Tampa, FL downtown buildings

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 45
Demographics 68
Economy 66
Education 59
Health 57
Housing 52
Infrastructure 40

#26. Tampa, FL

Tampa is an economic engine for Florida’s West Coast, powered by a diverse mix of industries. Compared to other major metros, this Gulf Coast city is an affordable place to live and build a business. But not only is Tampa, FL a great place to work; it’s also an exciting place to live thanks to the vibrant urban parks, professional sports teams to cheer on, beautiful waterways, colorful murals, nearby beaches and a mix of historical landmarks and modern architecture. A melting pot for cultures, the food scene is diverse and Cuban torcedores have been making hand-rolled cigars in Ybor City since 1885. 

Top Colleges/Universities: University of South Florida, University of Tampa

Top Industries & Employers: Financial services, manufacturing, health care, information technology, and defense and security are key industries in Tampa. BayCare Health Systems and Publix are top employers. 

Weekend Plans: The 2.4-mile Tampa Riverwalk links downtown favorites on a string along the Hillsborough River. Pop into the Florida Aquarium or the Tampa Bay History Center and enjoy a meal at Ulele, where dishes are prepared on a barbacoa grill.

Favorite Place to Feast: Satiate just about any craving at Heights Public Market, a buzzy food hall that has you covered from Ava woodfired pizzas to Zukku Sushi. Show + Tell hosts cooking classes and wine tastings.

Beloved Beverage: With rum coming in from Cuba, Tampa has a colorful Prohibition history. That makes speakeasies more fun here. Enjoy an Old Cuban cocktail at Ciro’s, a tucked-away bar serving historic cocktails. 

Outdoorsy Activity: Enjoy a beach day at nearby Clearwater or St. Pete’s Beach.

Rooftop Bar: Sip Smoked Old Fashioneds and enjoy views of Tampa Bay at Rox Rooftop Bar, a chic spot in the Current Hotel.

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: Hair of the Dog Park in Seminole Heights. Humans can drink beer at picnic tables while the dogs romp around. Mature trees provide shade. 

Remote Work Perk: Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative has plenty of amenities for entrepreneurs, including recording studios and green screens, and business research databases.

One More Thing … ZooTampa has a nonprofit hospital that treats injured West Indian manatees and returns them to the wild.

– Brittany Anas

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