Aerial view of the residential homes in Davis Islands in one of the best neighborhoods in Tampa, Florida

17 Best Tampa Neighborhoods in 2023 (By a Local)

Tampa is a rapidly growing city with over 80 officially named Tampa neighborhoods. Each neighborhood in Tampa has its own unique qualities that make it a desirable place to live. 

I’ve spent my time in Tampa exploring the city’s neighborhoods (so you don’t have to), so read along and I will tell you about 17 of the most popular ones! 

I’ve tried to curate a list with something for everyone, whether you are looking to move to the city’s best nightlife area or find a quaint neighborhood to settle down in. If you’re just visiting Tampa, see my article on where to stay in Tampa.

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. Thank you!

Best Neighborhoods in Tampa

Downtown Tampa

Tall buildings, waterfront parks, and local eateries – a city lover’s dream.

Tall buildings and empty streets of Downtown Tampa
Downtown Tampa is urban while maintaining lots of foliage and greenery (photo: Jason Sponseller / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Downtown Tampa Website | School District: Hillsborough County Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Hyatt Place Downtown 

Downtown Tampa is the city’s central business district. Since there is a large concentration of offices and jobs, Downtown makes a great neighborhood to live in for business professionals who want a short commute. This Tampa neighborhood would also be ideal for people who prefer walking over driving. 

Downtown Tampa overlooks the Hillsborough River. Many picture-perfect views can be seen from the various waterfront parks and restaurants. Downtown is also centrally located to other areas and attractions that are found in South Tampa. 

Pros of Downtown Tampa

  • Pedestrian-friendly 
  • Many local Tampa establishments
  • Beautiful views of the Hillsborough River

Cons of Downtown Tampa

  • Traffic can get backed up, especially during rush hours
  • Higher cost of living than other neighborhoods

Ybor City

A historic neighborhood rich in Tampa history and great nightlife.

View of the street and shops around Ybor City
A typical street in Ybor City

📍 Google Maps | Ybor City Website | School District: Hillsborough County Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Hotel Haya

Ybor City is one of Tampa’s historic districts – it has even been coined the ‘Cigar Capital of the World’. In addition to its rich history, Ybor City is known for its many Cuban and Latin eateries. The famous Columbia Restaurant, one of my picks for the best restaurants in Tampa, is located in this part of the city. 

Historic Ybor also has a very lively nightlife scene loved by young adults. You can find some of the best bars and nightclubs in Tampa Bay along 7th Avenue, which runs through Ybor. This neighborhood is an excellent place for any socialites looking to immerse themselves in Tampa’s history. 

Pros of Ybor City

  • Many delicious Cuban-Spanish restaurants
  • Many popular LGBTQ+ bars
  • Multiple museums and historical sites

Cons of Ybor City

  • Evenings can be very loud, especially on the weekends
  • The entire neighborhood isn’t walkable

Hyde Park

A small, residential neighborhood with beautiful greenery and within walking distance of many shops and restaurants.

Beautiful greenery on the serene sidewalks of Hyde Park
The serene sidewalks that line Hyde Park

📍 Google Maps | Hyde Park Village Website | School District: Hillsborough County Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Epicurean Hotel

Hyde Park is a lively community in South Tampa. Central to this area of town is Hyde Park Village, which is a cluster of shops, bars, restaurants, and beautiful outdoor spaces. South Howard Avenue, or “SoHo” also runs through this neighborhood. SoHo is known as one of the most prominent places to go bar hopping in Tampa Bay due to its many bars and restaurants.

Another perk of residing in Hyde Park is being within walking distance of Bayshore Boulevard, which offers some of the best views of Hillsborough Bay. 

There is an abundance of houses and rental units, as well. This makes Hyde Park a great area for both renters and homeowners who are looking to be within walking distance of an abundance of activities and sights.

