Become a Part of Our Community  - Guide to Greater Tampa Bay
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Become a Part of Our Community 

Become a Part of Our Community 

There is no place like home. Every city has its own feel that is not quite like any other place on earth. Come take a peek at what makes each of our cities beautifully unique. 

Greater Tampa Bay is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the fastest growing state in the country. While U.S. population growth has slowed to its lowest rate on record, the Tampa Bay region is surging. The collection of urban metropolises, exciting downtowns, large cities, coastal communities, neighborly suburbs, small towns and rural neighborhoods offer that little slice of paradise for any lifestyle. Each municipality has its own unique flair, but they are all united by a common way of life here along the Gulf Coast. 

This growing region has a total of 98 cities, towns and census designated places, each contributing to GTB’s identity. Guide provides a snapshot of life in just a few of the region’s many municipalities. 


Southernmost on the list is Bradenton, located across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Manatee County. The Friendly City, as it is known, has experienced significant population growth in the past few decades, bringing in more friendly people every year. Despite this growth, Bradenton has managed to retain its small-town feel, which it has cultivated since its founding in the early 1800s.  

Famous spots in Bradenton include the Village of the Arts, a set of old, renovated houses that have been transformed into art studios and small businesses, Anna Maria Island and the South Florida Museum. The suburban areas of Bradenton are popular with families, with affordable housing and nearby schools. A city on the rise, Bradenton is a lush, tropical spot that makes living in the Tampa Bay area easily accessible. 


Popular for its good schools, nice neighborhoods and ideal location, Brandon is a rapidly growing community located 13 miles southeast of downtown Tampa.  

Single-family homes and upscale apartment complexes comprise much of this dense suburban area, while the Westfield Shopping Center is the perfect outlet for an afternoon on the town. With its location within the Interstate 4 corridor, Brandon provides excellent access to both Tampa and Orlando, allowing for manageable commutes to those working in either city. 

Family-oriented and with a mix of both popular chains and local businesses, Brandon has become a city within a city relative to Tampa, with something to offer everyone. It is one of GTB’s largest cities, with more than 100,000 residents. 


One of the three largest cities in Greater Tampa Bay is Clearwater, a city that stretches from Tampa Bay to the Gulf Coast. Sitting west of Tampa and north of St. Petersburg, Clearwater is the perfect go-between for either city. A de facto beach town, Clearwater is known for its fun, casual and beachy lifestyle, restaurants, nightlife and water activities.  

Home to a mix of people across all ages, Clearwater is a popular spot for both young people and retirees alike. Single-family homes, condos and apartments are widespread across the area, giving way to a city of both an urban and suburban nature.  

Clearwater is close to both the Tampa International and St. Pete-Clearwater International airports, as well as being accessible to both I-4 and I-75.  

Tourism is a major industry, attracting young people from across the state and the country to work over its busy peak months. Popular attractions include the famous Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Philadelphia Phillies spring training games at BayCare Ballpark, deep-sea fishing, shelling and dolphin watching.   

Dade City 

Discover this gem situated among the rolling hills of northeast Pasco County. Indulge in the delightful union of old and new, trendy and timeless.  

Home to adventures not found anywhere else, take a camel ride with giraffes, zipline through a forest canopy, take a haunted history tour and enjoy a bike ride through the rolling hills, trails and more.  

Dade City is home to one-of-a-kind restaurants, museums, unique boutiques and many spirited places to enjoy a drink — all within and surrounding a historic downtown that is authentically Old Florida. Come and get immersed in a “small town with a big heart.” 


A seaside town with Scottish roots, Dunedin, just north of Clearwater, is a gorgeous, wholesome community and favored date night spot. The broad waters of the bay are calm and serene, with Caladesi Island State Park on the barrier island preserving much of the coastline opposite of the city — which makes for the most awe-inspiring views, especially at sunset. 

