Now I know what you’re thinking… why would I ever WANT to move to Florida? Home of humidity, alligators, mosquitoes, and old people. Well to that we say, we understand your logic! Honestly, why would you want to move to Florida? But take it from a couple of transplants who once lived in New York City, Denver Colorado and South Florida, Tampa is NOT Florida. Well, it is, but it isn’t… but… just read.
Now to our Floridians, don’t get into a tizzy. Yes, Tampa is legitimately in Florida, but it is not your typical Florida city. There is more to Tampa than flamingos (well except for the amazing paintings at Mandarin Heights), rundown vacations rentals, and hurricanes. Tampa is a fast-growing metropolitan city in the heart of the Gulf of Mexico and is full of culture, fabulous restaurants, and a youthful atmosphere.
Check out our top 10 reasons to move to Tampa!
1. The Food
Foodies – don’t you fret for even a moment! Tampa is a food lover paradise with a massive range of unique food experiences varying from secret speakeasies, loud Irish pubs, chill family spots, and relaxing waterside locations. Tampa has food for any craving and is continually growing every day. Our favorite, or one of our favorites, is Ichicoro Ramen. I mean, it’s Ramen people! Yum. Oh and one more, Ciro’s Speakeasy… look it up. Wait, also Bo’s Ice cream. SO MANY CHOICES!
So much is happening in Tampa! From the already completed Armature Works to Hyde Park Village and Sparkman Wharf, the city is transforming quickly while keeping its residents in mind with every opportunity. Over the next 4 years, the population of Tampa Bay is estimated to grow to over 3.3 million, and the city isn’t wasting any time in getting prepared. With various city development projects underway, billions of dollars are being put into the ever-changing landscape.
3. Seminole Heights
With a mix of modern and historic architecture and a unique and eclectic group of residents, the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa is a sight to see. From tree-lined streets with old historic bungalows to the booming shops and restaurants on Florida Ave (and more), this neighborhood has something for everyone. Again, Ichicoro Ramen. Oh my god! Also, Spaddy’s Coffee AND The Independent. Go. Like, right now.
4. Ybor City
With a massive history of mobsters, Cuban cigars, and an ever-changing nightlife, Ybor is a vibrant neighborhood of Tampa. Lining the New Orleans French Quarter-inspired street of 7th Avenue is a collection of bars and restaurants. You can bar hop from the gayest clubs to the straightest bars in town which are conveniently located within seconds of each other. And don’t forget to take a free ride on the historic trolly cars or take a stroll down the magically lit street. Just be careful of the protected roosters and chickens that live in the area! They’re little nuggets (not to be confused with chicken nuggets of course) and are precious, and we love them!
6. Gasparilla Pirate Festival
Pirates and parades, who could ask for more! Gasparilla, named after the legendary pirate Jose Gaspar from the 18th and early 19th centuries, is an annual festival in Tampa which honors the pillaging past of the area. This festival has events ranging from the Children’s Extravaganza Parade down Bayshore Boulevard, to Pirate Fest, Music and Film Festivals, and the Sant’ Yago Knight Parade in Ybor. SO. MUCH. FUN. Remember to dress up in your favorite pirate inspired costume, grab a beer from Armature Works and stroll down the Tampa Riverwalk while you work on your pirate swagger just in time for the parade on Bayshore. We’ll do it with you. We’ll be a gaggle of pirates. Side note – The Riverwalk is open container so… have fun!
7. Soho | Hyde Park
Talk about a mixture of high-class and down-home! With beautiful multi-million dollar homes on Bayshore Boulevard and your favorite dive bar on South Howard, this community is a perfect place for all types of people. By day you can find people enjoying their shopping rituals at the walkable Hyde Park Village or exercising on an uninterrupted stretch overlooking the bay. By night you’ll find folks enjoying a rowdy night out at the bars playing beer pong or enjoying a swanky meal with a vintage glass of Chianti. Be sure to visit Goody Goody, which is one of Tampa’s oldest restaurants that opened in 1925, closed in 2005, but is back slinging burgers, cheese fries, milkshakes and more! Also, there is a CinéBistro right by Goody Goody which is a fabulous spot for a movie and a meal.
8. The Arts & Culture
Love theater, museums, and nature? We got it all in Tampa! Spend your day with the kids at the Children’s Museum, checking out the sea life at the Aquarium, viewing gorgeous art at the Tampa Museum of Art, or learning about the history of Tampa at the History Center. Afterward, spend the night at the theatre choosing from an array of shows at the different theaters around town. With traveling Broadway Show performances at the Straz Center, movies or stage performances at the Tampa Theater, or smaller intimate shows at other local theaters such as Lab Theater Project, Stageworks, Mad Theater, Fluid Expressions, PowerStories, and many more, you’re sure to find a show that tickles your fancy. We love supporting local Theatre, and Tampa has a very active and talented community!
9. Start-Up Central
New businesses are popping up all over Tampa. With its very own Start-up Week held in February to local start-up resources, Tampa Bay is a beautiful place to invest in your entrepreneurial adventures. Just ask Bill Gates & Jeff Vinik, who have invested billions of dollars into the Tampa Bay economy. There’s a reason why, BECAUSE IT’S AMAZING! Can we get a YAS? YASS!
10. Lastly, BKN Creative 😜
A shameless plug in – well, of course, it is our blog right? 🙂 Located in the fantastic Ybor City, BKN Creative is a full-service Marking & Creative Agency that collaborates with our clients to develop and ultimately showcase the best version of their identity. We specialize in graphic design, photography, videography, web design and development, social media marketing and much more. Whether you are opening a new business and need branding or need a helping hand, we are here for you! Oh, and don’t forget about our monthly BKN Creative Headshot Day! We make you look amazing AF! But really, we have fun. We team up with Marissa Moran Hair & Makeup to bring you a fashion photoshoot experience straight out of New York City complete with Biscotti from local entrepreneur, Mom’s Italian Cookies, music from our handy iPod, and hairspray for days! Check it out.
So to us, it’s safe to say Tampa is a great place offering big city vibes with a small town feel. Know of anything we missed? Comment below and let us know!