Article Overview: List of the Pros & Cons of Living in Tampa by a Local (Tony M.)
Thinking about moving to Tampa? I think I can help!
My name is Tony M and I moved to Tampa in 2013 to turn a new page in my life. I moved from the Pacific Northwest and planned to move back within 3-5 years, but something about this vibrant city made me settle in long term.
In the past few years, some of my friends have reached out, requesting a list of things to know about living in Tampa. I thought it’d be helpful to draft a quick list and post it here for everyone else to see too.
I’m not big on small talk, so let’s get to it!
Living in Tampa
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Pros of Moving to Tampa
Year-Round Sunshine (Outdoor Lifestyle)
With over 240 sunny days a year, outdoor activities are part of the daily routine for those living in Tampa.
This perpetual sunshine encourages an outdoor lifestyle that’s hard to beat. Whether it’s kayaking in the Hillsborough River, cycling on the Bayshore Boulevard, or just enjoying a picnic in one of Tampa’s many lush parks, there’s always an excuse to be outside.
The warm climate also supports a rich variety of flora and fauna, making nature walks and bird watching popular activities.
Living in Tampa means your weekends can be filled with endless outdoor recreation. Think about it, so many folks travel to Tampa for vacation, which means embarking on mini-vacations in your own backyard is a possibility.
Access to the Beach
There’s no denying that one of the biggest benefits of living in Tampa is having daily access to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country.
I mean, imagine having the luxury to visit the beach almost any day you want. Plus, when you’re in Tampa, you’re never more than about a 30-minute drive from a sandy shore.
Whether it’s a morning jog on the beach, an afternoon of sunbathing, or a serene evening walk by the shore, the beach is an extension of your backyard.
This daily access isn’t just about leisure; it’s a lifestyle that promotes relaxation, fitness, and a connection with nature.
Strong Job Economy
If you’re considering moving to Tampa for work, you’ll find yourself quite impressed. Tampa’s job economy is thriving, with a robust growth rate that’s the envy of many cities.
In recent years, Tampa has seen a remarkable job growth rate of around 2.4% annually, outpacing the national average.
This boom is driven by diverse industries like finance, healthcare, technology, and tourism, making it a land of opportunity for professionals across various sectors.
What’s more, Tampa’s unemployment rate has consistently been lower than the national average, sitting comfortably at around 3.5%.
This indicates a healthy job market and a dynamic economy. And it’s not just about quantity; the quality of jobs in Tampa is notable too, with many companies offering competitive salaries and benefits.
So, whether you’re a recent graduate, a seasoned professional, or someone looking to switch careers, Tampa’s strong job economy is a compelling reason to be excited about your prospects.
Plus, There’s No State Income Tax
When living in Tampa you can forget about paying state income tax because Florida doesn’t have one. This is obviously a perk that cannot be overstated.
This means that more of your paycheck stays with you, which gives you a bit more to spend on everyday things that make life more enjoyable (like eating out, going on vacation, etc.).
Tampa is a Cultural Melting Pot
Something I didn’t realize before moving to Tampa was that the city is considered one of the most diverse in the country.
Did you know that almost 20% of Tampa’s population is born outside the United States? This melting pot of cultures brings a rich diversity that is evident in every aspect of city life, from the food to the festivals.
Tampa celebrates the cultural variety with numerous celebrations and events throughout the year, like the famous Gasparilla Pirate Festival, which draws inspiration from a variety of traditions.
Also, about 30% of Tampa’s population identifies as Hispanic or Latino, adding a lively Latino flair to the city’s atmosphere.
This cultural diversity not only makes Tampa an exciting place to live but also fosters an environment of inclusivity and understanding.
Living in Tampa means being part of a community where every culture is celebrated and where every day is an opportunity to experience something new and exciting!
Tampa’s nightlife scene is as diverse and vibrant as the city itself. Statistics show that the number of nightlife spots in Tampa, including bars, clubs, and live music venues, has grown by nearly 20% in the last five years.
This growth reflects the city’s dynamic and youthful spirit. Whether you’re into laid-back jazz bars, energetic dance clubs, or cozy pubs, Tampa has it all.
And it’s not just about the variety; the quality is top-notch too. Many of Tampa’s bars and clubs are regularly featured in regional “best-of” lists, thanks to their fantastic ambiance, diverse music, and excellent service.
The city’s nightlife is a perfect blend of sophistication and fun, making it a go-to destination for night owls and party enthusiasts. So, if you’re living in Tampa or just visiting, prepare to have some unforgettable nights out.
The Great Food Scene
Tampa’s culinary scene is a smorgasbord of flavors, reflecting the rich cultural tapestry of the area.