Formally incorporated in 1899, this city takes its name from Dùn Èideann, the Scottish Gaelic term for Edinburgh. To celebrate this history, the annual Scottish Highland Games take place in the city. If that is not enough, Dunedin Middle and Dunedin High schools have pipe and drum bands to reflect the heritage as well.  

A popular retirement spot, Dunedin is known for its friendly, quiet single-family home neighborhoods, access to Honeymoon Island State Park and a unique crop of local bars and restaurants. Great food, great atmosphere and great people all contribute to the appeal of Dunedin.  

Indian Shores & Indian Rocks Beach 

For a nostalgic taste of Old Florida, settle down in Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores. With nearly three miles of beautiful beaches along the glittering Gulf of Mexico, these coastal communities’ visitors are one of its greatest assets. People come from around the world to visit Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores for their stunning beaches and gorgeous sunsets. Why not live where others vacation? 

Known as under-the-radar beaches but also ranked as one of the top 10 beaches in the GTB area, Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores have 27 beach access points along Gulf Boulevard. Enjoy a peaceful walk along the shore and delicious local dining at one of the many restaurants. 


For a taste of Old Florida, Lakeland fits the bill. For those looking for something fresh and modern, Lakeland fits that bill as well.  

Settled in the 1870s, Lakeland was home to thriving citrus, cattle and phosphate industries, giving way to a large business district by the 1920s. Remnants of these early years are captured in the city’s many historic quarters, including the Munn Park Historic District and the Beacon Hill-Alta Vista Residential District.  

These days, Lakeland is an up-and-coming metropolitan area, with restaurants and nightlife to add to its resume. Affordable single-family homes and good schools combined with lakes, parks and quiet neighborhoods make this an excellent spot for both young families starting out and retirees. 


Heading south past Clearwater is Largo, the fourth-largest city in GTB. Largo experienced a population and development explosion following World War II, which planted it firmly on the map.  

Now deeming itself the City of Progress, the Largo of today reflects on this history while constantly making more of it. Featuring a mix of urban and suburban living, Largo caters to young professionals with its many large businesses and St. Petersburg College campus, as well as to retirees, with its beautiful beaches and laid-back lifestyle.  

Housing is affordable, and the community has seen a large amount of growth in recent years. With great access to the Pinellas Trail, fans of walking, hiking and biking will find Largo quite amenable. 

Madeira Beach 

With white sand beaches and clear waters, Maderia Beach is a Gulf of Mexico beach city just west of St. Petersburg. The city is best known for the sea-themed John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk. 

Serving a variety of shops and eateries and a 1,100-foot boardwalk along the Intracoastal, Madeira Beach’s 2 ½-mile beach attracts devotees to the sun and sea. Fishermen casting a line from shore or by boat is an all-to-common sight in this fishing village. Madeira Beach hosts the Seafood Festival at John’s Pass each October, which attracts thousands of visitors to its festive celebration of food, music and arts and crafts. 

New Port Richey  

Trendy, modern and up-and-coming all describe the successful efforts taken by residents of New Port Richey to modernize this suburb north of Palm Harbor. Bars, cafés and restaurants have been setting a new tone on Main Street, offering locals an exciting glance at the city’s fashionable future.   

Formerly more well known as a retirement town, this community has seen a shift toward a younger demographic in recent years. Featuring lovely parks and nature preserves, good schools and affordable housing, New Port Richey is a small, friendly, family-oriented community for those who enjoy that small-town feel.   


The town of Oldsmar is rich in history and community that is right between metropolitan Tampa and the award-winning white sand beaches of the Gulf Coast. 

Local attractions include Tampa Bay Downs, the Oldsmar BMX track and the Tampa Bay Skating Academy. The City of Oldsmar has initiated efforts to enhance the Community Redevelopment Area by creating an identifiable, vibrant and walkable downtown along State Street. 

With an ambiance as far as the eye can see, including landscaped boulevards, unique restaurants and local shopping and special events, Oldsmar has the best of what the Central West Coast of Florida offers year-round.   

