why is everyone moving to tampa

Tampa’s population began trending upward decades ago and continues to increase yearly. Projections estimate continued exponential growth, and the birthrate in the Tampa Bay area is not solely responsible.  

So why is everyone moving to Tampa? While I have endless reasons for why living here blows every other city in the U.S. out of the water, here are six distinct reasons why this Florida city is trending upward. 

1. The Best Beach Access 

Speaking of water, Clearwater Beach is consistently ranked one of the best beaches in Florida by numerous travel organizations. In addition to the sugar-fine sand and the crystal-clear waters that provided its namesake, Clearwater Beach offers recreational activities, such as fishing, boating, and parasailing. There are also world-class restaurants and shopping, creating a vacation destination just minutes away from Tampa residents. 

Just a short drive from the city is Indian Rocks Beach, encompassing three miles of stunning beaches along the Gulf. Tampa residents can escape to Indian Rocks for a small beach town experience, watching the beautiful sunsets and collecting seashells along the coast. 

Madeira Beach is another gulf coast gem just a few miles southwest of Tampa. The white-sand beaches and mild waters are perfect for soaking up the sun and swimming. People can explore the historic John’s Pass Village for tours, shopping, and restaurants, and golf enthusiasts enjoy the many championship golf courses with views of the Gulf of Mexico. 

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that St. Petersburg beaches are also a short drive south and continue to offer great food and that beach town vibe! 

2. Affordable Housing – And Strong ROI For Real Estate 

Many Tampa transplants report that moving here has allowed them to scale up their living accommodations. Although the housing market has been volatile across the U.S. for several years, Tampa has remained one of the most affordable urban areas. For renters coming from overpriced markets like San Francisco and NYC, that means more space, a home office, and amenities like a pool, gym, and other pleasantries they couldn’t get back home. 

For buyers, this means a big step up in the real estate buying game and getting a place they’ve always dreamed of – with a backyard for their dog, sunroom, extra bedroom, and more.  

And for sellers? Your investment continues to pay off! The Tampa real estate market has consistently stayed strong despite the ups and downs of the global pandemic, turning your home into a “piggybank” of sorts as it is consistently accruing value.  

Having been deeply immersed in the Tampa real estate market for two decades, I’ve been saying this for years – you really can’t go wrong. 

3. Lower Cost of Living with a Higher Quality of Life  

Hand in hand with affordable housing and strong property value comes a better quality of life with a lower cost of living. 

Tampa offers everything you ever wanted and more – gorgeous year-round weather, an outdoor lifestyle, a bustling nightlife with restaurants and events, endless daytime attractions, culture, and great shopping and school districts. 

You get all of this without the overblown price tag of other metropolitan cities (who also don’t enjoy the nice Florida weather we have here, for the most part). 

4. Reduced Taxes

Guess what else? Taxes are lower here! 

Governor DeSantis said Florida has “the second lowest tax burden per capita in the United States.” This is because Florida does not make its residents pay income tax. We’re one of seven states that don’t pay state income tax, although we still have to pay federal income taxes. 

While this benefits everyone, it’s a huge perk for retirees: no state taxes on pension, IRA, 401K, or Social Security income. Living in Tampa (and Florida, for that matter) makes your dollar go so much further. 

5. The Year-Round Outdoor Activities 

With an average of 361 days of sunshine, the Tampa Bay area offers year-round outdoor activities. From ticketed events to everyday-access hotspots, you can find something to do all year in the fastest-growing state in the U.S. 


Every year, hundreds of boats float in for the Gasparilla Pirate Fest, commemorating the historic pirate invasion of Tampa. It is incredibly fun! Scheduled events include the Invasion Brunch at the Tampa Convention Center, providing a view of the invasion re-enactment up Seddon Channel, and the Parade of the Pirates following the invasion down scenic Bayshore Blvd.  

