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Provider: Julie Dudley, APRN, FNP-C
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Located on the west coast of Florida in Tampa Bay, Tampa is a major city in, and the county seat of, Hillsborough County. As of 2016, Tampa had an estimated population of 377,165. Tampa is part of the metropolitan area most commonly referred to as the “Tampa Bay Area.” Composed of four counties, the Tampa Bay Area is home to roughly 2.9 million residents, making it the second largest metropolitan area in Florida, after Miami. The Greater Tampa Bay area, consisting of Tampa and Sarasota metro areas, has a population of more than 4 million.
Tampa experiences an average annual growth of 2.47 percent, or roughly 97,000 residents.
Tampa has been named a “top city for twenty-somethings” by Washington Square News and America’s fifth best outdoor city by Forbes. In 2015, Money Magazine rated Tampa the best big city in the Southeastern United States due to its strong arts culture, diverse population, and array of high-caliber college and professional sports teams.
Neighborhoods in Tampa
Tampa is divided into many neighborhoods, including North Tampa, South Tampa, West Tampa, East Tampa, Downtown Tampa, and New Tampa.
North Tampa had a population of 5,585 in 2,174 households as of the 2010 census. The neighborhood boundaries are University to the north, Sulphur Springs to the south, Nebraska Avenue to the west, and University Square (neighborhood) to the east.
South Tampa is located on the Interbay Peninsula. It is bordered by Tampa Bay on the west, West Tampa on the north, and Hillsborough Bay on the east.
Tampa Bay Climate
The Tampa Bay area has a humid subtropical climate, featuring hot summers and mild winters. Average high temperatures range from 70 to 90 °F year-round, with lows ranging from 52 to 76 °F.
Daily temperatures are consistent during the summer, with highs near 90 °F and high humidity. Afternoon thunderstorms are common enough during the summer that Tampa and inland areas of central Florida are sometimes referred to as the “Lightning Capital of North America.”
Tampa is often threatened by tropical storms and hurricanes during hurricane season, which runs from June to November. The city seldom experiences major effects from tropical storms, although Hurricane Irma caused substantial damage to the area in September 2017. Tremendous population growth and coastal development, combined with rising sea levels, have made the Tampa Bay area more vulnerable to a direct hit from a major storm system.
Tourism and Recreation
Tampa operates more than 165 parks and beaches within city limits; Hillsborough County maintains another 42 in surrounding suburbs. Tampa is also home to several attractions and theme parks, including the Lowry Park Zoo, the Florida Aquarium, Busch Gardens Tampa, and Adventure Island. The Lowry Park Zoo serves as an economic, cultural, environmental, and educational anchor in Tampa, with more than 2,000 animals, interactive exhibits, rides, and educational shows.
Busch Gardens Tampa, owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, is a 335-acre African-themed animal theme park featuring 8 roller coasters and 2 water rides in addition to several other rides and animal attractions.
North Tampa is also home to Big Cat Rescue, an animal sanctuary devoted to rescuing and rehabilitating exotic felines. The center routinely houses bobcats, cougars, leopards, lions, lynxes, ocelots, and tigers.
The Florida Aquarium hosts over 20,000 species of aquatic plants and animals and is known for its unique glass architecture. The SS American Victory, a former World War II Victory ship is permanently docked adjacent to the aquarium and is now used as a museum ship.
The Tampa Bay History Center, located in the Channel District just east of Downtown Tampa, boasts more than 60,000 square feet of exhibits spanning 12,000 years. Exhibits include coverage of the Tampa Bay area’s first native inhabitants and historical figures who shaped the area’s history.
Tampa’s well-known shopping districts include International Plaza and Bay Street, WestShore Plaza, the SoHo district, and Hyde Park Village.
The Tampa Bay area is home to institutions of higher education, including the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa, Hillsborough Community College, Jersey College, Eckerd College, and St. Petersburg College.
Tampa Bay Sports
The Tampa Bay metropolitan area is home to teams in three major professional sports leagues: the NFL, the NHL, and MLB. The NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning are based in Tampa, while the Tampa Bay Rays are based in nearby St. Petersburg.
Tampa has hosted four Super Bowls and will be the host for Super Bowl LV in 2021. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers began in 1976 as an expansion team of the NFL, and won Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003 under coach Jon Gruden, and Super Bowl LV in 2021 under Coach Bruce Arians.
The Tampa Bay Rays won the 2008 American League Pennant and made it to the World Series. Tampa is also a site for Major League Baseball spring training facilities. Several Major League Baseball teams conduct spring training in the area, including the New York Yankees. The affiliated Tampa Yankees play at George M. Steinbrenner Field, a miniature replica of the old Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
The NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning was established in 1992, and won the Stanley Cup in 2004, 2020, 2021.