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What to Know Before Moving to the Tampa Bay Area:

Along the west coast of Florida lies a tri-city community known as the Tampa Bay Area.  Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater join together to give this region a population of 2.78 million people.  Blue skies, coastal waterways, and tropical temperatures bring thousands of tourists annually, while the large technology providers and accounting and engineering firms help to form the Florida High Tech Corridor.   The Tampa Bay Area provides scores of options for entertainment, employment, and opportunity.  Grab a cup of Cuban coffee or a pineapple slushie and let’s take a closer look at the cities that form this extravagant metropolis.

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St. Petersburg

Career Opportunities & Industries in Tampa Bay Area:

The Tampa Area rates among the top destinations for vacations and is home to beautiful white beaches, lively atmosphere, and cultural attractions.   Consider this growing economy and thriving job market to turn your dream into a reality.

Tampa, the third largest city in Florida, is the economic hub for west central Florida. Its economic base is diverse covering fields in finance, healthcare, engineering, tourism, technology, and insurance.  Partnering with Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, Tampa Bay Partnership, and Tampa Bay & Company, the city of Tampa provides a healthy and growing economy at the local, regional, and statewide level.  To evaluate its status and to attract strong and efficient jobs for county residents, a seven month cumulative report known as the Locational Assessment and Recommended Strategic Plan for Economic Growth was launched. This plan sought to identify suitable targeted industries, provide data that showed their strengths, and predict their growth over the coming years.

Ranking number 56 in US News Best Places to Live in the USA, Tampa is home to mostly transplants, whether they be job relocations or retirees.  College students attending The University of South Florida or The University of Tampa also contribute to the diversity and energy of the city.  With an unemployment rate and almost one percent lower than the national average, the city’s economy is strong.  Employees enjoy an annual median salary of $45,500, which is slightly below the national average of $50,000.  The job growth rate comes in at the top of the state with 2.25%, almost a full percent higher than the nation’s average.  Healthcare organizations are the largest employers in the area with the most popular places being BayCare Health System, Tampa General Hospital, and James A. Haley Veterans Hospital.

BayCare Health Systems, with a $4.4 billion operating revenue, is a non-profit health care system that connects individuals and families with fifteen hospitals and hundreds of other local urgent care and specialty clinics. Even with their 300+ facilities, they maintain a close connection to their patients and the community. The system offers internships on an “as-needed” basis including an Emergency Nurse Internship Program, a Labor and Delivery Internship, a Critical Care/Open Heart Internship Program, a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Internship, a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and a Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit Internship.

Tampa General Hospital is a 1,010 bed non-profit hospital, the only hospital in Tampa Bay, and is one of only six hospitals in Florida to make Newsweek’s World’s Best Hospitals in 2019.  Founded in the early 1900s, Tampa General Hospital serves as the teaching hospital for the students of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. Nationally ranked in 5 adult specialties and rated high performing in 2 adult specialties and 6 procedures and conditions, it specializes in cardiac services, cancer care, and integrative medicines.  The cancer center located on the main campus offers both inpatient and outpatient procedures and care.  Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy are also offered at this facility and surrounding outpatient facilities.

The James A. Haley Veterans hospital provides care for veterans in the central Florida region.

MacDill Air Force Base, an active air force base located 4 miles south-southwest of downtown Tampa employs approximately 2,300 members.  It serves the military as a refueling station and serves the community and sports world by doing Super Bowl flyovers and air shows.

Education, tourism, and hospitality are also popular types of employment.  The University of South Florida and Busch Gardens also rank among the top job markets.  Busch Gardens is a 335 acre theme park that attracts thousands of roller coasters junkies and tourists each year.  It also houses over 2,700 animals.  Combined with the monstrous healthcare system, the education, tourism, and hospitality industries gather a workforce of 161,000 employees.

Tampa Bay Places to Live
Tampa Bay Places to Live

Great Places to Live in Tampa Bay:

Florida does not have a state income tax, but it does require a 6% sales tax. Although Tampa’s median salary is only slightly below average, its housing costs are far above the national average. Almost half of the city’s population rents rather than buys a living space. Living spaces and styles reflect the various groups of residents. Retirees may seek to find beachside condos, while college students look for a close commute to the campus and entertainment venues. Tampa is unique for its metropolitan feel and beach vacation vibe.