Palm Harbor 

Just north of Dunedin is Palm Harbor, an unincorporated community of Pinellas County. Known for its unusually hilly landscapes — it is Florida, after all — Palm Harbor offers a quiet, removed respite from the busier city life of Tampa or St. Petersburg.  

With nice parks, trails and scenic countryside, Palm Harbor residents can enjoy the natural beauty of the area at their convenience. The Valspar Championship, hosted at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, is a popular annual event drawing crowds from across the globe, while the Taste of Palm Harbor festival celebrates local cuisine. 

Plant City 

Originally known as almost exclusively an agricultural center, Plant City, much like the pioneering entrepreneur it was named for, has grown in recent years to be a manufacturing hub. Residents looking for a quiet place in the country have made Plant City the ideal place for a rural retreat.  

Situated off the I-4 corridor between Tampa and Lakeland, this community makes the most of its rural character and invites the whole region to join in the fun. Popular events include the annual Florida Strawberry Festival, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors, numerous farm stands and markets with delicious homemade foods and local produce, and Plant High School football games, where wins are often celebrated.  

Pinellas Park 

The City of Pinellas Park is located in the heart of Pinellas County and Florida’s Gulf Coast. For those who enjoy living in a small-town atmosphere while having big city amenities, Pinellas Park is just right.   

With just over 55,000 residents, the city offers a variety of community and neighborhood parks, plus recreational facilities, including an equestrian park with miles of trails to accommodate the large equestrian community. Adding cultural flair to the community is the gathering of artists, in Pinellas Arts Village. 

Educational services, health care, retail and manufacturing, along with a variety of small businesses, are the foundations of Pinellas Park’s economy. The community is a popular spot for young professionals starting out and new families looking to put down roots. Schools are highly rated, and housing consists of single-family homes and multi-unit complexes. 


Riverview is a suburb of Tampa and a sister city to Brandon. City leaders strive to preserve Riverview’s unique characteristics in the face of rapid growth, as Riverview is one of the fastest developing areas within GTB. Even through the growth, Riverview offers beautiful natural spaces, such as the pristine Bell Creek Nature Preserve and the manatee sanctuary at the Big Bend Power Station, which can be observed from Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center 

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With well-rated schools and magnet school options, affordable housing, suburban developments and an ideal distance for commuting to Tampa, Riverview is a sensible spot to raise a family. Coupled with nearby Brandon, Riverview represents some of the newest outward expansion from GTB. It will likely continue the trend as an increasingly popular place to call home. 

Spring Hill 

Spring Hill is a majestic adventure waiting to happen. From the local beaches to the Weeki Wachee River, Florida’s Adventure Coast offers ample activities. In this hidden gem residents can go scalloping, kayaking, diving, paddle boarding, biking, hike nature trails, look for manatees and maybe even spot a mermaid at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.  

A wonderland of outdoor adventures, active family fun, rich history, Southern hospitality and vibrant local color afford an unforgettable and one-of-a-kind experience. Enjoy water and land adventures, attractions, parks and more. The Suncoast Parkway connects Spring Hill to Tampa, allowing tourists and residents to plan day trips along Florida’s west coast. 

St. Petersburg 

The beauty of living in St. Petersburg is catching on like wildfire. Newcomers are flocking to this young and vibrant city, which is constantly in the rankings as one of the best places to be for work, fun and business.  

Known as the Sunshine City, St. Pete once set a Guinness World Record for the most consecutive days of sunshine with 768. St. Petersburg has received numerous accolades over the last few years. In 2022, St Pete was recognized as one of the best weekend getaways by Conde Naste Traveler, the most dog friendly city in America by Modern Globe, the best-run city in Florida by WalletHub and one of the most inclusive coastal destinations by National Geographic. 

With more than 100 neighborhoods within, the City of St. Petersburg is one of GTB’s largest urban centers. Downtown St. Pete is home to the business district, with apartment and condo living comprising much of the real estate. Shops, bars, restaurants, walkable breweries and plenty of nightlife flourish in the downtown area, making it a popular spot for a weekend date night or a clubbing excursion. The newly designed St. Pete Pier is a testament to the beauty of the area, providing scenic views from out on the water.  

