Tampa is a city located on the west coast of Florida, on Tampa Bay, which flows into the Gulf of Mexico.
It is the seat of Hillsborough County, and in 2017 it had an estimated population of 385,430.
It is the largest city in the Tampa Bay Area, which has around 3.1 million residents and is the second largest metropolitan area in the state.
Tampa is well-known for its cultural fiestas, museums, theme parks, and the Florida State Fair, making it a big contributor to Florida’s reputation as a tourist paradise.
It has the humid subtropical/tropical climate typical of Florida.
The city has the seventh largest port in the nation, and it has also evolved as an effective business hub.
Tampa offers a variety of homes—near the water, in the heart of the city or in the suburbs—and the market here has been hot recently.
Nickname(s): "The Big Guava"
Population: 385,430 (2017 estimated)
Land: 113.42 sq. miles
Urban: 802.3 sq. miles
Metro: 2,554 sq. miles
Tampa is quite ethnically diverse, with slightly more than a quarter of the population being Black/African-American and slightly less than a quarter being of Hispanic/Latino origin. The city’s Fiesta Day gives the different ethnic groups a chance to express their cultures. The excellent beaches here help create a laid-back atmosphere that residents and visitors alike enjoy.
The different cultures here also ensure that many varied types of cuisine can be enjoyed in the city’s restaurants. Seafood is understandably popular. Deviled crab and the Cuban sandwich are signature dish of the area. To show how proud residents are of their food, they secured the record for the world's largest food truck rally.
The Lowry Park Zoo has over 2,000 animals and many exhibits and amusements, and the Florida Aquarium is another big attraction—both are leaders in educating the public. Tampa is home to a variety of stage and performing arts venues and theaters including the David A. Straz Jr. Center, the Gorilla Theatre, and the renowned MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre.
Tampa has several museums, such as the Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI), the Tampa Museum of Art, and the Tampa Bay History Center. In the downtown Channel District one can also visit the ship SS American Victory, which served in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars. Tampa is considered a top party city, and nightlife can be enjoyed in places such as Channel-side, Ybor City, and SoHo.
This city is divided into many neighborhoods including many unincorporated communities and towns that became part of city as it grew. This city is also often divided into the following areas: Downtown Tampa, New Tampa, East Tampa, West Tampa, North Tampa, and South Tampa.
Downtown Tampa serves as the central district of the city of Tampa and of the whole Tampa Bay Area. It is bounded by Channelside to the east, the Hillsborough River to the west, Interstate 275 to the north, and the Hillsborough Bay to the south. There are many restaurants and entertainment options here.
New Tampa is a 24-square-mile area between I-275 and I-75 interstates. It is a new section of town which used to be a rural area until development began in 1988. It is the area of the city which has seen the most growth in recent times and has seen huge population expansion.
East Tampa is bounded by Hillsborough Avenue to the north, Interstate 4 to the south, 15th Street to the west, and 40th Street to the east. Its population is largely Black/African-American. Neighborhoods within this area include Belmont Heights, College Hill and Jackson Heights.
West Tampa is a historical part of the city, founded in 1892, and having quite a large Hispanic/Latino population since early times. It is located about a mile from Downtown, west of the Hillsborough River. The ethnic restaurants in this area are famous on account of its diverse population.
North Tampa is bounded Nebraska Avenue to the west, the University district to the north, University Square to the east and Sulphur Springs to the south. It is a diverse area and more than a third of the population here is considered to be living below the poverty line.
South Tampa has Tampa Bay to the west, Hillsborough Bay to the east and West Tampa to the north. It includes many neighborhoods, for example Beach Park, Ballast Point, and Bayshore Gardens. MacDill Air Force Base is in this area as is the historic Port Tampa area.
Property prices in Tampa rose a lot in 2018, partly due to a shortage of inventory. It is predicted that this growth will continue some more, but at a lower rate. It is also hoped that there will be positive news concerning the city’s increasing problem with housing affordability.
Downtown Tampa has seen significant redevelopment recently, with the waterfront area transformed and more investment expected. Hyde Park is tipped as a good neighborhood to live in, being near to both Downtown and the University of Tampa, and it has many historic homes. Palma Ceia, south west of the center, is also highly rated, and Westshore, being a business district, has some smart properties to house office workers. There are several neighborhoods where cheaper properties can be found, such as West Riverfront and Highland Pines.
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Property sales figures source: the Florida REALTORS®, December 2018.
Public primary and secondary education in Tampa is controlled by the School District of Hillsborough County (SDHC), which is the eighth largest such district in the U.S. It operates around 208 schools in total, and 12 out of the 27 high schools have been considered among America’s best. In addition, there are 73 schools not run by SDHC, some of which are charter schools.
Tampa is home to the main campus of the University of South Florida, a public research university which currently has an enrollment of more than 50,000 students. The University of Tampa is a private institution and is famous not only for its academic achievements but also for the distinctive minarets atop its main building. Other more specialized institutions include Stetson University College of Law, which was Florida’s first law school.
The discovery of phosphate nearby helped build the city up, and it is still exported from here. Tampa's port is currently the state's largest in terms of tonnage and the country’s seventh largest. Tourism contributes to the economy, not least in the form of the many cruise ships that stop here. National defense is also a big factor in the area, with MacDill Air Force Base a major employer. The economy includes contributions from the healthcare, insurance, retail, and finance sectors.
The Tampa area was considered to have a strong economy in 2018, and it was predicted that while this may slow somewhat, it will continue to be a good place for investment. The local unemployment rate is below the national average and Florida in general has had healthy job growth recently. Tampa’s population is expected to grow further and this could help fuel economy vitality.