According to research through Niche, here are some of the top places to live in Tampa.

Harbour Island

At the top of the list is Harbour Island. Located in Hillsborough County with a population of 3,500, 62% of these residents choose to own their home.
Young professionals
· Median income= $113,384
· Median home value=$358,000
· Median rent=$1,800
· 44% Master’s degree or higher
· Families with children=14%
· Terrace Community Middle School/Walker Middle Magnet School/Bell Creek Academy
· Below average crime rate
· Shops, restaurants, and parks


Second on the list of places to live in Tampa is Spanishtown. With a population of 1,387, young professionals are split almost evenly between renting and owning their homes.
Young professionals
· Median income=$128,144
· Median home value=$491,359
· Median rent=$1,755
· 36% Master’s degree or higher
· Families with children=17%
· Terrace Community Middle School/Walker Middle Magnet School/Lutz Preparatory School
· Below average crime rate
· Restaurants, coffee shops, parks

Carver City/Lincoln Gardens

Third on the list is the neighborhood of Carver City/Lincoln Gardens. With a population of 2,181, most younger professionals, eighty percent of its residents choose to rent.
Young professionals

  • Median income=$69,460
  • Median home value=$134,500
  • Median rent=$1,680
  • Bachelor’s degree=39% and Master’s degree or higher=19%
  • Families with children=15%
  • Terrace Community School/Walker Middle Magnet School/Lutz Preparatory School/Bell

Creek Academy

  • Below average crime rate
  • Restaurants, coffee shops, parks

Bayshore Gardens

Coming in at #4, Bayshore Gardens has a population of 2,900 of mostly young professionals and retirees.

Young professionals and retirees

  • Median income=$118,933
  • Median home value=$435,640
  • Median rent=$1,101
  • Bachelor’s degree=32% and Master’s degree or higher=33%
  • Families with children=18%
  • Terrace Community Middle School/Walker Middle Magnet School/Lutz Preparatory School
  • Below average crime rate
  • Restaurants, coffee shops, parks


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Tampa Things to Do
Tampa Things to Do

Things to do in Tampa

Tampa is made for tourists who love animals. See thousands of animals and shows at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, the Florida Aquarium, Big Cat Rescue, or Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center. Catch up on your history as you tour the Henry B. Plant Museum.

First on the list of things to do in Tampa, according to travel.usnews.com, is the Tampa Riverwalk. Stroll, bike, walk, jog, or rollerblade the 2.6 mile trail that follows the Hillsborough River. Watch the orange glow sink into the glassy waters as the sun sets.

Head over to Armature Works Heights Public Market Tampa’s most recent go-to place for food lovers and architecture fans. This 22,000 square foot industrial market provides scores of eating options and retail shops. With direct access to The Riverwalk, many tourists enjoy shopping, shows, and suppers each day of the week.

Covering 297 acres, Busch Gardens calls to roller coaster junkies and thrill seeking tourists. The theme park is alive with animal shows, musical events, roller coasters, and Safari themed exhibits. If spending is a concern, this park is sure to fit the budget. It is older than Disney, but cheaper, allowing days of education and entertainment.

Whether you enjoy a show at the Tampa Theatre, drive, chip, and put out on a luscious golfing green, or spot dolphins out on a Tampa Boat cruise around the Tampa Bay waterways, you are sure to leave Tampa with a mind full of memories.

Clearwater Places to Live
Clearwater Places to Live

Living in Clearwater

Nestled in Pinellas County, Clearwater is home to 114, 015 people.  Both young professionals and retirees choose this area for its urban, suburban atmosphere.  The children of Clearwater enjoy a quality education as public schools in the Clearwater area rate above the national average.
Young professionals and retirees

  • Median income=$47,070
  • Median home value=$191,600
  • Median rent=$1,052
  • 32% college or associate’s degree/19% bachelor’s degree/10% master’s degree or higher
  • Murder, robbery, and car theft are below the national average, while rape and theft are much above the national average.

