Are you searching for the perfect place to call home in the Tampa Bay area? With its warm weather, beautiful beaches, and vibrant cultural scene, it’s no wonder that Florida’s Gulf Coast has become a popular destination for both visitors and permanent residents alike. But with so many options to choose from, finding the best Tampa suburb for your needs can feel like a daunting task.
Fear not, for we’re here to help! In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at some of the top suburbs in the Tampa area, from family-friendly communities with great schools and parks to trendy urban centers with plenty of nightlife and cultural attractions. We’ll explore the unique character of each suburb, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses so that you can make an informed decision about where to settle down.
Whether you’re a young professional looking for an up-and-coming neighborhood with plenty of energy and excitement, a retiree searching for a peaceful and relaxing community, or a family in need of a safe and welcoming suburb with great schools and plenty of activities for kids, we’ve got you covered. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s dive into the best Tampa suburbs and find the perfect place for you to call home.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Suburb In Tampa Florida
When choosing a suburb to live in, there are several important factors that you should consider. These factors can vary depending on your personal preferences and circumstances, but here are a few of the most important considerations:
- Safety: Safety should always be a top priority when choosing a place to live. Consider factors such as crime rates, access to emergency services, and the quality of the local police department.
- Schools: If you have children, the quality of the local schools will be an important factor to consider. Research school ratings and look for suburbs with highly rated schools or access to good school districts.
- Affordability: The cost of living can vary significantly from one suburb to another. Look for suburbs with affordable housing options and a reasonable cost of living.
- Proximity to Tampa: If you work in Tampa or plan to visit frequently, consider the commute time and distance from the suburbs you’re considering. Look for suburbs with convenient access to major highways or public transportation.
- Access to amenities: Consider the amenities that are important to you, such as shopping centers, parks, restaurants, and cultural attractions. Look for suburbs with access to the amenities that are important to you and your family.
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Best Suburbs Of Tampa Florida
Tampa is surrounded by a number of great suburbs that offer a range of housing options, amenities, and attractions. Here are some of the top suburbs:
Brandon, Florida – Strong Community Tampa Suburb
Brandon, Florida is a thriving and diverse suburb of Tampa, and there are several factors that make it one of the best places to live. Here are some of the reasons why Brandon is a unique and attractive community:
- Strong Sense of Community: Brandon has a strong sense of community, with numerous events and festivals throughout the year that bring residents together. The annual Brandon Balloon Festival, for example, is a popular event that draws thousands of people to watch hot air balloons take off at sunrise. There are also community events like the annual Fourth of July parade and the monthly Food Truck Rally.
- Access to Amenities: Brandon offers easy access to a wide range of amenities, including restaurants, shopping centers, parks, and recreational facilities. The Westfield Brandon Mall is one of the largest shopping centers in the Tampa Bay area, with over 150 stores and restaurants. Brandon also has several parks and nature preserves, including the Alafia River State Park and the Lithia Springs Regional Park.
- Affordable Housing: Brandon is known for its relatively affordable housing options, with a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments available at a range of price points. This makes it an attractive option for first-time homebuyers, families, and anyone looking for a more affordable place to live in the Tampa area.
- Proximity to Tampa: While Brandon has its own unique amenities and attractions, it’s also conveniently located just a short drive from downtown Tampa. This makes it easy to access the cultural and entertainment options of the city while still enjoying the more suburban feel of Brandon.
- Quality Schools: Brandon is home to several highly rated public schools, including Brooker Elementary School, Burns Middle School, and Bloomingdale High School. There are also several private schools in the area, offering a range of educational options for families.
Carrollwood, Florida – Centrally Located Tampa Suburb
Carrollwood, Florida is a suburb of Tampa that has many appealing features, making it a desirable place to live. Here are some of the factors that make Carrollwood one of the best places to live in the Tampa area:
- Location: Carrollwood is located in northwestern Tampa and has easy access to major highways and roads, making it convenient to get around the Tampa Bay area. It is only a short drive away from downtown Tampa, Tampa International Airport, and the Gulf of Mexico.
- Quality of Life: Carrollwood is known for its high quality of life. The community has a suburban feel, with tree-lined streets and well-maintained homes. The area is known for its safe neighborhoods, quality schools, and excellent parks and recreation facilities, including the Lake Carroll Park and White Sands Beach Park.
