Tampa, FL: Where to Live, Play & Eat

Tampa community guide

Location of Tampa, FL

Tampa is located on the west coast of Florida in Hillsborough County. It is the third largest city in Florida. It borders Tampa Bay, which leads to the Gulf of Mexico.

Tampa itself is a large area so the exact location gets tricky as many of the surrounding communities (Carrollwood, Westchase, Northdale, Citrus Park, Town N Country) fall out of the city borders but still have a Tampa address. The 3 main areas of Tampa would be New Tampa (northeast), South Tampa and Central Tampa. We break these areas down in other community guides as well.

The city is part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area, which is the second-largest metropolitan area in the state and the sixth largest in the southeastern with more than 4 million residents.

Tampa on a map

Real estate options in Tampa, FL

There is something for everyone in Tampa as far as housing options. In South Tampa, which is close to downtown Tampa and the airport, you will find single family homes, historic homes, waterfront condos and mansions and luxury estates.

Search for homes for sale in Tampa, FL

Best Things to Do in Tampa, FL

Every area of Tampa has exciting things to check out including parks, theme parks, restaurants, shopping and entertainment. Tampa is home to the Busch Garden theme park, a 335-acre African-themed adventure park with more than 2500 animals, 28 rides include 10 roller coasters and various shows. Tampa is also home to Adventure Island, the Florida Aquarium, ZooTampa at Lowry Park, MOSI, Glazer Children’s Museum, the Tampa Museum of Art and the Tampa Riverwalk.

The City of Tampa has 194 parks including Ballast Point Park (fishing pier), Copeland Park (pool), Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park (splash pad) as well as many neighborhood parks.

Video: Things to do in Tampa

Splash pad

Parks in Tampa, FL

Tampa residents enjoy getting out and enjoying our beautiful weather and surroundings. There almost 200 parks in the City of Tampa with Hillsborough County adding many more. Many of the parks include playgrounds, picnic tables and grills, boat ramps and sports fields.

A few of our favorite parks in Tampa, FL:

  • Ballast Point (fishing pier, boat ramp, playground)
  • Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park (dog park, splash pad, shaded benches)
  • Al Lopez Park (playground, sports fields, picnic pavilions, dog park)
  • Julian B Lane Riverfront Park (playground, splash pad, dog park, sports courts and fields)

Biking & walking trails in Tampa, FL

There are several trails in Tampa that can also be used for walking, jogging and biking. These include:

  • Al Lopez Park Trail
  • Bayshore Boulevard Trail
  • Bruce B Downs Trail
  • Copeland Park Trail
  • Courtney Campbell Causeway Trail
  • Cypress Point Park Trail
  • Gadsden Park Trail
  • Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park Trail
  • Rowlett Park Trail
  • Tampa Riverwalk

Outdoor dining

Places to eat in Tampa, FL

Tampa has a vibrant and eclectic food scene. Some of best restaurants in the state, with top chefs from all over the world, are here in Tampa. There is a great variety of options to eat including Italian, Seafood, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Fusion, American and more.

Some of our top choices in Tampa, FL include:

  • Bern’s Steakhouse
  • Columbia Restaurant
  • Ulele
  • On Swann
  • Oak & Ola
  • The Pearl
  • Timpano
  • Oxford Exchange

Places to have fun in Tampa, FL

There is no shortage of things to do in Tampa, including all the options we mentioned earlier. There are also places to roller skate, bowl and make crafts. Some of our favorite entertainment options in Tampa, FL include:

  • Airheads Trampoline Park
  • Big Cat Rescue
  • Amature Works
  • Sparkman Wharf
  • United Skates
  • Pinchasers
  • Axe Throwing
  • The Candle Pour

Places to shop in Tampa, FL

There are many options for shopping Tampa, FL with International Mall and Westshore Mall as two of the big shopping destinations. The neighborhood of Hyde Park, in South Tampa, also has an eclectic mix of local and high-end boutique ships. Of courses there is also big box stores including Walmart, Target, Homegoods, TJ Maxx, Home Depot, Lowes and more.

There are a variety of grocery store options in Tampa as well including Publix, Target, Walmart, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Aldi and Sprouts.

Schools

Tampa schools are run by the Hillsborough County School District. 

Honestly there are too many schools in Tampa proper to list them all but we break them down in smaller Tampa communities in our other guides here:

Brandon 
Odessa
South Tampa
Lutz
Westchase
Carrollwood 
Seminole Heights 

Hospitals in Tampa, FL

There are several hospitals based in the Tampa, FL community as well urgent care centers, outpatient surgery centers and doctor’s offices. The top hospitals are Tampa General, Moffitt Cancer Center, St. Joseph’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, AdventHeath Tampa and Advent Health Carrollwood.

Ready to move to Tampa, FL?

With its vibrant downtown for both business and pleasure, MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa International Airport and amazing suburbs, Tampa ranks among the top cities in Florida for good reason. It’s an excellent place to put down roots and enjoy all that Tampa Bay has to offer. Our real estate team, with more than 30 years working and living in Tampa Bay, is here to help you find the perfect home. Call or text us today: 813-541-5320

(813) 629-7083