Underappreciation of Tampa Bay

Why is Tampa not recognized as one of the best places to live?


A view of Tampa’s amazing skyline. Image from https://www.wheretraveler.com/sites/default/files/styles/promoted_image/public/01._credit_robert_la_follette_12_tampa0029.jpg?itok=JT0WJZSr&timestamp=1493816518

Egan Beauvais, Staff Writer

After more than 17 years of living in the Tampa Bay area, I have become almost accustomed to seeing the many beautiful images that come with living in what many people believe is paradise. However, most of the people who acknowledge and notice Tampa Bay’s brilliant views do not even live in Tampa. Tourism is one of the biggest components of this area’s culture, and the tourists are the ones that take time to enjoy their surroundings, while the actual residents of the city and the surrounding metropolitan cease to pay it any attention.

Everyone gets busy, gets used to things, and gets in a routine, but this should not stop their appreciation of the wonderful city they live in. There are so many reasons that the Tampa Bay area is so often called paradise, including the beaches, city life, abundant nature, resorts, and proximity to almost any activity anyone can imagine (well, except anything cold). Within the surrounding area of Tampa, it contains three of the top seven nationally rated beaches according to TripAdvisor. Clearwater Beach and its popular Pier 60 is considered the best beach in the nation due to its gorgeous coastline, many family attractions, countless quality dining experiences, and of course its lively nightlife. Siesta Key, in Sarasota, came in as number two, and then St. Petersburg Beach, which is in many ways tied to Clearwater Beach, came in as the seventh best beach in the nation.

Tampa, too, has a thriving city life that includes the famous Ybor City, Channelside (near downtown), and Hyde Park, not to mention the countless flourishing downtowns in the surrounding suburbs, like Dunedin, Safety Harbor, and St. Petersburg. One of the defining features of Tampa as well, is it’s many famous stops for a wide-range of food and diversity. Tarpon Springs is known for its Greek culture and food, and Ybor was originated on the cigar culture of many Hispanic groups, especially Cubans. Also, seafood dominates almost all restaurants near the beach, with Frenchy’s being one of the most popular. Food and culture are two of the biggest sources of happiness in anyone’s life, and the abundance of both in Tampa should not go unnoticed and forgotten.

Lastly, one of my favorite things about Tampa is its central location to so many attractions and activities. Universal, Disney, TopGolf, Dave and Buster’s, resorts, as well as countless others are all within range of people living in Tampa. Orlando, Miami, and Jacksonville all are within four hours of Tampa and offer many of the things Tampa cannot. Florida itself is one of the best possible states to live in and it needs to be appreciated too. Can anyone imagine how bored they would be living in a state like Wyoming or North Dakota? While many people do like living in places other than Tampa because they “like the cold” or “hate the heat,” I cannot imagine living anywhere else.

Tampa Bay is one of the greatest places to live in all of America and it needs to be recognized for that. There are so many other reasons to live in Tampa besides even the ones I have listed and I hope that every tourist that comes to visit falls in love with the city. Sadly, I will be moving away from Tampa in about six months for college, but I will always consider Tampa my home.