- Amenities: Carrollwood has a wide range of amenities that cater to the needs of residents. The area has numerous restaurants, coffee shops, and retail stores, including the Carrollwood Village Shopping Center, which offers a mix of national and local retailers. Additionally, the area has several golf courses, fitness centers, and public libraries.
- Community Spirit: Carrollwood has a strong sense of community, with many events and activities throughout the year. The Carrollwood Cultural Center offers a variety of programs and classes for residents, while the Carrollwood Players Theater puts on regular performances. There are also several community events throughout the year, such as the Carrollwood Village Music and Arts Festival and the Carrollwood Pumpkin Patch.
- Diversity: Carrollwood is a diverse community with a mix of cultures and backgrounds. The area has a mix of housing options, from condos and apartments to single-family homes, making it an attractive option for a range of people.
Wesley Chapel, Florida – Strong Tampa Suburb With Excellent Schools
Wesley Chapel is a highly desirable suburb of Tampa that has grown rapidly in recent years. There are several factors that make it one of the best places to live in the Tampa Bay area:
- Great Location: Wesley Chapel is located just 25 miles north of Tampa, making it an ideal location for people who want to enjoy the city’s amenities while still living in a more suburban setting. It is also close to several major highways, including I-75 and I-275, which make it easy to travel to other parts of the Tampa Bay area.
- Excellent Schools: Wesley Chapel is served by the highly regarded Pasco County School District, which has received top ratings for its schools. The area has several highly-rated public and private schools, as well as a number of charter schools and specialty schools.
- Growing Job Market: Wesley Chapel has a growing job market, with a variety of industries represented in the area. Major employers in the area include AdventHealth Wesley Chapel, Wiregrass Ranch, and Florida Hospital Center Ice.
- Variety of Housing Options: Wesley Chapel offers a range of housing options to fit a variety of budgets and lifestyles. The area has everything from new developments of single-family homes to luxury apartments and townhomes.
- Shopping and Entertainment: Wesley Chapel has several major shopping centers, including the popular Wiregrass Mall, which features over 100 stores and restaurants. The area also has a range of entertainment options, including a movie theater, a bowling alley, and a trampoline park.
- Outdoor Recreation: Wesley Chapel offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, with several parks and nature preserves in the area. The nearby Hillsborough River State Park is a popular destination for hiking, fishing, and camping.
South Tampa, Florida – Diverse Tampa Suburb
South Tampa is one of the most sought-after and popular suburbs of Tampa, and there are several reasons why it is considered one of the best places to live in the area. Here are some of the unique features and characteristics of South Tampa:
- Location: One of the main draws of South Tampa is its prime location. Situated just south of downtown Tampa, South Tampa is close to some of the city’s top attractions, including Bayshore Boulevard, Hyde Park Village, and the Tampa Riverwalk. South Tampa is also just a short drive away from Tampa International Airport and the beaches of St. Petersburg and Clearwater.
- Amenities: South Tampa is home to a wide variety of amenities, including excellent schools, top-rated restaurants and cafes, boutique shops, and a range of outdoor recreation areas. The area is also home to several popular parks, including Al Lopez Park and Ballast Point Park, which offer scenic views of Tampa Bay.
- Diversity: South Tampa is known for its diversity, with a mix of different cultures and demographics. The area has a strong Latin American influence, with many local restaurants and businesses specializing in Cuban, Puerto Rican, and other Caribbean cuisines. South Tampa is also home to a growing LGBTQ community, with several businesses and events catering to this demographic.
- History: South Tampa has a rich history, with many historic homes and landmarks dating back to the early 20th century. Some of the most notable historic sites in South Tampa include the Tampa Bay Hotel, the Henry B. Plant Museum, and the Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club.
- Sense of Community: South Tampa has a strong sense of community, with many local events and festivals throughout the year. The area is also home to several active neighborhood associations, which work to promote community engagement and local improvement projects.
Riverview, Florida – Tampa Suburb With Affordable Housing
Riverview, Florida is one of the best places to live in the Tampa Bay area due to its affordable housing, growing economy, and diverse population. In addition, Riverview has a number of unique features that make it stand out from other Tampa suburbs.
- Proximity to natural areas: Riverview’s location near the Alafia River and other natural areas provides residents with opportunities for outdoor recreation, including hiking, kayaking, fishing, and birdwatching.