Pros of Hyde Park

  • Within walking distance of many shops and restaurants
  • Feels like you are in a small town 
  • Access to many waterfront views

Cons of Hyde Park 

  • Establishments in this area are expensive

Tampa Palms

A smaller neighborhood within the New Tampa district that offers many of the same outdoor parks and services with a more intimate feel.

Signage on a brick small wall outside Tampa Palms Elementary School in Tampa Florida
Tampa Palms Elementary (photo: Feng Cheng / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Tampa Palms Website | School District: Hillsborough County Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: SpringHill Suites

Tampa Palms is an extensively pre-planned neighborhood in Tampa Bay that has over 28 villages. Within these villages are schools, shops, grocery stores, and anything else individuals or families would need for their day-to-day life. 

Tampa Palms has many pockets of nature to enjoy, such as the Tampa Palms Golf & Country Club. Lettuce Lake Park is also a short drive away. 

Since this neighborhood is more structured than most others, it is a great place to settle down for people looking to have a strong sense of community.   

Pros of Tampa Palms

  • Within a short drive of all the day-to-day amenities, you would need
  • Sense of community

Cons of Tampa Palms

  • Not centrally located in the Tampa Bay area

Seminole Heights

A trendy district that has many bungalows, vintage shops, and hole-in-the-wall bars. 

Exterior view of a beautiful architectural building in Seminole Heights
Some of the beautiful architecture found in Seminole Heights (photo: Daniel Wright98 / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Seminole Heights Website | School District: Hillsborough County Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: The Hip Hop Hotel

Seminole Heights has remained one of Tampa Bay’s trendiest neighborhoods. This area has a 20th-century feel with many remaining Victorian-style homes and hole-in-the-wall establishments. 

Seminole Heights is a very residential area– there aren’t too many luxury apartment complexes like in other parts of Tampa. There are also very few hotels and chain restaurants. It’s a neighborhood designed for an individual looking to feel like, and be, a true local!  

Pros of Seminole Heights

  • Trendy area
  • Mostly local establishments 
  • Centrally located in Tampa Bay

Cons of Seminole Heights

  • Very few hotels 

Davis Islands

A small, residential island populated with many luxury homes, parks, and local business establishments.

Aerial view of the residential homes in Davis Islands in Tampa, Florida
Just a couple of homes that are typical to the Davis Islands

📍 Google Maps | Davis Islands Website | School District: Hillsborough County Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Tampa Marriott Water Street

Davis Islands is a neighborhood that resides on a small island on Hillsborough Bay, south of Hyde Park and Channelside. Davis Islands is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Tampa Bay. 

On the island, you will find breathtaking Mediterranean-styled homes and mansions. Many of the homes have waterfront views and grassy front yards. There are few apartment complexes and hotels on the island, which gives it a very homey and residential feel. 

Aside from Seaplane Basin park and Davis Island beach, there aren’t too many attractions. This is a great area for anyone looking to buy waterfront property and settle down. 

Pros of Davis Islands

  • Surrounded by beautiful views of the Bay
  • Luxurious homes and mansions
  • Pedestrian-friendly and biker-friendly

Cons of Davis Islands

  • Very few chain restaurants, shops, or hotels
  • Very expensive
  • Will need to drive into another neighborhood to grocery shop, run errands, etc

North Tampa

The area of Tampa is home to the University of South Florida and tourist attractions like Busch Gardens. 

A signage outside with logo of University of South Florida
North Tampa is home to the University of South Florida (photo: Sharkshock / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | North Tampa Website | School District: Hillsborough County Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Hampton Inn & Suites

North Tampa is a large neighborhood that is home to the University of South Florida. In the vicinity of USF is an abundance of educational attractions like the Museum of Science & Industry and the USF Contemporary Art Museum. 

North Tampa also contains theme parks like Adventure Island and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Alongside these thrill parks are many hotels and chain restaurants. 

Since USF is a focal point of North Tampa, this neighborhood is a great place for college students. 

