Gibsonton is weird. There's no euphemism for that. But it's weird in a nice kind of way if you like some breathing room from the typical small town environment. However, when you've inked a lease that keeps you committed for the next six months or so, the last things you want are surprises. Here's making sure that doesn't happen.
What's waiting for you here? A little less than half of the houses in this city are mobile homes. If you like to live like those circus folks (although most of them are housed in a retirement village these days), renting a trailer might be an option. If a mobile house is not your idea of home, there are lots of 3 bedroom houses for rent in this city as well.
How soon should you start looking? Well, competition for rental homes in this city is not as cutthroat as Tampa, that's for sure. But if you don't want to risk going homeless for a couple of days while looking for an ideal home in the city of freaks, you should start hunting for an apartment at least two months before your scheduled transfer.
What documents to bring? With all the oddities around, nothing surprises landlords in this part of Florida anymore. However, they still discriminate against tenants with questionable history. Thus, you have to present a picture ID and your latest pay slip or employment verification or go through a credit check to gain their acceptance.
Choosing the right neighborhood is every bit as important as choosing the right apartment if want to have an address you can be proud of. Here's an overview of some of Gibsonton's communities:
East Bay Lakes: Living in this neighborhood puts you minutes away from I-75 and the Walmart Supercenter. Living in this community will have you shelling out more than the average rental fee, but expect some perks for that extra moolah since most properties here are newly developed large homes on a waterfront.
Big Bend: If you have some serious cash to burn and you'd like to burn it on house rent, you have to take a look at this upscale community. This neighborhood is just a stone's throw away from clinics and shops. A short drive on Big Bend Road will get you to I-75 in a blink of an eye.
Carriage Pointe: Located along Symmes Rd, this apartment complex puts you near businesses like Trident National Corporation, J&R Universal Electric and Pimentel's Enterprises. Most homes for rent in this area are of the large 4- to 5-bedroom variety. And although not a very walkable part of the city, US Hwy 41 and I-75 are a only few minutes drive away.
Gibsonton on the Bay: Want to live near the scenic Alafia River? Start your hunt in this neighborhood; one of the area's 3- to 5-bedroom apartments could suit your fancy. If such is the case, you'll be living near Tampa Bay Marine, Super-Kwik Food Mart, Gibsonton Food Mart and Glass America. This area is located along US Hwy 41, which is the quickest gateway should you ever feel the need to get away.
While the Great American Sideshows were no match for Disneyland, movies and other forms of modern entertainment, Gibsonton will always be known as the city where misfits find acceptance and lead normal lives. Today, there are still landmarks and joints that showcase this city's unique history.
First, there's the Giants Camp, which used to be a bait shop, restaurant and marina located just off Highway 41. Giant's Camp was the turf of Al Tomaini, best known as the giant who married the two-and-a-half-foot half-girl, Jeanie Tomaini. This couple paved the way for more carnival folks to start flocking to this city and calling it home (when they're not on the road, that is). Today, the couple's daughter operates the restaurant, which continues to attract tourists and locals who are drawn to the odd pair.
Driving a bit further down Highway 41 will take you to Showtown Saloon, the remnant of Gibtown's history as Showtown, USA. This part of the city has a pub and restaurant that will have you appreciating clowns, carnivals and social misfits who, with neck-breaking hard work, provided entertainment with their strange skills. A visit to this joint will probably have you sharing some drinks with a couple of carnies who still frequent this place. This area is also the home of the International Independent Showmen's Association, the organization that's always on the lookout for the welfare of these circus folks.
Of course, if you're feeling marooned in this small city, Tampa is just 15 minutes away. You could be feeding your need for gridiron action by watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play football or indulge your inner foodie by feasting on Tampa's different dining options. Small city weirdness and big city madness; how'd you like that mix?
Harbor a few quirks of your own? Come over to this city where weird is the norm!