- Growing arts scene: The community has a number of local galleries and arts organizations that provide opportunities for artists to showcase their work and for the public to experience and purchase art. Riverview also hosts a variety of cultural events throughout the year, including the Winthrop Arts Festival and the Riverview Jazz Festival.
- Diverse and vibrant community: Riverview is home to a mix of young families, professionals, and retirees. The area has a variety of housing options to suit different budgets and lifestyles, and community events and local businesses contribute to a strong sense of community.
- Well-rated schools: Riverview has a number of well-rated schools, both public and private, making it a popular choice for families with school-aged children.
- Affordable housing: Compared to some of the other Tampa suburbs, Riverview offers more affordable housing options without sacrificing amenities or quality of life.
- Proximity to Tampa’s urban amenities: Riverview is just a short drive from downtown Tampa, giving residents easy access to the city’s cultural attractions, shopping and dining options, and professional opportunities.
- Strong local economy: Riverview’s growing population and proximity to Tampa have helped to create a strong local economy with a variety of job opportunities across different industries.
These are just a few of the top suburbs near Tampa, each with its own unique features and attractions. When considering a move to the Tampa area, it’s important to explore these and other suburbs to find the one that best meets your needs and lifestyle.
Tampa Florida Crime Rates Are Falling
When considering a move to Tampa, safety is often one of the most important factors to consider. Here’s a look at some of the crime rates and safety statistics for the Tampa area and the suburbs discussed in this post.
According to NeighborhoodScout, the overall crime rate in Tampa is higher than the national average. However, the crime rate has been decreasing in recent years, which is a positive trend. When it comes to violent crime, Tampa’s rate is similar to the national average. Property crime is more common in Tampa, with a rate that is higher than the national average.
In terms of the suburbs discussed in this post, the crime rates vary. For example, suburbs like Westchase and FishHawk Ranch have lower crime rates than the city of Tampa. Other suburbs, such as Brandon and Riverview, have crime rates that are closer to the Tampa average. It’s important to research the crime rates and safety statistics for any suburb you are considering, as the numbers can vary widely from one area to another. These rates are per 1,000 residents in each area.
|Violent Crime Rate
|Property Crime Rate
How To Find Accurate Crime Rates In Tampa, Florida
When researching crime and safety in a new area, it’s important to use a variety of resources. Here are a few tips and resources to consider:
- Check the local police department’s website for crime statistics and safety information. Many police departments publish crime maps and other data that can give you a sense of the safety of different areas.
- Use online resources such as NeighborhoodScout or City Data to research crime rates and safety statistics in a particular area. These sites offer a range of data and analysis that can be helpful when making a decision about where to live.
- Talk to local residents or join online community groups to get a sense of the safety and crime situation in a particular area. Hearing from people who live in a neighborhood can give you a more personal and nuanced perspective on safety.
Overall, while safety is an important factor to consider, it’s important to keep in mind that no area is completely immune to crime. By doing your research and taking steps to protect yourself and your property, you can make an informed decision about where to live in the Tampa area.
Best Schools In Tampa Florida
For families or individuals with children, the quality of schools is a critical factor to consider when choosing a place to live. Fortunately, the Tampa area has a wide variety of highly-rated schools to choose from.
In terms of school ratings, the Tampa area is served by a number of highly-regarded school districts, including Hillsborough County Public Schools and Pinellas County Schools. These districts provide students with various educational opportunities, from traditional public schools to magnet and charter schools.
Finding The Best Schools In Tampa – School Ratings & Reviews
To help families and individuals research school quality, there are several resources available. The Florida Department of Education provides detailed school grades and performance information, including test scores and graduation rates. Additionally, websites like GreatSchools.org and Niche.com offer comprehensive school ratings and reviews based on a variety of factors, including test scores, teacher quality, and parent reviews.
In the suburbs discussed in this post, there are several highly-rated schools to consider. For example, FishHawk Ranch in Lithia is home to Bevis Elementary School, which has been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School for its academic achievements. Similarly, Westchase in Tampa has several highly-rated schools, including Westchase Elementary School and Alonso High School.
