As the third largest city in the state of Florida, Tampa offers residents all of the big city amenities they are looking for combined with the fantastic climate that draws people to the Sunshine State in the first place. In addition to tons of amenities and great weather, Tampa is also located right on the water and filled with outstanding shopping and dining options.
The name Tampa comes from the Native American tribe that originally called this area home. Its literal translation is “sticks of fire.” The name was a reference to the many lightning storms that occur here during the summer months.
Before the 1880s, the town of Tampa was just a small fishing outpost. However, the discovery of phosphate in the area combined with the arrival of railroad transportation turned Tampa into a boomtown overnight, and it was one of Florida's largest cities by 1900.
Getting to Tampa
Tampa is located on Florida's west coast, basically at the intersection of I-4 and I-75, so getting there by car is pretty simple.
If you are flying in, your best bet will probably be Tampa International Airport (TPA).
Tampa General Hospital is consistently ranked as one of the best hospitals in the country. Moffitt Cancer Center is known around the world, and just so happens to be based in Tampa. Other hospitals in the area include Bayfront Health in nearby St. Pete, St. Joseph's Hospital, and more.
Tampa Cost of Living
With a cost of living index of 100.1, Tampa is right at the national average for cost of living, and slightly lower than the average cost of living in Florida.
Here’s a look at the average low and high temperatures in Tampa throughout the year:
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No matter what you are passionate about, you can find a way to pursue those passions all over this large city. Some of the best lifestyle benefits you will find here include experiences like visiting Busch Gardens Tampa, the Florida Aquarium, and Zoo Tampa.
In addition to those major attractions, residents also love kicking back and relaxing at places like Lettuce Lake Regional Park or Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. And if that still isn't enough, you can follow the city's three professional sports teams all year round.
As with any major city, there is an endless amount of cultural opportunities to explore throughout Tampa. The Henry B. Plant Museum is a fascinating experience that explains the significance of Plant's famous railroad coming to town. Then there are the amazing museum experiences at the Tampa Bay History Center, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Tampa Museum of Art.
If your cultural desires are more theatrical, you will appreciate the beautiful Tampa Theatre and The Straz Performing Arts Center. Both provide amazing settings for your favorite plays, musicals, and operas.
Shopping in Tampa can be an overwhelming experience, but your best bet is to start at the most popular destinations like Hyde Park Village or International Plaza and Bay Street for the classic outdoor mall experience.
When you are ready to expand your shopping destinations, you might want to venture a bit south to the Ellenton Premium Outlets.
Like everything else in Tampa, the name of the game when it comes to dining is VARIETY!
For those who are looking for a high-end dining experience, you simply can't go wrong with Bern's Steak House, Eddie V's Prime Seafood and Steak, or Mise En Place. Each of these restaurants offers a slightly different take on classy dining, but they will all blow your mind with their unique combinations of food, service, and atmosphere.
If you are trying to keep it a little more low-key, Chicago Paulie's for the best hot dogs in town.
Where to Retire in Tampa
Kings Point, with over 5,200 homes is a snowbird's paradise. Kings Point is centrally located 30 minutes south of Tampa, 30 minutes north of Sarasota, and 30 minutes to the Gulf Beaches. This gated community offers over 200 clubs to keep anyone and everyone entertained. The two large clubhouses contain 3 indoor pools and 2 outdoor resort-style pools. There are also other heated pools sprinkled throughout the community. The community also features fitness rooms, pickleball courts, tennis courts, shuffleboard, bocce ball, archery range, horseshoes, and billiard leagues. Kings Point offers its residents free scheduled transportation throughout Sun City Center.
All of the homes are paired villas and the price point can be from mid $100k's to high $400k's.
Another popular option is Valencia Del Sol by GL Homes.
Valencia Del Sol’s convenient Tampa location makes it easy to enjoy having fun in the sun along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Offering a robust and extraordinary 55+ lifestyle, Valencia del Sol caters to residents looking to socialize and stay physically active. Active adults will enjoy the 25,000 square-foot Clubhouse offering an array of resort-style amenities including a fitness center, grand social hall, a relaxing pool and spa, tennis and pickleball courts as well as a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. A full-time, on-site lifestyle director will be dedicated to organizing a wide variety of fun events, clubs, and opportunities for making new friends all year round. This amazing new community features a stunning selection of twin villas and single-family homes that provide the ultimate in 55+ living at an incredible value.
There are a number of other 55+ communities in Tampa (list) for you to consider.
Whether you prefer to live right in the heart of the city or out in the suburbs, there is no denying that the Tampa area is overflowing with opportunity and excitement. And that is exactly why the third-largest city in Florida continues to grow at such a rapid pace!
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