Tampa Bay Communities

The city of Tampa hosts a local population in excess of 340,000 people and has been consistently expanding since its settlement in 1823 and incorporation in 1849. Scenically situated along Florida’s western coast with the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa has become the 53rd-largest city in the United States and is part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Area. The communities that surround the core of Tampa are usually referred to as the “Tampa Bay” area. In 2008, Tampa was ranked the eighth-cleanest city in the United States by Yahoo! and the fifth-best outdoor city by Forbes Magazine.

Tampa Bay is the large natural harbor and estuary that is the core of the region and the home base for the city of Tampa and the surrounding area. The bay is actually comprised of several smaller bays: Old Tampa Bay, Hillsborough Bay, McKay Bay, and New Tampa Bay. As Florida’s largest open-water estuary, Tampa Bay extends over 1,000 square kilometers and includes coastline on not only Hillsborough County but also Manatee County and Pinellas County. Over a hundred tributaries and rivers acts as freshwater sources to the bay.

Some of the communities that surround and support Tampa include Apollo Beach, Balm, Bloomingdale, Brandon, Carrollwood Village, Dover, Gibsonton, Lithia, Lutz, Mango, Orient Park, Plant City, Riverview, Ruskin, Seffner, Sun City Cente, Temple Terrace, Thonotosassa, Valrico, Wimauma, Westchase, and Ybor City. Residents of both urban Tampa and the several communities and neighborhoods that surround it find that health care, shopping, everyday essentials, and entertainment are all within a convenient range from their home. More importantly, the traffic flow in the area has been improved to enable residents quick and easy commutes throughout the greater Tampa area.

There are several major thoroughfares and corridors that make transportation to and from the main city of Tampa from the surrounding areas quick and convenient. The I-275 runs in the north-south direction and actually forms a loop through Tampa, leading to St. Petersburg and Bradenton. The I-4 runs in the east-west direction and is routed from Tampa to Daytona Beach where the thoroughfare merges into the I-95. The I-75 runs in the north-south direction and passes Tampa on its eastern boundary rather than bisecting the city center. The interstate is 1787 miles in length and stretches from Miami, Florida in the south to Sault Saint Marie, Michigan in the north.