living in tampa

Tampa Fl Area Information

Area Information

Tampa Arts and Culture

Arts and Culture
In 1967 the Florida State legislature created the Arts Council of Tampa to coordinate and promote the performing and visual arts in the Tampa region. Today, renamed the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, the council is actively involved in developing and administering school programs in dance, visual arts, music, poetry, creative writing, and theater; providing grants services to individual artists and arts organizations; scheduling events; and operating the Tampa Theatre, an ornate movie palace of the 1920s that has been restored to its former grandeur to serve film buffs, as well as fans of dance, music, and drama.

The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center is a multipurpose facility located at the northern edge of downtown on a nine-acre riverfront site. It is a joint public-private venture designed to accommodate many different kinds of performances. Its three halls and its rehearsal studio are used by local arts groups, touring drama companies, country music artists, and for the Center's own presentations.

Tampa is home to a variety of performing groups. American Stage, Stageworks, and the Alley Cat Players present seasons of drama, cabaret, classics and comedies. The University of South Florida and the University of Tampa both have theater training programs for actors, directors, and designers. Other local groups include the Carollwood Players community theater, and the Bits 'n Pieces Puppet Theater, which produces children's classics featuring giant puppets, as well as conventional actors. Ballet Folklorico of Ybor specializes in classic dances from Spain, Cuba, Italy, Mexico, and Latin America. The Kuumba Dancers and Drummers teach and perform traditional dances and rhythms of a variety of African cultures. At the University of South Florida, the dance department is housed in a state-of-the-art studio and theater, teaching and performing forms of dance from jazz to ballet to modern. Music is presented by the Florida Orchestra, which is based in the three west coast cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater. It performs 14 masterworks concerts with a pops and daytime series offered in each of the cities during its September-to-April season. Musical entertainment is also provided by the Master Chorale, Tampa Bay Chamber Orchestra, Tampa Oratorio, and myriad smaller community and college groups.

Several museums and galleries are based in Tampa. Among them are the Museum of Science and Industry, which offers hands-on displays and demonstrations of a scientific and technological nature pertaining specifically to Florida's weather, environment, agriculture, and industry. The Tampa Museum of Art features changing art exhibitions from across the country and houses the Southeast's largest and most significant permanent collection of Classical Art of Ancient Greece and Rome. The Henry B. Plant Museum features Victorian furniture and art objects in settings similar to those that would have greeted Tampa Bay Hotel guests in the late 1800s. The Ybor City State Museum provides an overview of the cigar industry and its history in Tampa, as well as information about the area's Latin community. Situated on the campus of the University of South Florida are two of the area's best contemporary art facilities. The Contemporary Art Museum, which has in its collection some of the finest of the world's modern artists, and organizes exhibitions of contemporary art to tour the United States and Europe. Graphicstudio, an experimental printmaking facility, has hosted such notables as Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Jim Dine, and Miriam Shapiro. Kids City delights youngsters aged two to twelve with indoor, hands-on exhibits set in a realistic outdoor miniature village.

Other Tampa art facilities include the Florida Center for Contemporary Art, the state's only alternative artist's gallery, which highlights new work by emerging and established artists throughout Florida. The Lee Scarfone Gallery, the University of Tampa's fine arts college teaching gallery, exhibits works by students and faculty as well as artists of regional and national renown. Tampa has many fine galleries, and one of the highlights of the gallery season is a special event called Gallery HOP, an evening when all of the galleries are open and buses transport thousands of viewers on tours of the varied display sites around the city.

Arts & Culture Information: Arts Council of Hillsborough County, telephone (813)276-8250.

