Although I can't call myself a native of South Tampa, it's been my home for over twenty years now. I can say without hesitation that I can't think of another place that I'd like to live and raise my family. Certainly the weather is great, but I was born and raised in Ft. Lauderdale, so that's not what did it for me. The main reason that I enjoy living in South Tampa is the "small town" feel in the middle of a big city.
For those not from the area, South Tampa is a peninsula that is directly south of downtown Tampa. So it's obviously surrounded by water; is very close to downtown and the airport; and has many charming neighborhoods with mature oaks, excellent schools, first-rate hospitals, great restaurants and entertainment. As a homebuilder in Tampa, my family lives a bit of a nomadic life and we've move several times over the years. It's allowed us to experience many of South Tampa's wonderful neighborhoods - Palma Ceia, Bayshore Beautiful, Virginia Park and Parkland Estates. There are many others, but they all have that "small town" feel that I love.
What always makes me remember how much I enjoy South Tampa is when I give a relative or friend a tour of the area. I always take them for a ride up Bayshore to view the great homes and the view of the bay, downtown and the University of Tampa. Then we might check out some of the other great neighborhoods, like Davis Islands, Beach Park and Hyde Park. By that time, we might be getting hungry, so time to head over to South Howard to grab a bite or drink at the many restaurants, like Daily Eats, the Lodge or 717. Or we might head down MacDill and stop at Datz for the great food and endless beer selection. Along the way, I'll point out the many great schools in the area like top rated Plant High School. Finally, I make sure to note that entertainment is all around us. Whether it's a Bucs or Lightning game, Channelside, Ybor City or Gasparilla, we have it all.
It is great to have all these things within a 5-10 minute drive, but I still enjoy the small town feel. Although South Tampa is a large area, it's still nice to walk into a restaurant or event and feel comfortable that you'll know people in your community. It's nice to have neighbors that talk with each other and keep an eye out for one another. Certainly, most people will tell you they enjoy where they are from, so you can take this all with a grain of salt, but I think we have it pretty darn good here in South Tampa.