Where to Live in Clearwater

Clearwater, a popular beach haven in the Tampa Bay Area, has something to offer to everyone.  Its crystal clear beaches call to spring breakers, and its warm climate draws in winter snow birds.  Take a stroll on the sandy beach while watching the colorful sunset, or enjoy the entertainment of city life.  The area is well served by public transportation, and residents find convenient access within the city as well as to the neighboring Tampa and St. Petersburg.  This neat metropolis offers exciting adventures as well as an accommodating and quaint suburban feel.

Harbor Oaks
Located just East of the beach, but close to highways and recreation, Harbor Oaks is among the top in the state for young professionals and families.  Day trips could include The Plumb House Museum, The Tampa Bay Sculpture Center, Wildwood Park, Wright Park, or Clearwater Golf View

Harbor Woods Village
Primarily a residential neighborhood, Harbor Woods Village is a family oriented subdivision with convenient access to several beach and city amenities, yet a quiet, peaceful setting.  Schools in the area are above average and the crime rate is below the national average, making this community perfect for families with young children.  Activities in this area might include a trip to Safety Harbor, Grey Island, or Anthony Abreu Fine Art Gallery.

Rainbow Farms North
The diversity of culture gives Rainbow Farms North a unique feel. Families and active adults enjoy this community because of its convenient amenities and nature trails.  With reasonable housing prices and amenities for children, this neighborhood is great for young families as well. Spend the day at the beach or hang out at the country club; you are sure to each day of living in this great community.  Easy access to highways and expressways make the commute to work convenient, and the employment market augments incomes far above the national average for this area.

Clearwater Things to Do
Clearwater Things to Do

Things to do in Clearwater

According to tripadvisor.com, the #1 thing to do in Clearwater is the Beach Walk. Strolling along the shoreline gives you plenty of sights and sounds of relaxation and beach culture.  This also gives you easy access to many hotels, resorts, and dining accommodations.  

Coming in at #2 is Spectrum Field… enjoy the ballpark and all its amenities.   

#3 Pier 60 offers local seafood restaurants, boat rentals, fishing, and beach vibes.

#4 on the list takes us to some racing…the Tampa Bay Grand Prix gives families and friends racing experience in its indoor go-kart racing facility.  There are two locations…one in Tampa and one in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area.

Showtime Speedway gives those racing fans an opportunity to watch the professionals!  Both short track and drag racing events are held here and are sure to give fans memories to last a lifetime.

St. Petersburg Places to Live
St. Petersburg Places to Live

Living in St. Petersburg

With over double the population of Clearwater, St. Petersburg, in Pinellas County is one of the best places to live in Florida.  259,041 residents enjoy the urban suburban mix and prefer to own their homes.

#3 best city to retire in America

  • Median income=$53,816
  • Median home value=$182,900
  • Median rent=$1,067
  • 30% college or associate’s degree/22% bachelor’s degree/12% Master’s degree or higher
  • Assault, murder, rape, robbery, theft, and motor vehicle theft are far above the national average.  Burglary is slightly below the national average.

Where to Live in St. Petersburg

North Shore
Topping the list of best places to live in St. Petersburg, Florida, North Shore has a population of just under 9,000.  Mostly young professionals and retirees choose to live in this area.  They enjoy the restaurants, coffee shops, and local amenities.
Young professionals and retirees

  • Median income=$78,700
  • Median home value=$578,540
  • Median rent=$1,000
  • Residents lean liberal
  • 48% rent and 52% own
  • Master’s degree or above 28%
  • St. Petersburg Collegiate High School/St. Petersburg High/Tarpon Springs Fundamental Elementary 

Old Southeast

Not quite as upscale as North Shore, Old Southeast has only 1500 residents.  

  • Median income=$62,000
  • Median home value=$259,349
  • Median rent=$954
  • 45% rent and 55% own
  • 31% some college or associate’s degree
  • 25% bachelor’s degree
  • 15% master’s degree or higher
  • St. Petersburg Collegiate High School/Tarpon Springs Fundamental Elementary School/Curtis Fundamental Elementary School
  • Crime is below the national average

Crescent Heights

Third best neighborhood to live in, but first on the list for neighborhoods to raise a family!  Crescent Heights has a modest population of just under 1400. 28% of residents in this sparse suburban community are families with children.  