The Arts are very much a part of Tampa and neighboring Pinellas County (St Pete and Clearwater)In the Tampa area, there are

44 museums,
7 performance halls
8 major annual festivals
272 antique dealers
263 art galleries.
*The art Council for Hillsborough county is at

List of Museums (44)
Major museums

The Children's Museum of Tampa
7550 N. Boulevard, Tampa, Florida 33604

Plant Museum
401 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33606

Museum of Science and Industry
4801 E. Fowler Ave.
Tampa, FL 33617

Tampa Bay History Center
225 Franklin St.
Tampa, FL 33602

Tampa Museum of Art
600 N. Ashley Dr.
Tampa, FL 33602

Ybor City State Museum
1818 Ninth Ave.
Tampa, FL 33605

Florida Gulf Coast Art Center
222 Ponce de Leon Blvd.
Belleair, FL

Florida International Museum
100 Second Street North
Saint Petersburg, FL 33701

Great Explorations
800 2nd Avenue NE
Saint Petersburg, FL

Heritage Village
11909 125 St. N.
Largo, FL 34644

Museum of Fine Arts
255 Beach Dr. N.E.
Saint Petersburg, FL 33701

Saint Petersburg Museum of History
335 Second Ave., N.E.
Saint Petersburg, FL 33701

Salvador Dali Museum
1000 Third St. S.
Saint Petersburg, FL 33701

Science Center of Pinellas County
7701 22nd Ave. N.
Saint Petersburg, FL 33710

Tampa Bay Automobile Museum
3301 Gateway Centre Blvd.
Pinellas Park, Florida 33782
Performing Arts

Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center Tampa
The Tampa Improv Ybor City
M.A.D. Theatre of Tampa Tampa
Art Centers and museums in Tampa and within 25 miles

My Little Masterpiece Inc
3225 S Macdill Ave, Tampa, FL 813-839-8737

Kaman's Art Shoppes
3605 E Bougainvillea Ave, Tampa, FL 813-914-7558

Harborside Studios
176 5th Ave N, Safety Harbor, FL 727-723-8638

Practically Picasso
1912 4th St N, St Petersburg, FL 727-822-5204

Project Creo
800 2nd Ave NE # 3, St Petersburg, FL 727-898-8318
Creative Clay Cultural Arts Center
333 First Street NE, St. Petersburg, FL 727-825-0515

The Arts Center
719 Central Ave., St. Petersberg, FL 727-822-7872

Creative Clay
907 Central Ave, St Petersburg, FL 727-825-0515

Gallery At 145
121 17th Ave S, St Petersburg, FL 727-896-5504

Artists Creative Ctr
6205 Park Blvd, Pinellas Park, FL 727-546-6488

Vista Galleries
1620 N Hercules Ave, Clearwater, FL 727-216-0798

Dunedin Fine Art Center
1143 Michigan Blvd, Dunedin, FL 727-298-3322

Bonner, Heiko
41 N Fort Harrison Ave, Clearwater, FL 727-562-0200

Immersite Network Inc
504 N Fort Harrison Ave, Clearwater, FL 727-442-0157

Clearwater Arts Studios
101 N Fort Harrison, Largo, FL 727-584-2652

Art Port
110 129th Ave E, Madeira Beach, FL 727-398-4539
Confident Fine Arts
Treasure Island, FL 727-363-7552

Center For Creative Expression
13847 Walsingham Rd # D, Largo, FL 727-593-3363

Artistic Creation Intl Inc
85 150th Ave, Madeira Beach, FL 727-399-0482
Music and arts

Florida Orchestra
The orchestra performs September-May at venues throughout Tampa and St. Petersburg. 101 S. Hoover Blvd., Suite 100, Tampa. Toll-free 800-662-7286 for tickets.
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center offers four separate theaters to accommodate a large variety of entertainment. Live concerts, stage plays and performances by the Florida Orchestra are just a few of the many offerings available. An upscale restaurant is on-site. Most major credit cards. 1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Phone 813-222-1000.
In conclusion, Tampa and it’s adjoining areas have diverse cultural and artistic opportunities. If you're an actor, writer, musician, photographer or artisit, regardless of the medium, Tampa could be perfect for you. The relaxed atmosphere of the beaches and the natural environment create an ambience that is attractive to creative pursuits.

Great Explorations Hands On Museum
The Children's Hands On Museum is now located at The Pier in downtown St. Petersburg.

Florida Holocaust Museum
Florida Holocaust Museum is dedicated to advancing public awareness, education and understanding of the Holocaust.

Florida International Museum
Nationally known for exhibits such as Titanic, Splendors of Ancient Egypt, and JFK - now in its new home on St. Petersburg College campus.