Enjoy A Lower Cost Of Living In Tampa Florida
The cost of living in the Tampa area is generally considered relatively affordable compared to other major cities in Florida and the United States. According to Numbeo, a crowd-sourced database of consumer prices, the cost of living index in Tampa is 23.5% lower than in New York City and 6.5% lower than in Miami. This means that on average, residents of Tampa can expect to pay less for goods and services, including housing, than they would in those cities.
The Tampa Housing Market In A Nutshell
When it comes to housing prices, the cost of living varies depending on the specific suburb. In general, however, housing in Tampa and its suburbs is considered to be relatively affordable compared to other major cities in Florida. According to Zillow, the median home value in Tampa is $373,410, while the median rent is $2,349 per month. This is slightly higher than the national median home value of $287,148, but still relatively affordable compared to other major cities.
Tampa Suburb Housing Markets – Average Price Of Housing
Housing prices in the suburbs near Tampa vary depending on factors such as location, size, and age of the property. For example, in the suburb of Brandon, the median home value is $350,000, while in the suburb of Wesley Chapel, the median home value is $402,745. In general, the suburbs closer to downtown Tampa tend to be more expensive, while those farther out tend to be more affordable.
Things To Do In Tampa – Local Places To Explore
One of the advantages of living in a suburb near Tampa is having access to a range of amenities and attractions. Here are some of the top amenities and attractions in the Tampa area and the suburbs discussed in this post.
Parks and Recreation – From Nature Preserves to Outdoor Recreation
Tampa and its suburbs are home to a variety of parks, nature preserves, and outdoor recreation areas. For example, Lithia Springs Regional Park is a popular spot for swimming, picnicking, and hiking, while Lettuce Lake Park offers scenic nature trails and birdwatching opportunities. The suburbs of Apollo Beach and FishHawk Ranch also have numerous parks and outdoor recreation areas, such as the Apollo Beach Nature Preserve and the FishHawk Ranch Park.
Restaurants and Dining – Fresh Seafood and Local Eateries
The Tampa area is known for its diverse and vibrant food scene. From seafood and Cuban sandwiches to craft beer and gourmet donuts, there’s something for everyone. In the suburbs, you can find plenty of excellent restaurants and local eateries. For example, the suburb of Brandon has a thriving dining scene, with everything from sushi and Italian to BBQ and Mexican cuisine.
Shopping Centers and Malls – Large Outlet Centers
The Tampa area has plenty of shopping options, including large malls, outlet centers, and local boutiques. Some of the top shopping centers in the area include International Plaza and Bay Street, Westfield Brandon, and Ellenton Premium Outlets. Many of the suburbs also have their own shopping centers and strip malls, such as the Shoppes of FishHawk and the Apollo Beach Plaza.
Cultural Events and Attractions – Performing Arts, Gardens, Zoos and More!
Tampa and its suburbs are home to a range of cultural events and attractions. For example, the Tampa Bay History Center offers exhibits and events on the history and culture of the Tampa Bay area, while the Straz Center for the Performing Arts hosts concerts, plays, and musicals throughout the year. Other notable attractions in the Tampa area include the Florida Aquarium, the Lowry Park Zoo, and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
Unique or Notable Attractions in Each Suburb
Each suburb near Tampa has its own unique attractions and features. For example, the suburb of Valrico is known for its historic downtown area and community events, such as the annual Bloomingdale High School Christmas Parade. Meanwhile, the suburb of Riverview has a growing arts scene, with local galleries and community events like the annual Winthrop Arts Festival.
Finding The Best Tampa Suburbs
In conclusion, the Tampa Bay area is home to a diverse range of suburbs, each with its own unique character, attractions, and amenities. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly neighborhood with great schools and parks, a bustling urban center with a vibrant nightlife, or a quiet community with plenty of green space, you’re sure to find a suburb in the Tampa area that suits your needs and preferences.
However, it’s important to remember that no suburb is perfect and that every neighborhood has its own strengths and weaknesses. When considering a move to a new area, it’s crucial to research the local schools, crime rates, and other factors that can impact your quality of life.
Ultimately, the best Tampa suburb for you will depend on your individual circumstances, preferences, and priorities. By taking the time to explore the area and weigh your options carefully, you can make an informed decision that leads to a happy and fulfilling life in this beautiful and vibrant part of Florida. As you begin your search for the perfect Tampa suburb, we wish you the best of luck and hope that our guide has provided you with some useful insights and inspiration.
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