Tampa, Florida

Cigar City



Sunny Days: 246
48100 Affordability
89100 Schools
61100 Diversity
82100 Safety

I first discovered Tampa in my 20s when I met my wife, who was living there, and I instantly fell in love with the city. It's somewhere between a big city and small town, so you get the feeling of both - Michael Connelly

The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Cigar City has no state tax and high-income job growth. These factors, combined with incredible weather have generated a population with plenty of Millenials and Gen Z residents, defying outsider expectations of Florida. Tampa also has tons of breweries and innovative ways these breweries contribute to the city's cultural scene. This includes fun events like "Yoga Pants & Craft Drafts,” the "Running for Brews" club, The Brew Bus tours, and Nebraska Mart, a new casual concept aimed at younger crowds brought to you by Cigar City Brewing. The key selling point to lure their young guests? Shuffleboard courts.

The Best Thing About Tampa?

Warm Days & Nights

Water and beaches, warm weather, parks, nightlife, lots of activities and events as well as thriving breweries and a vibrant music scene.

Here's a review from a local on what they love about living in Tampa:
Great city to live in. So many things to do for just about anyone. It's not just Tampa. It's Tampa Bay. Which includes a very large area. Clearwater, St. Pete, Tarpon Springs. Dunedin, Brandon, and much more. To many concert venue's in all sizes to list here. Great restaurants all over Tampa bay. Professional football, baseball, hockey, soccer, rugby. They just had gasparilla which is as much fun and maybe as big as Mardi Gras. Great bike trails that run for miles and miles. Beautiful parks and water everywhere. It's just a great place to live indoors and outdoors. Traffic can be terrible at times but plan ahead and it's worth the wait.

For more reviews of what living in Tampa is like from locals check out: The Buzz

The Worst Thing About Tampa?

It's a Tweener

The traffic irritates people and locals aren’t known to be the best drivers. It’s not a headquarters city and the school system can be touch and go. Overall, it offers neither a cozy small town experience or big city life.

Here's a local with a few of the cons of living in Tampa:
- Lots of traffic for a mid-sized city
- Non-existent public transit
- Awful drivers
- Rent is pretty high (although real estate itself doesn’t seem to expensive when purchasing)

Lifestyle Of Tampa

Tampa’s lifestyle is in large part driven by water play. Swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, boating, jet skiing, and even canoeing/kayaking. It isn’t a beach town but 30 minutes away are some of the nicest beaches in the country. The city also has great bike/running trails and plenty of beautiful parks for play. In addition to going out to play, Tampa locals love to watch the pros play. Five professional sports teams call Tampa home and they are extremely loyal. Finally, if you’re looking for nighttime play there are plenty of options in Ybor or SOHO/Hyde Park. While people come for the outdoor experiences, many stay for the rest of it.

If you want to see what people do for fun and culture in Tampa check out the calendar of events: https://www.visittampabay.com/tampa-events/

Schools in Tampa

The school district for Tampa is Hillsborough County Public Schools. As with most large city school districts there are huge variations in the quality of the schools. Overall the city rates a B+ on niche.com There are plenty of schools that rate an A and plenty that rate a C. We hesitate to isolate particular neighborhoods for high or low scores as there are diamonds in the rough throughout the city but it is worth paying attention to scores relative to neighborhood if school scores are important to you. Plant High School on the south side of the city and Steinbrenner High School on the north end of the city are notable A+ choices if you want the kiddos aiming for the top of the public school path once they hit high school age.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

You Can Make a Difference

Tampa is small enough where you can actually make a difference, whether it is through politics, business, or philanthropy and join the ranks of The Tamprenuers.

Neighborhoods in Tampa

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The Area

Tampa sits on the Tampa Bay rather than directly on the Gulf Of Mexico like its sister city, St Petersburg. This makes it safer from storms than the southeast side of Florida or even the southwest side that sits south of the Tampa Metro area but it also means you aren’t directly on beaches here. You’re pretty much flat dab in the middle of the state along the coastline and so you’ve got a 6 ½ hour drive to hit Atlanta (Florida is a long state). Orlando though is only an hour or so away if you’ve hankering for some Disneyland. Miami is only four hours across the state so a weekend away in Magic City is perfectly reasonable.

Channel District

Young Professionals

Channel District is one of the hottest neighborhoods for young professionals. It’s a short walk to many of the downtown work spots and is filled with high-rise apartments and condos with stunning waterfront views. The nice thing about Channel District is it has the prerequisite bar/restaurant scene but also has the Maven Market, a farmers market that also hosts events like the Historical & Cultural Festival. It also has the Aquarium and Sparkman Wharf, a newer revitalized shopping and dining area. Historic Ybor is perhaps the most famous of the downtown neighborhoods for nightlife and as such pulls in plenty of young professionals who want to walk to and walk home when they go out. While it is known for the drinking it also has great restaurants so don’t sleep on the foodie scene here.

  • Channel District
  • Historic Ybor
  • Downtown

North Hyde Park


North Hyde Park is a cool choice for those who want to be just a few minutes from downtown but who also crave a bit of a respite from the bar scenes and traffic. The neighborhood has very cool bungalows as well as upscale apartment buildings for those not ready to buy. It also has its own commercial district that while not matching the fervor of downtown can satisfy the desire for a quick burger and beer on a weekend or school night.

  • North Hyde Park
  • Courier City-Oscawana



Tampa earned some creds in the LGBTQ+ community when in 2019 Jane Castor became the first openly gay mayor in the city’s history. The GaYBOR District is considered the LGBTQ+ Main Street for the West Coast of Florida. A combination of gay and gay-friendly businesses serve the local community with a mix of shops, bars and restaurants. The Heights are also gay-friendly neighborhoods with beautiful historic bungalows, boutique shopping and interesting restaurant choices.

  • Ybor/GaYbor
  • The Heights (Seminole Heights/Riverside Heights/Tampa Heights)

Harbour Island


Harbour Island is a very popular neighborhood in downtown Tampa. Safe, friendly, amazing public schools and easy to walk to the Aquarium, the Wharf, and Downtown. The island throws a big Halloween and Xmas/Holiday party every year and has all sorts of community events throughout the year. It also is filled with beautiful old suburban style housing but you’re right near all the action should the mood strike you.

  • Harbour Island
  • Palma Ceia / Palma Ciea West
  • Hyde Park - Spanishtown Creek

Bayshore Beautiful


Bayshore Beautiful is one of the most popular neighborhoods for 55+ in Tampa. Beautiful homes, treelined quiet streets and great views of Hillsborough Bay make it a destination for empty nesters and retirees. Several healthcare facilities in the area and extremely low crime rating make the locals feel very safe. Just north of Bayshore Beautiful is Bayshore Gardens. If you prefer high-rise condos to the upkeep of the big homes of its southern neighbor then this could be your spot. The Gardens is walkscore friendly for those looking to stay active in the local scene and locals are also served well by several healthcare sites within the neighborhood.

  • Bayshore Beautiful
  • Bayshore Gardens
  • Beach Park