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10 Best Neighborhoods in Tampa, FL

By: Susan Finch
June 1, 2021

Enjoy metropolitan living with a vacation feel in the heart of Tampa. Everyone from young professionals to empty nesters flock to Tampa for the reasonable cost of living, urban amenities, and gorgeous backdrop along the Bay. When in Tampa, you’re never far from a beach, fabulous restaurant, or waterfront fun.

Not sure where to move? Here are some of the best neighborhoods in Tampa.

1. Downtown

Downtown Tampa puts locals in the middle of the city's urban development core. The area is shifting from a strictly commercial location to a more residential location. New neighborhood development includes luxury highrises and apartment buildings, attracting a new wave of locals. Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, museums, the Florida Aquarium, and the Riverwalk draws newcomers looking to connect with the pulse of Tampa.

Downtown Tampa isn’t exclusive to millennials. Data also shows that people ages 25 to 65 live in the neighborhood, with a growing empty-nester population. You'll find restaurants, pubs, and a quick commute to the rest of the city.

2. Palma Ceia

Palma Ceia is situated southwest of downtown Tampa. The area is attractive to young professionals looking to live near dining, cafes, and greenspace. You'll also find families settling in for quality schools.

Palma Ceia is a walkable community, rich in history. Locals have their choice of single-family homes and apartment complexes loaded with amenities. Golfing is a popular pastime at Palma Ceia Golf & Country Club, the city's oldest private golf club. You can also explore the world's longest sidewalk at Bayside Boulevard. The Palma Ceia Business & Design District is home to boutiques, shops, and art galleries situated along S MacDill Ave and W Bay to Bay Blvd.

3. Ybor City

Ybor City is a historic district located in the northeast area of Downtown Tampa. Quirky boutiques and vintage shops are located along 7th Avenue. You'll also find Cuban and Latin American eateries. A 1920s bakery turned museum exhibits cigars and local history. Ybor City also boasts an LGBTQ+ friendly vibe with the "GaYBOR'' district nestled around 7th Ave and 15th Streets.

You'll get a taste of Latin flavor at Columbia Restaurant’s flamenco show or enjoy drag queen bingo at Hamburger Mary's. There's plenty of family-friendly fun in this party neighborhood too. Hop on the TECOline Streetcar System for a ride in an old-fashioned streetcar. On Sundays, the Ybor City Market features local artwork, gifts, fresh produce, and snacks.

4. Old Seminole Heights

Old Seminole Heights is celebrated for its 1920s bungalows and oak-filled Lowry Parks. Hiking trails and scenic riverside spots draw visitors and locals to the greenspace. ZooTampa isn't far away either, where you’ll find penguin encounters and rhino feedings. After hours, join the crowds at craft breweries and farm-to-table restaurants. You'll also find plenty of boutiques and antique shops along North Florida Avenue.

The neighborhoods and surrounding areas of Old Seminole Heights are also undergoing a historic preservation effort. Renters find apartments in newer complexes and old bungalows. You're less likely to find luxury units and on-site amenities like pools, though you'll live in a tranquil setting with urban conveniences at your fingertips.

5. Tampa Palms

The Tampa Palms mixed-use community stretches across 4,1000 acres with the Hillsborough River on the Southern end. It's conveniently located near the University of South Florida, perfect for students and staff. Tampa Palms includes 28 separate villages with townhomes, apartments, and single-family homes.

Locals aren't far from dining, entertainment, and green space. Recreational opportunities include the Tampa Palms Golf & Country Club, biking, and hiking trails.

6. Hyde Park

Live in the middle of the action in Hyde Park, Tampa. The dining and nightlife scene offers relaxed restaurants and cocktail bars, drawing young professionals and Millenials looking for a night out. Hyde Park Village offers shopping and boutiques. The neighborhood is popular with nearby University of Tampa students and staff.

Hyde Park is also a historic Tampa neighborhood undergoing new development. It was established in 1880 when railroad fancier Henry B. Plant built a bridge across the Hillsborough River at Lafayette Street.

7. Ballast Point

Live along the waterside of Hillsborough Bay in Ballast Point. The historic Tampa neighborhood is filled with oak trees and Spanish moss. The convenient location is just 10 minutes away from Downtown Tampa, Ybor City, and the Channelside area. On weekends, locals gather for water sports at the boat ramp and Ballast Point Park. A splash pad for the kids, pavilions, trails, and views of the Bay make it a popular spot to gather.

New apartment buildings are in development around Ballast Point, and schools are also highly regarded. The combination makes it a perfect Tampa neighborhood for both young professionals and families.

8. Davis Islands

Davis Islands are celebrated for their sparkling views of Downtown Tampa and pastel-colored 1920s architecture. The area boasts an eclectic vibe, with pubs and cafes drawing crowds to East Davis Boulevard.

It's easy to see how the original developer, Dave P. Davis, envisioned the "Florida version of The Great Gatsby'' for the islands. The area is an archipelago on two islands along with the mouth of the Hillsborough River. Locals enjoy island suburbia within a few miles of Downtown Tampa.

9. Channel District

The bustling Channel District is home to new highrises, boutiques, and restaurants in a pedestrian-friendly setting. You can spend the day strolling the waterfront and exploring the Water Street Tampa multi-billion dollar development.

The Channel District is home to some of Tampa's best attractions. The Florida Aquarium has wonderful shark and stingray exhibits. Locals and visitors also explore the adjacent Victory Ship warship turned maritime museum and enjoy quick access to Sparkman Wharf. The mega-entertainment complex offers incredible restaurants, craft brews, and live performances.

10. Beach Park

Beach Park, Tampa, offers a residential feel with access to fantastic restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. This family-friendly neighborhood boasts well-regarded public schools. During the 1920s housing boom, the area saw an increase in Mediterranean Revival, Spanish Revival, and Italianate architecture.

Beach Park is part of the desirable "old Tampa" neighborhoods. Locals enjoy a mix of rich history, gorgeous architectural backdrops, and urban amenities. Apartments can be found situated along the waterside for upscale living.

Which Tampa Neighborhood is Right for You?

Ready to pick your new Tampa neighborhood? Register for Apartment List to find an apartment in Tampa.

You can also learn more about:

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Miami:

Learn more about the best places to live in Florida!

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AUTHOR
Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content manager focusing on local experiences, travel, and anything relating to really good food and craft brews. Her work has appeared in travel guidebooks and national magazines and newspapers. Read More
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