Tampa started off as a village. A wee little village. that's right “Tampa Village” was a thing and on June 18th in 1849 was founded with a meager population of just 974 people. In fact, it wasn't until almost 50 years later in the early 20th century that Tampa really started to come into its own becoming one of Florida's largest cities. With the discovery of Phosphate (a main ingredient in fertilizer) and a brand-new railway, Tampa finally had the means to attract some serious business and shed the village stigma forever.
Around this time Vincente Martinez Ybor (If you do move to Tampa you will become intimately familiar with his name as it's ubiquitous in naming dedications) moved his cigar operation to Tampa, and with it luring almost 10,000 immigrant workers to the area, adding to the diversity of the city. With this move, Ybor established Tampa as one of the most profitable and significant cigar trading destinations, leading some to lend the area the title of - “The Cigar Capital of the World.” It wasn't until the 50's and 60's that Tampa's population really exploded; in fact, it was the highest population growth ever recorded! It was during this time that Tampa really started to invest in infrastructure and city development, adding most of the parks and attractions that it has become known for today. But enough with the history lesson (pencils DOWN!) let me tell you what Tampa has to offer today!
Shockingly enough Tampa is known as the “Thunderstorm Capital of the World,” having some of the most on record (technically, it is the thunderstorm capital of North America... with the Congo earning the world belt, but shhh). World, North America, doesn't matter: don't let that fun-fact mislead you, Tampa also has some of the best weather. Because it is sandwiched between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico it has an almost tropical feel. With average high temperatures ranging 70 to 90ºF degrees and lows between 52 to 76ºF degrees. That's no a typo for the lows, and that's YEAR-ROUND, you've gotta admit with ambient temperatures like that, a few thunderstorms isn't going to be a deal-breaker. And even though the storms are frequent they are often times short-lived and during the summer, so in many ways they act as a welcome buffer from the heat, cooling things down a bit. You'll find that Tampa has a lot of splash parks with splash mats (think big ol' buckets that dump water on fun-seekers) in attempts to do jut that.
The Food and Drink
You might not think Tampa has a lot to offer but you'd be wrong. Not only was the Cuban sandwich invented there but it's also home to Bern's, which has the worlds largest wine cellar. And the world's largest food truck rally ever was held there (a tricky title, as since then there has been a lot of back and forth on setting the record). There are a bunch of national restaurant chains that call Tampa home, too, like Outback Steakhouse (not from Australia: BUSTED), The Melting Pot, and the Bonefish Grill, just to name a few.
Playing in Tampa
With more than 150 parks, there is no shortage of outdoor activities to pass the time. Busch Gardens leads the way with a fun-filled Africa inspired destination. This 335 acre park boasts a lot of animal habitats that the entire family would enjoy. Waterworks Park, among others, provides a fun water-themed experience for those that love water or are just trying to beat the heat. Speaking of heat, although Tampa is not famous for its beaches, it is within 20 miles of Clearwater and St. Petersburg, both renowned for their white sandy beaches. And, in the case of St. Petersburg, also the home of some of professional sports like the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball Franchise.
Housing in Tampa: Surprisingly affordable!
So being near the beach, wonderful weather, and lots of things to do... what would you expect to pay? With a median sales price of under $250,000, probably not as much as you might think. A matter of fact, HomeArea.com found in a survey based on census data that 3 out of their top 5 areas with the most affordable houses were in the Tampa Bay market.
Some Things to Watch Out For
With the highest point of Florida measured in a few hundred feet, two of the states biggest dangers are also Tampa's: flooding and sink holes. When looking for property in the area it's a good idea to look at both of these factors; whether the property you are considering is in an area known for sink holes or one that has had frequent occurrences of flooding. The third, hurricanes, has left Tampa out of direct attack: the city hasn't seen a direct hurricane landfall since 1921. So doing just a little bit of research, and the place you find will be the house you are looking for!
Found your new Tampa pad? Have questions on getting your stuff to it? Reach out to us here at Ship Smart. Our Tampa warehouse has been moving our customers in the greater Tampa area for over 20 years.