If you’ve spent any time in Tampa at all you may have heard the tongue in cheek adage “there is no life north of Kennedy Blvd” said by South Tampa residents. We roll our eyes and laugh when we hear it, but let’s look at why South Tampa is the aspired-to address beloved by so many.
Character! South Tampa is organic. It has grown and developed and connected little neighborhood villages over time. Each has its own name, texture and flavors. You won’t find planned cookie-cutter neighborhoods here. Areas of South Tampa are known by their neighborhood names- Grey Gables, New Suburb Beautiful, SoHo, Palma Ceia and Hyde Park, for example. Each of these names conjures up distinct visions of housing, streets, restaurants and shops.
Schools! Many parents of school-age kiddos flock to South Tampa to claim a home in the A-rated feeder schools to Henry B Plant High School. Owning a home in the Plant HS district adds panache, and value, to a South Tampa home.
Independent restaurants! Yes, you can find an Applebee’s in South Tampa (I mean no disrespect to Applebee’s), but you are way more likely to find independent local restaurants of all types here. So many restaurants, so little time! Some crowd favorites include Pane Rustica, Miguel’s, Bern’s Steakhouse, Café BT, SoHo Sushi, Woody’s, Datz, Wright’s Gourmet House, Big Ray’s Fish Camp and more! If you’ve got a hankering for something specific, just let me know and I’ll make some recommendations.
Bayshore Blvd Greenway: At 4.5 miles in length, the Bayshore Boulevard Greenway is the longest continuous sidewalk in the US. It’s our version of Central Park. This is where we walk, run, stroll, skate, bike, and see and be seen. The Bayshore, as it’s frequently called, is one of the iconic views of Tampa with its gorgeous balustrades, prestigious and historic homes and water views. It’s frequently the well-recognized Tampa backdrop for national reporters, hurricane hunters, politicians and celebrities.
South Tampa is home to many and varied shops of all types. If you’re looking for a unique battery or light bulb, you can find it here. Pirate attire anyone? Yes, that’s here too. You can find an independent hardware store next to a chic consignment shop named Rehab (don’t you just want to say that you’re going to Rehab? LOL). The best toffee in the world- Toffee to Go- is located in The Dessert Spot. Hazel and Dot is great for gift-y things, particularly South Tampa themed gifts. Vintage Wine Cellars and Redneck Wine are wonderful independent stores catering to the wine-lover. South Tampa’s shops are generally clumped together in small concentrations. I have a personal goal to visit them all when COVID is tamed.
Housing of different types/price: Are you looking for an historic home? A modern loft? The perfect mid-century modern ranch? New construction? A spiffy waterfront condo with amenities galore? A waterfront escape with killer views? Check, check and check! South Tampa has them all. This is one place where you will not find uber-planned communities of matching homes. Be aware, however, due to demand, South Tampa homes are some of the more expensive homes in Tampa.
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