Art and culture dominate the landscape and cultural vibrance of St. Pete. The Salvador Dalí Museum is world-renowned for exhibiting many of the surrealist painter’s masterpieces. The annual Grand Prix of St. Petersburg transforms the streets into a high-octane IndyCar race. Art festivals, sporting events and celebrations abound in St. Petersburg every year, ensuring there is always something new and exciting to do. 

With plenty of single-family homes and highly rated schools around its many neighborhoods, St. Pete is a popular place to raise a family. Young professionals will find this equitable and progressive city a welcoming spot to launch their careers. With both an urban and dense suburban feel, St. Petersburg will appeal to people at all stages of life and from all backgrounds.  


Cigar City. The Big Guava. The city on the bay. By any name, Tampa is a progressive, burgeoning metropolitan area which, in just about every way, embodies the Florida lifestyle. Home to renowned restaurants, world-class museums, parks, universities, nightlife and ever-impressive scenery, Tampa attracts thousands of new residents and millions of visitors annually.  

The downtown area, comprised of a thriving business district, features plenty to do for its growing class of young professionals and students. The Channel District, with its affluent Davis Islands neighborhood, is a bustling center of culture and activity. SoHo/Hyde Park provides a quaint, village atmosphere by day, and a flourishing party atmosphere by night.  

The expansive Water Street development is taking shape along an expansive downtown waterfront area, close to the Amalie Arena and the Tampa Riverwalk, and it is catching attention around the country. This walkable neighborhood promotes wellness and productivity with its unique and sustainable community. With several high-rises for housing, office buildings that are excellent for an array of companies and all the dining, shopping and entertainment options any resident could ask for, Water Street is an exciting new place to live, work, play and eat.  

Historic South Tampa is a stunning district with everything from charming restaurants to boutique shops. This area offers several residential areas and beautiful green spaces like Ballast Point Park and Cypress Point Park.  

Ybor City, meanwhile, is a historic and cultural gem in Tampa. Its Cuban influence echoes across the architecture, food and nightlife. The Westshore District is a thriving center for business surrounding the Tampa International Airport. It is home to the International Plaza, a shopping and dining hub featuring some of Tampa’s signature restaurants.  

A center of education, Tampa is home to the University of South Florida and The University of Tampa. Suburban neighborhoods surround Tampa, comprised mainly of single-family housing developments, townhomes and condos. Highly rated schools make it an excellent spot to raise a family. 

With all the trappings of any major city, combined with a uniquely diverse and vibrant energy, Tampa is today’s city of tomorrow. 

Wesley Chapel 

What was once the burgeoning community of Double Branch is known to locals today as Wesley Chapel. This town, situated north of Tampa and near Interstate 75, has experienced some of the biggest growth of any community in the area. Many new housing developments have gone up in recent years, turning this once-sparse suburb into a more active spot.  

Wiregrass Mall is a popular outdoor shopping center featuring dining, drinks and events. Culturally, Wesley Chapel is known for its Center of the Arts, which houses local theater productions, art exhibits and educational classes. Wesley Chapel is a diverse suburb with a strong sense of community and a growth mindset, a fit for people of all ages. 


Zephyrhills is the largest city in Pasco County, and it prides itself on being a friendly, neighborly town and idyllic locale to raise a family. Zephyrhills is known internationally as a skydiving destination with Skydive City, yet the city has recently garnered attention with its world-class Sarah Vande Berg Tennis and Wellness Center. Named the 2021 USTA Large Public Facility of the Year, the center offers 11 tennis courts, eight pickleball courts, four padel courts and topnotch health, wellness and fitness amenities.   

Take a stroll through Zephyrhills’ historic downtown 5th Avenue and discover a variety of activities, including Tampa Bay’s largest board game café, a craft brewery, a family-fun arcade center and signature downtown events like Festival of Lights, Halloween Howl and Music and Motorcycles.  

By Ryan Walsh.

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