If you are new to the Tampa Bay area, looking at all the different areas of Tampa may seem overwhelming. Tampa is one of the largest cities in Florida, and the surrounding cities make it seem huge! The Bay area includes Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater. Within these areas, there are several smaller, distinctive areas. Choosing where to look for your Tampa apartment may seem like too big of a task, but I'll try to break down the areas into more manageable chunks.
Tampa is the largest of the three areas. Within Tampa, you'll find Brandon to the east. The USF area is in the northern part of the Tampa area. Further North, you'll find New Tampa, Lutz, and Wesley Chapel. Carrollwood and Town ‘n' Country are South of USF. The Tampa International airport is in this area. The southern part of Tampa includes Ybor City, Downtown Tampa, and South Tampa. These will be your main areas to look if you want to specifically live in a Tampa apartment.
Because Tampa is situated around a Bay, going from South Tampa to St. Pete is best done by bridge. There are three bridges that span this area – the Howard Franklin Bridge, the Gandy Bridge, and the Courtney Campbell Causeway. St. Pete includes the downtown St. Pete area, Pinellas Park, Seminole, and St. Pete Beach. Many people choose to live in St. Pete while they work in Downtown Tampa.
The third large area of Tampa Bay is Clearwater. As its name suggests, Clearwater is located along the Gulf Coast. North of Clearwater you'll find Palm Harbor and Tarpon Springs. All of these areas offer great beach access.
To decide the best area to look for your new Tampa apartment, consider what parts of the city life are important to you. If you love art, St. Pete might be a good place to look into. If you want to move into a Tampa apartment to be closer to the beach, look around the Clearwater area. Jobs are not as plentiful in Clearwater, but many people commute so that they can live near the beach. St. Pete Beach is another good option. If you are a USF student, there are tons of affordable apartments near USF that are geared toward student living. If you would rather live in a less populated are, but still be close to Tampa, consider Plant City (east of Tampa) or Thonotosassa (east of USF).
If you want to be in the middle of the entire Tampa experience, a downtown Tampa apartment is your obvious choice. Ybor City offers plenty of nightlife, if that's what you're after. Carrollwood is the place to find more of a family atmosphere. New Tampa includes a lot of newer construction and nice shopping areas.
If you want more in-depth information, we offer a great neighborhood guide, which details the feel of each neighborhood, basic directions, the culture of the area, and things to do! If I've already given you an idea of where you want to look for a Tampa apartment, feel free to browse our interactive apartment search tool, which allows you to choose which apartments you see based on location and many other preferences.