Pros of North Tampa

  • Many museums and nearby Tampa parks 
  • Close to USF
  • One of the more affordable neighborhoods 
  • Access to many well-known restaurants and stores

Cons of North Tampa

  • Not pedestrian or biker friendly 
  • Traffic can be excessive 

Bayshore Beautiful

A residential neighborhood that sits on the edge of Tampa Bay and overlooks Bayshore Boulevard.

Long sidewalk of Bayshore Boulevard with a scenic view of the ocean and the city of Tampa
Bayshore Boulevard’s iconic sidewalk 

📍 Google Maps | Bayshore Beautiful Website | School District: Hillsborough County Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: TownePlace Suites South Tampa

Bayshore Beautiful is an affluent neighborhood that resides next to Bayshore Boulevard. This neighborhood has one of the best views in the city of Hillsborough Bay. 

Bayshore Beautiful is small and residential. But, it is located very close to Hyde Park and SoHo, so residents are still near many shops, restaurants, and bars. This Tampa community is ideal for homebuyers, as there are few apartment complexes.  

Pros of Bayshore Beautiful

  • Gorgeous views
  • Luxury homes on the water

Cons of Bayshore Beautiful 

  • Costly part of town 
  • Other prominent neighborhoods can be a far drive

Palma Ceia

A busy neighborhood in South Tampa with classic red brick roads and funky restaurants and shops.

Aerial view of the landscape of Palma Ceia golf course
Play a round of golf at the Palma Ceia Golf Club

📍 Google Maps | School District: Hillsborough County Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Hotel South Tampa & Suites

Palma Ceia is a district in South Tampa that has the perfect balance between cute cobblestone roads leading to quaint homes and trendy city streets with local bars and restaurants. 

This neighborhood is centrally located among many schools and community centers. There is also the Palma Ceia Golf & Country Club, which is one of the best golf courses in the city. The amenities of the surrounding area make this neighborhood a great place for homeowners to raise a family. 

Pros of Palma Ceia

  • The surrounding area offers a variety of amenities
  • Many of the residential streets give you a small-town feel

Cons of Palma Ceia

  • No major nightlife scene

Tampa Heights

Tampa’s oldest suburb; has many trendy apartment complexes and waterside restaurants and activities. 

View at the Tampa Bay riverwalk on a sunny day
Stroll down Tampa’s Riverwalk

📍 Google Maps | Tampa Heights Website | School District: Hillsborough County Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Gram’s Place Bed & Hostel

Tampa Heights is Tampa’s oldest suburb! It’s located directly east of the Hillsborough River and offers many activities great for people of all ages. There are many homes and an increasing number of apartment complexes. 

Many of Tampa’s greatest waterside attractions are located here. These include the Heights Public Market at Armature Works and the Riverwalk. 

Tampa Heights is a versatile neighborhood. With proximity to schools, it’s an excellent place for families. With proximity to bars and restaurants, it’s also a great place for individuals looking to have an active social life in their area. 

Pros of Tampa Heights

  • Homes and apartment complexes
  • Many free amenities (like the Riverwalk)

Cons of Tampa Heights

  • Most of the neighborhood is not pedestrian friendly

Lowry Park Central

A small neighborhood that has an abundance of grassy parks and the famous ZooTampa.

Calm Hillsborough River from the boardwalk in Lowry Park Central
A view from Lowry Park (photo: Linda White Wolf / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | School District: Hillsborough County Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: La Quinta Tampa Central

Lowry Park Central is a neighborhood in North Tampa that is home to the famous ZooTampa at Lowry Park. In addition to the zoo, this neighborhood has other maintained outdoor spaces like Purity Springs Park and City of Tampa park. 

Lowry Park Central offers many family-friendly spaces. There is definitely a homey and residential feel to the area. This community would be great for families or individuals looking to skip out on late nights out on the town. 

Pros of Lowry Park Central

  • Easy access to parks and green spaces
  • Within driving distance of other notable Tampa neighborhoods like Seminole Heights

Cons of Lowry Park Central

  • Not much of a nightlife scene 

West Tampa

A district close to Downtown and dense with restaurants, coffee shops, and department stores.

