Living in Tampa Bay
Tampa is a major seaport on Florida's West Coast and has a wide range of diversified industries and products. The warm climate allows for almost year-round enjoyment of outdoor recreational activities. Florida's second largest tourist attraction, Busch Gardens, is located in Tampa, less than 10 minutes drive from the University of South Florida and Moffitt Cancer Center. Within a 90-minute drive are 75 percent of Florida's main attractions, including Disney World, Sea World and Cypress Gardens. Many of the highest rated beaches in the US, the beautiful white sand Gulf of Mexico beaches and numerous lakes are located less than 1 hour from USF and MCC.
With sunshine nearly every day of the year, Tampa Bay is one of Florida's brightest spots. Money magazine named Tampa/St. Petersburg one of the 12 best metropolitan areas to live in the United States. The average daily high in January is a pleasant 70 degrees. Breezes from the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay help keep summertime highs in the low 90s. The region combines a growing economy with a low cost of living and one of the country's most affordable housing markets.
The University of South Florida is the second largest state university in the Southeast and the ninth largest nationally, with a wide range of excellent undergraduate and graduate programs. The Pinellas and Hillsborough county school districts consistently rank highly among the state's systems and provide many innovative programs.
Golf, tennis, boating, windsurfing, rollerblading, and bicycling can be enjoyed throughout the year, thanks to the pleasant climate. Tampa Bay is home to the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning, and MLB's Tampa Bay Rays. USF has men's and women's teams in most major sports, including a Division IA (Big East Conference) football program, which began in the fall of 1997.
St. Petersburg and Clearwater (in nearby Pinellas County) feature busy performing arts centers. St. Petersburg's Salvador Dali Art Museum offers the largest collection of this artist's works. Ybor City, Tampa's historic Latin Quarter, attracts young crowds each weekend to its thriving restaurants, clubs and galleries. In Tampa, the Museum of African Art is home to one of the country's most comprehensive collections, and the Tampa Art Museum and USF Graphicstudio are showcases for important contemporary works. The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center hosts an array of superb entertainment in the arts. There are a wide range of family museums located in the Tampa Bay area, one which includes the Glazer Children's Museum.