The boxes are packed, the truck is loaded and the long-awaited adventure is about to begin. Moving day is full of excitement and anxiety, and once this is accomplished, the next experience begins: getting settled into a new home.
Thankfully, Greater Tampa Bay is accessible, resource-rich and well equipped to handle its many new residents every year. Learning the ins and outs, the how-to’s and the do’s and do-nots should not be difficult. From the moving process checklist to the highway and byway tips, settling into life in GTB will be a cinch.
Guide is here to help movers ensure everything gets taken care of before the big day. Addresses need to be updated, utilities need to be canceled and for little ones, schools need to be enrolled in. Smaller, yet no less important tasks, such as researching local laws and statutes, can save some effort and headache down the road.
Getting these things out of the way is important, if not very fun — but there is much to look forward to.
Take a day to cruise. Drive around the scenic routes. With multiple cities, dozens of communities, beaches and nature galore, becoming familiarized with highways and shortcuts is key to getting settled. Getting the lay of the land will come naturally in good time.
City living? GTB has public transportation options to help urbanites get around. The TECO Line has 11 stops in downtown Tampa and Ybor City, while the Jolly Trolley Streetcar runs through Northern Pinellas County. For those along the coast from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs, The Suncoast Beach Trolley, Central Avenue Trolley and Downtown Looper are there to assist in getting around.
That is not all. The SunRunner Bus, officially launched in October 2022, will enhance current public transportation options by providing quick trips to and from downtown St. Pete to the beaches of Pinellas County. Meanwhile, the Brightline rail has plans to connect GTB with Orlando and Miami.
With plenty of sidewalks and trails, living the pedestrian or biking lifestyle is not out of the question, either. The views from the innumerable trails and bike paths are some of the best in the world.
Looking for a connection? GTB’s two major airports offer dozens of nonstop routes to destinations both international and domestic. Tampa International Airport is the largest in the area, servicing millions of passengers every year. St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, while smaller in scale, has grown in recent years to provide travel to many more locations.
It is easy to become assimilated within the GTB community. Friendly neighborhoods, business and career opportunities and plentiful resources make for the smoothest of transitions. Putting down roots takes time, but by following a few key guidelines and taking some extra steps to prepare, getting settled in one of the most beautiful and admired areas of the country can be quick and stress-free.
A long, exciting journey lies ahead. But, getting settled is only the beginning.
By Ryan Walsh.