Exterior view of a restaurant and bike lane from the street of West Tampa
Some of the bike lanes that run through West Tampa

📍 Google Maps | School District: Hillsborough County Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Aloft Midtown

West Tampa is one of the oldest Tampa neighborhoods. It is located slightly west of Downtown and has an abundance of coffee shops and aesthetic eateries. It also provides easy access to Tampa gems like Julian B Lane Park and Midtown. 

West Tampa has many homes and apartment complexes, which makes this neighborhood good for both renters and homebuyers. It’s also a bike-friendly area so cars and bikes are both feasible transportation options.

Pros of West Tampa

  • Bike lanes can be found throughout this neighborhood
  • Many new apartment complexes and restaurants
  • Trendy area

Cons of West Tampa

  • Expensive area to live in 
  • Infrastructure throughout this area can vary significantly

Channel District

A pedestrian-friendly neighborhood that is home to many famous Tampa attractions like the Amalie Arena and the Florida Aquarium. 

A waterfront view in the Channel District of Tampa
A waterfront view in Channel District

📍 Google Maps | Channel District Website | School District: Hillsborough County Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Hampton Inn Channel District

The Channel District, or Channelside, is an upscale neighborhood located at the mouth of Hillsborough Bay. Channel District’s claim to fame is Water Street, which is home to many popular attractions like Sparkman Wharf. 

Amalie Arena, where the Tampa Bay Lightning play, and the Florida Aquarium are both also located in Channelside. 

Located close to Downtown Tampa and South Tampa, The Channel District is an ideal living situation for people who like to spend their nights out on the town. 

Pros of Channel District

  • Many waterside attractions 
  • Close to many unique Tampa bars and restaurants
  • Centrally located to other lively neighborhoods

Cons of Channel District

  • Very expensive area 
  • Rent will be higher than in most other parts of Tampa 

Sunset Park

A residential neighborhood with an abundance of houses located directly on the waterfront.

A scenic sunset view from Sunset Park
Watch a Florida sunset from Sunset Park

📍 Google Maps | Sunset Park Website | School District: Hillsborough County Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: The Westshore Grand

Sunset Park is a residential neighborhood on the waterfront of Old Tampa Bay. While the neighborhood itself contains mostly homes, the surrounding area has many schools, restaurants, and shops. 

Since Sunset Park is on the western coast of Tampa, it makes for a great sunset viewing location. Hence its name!

Sunset Park is ideal for individuals or families looking to live in a house, as there are no apartment complexes. People with boats or lovers of aquatic adventures would be well suited for this neighborhood, too. 

Pros of Sunset Park

  • Great location on the coastline of the Tampa Bay
  • Easy access to amenities and other neighborhoods

Cons of Sunset Park

  • Driving will be required to go to stores and run errands

New Tampa

A residential neighborhood known for its many outdoor spaces and hiking trails.

A walking trail surrounded with greenery in Flatwoods Park in New Tampa
A walking trail in Flatwoods Park in New Tampa

📍 Google Maps | School District: Hillsborough County Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: SpringHill Suites

New Tampa is a larger Tampa neighborhood located in the northeastern portion of the city. It encompasses other smaller districts like Pebble Creek and Tampa Palms.

New Tampa is known for its many golf courses and abundance of restaurants and stores on Bruce B Downs Boulevard. In addition to its man-made attractions, New Tampa is also home to the Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Reserve. Within this nature preserve are hiking trails, picnic spots, and a river for canoeing. 

New Tampa is ideal for people looking to be close to nature while still having access to city amenities. Individuals living in New Tampa will have a longer commute into central Tampa, but they will also be able to enjoy the scenery and peace that New Tampa has to offer.