Henry B. Plant Museum
Housed in the original 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel, which is now a National Historic Landmark and the symbol for the city of Tampa.

Museum of Fine Arts
This elegant building on St. Pete's waterfront houses a comprehensive collection, ranging from Monet to Roman antiquities.

MOSI Museum of Science & Industry
MOSI offers more than 450 "minds-on" interactive activities and houses a domed, state-of-the-art IMAX® theater.

National Armed Services & Law Enforcement Memorial Museum
Dunedin's NASLEMM houses a unique collection of U.S. military and police items, ranging from The Revolutionary War to present day.

The Palladium
This St. Petersburg theater, built in 1925, features the 880-seat Hough Concert Hall.

The Royalty Theatre
Legend has it that this opulent, ornate theater in Clearwater is where The Rolling Stones wrote "Satisfaction".

Ringling Museum of Art
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is known throughout the world for its rich and varied collections.

Ruth Eckerd Hall
And Richard B. Baumgardner Center for Performing Arts. One of the finest acoustical venues in America.

St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Art
The Museum of Fine Arts has the only comprehensive art collection on Florida's west coast.

Salvador Dali Museum
A large collection of works from the surrealistic master. The award winning Salvador Dali Exhibit is truly a great experience.

St. Petersburg Museum of History
OK, what's the deal with this Tony Jannus guy and his landing? Check out the "Walk Through Time Gallery" and learn all about the history of St. Pete.

South Florida Museum
Florida's history from prehistoric to present with fossil, bird and shell collections and with life-size dioramas and exhibits.

Tampa Bay Automobile Museum
A great collection of rare and exotic automobiles from an Allard P1 to a Maserati Sebring.

Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
Largest performing arts center in the Southeast, providing world class entertainment, from lavish Broadway shows to rock concerts.

Tampa Gallery of Photographic Arts
Presenting a photographer's vision as vital and central to life and culture.

Tampa Museum of Art
From twentieth-century and contemporary art to Greek and Roman antiquities, plus special exhibits.

Tampa Theater
This architectural masterpiece has been entertaining Floridians since moving pictures cost 25¢

USF Contemporary Art Museum
Bringing contemporary art to the University and the Tampa Bay community.

Ybor City Museum State Park
A state historic park consisting of the Ybor City Museum, housed in the Ferlita Bakery building, the Casita, and the Garden.


Cost of Living

The cost of living index is based on the composite price of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, clothing and entertainment.

Cost of living indexes will generally be higher in areas that offer access to beaches, culture, arts and recreation. In addition areas, that offer a wider variety of services such as health and education will run higher due to higher wages, and increased quality of living.

Cost of living indexing explanation
A figure of 100 points is used as an average both for the USA and Florida. For example:
Boise Idaho is ranked at a 99
Boston Mass is rated at 240
San Francisco at 217
Statewide, Florida cities come in from a low of 90 and up.
One way to compare Florida areas to salary requirements

For example-If you were relocating from Portland Oregon (whose rate 1s 94.0) to Orlando, and you currently make $50,000 per year, the formula is as follows
Take the destination index, in this case Orlando-94.0 and divide by Portland’s index-120, then multiply by a salary of $50,000. This will give you a figure of $39,166 which would be required to make in Orlando to have the same quality of life.
See comparable Florida statewide
* Re cost of living--in some areas Real Estate has went up dramatically however costs that factor in such as food, transportation, rents etc have not increased at the same rate-so in some areas, even though housing is expensive, the overall rating may still be low
2007 stats per Sperlings best Places

Boca Raton-154.74
Cape Coral-Ft Myers-108.0
Ft Lauderdale-132.0
Fort Walton-Destin-120
Jacksonville metro-94.0
Big Pine Key fl-132.46
Key Largo-146.0
Key West-168.0
Marathon fl-162.06
Miami metro-138.0
Naples Fl-250.59
Orlando metro-94.0
Palm Bay-84.56
Palm Coast-Flagler-125.01
Panama City-86.35
Pensacola metro-82.0
Tampa 94.60
Stuart 146.63
St Pete-Clearwater-91.58
Vero-Beach Indian River-122.87
West Palm Beach metro-112.05
(Population Weighted-State Average=100
See national comparisons
Cost of living (100 = nationwide average)

