Thonotosassa is a census-designated place (CDP) in Hillsborough County, Florida and started life as a Seminole-Creek community. The name is derived from the Seminole-Creek words "thlonto" and "sassa" which mean "the place of valuable flint."
You can find this interesting community about 10 miles from Plant City on Highway 301. Although the community only has a total area of 18 square miles (47 km2 ), the population was 13,014 at the last census. This is a place where people want to be! Thonotosassa is a cosmopolitan community with ties to Irish, German, English, Italian, and Scottish ancestry, as well as the Seminole-Creek. This mix makes for lively get-togethers and breeds liberal thinkers!
Thonotosassa is an incredibly picturesque place to visit if you want something off the beaten path where you can commune with nature. The overgrown river-banks hold wildlife aplenty and will make you think of bygone days when folks relaxed in canoes, holding fishing poles.
Unless you have friends or family to stay with in Thonotosassa, you will have to head out of town -- less than four miles to Tampa East -- to find accommodations. Here you will find a variety of places to stay, from homey bed & breakfasts to luxurious 5-star hotels. RV parks can also be found in abundance in and around the town and along the river.
But getting back to Thonotosassa, you will spend your days in quiet bliss. The only things to disrupt the sound of the occasional plop of a fish will be the slightly larger plop of nearby alligators or the whoosh of an adrenaline-packed journey down the river. These guided river tours can take two hours or all day depending on your sense of adventure.
Visitors love getting up close and personal with Thonotosassa's alligators and can easily spot groups of 50 or more soaking up the sun in the water, on logs, and on the shore -- some even close enough to touch! The bird life here is prolific, and the odd turtle or three can be seen. There are many dead ends in the river which make for some fun U-turns to get back to the main branch. There are detailed maps available, so even novice visitors will be able to navigate around in safety. Navigating the river is a very popular pastime for locals and holiday-makers alike. A word of warning though -- keep your hands out of the water! Don't forget it's home to critters with large teeth.
Once you've had your holiday and fallen in love with Thonotosassa, you'll want to buy a home and settle down in the area. You will find that most residents are long-term, as Thonotosassa becomes a way of life. Education is high on the list here, and there are seven community colleges and universities to choose from. It's no surprise that many of the high school students in Thonotosassa go on to higher education and obtain bachelor degrees!
The home prices here are lower than half of most towns in Florida, and homes are plentiful. If you wish to rent first, you will find a number of units of various sizes at very reasonable rents. Do contact a local real estate agent.
There are three excellent hospitals and acute care units available in the vicinity of the town -- for chronic conditions, you will find no better care. The University Community Hospital and the Tampa VA Medical Center are both about 10 miles away. The Brandon Regional Hospital provides emergency care and can be found 11 miles away from Thonotosassa.
Public transportation is freely available here; the Amtrak station is nearby, and there are bus depots aplenty. The Amtrak station is fully wheelchair accessible and has an enclosed waiting area. Public restrooms, pay phones, and vending machines make waiting pleasurable. The station also offers free short-term parking, paid long-term parking, car rental, and taxi services.
As one would expect being on the Florida peninsula, the weather can be very hot and sticky at times. This is easily overcome by visiting air-conditioned restaurants and using air-conditioning in your rental unit.
Yes, folks there is crime. Where there are people in the world, you will find wrong doers. However, Thonotosassa is generally a low-crime area. The alligators seem to be more dangerous than the residents!
Thonotosassa is one of the natural wonders of the United States. Visit and enjoy clean, fresh air and wildlife exotic enough to satisfy the most discerning traveller. The sunsets here are lauded by poets, and the river turns to gold when the sun rises. The sound of the birds will delight your senses.
This is a wonderful place for the young to settle down and the elderly to retire. The variety of restaurants will satisfy the fussiest palate, and the ease of the transport system will ensure that your travels in and around Thonotosassa will be stress-free. Canoe rides up the river will make adrenaline junkies happy as clams, and they will return again for more!