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.
According to the 2010 census, there were a total of 335,709 people living in Tampa. That was a 10% increase over the previous census, and the population is estimated to have grown by another 10% since then.
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 Lowry Park Zoo.
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.
Like everything else in Tampa, the name of the game when it comes to dining is VARIETY! There is a little bit of everything in this city. When looking for a quick bite, some of the local favorites are Los Comparres for Mexican, Sulphur Springs Sandwich Shop for deli sandwiches, and Chicago Paulie’s for the best hot dogs in town.
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, Mise En Place, or Edison: Food+Drink Lab. 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.
Tampa 55+ Communities
Tampa and the surrounding areas are exploding with new active adult communities.
One popular choice nearby 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.
Another nearby favorite among my readers is the Villages of Citrus Hills. The Villages of Citrus Hills is a Florida Retirement Community with single family homes and maintenance free villas that have been built with today’s demanding baby-boomer in mind. But what makes the promise of Florida Retirement in the Villages of Citrus Hills truly come together for today’s new breed of active adult retiree is its extraordinary collection of world-class community country club amenities and extensive social activities. Depending on the style and neighborhood you choose, home and home site packages range from the mid $300s to more than $1.2 million.
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!