It should come as no surprise that Hillsborough County had a population growth of over 23% from 2000-2010. This area is full of friendly people, great shopping and restaurants, excellent weather, fun activities, and it's only a half an hour from the beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. What's not to love?
With around 1.2 million people living in the region, Hillsborough County is currently the 3rd most populated city in Florida. About 30% of its residents live in Tampa, which is the area's largest city. Tampa is packed with things to see and do including everything from sports, nature to cultural and historical activities. This beautiful Gulf coast area also has about 158 miles of shore.
Oftentimes people are initially confused when checking out the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metro Area. This Florida region is made up of Hillsborough along with Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando Counties. While Tampa is the largest city in Hillsborough County, St. Petersburg and Clearwater are both located in Pinellas County. Hillsborough County is located on Tampa Bay's Eastern shoreline. That means that Tampa has its own bay beaches, but in order to get to the even more desirable Gulf of Mexico beaches, you'll have to take a short drive of about a half an hour.
You will find that the area is diverse both racially and culturally. In fact, The U.S. Census Bureau has named the Tampa Bay area as one of the 5 most diverse and integrated urban areas.
In Hillsborough County you can find everything from rural areas with horse pastures, to suburban planned communities, to modern condos in downtown Tampa. The median home price in this region is approximately $113,000. According to statistics, the cost of living is 9.2% lower than in the average U.S. city. The county is made up of only 3 incorporated cities: Tampa, Plant City, and Temple Terrace. Of course, there are many unincorporated areas in the region including Davis Island, New Tampa, Ybor City, Westchase, and trendy South Tampa, among others.
Hillsborough County Schools rank well when compared nationally. 12 out of the 25 high schools in the region are listed in Newsweek's List of American's Best High Schools. Many people are surprised to learn the size of the school system, Hillsborough County having the 8th largest school district in the country with a whopping 206 schools.
BestPlaces has ranked the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area #9 for Safest Cities for Families with Young Children. The area has a remarkable number of attractions including Busch Gardens, which people travel from all over the world to visit, as well as Adventure Island, which is Busch Garden's water park. If you are afraid the the cost of constantly going to Busch Gardens could add up, you're right! But the good news is that the park offers significant discounts through season's passes as well as special Florida resident incentives.
Within Hillsborough County are a variety of interesting institutions dedicated to enlightening visitors about the days gone by. Tampa boasts the Tampa Bay History Center, the ship American Victory, and the Henry B. Plant Museum. The American Victory is one of just 4 fully operational WWII ships in the United States. The Henry B. Plant Museum is a gorgeous historical resort, which is now a museum and national historic landmark.
Not to mention, visitors and locals alike love Ybor City. This historic town has cobblestone streets and old cigar factory buildings, as it is considered the "Cigar Capital of the World". The shops, restaurants and galleries attract many tourists each year.
You won't feel like you're missing out on arts and culture either when you live in Hillsborough County, as there is a lot going on year-round. Attractions include the Tampa Theatre, Tampa Museum of Art, and David A. Straz Jr. Center for Performing Arts. As far as visual art goes, The Tampa Museum of Art not only displays ancient works, but also modern art by both national and international artists.
Also recommended are the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts and the Contemporary Art Museum at the University of South Florida, which boasts more than 5000 pieces.
The Tampa region is full of outdoor places to enjoy. Hillsborough County contains 176 neighborhood parks and playgrounds, 727 miles of trails, and 61,00 acres of preserved land.
You can also find Alafia River State Park, Hillsborough River State Park and C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir among the area's beautiful offerings. In these areas, residents can enjoy everything from hiking and birdwatching to camping, fishing, kayaking, canoeing and swimming.
The Tampa Bay area boasts a healthy sports environment with NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, MLB Tampa Bay Rays, and NHL Tampa Bay Lightning who play at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, which is located in the downtown Channelside District. While there is technically no city called "Tampa Bay," these teams use this term to show that they represent the major metro area.
Of course, the two universities in the area also compete in NCAA sporting events. The University of South Florida Bulls compete in the highest level of college sports, and The University of Tampa Spartans are quite active as well.
Tampa is a frequent home to the Super Bowl, as the area has hosted it 4 times to date at Raymond James Stadium. Locals will be pleased to know that the Super Bowl is likely to return to Tampa in the near future.
For those that work in Tampa, choosing a home in Hillsborough offers proximity along with easy access to cultural, recreational and sporting activities. Many move to this part of the country simply to enjoy the warm winters and gorgeous scenery, since Tampa Bay and some of the best beaches in the world are just a short drive away.
At BaconRealtyGroup.com we're passionate about the Tampa Bay area and are proud to call it home. We'd love to show you around, and would be honored to help you find your new home.