* New York, NY -164.50
* Long Beach, CA -135.71
* Palo Alto, CA -234.42
* Boston, MA -127.60
* Malibu, CA -492.80
* San Francisco, -187.23
* Greenwich, CT 215
* Chicago, IL -126.45
* Dallas Tx -92,94
* Atlanta Ga -112.21
For more information about cost of living go to either
Sperlings best Places
or Accra's site at

The cost of living across the Tampa area averaged only 94.60% of the national average as of the 4th quarter 2007.
With housing prices substantially below the national average, the Tampa, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties are a great place to live,work and play.
Hillsborough County

Ad Valorem Millage Rates (2004):
Government 7.3120
Schools 8.3609
Special 5.7173
Total 21.3902
Ad Valorem Tax Exemption: No
Retail Sales Tax (Local Option) 1.0
Local Communications Service Tax 2.4
Federal Enterprise Zone Yes
As of 2004, the total Cost of living index was 99.82
Total 98.08
Food 101.07
Health Care 97.70
Housing 94.10
Personal Goods and Services 100.41
Transportation 100.73
Above stats from

Housing. Minimum two bedroom (1500 sq ft) single family homes in Tampa, Hillsborough county.
As of August 2005, the median sold price is $215,600.
A typical home insurance policy based on the price of the property?(wind, Flood, Homeowners) A $250,000 home is about $1,400 per year. If in a Flood Zone then add another $700

For water and sewer go to
Water/Sewer (Hillsborough County . . . 813 272-6680
Tampa Bay Water District
Southwest Florida Water Management District
For electric go to
Tampa Electric Company . . . 813 223-0800
Gas Companies:
Peoples Gas (Natural/Propane) . . . 813 275-3892
Telephone Companies
Verizon (Residential) . . . 800 483-4000
In conclusion, the cost of living is really good, especially given the costs of heating in the colder northern states, let alone the change in lifestyle that the Tampa bay area has to offer.

What if you never had to go back from your vacation? You can! You can live the vacation.


A beautiful environment, great climate and numerous outdoor recreational opportunities, makes it easier to stay healthy.

It’s a fact that sunshine makes people feel healthier and improves your outlook on everything. After living in Florida for 10 years, I can tell you that it’s great to wake up to a warm climate and sunshine almost year round. It also makes for a more positive outlook on life.
Statistics for Hillsborough County. As of 2004, there are:

114 assisted living facilities
13 major hospitals
7 adult day care centers
151 health care clinics
6 skilled nursing facilities
Statistics for port Pinellas county (St Pete and Clearwater)

231 assisted living facilities
16 major hospitals
7 adult day care centers
60 health care clinics
73 skilled nursing facilities.
For specific information and address/phone number of health facilities, please go to

Hillsborough County Health Department message

The client is the most important person in any agency.
Clients are not an interruption of our work.
They are the purpose of it.
Clients are entitled by law to our services.
We are not doing them a favor by serving them.
The client is a part of our agency - not an outsider.
Clients are not just cases. They are human beings
with feelings and emotions like ourselves.
The client is entitled to the most courteous and attentive treatment we can give.
The client is the life-blood of this and every agency.

For hospital and medical facility names and addresses in Hillsbourough County go to:


The Tampa area Florida has some of the best schools in the country.
There are more than

181,000 students
12,000 teachers
198 elementary and secondary schools in Hillsborough county.
For a comparison of schools and school districts on a variety of criteria, view Florida School Indicators Reports at the Florida Department of Education's Web site.
Hillsborough county school specifics:

130 Elementary Schools
42 Middle Schools
26 High Schools
5 College-Universities
2 Community colleges
3 Vocational-technical schools
20 Charter schools
65 private schools
4 Alternative Schools
14 adult schools
21.400 full time staff

Tampa Colleges and Universities:

University of South Florida
Eckerd College
University of Tampa
Florida Metropolitan University
Stetson Law School
Junior/Community Colleges:

Hillsborough Community College
Southwest Florida College- Tampa Campus
Vocational/Technical Schools:

Brewster Technical Center
ITT Technical Institute
Erwin Technical Center
Leary Technical Center
International Academy of Design
Miscelaneous higher education facilities

Argosy University
Florida College
Florida Metropolitan University
Keller Graduate School of Management
National -Louis University
Northwood University
Nova Southeastern University
Stetson University College of Law
Strayer University
St. Leo University
Southwest Florida College
The Art Institute of Tampa
The University of Tampa
University of Phoenix
University of South Florida
University of South Florida College of Business Administration
Webster University
For specific locations and more information-check with either the school district or your REALTOR.