Mardi Gras 

Every year from January to March, Tampa’s Busch Gardens offers a Mardi Gras experience. If you enjoy great food and drink options and fun activities, the long-running event allows you multiple opportunities to try everything. Tampa residents can experience the parade, bead balcony, and brass bands that characterize Louisiana’s traditional Mardi Gras. 

Festa Italiana 

In Tampa’s historic Ybor City, residents flock to the Festa Italiana for a weekend filled with delicious Italian food, wine, and celebrations of Italian culture. Attendees can enjoy a game of bocce ball with bellinis at Centennial Park, check out Mercato Italiano by Italy Expo, and taste the wines of Italy at Winefest in The Italian Club. 

A trip to Ybor City is worth it outside of events – it has a robust Cuban and Latin influence with yummy eateries.  

For Sports Fans 

The Tampa Bay Rays, Buccaneers, and Lightning bring in sports enthusiasts from all over the country with winning teams and high-ranking players in the NFL, MLB, and NHL. Believe it or not, fandom is real here – fans move to Tampa to support their teams!  

Industry workers benefit from Tampa’s booming sports tourism economy. Everyone from small business owners to workers in the hospitality industry benefits from Tampa’s sports attractions. 

Water Activities 

With miles and miles of coastline and river access, Tampa residents enjoy water activities from January to December: 

  • Snorkeling: With 22 reefs in the Tampa area alone, there is no shortage of sights to see on a snorkeling adventure. 
  • Boating and kayaking: Residents and visitors love to kayak along the Rainbow River and Longboat Key near Anna Maria Island. 
  • Water biking: The Tampa Bay Water Bike Company offers a unique experience, allowing residents to explore Downtown Tampa’s waterways on a state-of-art water bike with options for every experience level. 
  • Tampa Bay SUP: Stand-up paddle boarding is another way to explore the calm waters of Tampa, enjoying the views of sea life and sunsets while you almost literally walk on water. 

Regardless of their experience level, anyone can enjoy water activities anywhere from downtown to nearby beaches. 

Tampa Riverwalk 

The Tampa Riverwalk is reason enough to understand why everyone is moving to Tampa. This 2.4-mile walkable area of Tampa Bay, with the steady river on one side and constant attractions, food, and shopping on the other, has something to offer families, singles, and people of all ages. 

From beginning to end, the Riverwalk provides unique Tampa experiences, such as dinner at Ulele in the Tampa Heights Water Works building, with outdoor seating and stunning city views. Visit the Florida Aquarium or cruise the boardwalk by bike. Take the Pirate Water Taxi from one attraction to another and picnic in Custis Hixon Park. 

6. The Rich Cultural Traditions 

As mentioned, Ybor City, home of Festa Italiano, is a vast cultural mecca! It’s the world’s cigar capital, attracting history buffs to this cultural melting pot. Its origins began with cigar industrialist Don Vicente Martinez Ybor, who relocated his cigar manufacturing business to the Tampa Bay area in 1885. Over time, Cuban and Spanish immigrants settled in the area to work in cigar factories before Italian and Eastern European settlers moved in. Today, the area is a rich center for Tampa’s architectural history and home to nearly 1000 historic buildings. 

In fact, residents and visitors can find cultural experiences all over the city. For example, the Tampa Bay History Center has exhibits covering over 12,000 years of Tampa history, including stories of Cigar City. The American Victory Ship and Museum allows history lovers to look into Tampa’s naval past on board the SS American Victory. This 72-year-old ship housed troops through three wars and continues to serve as an Armed Forces Memorial. 

Ready to Move to Tampa? Contact Me! 

I could talk endlessly about all the fabulous things this city has to offer! The city has something for every demographic, and the real estate market is versatile enough to accommodate anyone.  

Are you ready to make the big move to becoming a resident here? As a Tampa native, I know this city incredibly well, and I’d love show you all of Tampa’s hidden gems, nooks, and crannies so you can see for yourself why everyone is moving to Tampa! 

Let me be your guide and local real estate agent so I can welcome you to your new home! Drop me a line today.