From authentic Cuban sandwiches, a nod to the city’s strong Cuban influence, to farm-to-table American fare, there’s something for every palate. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the seafood!
Tampa’s restaurant growth rate has been outpacing the national average, indicating a booming and vibrant food scene.
Professional Sports Teams
If you’re moving to Tampa and you’re a sports fan, you’re in for a real treat. There’s a few key professional teams worth knowing about.
First off, we’ve got the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL team), who won the Super Bowl in 2021. Since then, the excitement around them has been electric.
Then there’s the Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) – they also have a couple of Stanley Cups under their belts, including back-to-back championships in 2020 and 2021.
And let’s not forget the Tampa Bay Rays (MLB). They might not have a World Series title yet, but they’re always putting up a good fight, keeping the games pretty exciting.
Game day vibes is one of the biggest benefits of living in Tampa. So, whether you’re into football, hockey, or baseball, there’s always a game to catch and a team to root for.
Disadvantages of Living in Tampa
Those moving to Tampa, or a subtropical climate, for the first time, need to know that hurricane season (June 1 through November 30 ) can be a bit nerve-wracking.
We’ve seen our share of big storms, like Irma, so everyone gets a bit anxious when the season rolls around. For example, during Irma, over 6.5 million Floridians were asked to evacuate, a reminder of how serious these storms can be.
Power outages are common, and can last a while. To best prepare, you’ll need to be good about stocking up on the essentials (tons of water bottles, batteries, etc) and having a solid evacuation plan in order.
Summer Heat & Humidity
Let’s mention the obvious – the humidity in Tampa are a bit much.
Sure, average high temperatures in the 90s sucks, but it’s the humidity that really brings you down unless you like the feeling of a warm, we blanket wrapped around your body.
It’s not uncommon for the heat index to hit triple digits, so staying hydrated and finding ways to keep cool isn’t just comfort; it’s a necessity.
Needless to say, you’ll learn to love air conditioning and shade pretty quickly after moving to Tampa.
The one perk? Those glorious afternoon thunderstorms.
Mosquitos & Bugs in General
Let’s just say that bugs and mosquitos are as much a part of life as sunshine and beaches (gotta love a humid climate) Did you know that Florida has over 80 mosquito species?
This local’s advice? Always have some good bug repellent handy and consider investing in some citronella candles for those backyard BBQs.
And, if you’re near water or wooded areas, those little critters can be even more persistent. It’s just one of those things we’ve learned to deal with living in this otherwise wonderful place. A small price to pay for enjoying life in paradise, I guess.
I-4 is like a never-ending game of Tetris with cars. Rush hour can turn a 20-minute drive into an hour-long saga, with you as the leading protagonist (or villain, depending on the day).
The average commute time in Tampa hovers around 26 minutes, which isn’t too bad compared to bigger cities. But here’s the catch: during rush hours, especially on key routes like I-275 and I-4, things can get pretty congested.
And if there’s an accident or roadwork? Well, you’ll need to settle in for the long haul. There’s plans in place to ease congestion, but between you and me – I’m not holding my breath.
Retiring in Tampa FAQ
Is Tampa a good place to live?
Tampa is a fantastic place to live with its sunny weather, vibrant culture, and bustling job market. It offers a perfect blend of city life and beach relaxation, making it ideal for both families and professionals.
Friendly communities and affordable living add to its charm, making Tampa a great choice for those seeking a lively and fulfilling lifestyle.
Is Tampa a good place to retire?
Yes, Tampa is a wonderful place to retire. Its warm climate and ample sunshine are perfect for enjoying outdoor activities year-round.
The city boasts a variety of leisure options, from serene beaches to beautiful parks and golf courses.
Plus, Tampa’s thriving cultural scene, with plenty of museums, theaters, and restaurants, ensures there’s always something interesting to do.
Add in the affordable cost of living and a welcoming community, and it’s clear why many retirees find Tampa an ideal spot to enjoy their golden years in comfort and style!
You May Enjoy Reading: 15 Prime Places to Retire in Florida
Things to Know About Living in Tampa (Summary)
In sum, here’s a quick roundup of the benefits of living in Tampa, along with the disadvantages.
- Year-Round Sunshine (Outdoor Lifestyle)
- Access to the Beach
- Top-Notch Nightlife
- Strong Job Economy
- There’s No State Income Tax
- The Great Food Scene
- Tampa is a Cultural Melting Pot
- Professional Sports Teams
- Hurricane Season
- Summer Heat & Humidity
- Mosquitos & Bugs in General
- Constant Traffic
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