Tampa’s mild, sub-tropical climate and soft breezes enable sports and outdoor activities accessible, year round. Winter, spring and fall are filled with lots of sunshine and temperatures in the mid 70’s and 80’s.

Some statistics:

The hottest month is August, with an average high of 90° F and an average low of 75° F. In January the average high temperature is 70° F and the average low is 50° F.
The year round average temperature is 81.6
Normal annual precipitation is 53 plus inches, with the largest monthly totals accumulating from July through September.
Tampa’s temperature annual high average

Month Air
January 70
February 71
March 76
April 82
May 87
June 89
July 90
August 90
September 89
October 84
November 77
December 72
Water temperatures go from 62 in January to 86 in July and August.

*Tp compare Tampa with other major USA cities go here

Other Weather Indicators

Average Wind Speed 8.3
Avg. Relative Humidity 74
To see stats by the month, go to
For hurricane information go to
For hurricane information go to the FEMA site at
For current information about hurricanes go to
For 2005 climate info by areas go to
For current weather forecasts by cities go to
*Although it looks like we have lots of cloudy days, the sun is out almost year round and the clouds are partial-not like in the Northwest (where I’m from) and it will stay overcast and dark for weeks on end.

*Although we do get rain here-it is a tropical rain and comes and goes quickly and acts as a refresher to the hot days.

To see average January temperatures across the United States go to
Compare where you live or want to live in Florida. For more specific info, look at the area you are interested in and go to the weather page.

So what about Hurricanes, the rainy season and humidity?
We are a tropical climate, so our rainy season comes in the summer. Generally it will rain hard for a half hour then subside. It does get humid then. Although not as bad as you’d think. Our water breezes really help cool us off.
Despite four devastating hurricanes in 2004, the number of Florida visitors rose 7% to an all-time high of 79.8 million last year and is on target to hit 80 million this year.
To think on:
If you live on the coast you stand the greatest chance of having one affect you. Some areas of Florida have gone fifty years plus without one but you never know.
As a resident having lived in the Keys and now in central Florida I’ve been through them.

In my opinion, the best thing you can do is buy a home that was built after Andrew-August 92 that was built to stricter building codes. Have window protection and a backup generator and make sure your insurance is up to date. If they ask you to leave, do it!

Realize-If you live in an older home that was not built up to the stricter building codes (After Hurricane Andrew-August 1992) or you live in a mobile home you stand the best chance of having major structural damage.

Living on the beach in a mobile home is asking for it. Although, you may never have a problem, you’re still definitely taking your chances. Barrier islands and open-water Ocean or Gulf front are the most prone to damage.
Having lived in California, I prefer the threat of a hurricane however as opposed to an earthquake. At least you have a warning.

For current information about hurricanes go to
For 2005 climate info by areas go to
For current weather forecasts by cities go to
*Living in a waterfront home typically means that you will pay a higher Insurance premium. The insurance is higher due to flood and wind concerns.
Part of this is also because the pricing on these homes is higher so there is more value to insure against.

Having said all this, I can’t imagine living elsewhere. It is really great to wake up and it’s sunny out.
We spend over half our lives indoors…so when you do go outside, wouldn’t it be nice if it was warm and sunny?

What if you went on vacation and never went back? Sound crazy?We spend half our lives indoors—why not spend the rest of the time in the sun? You can live in Paradise.



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About the areas
The site has the state divided up into 19 major areas and 80 plus sub-areas. We chose these areas as they are the ones most referred to in guides about Florida and also because most people are familiar with them as the names evoke something. Additionally on each area dropdown there is information relevant to florida real estate and relocating to florida. We have provided lists of Florida Real Estate agents-Mortgage brokers and more.