Warm Gulf Coast seas, delicious seafood, a vibrant nightlife, and sunshine all year. You’d think Tampa, FL was the ideal place to live and work with such benefits! Many Tampa residents will agree that the city is one of the best in the United States. The Big Guava, like many cities, has a few rough edges, which we’ll discuss further below. Below are ten surprising facts about Tampa, Florida.
- Housing is Affordable
Tampa, with its 18th-largest population, should be one of the most costly cities to live in. The startling thing is that it doesn’t even make it into the Top 40! Tampa apartments for rent and housing costs are both slightly higher than the national average. Many people are surprised by this, especially given the caliber of city Tampa is.
- Longest Sidewalk
This lovely recreational path, which is popular with cyclists, joggers, and walkers, is flanked with palm palms and offers panoramic views of the sea. Beautiful views of the Tampa skyline and gorgeous historic mansions flank the Boulevard, providing even more to gaze at. Dolphin and manatee sightings are typical throughout the early morning hours, adding to the thrill! Bayshore Blvd. provides a beautiful setting for any workout. You can test your strength and agility at the fitness stations positioned around the course if you want to push yourself even farther.
- 99 Degrees
Despite the blazing heat and humidity in the area, as well as apparently unending days of unbearable heat, the thermometer has never exceeded 100 degrees! The record is technically 99 degrees, yet the heat index is nearly constant during the severe summer season, making the temperature seem well over 100.
Cigar producers developed Ybor City, a historic district in downtown Tampa, in the late 1800s. It has been dubbed “Cigar City” as the “world’s cigar capital.” Apart from its cigar heritage, the area has a lengthy history of weird paranormal occurrences. Many reports suggest it is one of the most haunted cities in America.
- Home to Famous Authors
Jack Kerouac, the 1960s beat poet and novelist who resided in St Petersburg, and Stephen King, the prominent horror writer who lives in Sarasota, are two famous authors who have lived in the area. Both authors were born and raised in New England.
- Pirate Festival
Every year since 1904, pirates have sailed their ship into Tampa for Gasparilla. The entire city dresses up for the occasion and attends.
Most people connect Tampa with endless chains, however there are many independent stores in every city around the region. Tampa is, in fact, one of the top places for coffee enthusiasts! There are so many fantastic laid-back shops in Tampa, each with their own distinct character, that choosing one would be tough. Check out my list of the finest coffee shops in Tampa Bay for a few terrific options!
This small coastal town is recognized for its beautiful parks, beaches, and old sponge decks. Tarpon Springs is the place to go if you want to enjoy some excellent Greek cuisine in the Tampa area. The Greektown Historic District is a charming place to meander through. Hella’s, Mr. Souvlaki, and Bread and Butter Gourmet Deli are all excellent options. Treat yourself to a soothing dolphin tour while you’re here.
- Virgin Slash Pine Forests
While Honeymoon Island is famed for its beautiful beaches, it would be a shame not to take a stroll along the beautiful nature trails. The Osprey Trail is perfect for nature enthusiasts and bird watchers, with plenty of wildlife and bird watching opportunities. Keep a lookout for osprey nests, armadillos, and gopher tortoises. It’s a crowded area, but it’s well worth the effort!
- Shark Teeth
If you go to any of the beaches in the Sarasota area, you will almost certainly see people digging for something that isn’t a seashell. Florida was covered in water millions of years ago, and while most sharks vanished, the fossilized teeth have survived!