best things about living in south Tampa (Davis Islands)

10 Best Things About Living in Tampa

South Tampa can be best summed up in a word: alive! Living in South Tampa has many nightlife activities, job opportunities, fantastic eats, and gorgeous Florida weather all year round. The neighborhoods have a blend of young professionals and families, so it’s easy to find your tribe. Each corner offers something new—a hidden garden cafe here, an avant-garde art gallery there. And in this hotspot urban area, you’ll also find nature, with sprawling parks and calming waterfront views.

The South Tampa lifestyle can’t be beat. I should know—I grew up there! Here’s a snapshot of why living in South Tampa is an excellent real estate investment now and in the future.

South Tampa is Ideal for Families

Family-Friendly Neighborhoods in South Tampa

Neighborhoods like Hyde Park, Palma Ceia, and Davis Island in South Tampa are communities brimming with energy, each offering charm and all-ages activities.

High-end Hyde Park has fantastic nightlife, a thriving art scene, open-air shopping, and great dining. The area has excellent schools: Primrose School of South Tampa and Gorrie Elementary School (winner of the Five Star School Award, Golden School Award, and the Florida School Recognition Award). It is one of the more expensive neighborhoods in South Tampa, but the value is worth it. 

Palma Ceia is a very safe, very walkable neighborhood and home to Tampa’s arguably best high school, Plant High School. It also has golfing, a playground at Palma Ceia Park, and access to Bayside Boulevard, which offers picturesque views of downtown and the bay. 

Davis Island has a strong sense of community. Marjorie Park Marina has a playground for the kiddos while adults can enjoy the scenic waterfront views. The 1.5-mile Davis Island Trail suits all ages and connects to Marjorie Park Marina and the Tampa Riverwalk

Davis Island Beach has beautiful views of the bay and downtown, and you can rent paddle boards and kayaks. There’s also a dog park and beach, the Roy Jenkins Pool, and a yacht club. With our beautiful Tampa weather, your family will be busy throughout the year!

Top-Rated Schools in the Area

Living in South Tampa, you’re spoiled with various excellent choices when it comes to schooling options. The area boasts some seriously impressive educational stats—think schools that consistently rank at the top not just statewide but nationally. 

As mentioned, Gorrie Elementary is well decorated, Plant High School is the best in Tampa, and Wilson Middle School deserves an honorable mention for preparing tweens for whatever high school (and life) throws their way.

While getting into the nitty-gritty of school districts around town is a separate post, here’s a rundown of other high-ranking schools to consider in South Tampa:

  • Elementary Schools: Mabry, Ballast Point, Mitchell
  • Middle Schools: Coleman, BridgePrep
  • High Schools: Robinson, Academy of the Holy Names

Outdoor Fun in South Tampa for Everyone

Scenic Views Along Bayshore Boulevard

Did you know that Bayshore Boulevard is the longest continuous sidewalk in the US…and the world? It’s ideal for that morning run or an evening walk with lots of trees and waterfront views. Even if getting out of bed in the morning is a grind, the nature surrounding Bayshore Boulevard is a huge motivator. You’ll find everyone there, from avid cyclists to weekend joggers or couples out for a leisurely evening stroll, enjoying the beauty of Hillsborough Bay. 

Visiting Ballast Point Park

Nearby Bayshore Boulevard is Ballast Point Park, your go-to for family picnics, fishing off the pier, or soaking up some sunshine while kids play around in the splash pad. Get food, snacks, and bait; rent the gazebo for a special occasion; work out at the Joe Abrahams Fitness and Wellness Center; or have a picnic at the park. 


Hands down one of my favorite events, Gasparilla Pirate Fest sees hundreds of boats blow in for the annual re-enactment of the historic pirate invasion of Tampa by the legendary pirate Jose Gaspar and his band of buccaneers. It’s a huge event that is best enjoyed with some pre-planning, and it’s fun for everyone in the family.

Picnic Island Beach Dog Park

I would be remiss if I didn’t include the furry members of your family. This dog park is popular for picnics and baseball, and it has views of Old Tampa Bay. Plus, Fido will make friends there.

The Lifestyle and Culture of South Tampa

Nightlife and Entertainment Options

South Tampa nightlife options are abundant, from rooftop bars with live bands to cooking classes. Famous South Tampa spots include MacDinton’s Irish Pub, where trivia nights become legendary battles of wits, or SoHo Saloon, for those who prefer craft beer under neon lights. In South Tampa, you’re only a short drive from downtown Tampa, too!

Why Young Professionals Choose South Tampa

The culture here is outstanding: friendly, outdoorsy, and hip. Young professionals are flocking to South Tampa as a good place to start a family, and it’s easy to see why: with awesome parks and playgrounds, great schooling options, job opportunities, strong real estate ROI, rich culture, and the outdoor lifestyle, you can’t lose. In fact, South Tampa neighborhoods, like Bayshore Beautiful, are seriously some of the best in the Tampa area. 

Tampa continues to dominate the rankings for top places to move to in general. reported a record 25.1% of house hunters still looked to relocate in Q4 of 2022, and of the top 10 move-to cities for Q1, surprise, surprise – Tampa landed in the top five.

Culinary and Shopping Destinations in South Tampa

Dining Out in South Tampa’s Best Restaurants

In South Tampa, eclectic and hip eateries showcase our diverse population and communities. From Green Lemon’s vibrant Mexican cuisine to the iconic steakhouse experience at Bern’s Steak House, where your taste buds will thank you for stopping by. And let’s not forget about getting a reservation at the beloved Harry Waugh Dessert Room – plan three months ahead, or you’ll miss out.

Shopping Malls and Boutiques to Explore

If shopping were an Olympic sport, South Tampa would take home the gold every time. Residents enjoy all types of shopping, from high-end malls to quirky boutiques.

Hyde Park Village, in particular, offers an open-air mall experience filled with upscale retailers, but throughout the South Tampa area, there is an abundance of local businesses to support. Check out independently owned shops for some one-of-a-kind finds.

Find Your New Life in South Tampa with Kimmie Fine

Sure, living in South Tampa has the perks you expect, with endless summers and waterfront views—no complaints about that here! But it’s about being part of a community. It’s where families find their forever homes amidst top-rated schools, parks, and activities, while young professionals make a name for themselves while thriving socially with the nightlife and outdoor lifestyle.

And the real estate? I can’t think of a better investment for you, both long- and short-term. It’s as diverse as living in South Tampa—charming single-family homes, upscale condos, and true luxury mansions that canvas the historic neighborhoods of South Tampa. There are so many opportunities to invest here, and Tampa’s home values hold true, not to mention appreciate like gangbusters. Let me help you find your perfect slice of South Tampa paradise. Give me a buzz today, and let me show you how great your life can be living in South Tampa.