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Tampa
  • $400   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $1074   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1637   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  southeast US)

65% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Some errands can be accomplished on foot. 5
tourists, snowbirds, sailors
tourists, snowbirds, sailors, local professional sports, the Riverwalk 6
little middle east, elephants and roller coasters, da hood fosho, old cubans, the zoo, rich kid school, drunk people on beach, get drunk and hook up, rich republicans, rich people country club, champa bay, strippers in a UFO, and Spanish people are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Tampa and St. Petersburg roommate rundown:

The sun is almost always shining in Tampa. It's hard to be more than 30 minutes from a sandy shore. Or golf course. Or amusement park.

Tampa's massive four-lane Sunshine Skyway Bridge spans southern Tampa Bay - at over 4 miles long, serving 65,000 people per day. Port Tampa Bay is the seventh largest in the nation, the largest in Florida, and the second behind Miami for cruise travelers. With multiple cruise ship terminals, including year round and seasonal ports, many cruise itineraries include Tampa.

In fact, unlike a lot of the country, summer is the most stressful time in Tampa. That's when Tampa's "snowbirds" (retired folks coming from the north for winter) tend to bail. Snowbird schedules vary, but summer's almost always their OFF season.

And yes, summer weather can be stressful. Afternoon thunderstorms bring hail and lightning. And the heat plus humidity? Like walking through a warm car wash wearing snuggly soaking blankets.

Then there might be a hurricane. They do happen here occasionally. But in recent years, if you were inconvenienced by one of Tampa's storms, it was usually a power outage. It'd be clever to stock up for your next one with water, batteries, flashlights, and packaged food at the minimum, plus an evacuation plan including all your roommates and their pets.

Almost everyone sailing through Tampa, from military men to college students to cruising retirees tries Tampa's Cuban Sandwich. Then tell Miami that Italian salami tasted great!

Or you and your roommates are also encouraged to grab some deviled croquettes. That's the preferred nickname for locals! It's not a crab dish, no. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

(Just kidding. Locals love their deviled croquettes, Tampa's favorite huge crab hushpuppies, made to be held in one hand, so the other's free for grabbing BEER.)

The rest of the Tampa & St. Petersburg roommate lowdown:

  • large city on the central Florida Gulf Coast at Tampa Bay, with Saint Petersburg to west of the Bay
  • Tampa is home to about 400,000 residents, with the Greater Tampa Bay metropolitan area hosting over 4 million.
  • summers are long, warm, and very humid with frequent thunderstorms, very occasional hurricanes - winters are dry and mild
  • no state income tax
  • hosts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL), Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL), Tampa Bay Rays (MLB), Tampa Bay Titans (TBL) and the Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL)
  • home to Eckerd College, Florida College, Saint Leo College, University of Tampa, and the University of South Florida
  • South Tampa has been the home of MacDill Air Force Base since 1939.
  • Tampa has some public transport, including buses throughout the county (Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority, or HART). There's also a free streetcar with several useful stops for tourists and convention attenders. And then there's a trolley which is also a diesel bus. But mostly, you and your roommates will need a car to efficiently traverse Tampa, especially if you're going anywhere most tourists probably wouldn't. Upside: Tampa is only known for traffic jams downtown in rush hour or when it rains!



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Tampa and St. Petersburg's:

  • The Florida Aquarium: There's a Wild Dolphin Cruise and a Penguin Encounter - also Evening Tide Talks and Day of Discovery events.
  • Tampa Riverwalk: 2.4 mile walkway connecting attractions like bars, restaurants, hotels, parks, performing arts venues, professional sports and museums, including the Tampa Museum of Art.
  • Tampa Bay History Center: "From conquistadors to cattle ranchers," more than 90,000 artifacts, including a shipwreck.
  • Gasparilla Pirate Festival: A mock pirate invasion parading through Tampa once a year since 1904. Arrgh you ready?
  • SS American Victory: Former WWII ship, now a museum. Close to the Florida Aquarium.
  • Dali Museum: Largest collection of Salvador Dali's stuff outside Europe. Don't miss Aphrodisiac Telephone or Venus de Milo with Drawers (and PomPoms) or Persistence of Memory.
  • Alafia State Park: Reclaimed phosphate mine with more severe elevation changes than most of mostly flat Florida. This terrain is one of the most exciting in the world for mountain biking. Of course, you could also hike or camp.


Here's the city of Tampa's official .gov for new residents, links new roommates might need, from parking to pet registration to neighborhood maps to trash collection.





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.


5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.


7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.