Pros of New Tampa

  • Convenient access to a 16,000-acre nature preserve 
  • Lower cost of living compared to Downtown Tampa

Cons of New Tampa

  • Not centrally located 
  • Longer commute times most likely

Port Tampa City

A waterfront neighborhood on the southwestern boundary of Tampa; located in the former home of the old Port of Tampa.

A traffic exit sign above the highway of Port Tampa City
Port Tampa City resides at the city’s previously used port

📍 Google Maps | Port Tampa City Website | School District: Hillsborough County Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Sleep Inn & Suites South Tampa

Port Tampa City is a neighborhood located on the southwestern corner of the peninsula, where the Port of Tampa used to be located! This neighborhood also borders the MacDill Air Force Base. 

Port Tampa City contains Picnic Island which is home to a well-loved beach, dog beach, and disc golf course. This area has an industrial feel to it. You will be able to find a fair share of autobody shops and construction companies and other similar businesses.

This neighborhood is suited for individuals or families who work in South Tampa or at the Air Force base and are looking for a short commute. 

Pros of Port Tampa City

  • Less expensive than other parts of the city
  • Very close proximity to a beach 

Cons of Port Tampa City

  • Many parts don’t feel homey

Westshore

A prominent business district with many homes, apartment complexes, and shopping malls.

Overlooking view of apartment complexes and field of Lincoln Gardens Park in Westshore on a cloudy day
Overlooking Lincoln Gardens Park in Westshore on an overcast day

📍 Google Maps | Westshore Website | School District: Hillsborough County Public Schools | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Renaissance Tampa International Plaza

Along with Downtown Tampa, Westshore is the other prominent business district in the city. There are many large, commercial centers that attract business professionals to the area. Two of Tampa’s shopping centers, the International Plaza and the Westshore Mall, are located here. 

Westshore is also home to Raymond James Stadium, where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play football. 

With an extensive variety of attractions, Westshore is a great area for business professionals and anyone looking to be central to many shops and restaurants.

Pros of Westshore

  • Many stores and restaurants
  • Close to Raymond James Stadium 
  • You would have an easy commute to Downtown Tampa or St. Pete

Cons of Westshore

  • Not pedestrian friendly
  • Close to Dale Mabry highway, which can have heavy traffic

FAQs About Tampa Neighborhoods 

What are the best neighborhoods to live in Tampa? 

Tampa offers over 80 officially named neighborhoods. The best neighborhood for an individual will be dependent on their lifestyle goals. Downtown Tampa and Westshore provide a short commute for business professionals. Seminole Heights and Tampa Heights both offer a trendy and lively community. Davis Islands is perfect for homeowners wanting a waterfront view.

What are the upsides to living in Tampa?

There are many upsides to living in Tampa. The city offers a variety of neighborhoods with differing amenities that will suit any type of lifestyle. Socialites can enjoy the city’s lively nightlife scene and many fine dining establishments. Young professionals can find many business opportunities in the business district. Nature lovers can experience the diverse Tampa outdoor recreation. 

What are the downsides to living in Tampa?

The two main downsides to living in Tampa are the increasing cost of living and the weather. Tampa has continued to see a steady increase in the cost of living which can be a downside to living here. Tampa’s weather is hot and extremely humid for the majority of the year which is another reason someone might be deterred from living here. 

Should I live in Tampa or St. Petersburg?

Tampa and St. Petersburg are both a part of Tampa Bay but offer different living experiences. Tampa is larger than St. Petersburg and offers a wider variety of dining establishments, activities, and neighborhoods. St. Petersburg retains a semblance of a beach town feeling while still having many fun restaurants and waterfront activities.   

***

That wraps up 17 of the best Tampa neighborhoods! Check out all my Tampa guides before your next trip down to the beautiful city on the bay! 

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One Comment

  1. THANK YOU for including Port Tampa City! Few people know we’re here, but we have homes and cobblestone streets dating back to the 1880s and we were our own separate city until 1964. Construction is exploding here, we are located IN town and close to everything – including a beach!

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