtown, which is one of Tampa’s premier residential communities with a variety of homes. The housing costs vary widely between neighborhoods. So, you’re likely to find a place that fits your personality and budget.
Affordable Cost of Living
Tampa’s living and property costs have risen significantly in the past couple of years, but are still lower than the national average. Housing costs are 11 percent below average. Also, there’s no state income tax. But homeowners and auto insurance rates are high.
Living in Tampa does come with some downsides, though:
Tampa ranks low in transit availability—there are not many options for getting around other than driving. There is a streetcar that takes passengers around downtown and Ybor City, but not many feasible choices outside of that. So most people drive. The traffic is bad, the 12th worst in the U.S. Drivers spend 48 hours per year in traffic, and as the population continues to increase, the situation will get worse.
Tampa is also not pedestrian- or bike-friendly. It’s the eighth deadliest metro area for pedestrians and cyclists.
Although Tampa isn’t as hot as some other parts of Florida, the average high is in the 80s for more than half the year, which can be sweltering when combined with the thick humidity. Tampa’s location on the Gulf of Mexico also makes it vulnerable to hurricanes from June through November. It’s one of the five U.S. cities most prone to hurricanes. Hurricanes pose threats of flooding, property damage, and personal injuries. Much of the high insurance costs in Tampa is due to flood insurance.
The high humidity attracts hordes of mosquitoes. Tampa ranks 11th among cities with the worst mosquito problem. Tampa also has more than its share of snakes and alligators. People have even found alligators under their cars or at their back doors.
If you’re moving to Tampa from another state, remember that Florida will require you to obtain a new driver’s license within 30 days after moving. You will need to pass a vision test. If you’re moving your car to Florida, you will need to register your vehicle within 30 days as well.
Relocating to Tampa, FL can be an excellent choice for many people in all stages of life. There’s something for everyone, from college-age people to retirees. Give All Around Moving a call today if you want your move to Tampa to be easy and stress-free.
We hope you found this post, Tips on Moving to Tampa FL: Relocation Guide 2023 useful. Be sure to see our post Why Move To Tampa for more great information.
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