  • Families with children
  • Median income=$73,600
  • Median home value=$261,200
  • Median rent $900
  • 76% own 24% rent
  • Crime rate below national average
  • 32% bachelor’s degree 23% master’s degree or higher
  • St. Petersburg Collegiate High School/St. Petersburg High School/Tarpon Springs Fundamental Elementary

Snell Isle

Keeping up with the Joneses is definitely part of living in the luxury community of Snell Isle, where the community is more impressive than quaint.   The neighborhood boasts of amazing architecture, custom pools, manicured lawns, and luxury cars.

Job Market in St. Petersburg

The job market in the 727 has attracted a much younger generation as many companies are digital or tech related.  Here is a list of several of the top-listed tech jobs.

  1. SavvyCard – founded in 2011 and listed in The Tech Tribune. “SavvyCard® is a SaaS platform that enables organizations and individuals to rapidly and inexpensively deploy mobile engagement tools and systems. SavvyCard’s proprietary platform enables the creation of branded mobile web apps so every brand, person, product, service and cause can engage with consumers through smartphones and tablets – effectively, quickly and inexpensively. With SavvyCard, users can readily share and refer people, products, places, events and services they love, and businesses can build and own direct relationships with their customers.”
  2. Intrinio – a tech platform that provides programming for over 200 types of financial data feeds that can be directed to applications, websites, algorithms, and website tools.  This technology aids developers and engineers as they provide financial information for hedge funds, large banking institutions, universities, and start-up companies.
  3. RxLive – a telehealth service connecting medical professionals, pharmacists, and patients in a private, professional, and secure way.
  4. Simply Reliable, Inc. – “Simply Reliable provides two product lines; SmartOffice, a cloud based business process solution designed for trades based small businesses and Design Machine, a patented Windows based design software that automates the process of creating design, documentation and drawings necessary to the completion of projects.”
  5. Eat Cheap – a data based company that provides economic options for the best food and drink deals in the area

Things to Do in St. Petersburg

Enjoy the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico or take a tour through the Salvador Dali Museum.  Other attractions include Fort De Soto Park and an amazing glass blowing exhibit on Central Avenue called the Chihuly Collection.

Tampa Bay Sports
Tampa Bay Sports

Sports in the Tampa Bay Area:

Known as the lightning capital of the world, Tampa has several professional teams that reside in Tampa. Following its famous nickname, “the lightning capital of the world,” the Tampa Bay Lightning play in the National Hockey League. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers offer football fans plenty of opportunities to cheer in Raymond James Stadium. The Bucs brought home the NFL championship in 2003, and are frequently associated with Tom Brady.

On the baseball front, the Tampa Bay Rays are based in St. Petersburg and are members of the American League East Division. Since its beginning, the team has played at Tropicana Field. Additionally, spring training brings six major league baseball teams to the area.

Joining the North American Soccer League, the Tampa Bay Rowdies represent Tampa for the soccer fanatics.

The Tampa Bay Beach Bums bring volleyball tournaments to the beach volleyball courts of the Tampa Bay area.

Transportation in the Tampa Bay Region

Dependent on your exact location, you will have buses and trolleys to help you move about the city.  Tampa is home to two international airports and Florida’s largest port, serving several Caribbean cruise lines. There are plenty of ways to get around the Tampa bay Area. The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority organizes and maintains service to Ybor City, Hyde Park, Ports, and area attractions.

TECO Line Streetcar provides connections between Ybor City and the downtown sites.  

Bus travel preference has plenty of options as the Tampa bus system provides over 200 bus stops.  Train lovers can travel using Tampa Union Stations within the state or across the nation.  Many tourists purchase CityPass and travel through the city using the trolley system.  Trolley drivers and tour guides offer tourists immeasurable amounts of information on the best places to eat, history of the city, and the best attractions to visit.  

Well-maintained interstates and highways allow for city drivers to access not only in-town locations but also a quick commute to Orlando and surrounding cities.

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