Home West Central General Fishing & The Outdoors

Where to Move to Tampa Area

I will be moving to the Tampa area this summer and I'm looking for input on nice cities/areas to live.  Anything up to a one hour commute one way to downtown is fine.  

Our original thought was west Bradenton, but we are looking for some and any input.

Thanks in advance.

Captain Todd Approves



  • GratefulEdGratefulEd Posts: 316 Deckhand
    Palm Harbor used to be great, but now we got a WinnDixie and and 2 Dollar Tree stores😂
  • jdl1948jdl1948 Posts: 119 Deckhand
    A one hour commute?  Sounds like a 5 mile radius.
  • mplspugmplspug Palmetto FloridaPosts: 11,879 AG
    jdl1948 said:
    A one hour commute?  Sounds like a 5 mile radius.
    Great   :s

    How about a 2 hour commute!

    Captain Todd Approves

  • restlessnativerestlessnative Posts: 2,323 Captain
    Do you want to live in the burbs or by the beach? Or in Tampa proper?
  • SuperMutuSuperMutu Posts: 428 Deckhand
    Just moved here a month ago.  So far I'm really enjoying Seminole.

    Takes me about 45 minutes to get to work in Tampa at 5:30am.

    Takes closer to an hour to get home around 4:00...longer if some **** rearends someone around the airport exit.
  • mplspugmplspug Palmetto FloridaPosts: 11,879 AG
    @restlessnative I'm open to either.  I'm looking for a single family home, so not in Tampa proper.  Near the beach will probably cost too much.  Not sure if we'll lease or buy, but it looks like real estate is a little more pricey than lake Mary.

    I'd be happy being 30-45 minutes from salt.  

    Not sure what are range is at this point as we are just starting to figure everything out.  

    What I'm interested in now is a more laid back old Florida style with low crime.

    Captain Todd Approves

  • JustKeepSwimmingJustKeepSwimming Posts: 256 Deckhand
    St Pete could be worth checking out. 

    Sarasota/Bradenton area would be about an hour to downtown on 75.  I moved here about a year ago and looked at a few places in West Bradenton, its a nice area and it doesn't take long to get to the beach. 
  • The Kellogg KidThe Kellogg Kid Posts: 21 Greenhorn
    Got a buddy lives in Apollo Beach, check that area out.  Prices aren't as crazy as a lot of the other areas. And he's got great fishin there as well as a power plant to fish in the winter.
  • New2FlNew2Fl Posts: 76 Greenhorn
    I know it was already referenced but it bears repeating.  Traffic in this area can be horrendous with a capital H.  Before you start looking anywhere, drive from the area to your place of work at the hours you will be commuting. My guess is if you have a pulse this will weed out some areas right off the bat.  Certainly not trying to discourage you, but just want you to be aware.  If you're within 20 miles of Tampa/St. Pete area, laid back/low crime might be tough but it may exist who knows.  Good Luck
  • mplspugmplspug Palmetto FloridaPosts: 11,879 AG
    West Bradenton was our first choice when we started.  We have seen the area having vacationed in Anna Maria.  

    I will only have to commute about 3 days a week, so there is that.  

    Whoops, I guess I already mentioned west Bradenton.

    Captain Todd Approves

  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 799 Officer
    St. Pete is a pretty good place to live.  Right now it is kind of the hip, happening place in the bay area, so if you like night life, restaurants, culture and such then it is a good choice.  Problem with St. Pete right now is that the house prices have gone way off the rails.  The houses in my neighborhood are selling for about 20% higher than pre-housing bubble.  Or more.  I love living in St. pete though, and having bought my house in '09 makes it better.  Commuting from Pinellas to Hilsborough is generally not as bad as living in Hilsborough and commuting to Pinellas.  +1 for test driving the commute during rush hour, and check out your prospective neighborhood on a friday night before buying.
  • jbdba01jbdba01 Posts: 144 Deckhand
    Schools can drive that decision big time.  Kids or no kids?  Probably want to elaborate on criteria.

    I work from home and live in Fishhawk (Lithia) - traffic is getting worse, but it's a great neighborhood.  I fish the Southshore.  I can hit Williams park in about 25 min (early AM), Simmons Park 40 min and Cockroach in about 45 min.  If you have a skinny boat Riverview Civic Center on Alafia in 10.

    The Southshore is taking off - my wife is in real estate.  North Tampa (Westley chapel...) holy smokes traffic will be beyond awful.  In general traffic is getting bad all over - but it's relative (I lived in Atlanta).

    Apollo beach is hit or miss - $1M home next to $200K.

    Personally I'm looking to get closer to the water and will be an empty nester in Sept.  I'm looking to rent at Mirabay and on the water - beware that they have a pretty serious issue with seawalls collapsing.  Well known and documented.

    I suspect I'll end up either on the Alafia, Mirabay, or redo something in Apollo beach.  6-7 years later I'll probably move North to Cedar Key...this place is slowly becoming Miami/Atlanta.  Too much traffic/too much attitude.

    BTW - on the southside new homes are selling for roughly the same as resales (sizes being compat). 

    At the end of the day if it were me I would rent for a year and then see if you like it.  Get a realtor - my wife knows folks - she's not a realtor.  I didn't appreciate the value of a realtor until I saw how real estate works.  There is value add and the seller in general pays for it.

    Other than that - get used to the weekend googans,boat ramp antics...nothing new under the sun.  Great place to live though.  Been here a decade.  Will be probably be here another 10 years.  If you want to get together one evening when up here PM me a week or so ahead.  We can do beers and give you the low down.
  • mplspugmplspug Palmetto FloridaPosts: 11,879 AG
    Cool, thanks for the info and I may take you up on that, I'll be spending some time in the area before moving. 

    No kids, just dogs.  

    I want to rent, but the wife is concerned it will turn into more than one year of renting and other factors. 

    I'll send this info off to the wife, thanks again! 

    Captain Todd Approves

  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 799 Officer
    Nothing wrong with renting until the real estate market cools off a little, matter of fact I would suggest it.
  • flicw209flicw209 Posts: 34 Deckhand
    Apollo Beach is OK. It's kind of remote. Also consider Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Oldsmar area. These areas have better access to basic amenities than Apollo Beach. West Chase or Carrollwood are good but not "Old Florida."  

    You might be able to rent a decent place on Davis Island for a close to reasonable price, but purchasing there would stretch any budget.

    All of these are pretty low crime. St Pete has the highest crime in Pinellas-Hillsborough.

    Places to avoid- Drew Park, Town n Country, most of Temple Terrace, Sulphur Springs, University Mall area, most of the city of St Pete, Thonotosassa.

    Avoid Brandon just because of the traffic on 60.
  • restlessnativerestlessnative Posts: 2,323 Captain
    Lots of good opinions above so will try not to repeat what others have said too much. I know South Tampa prices have gotten out of contro (as have a lot of other nicer areas too)l and it isn't Old Florida (depending on what your definition of that is), but it is nice and centrally located. Rents here are at least $1.00/sf, so for a 1,400sf house it will be $1,400 at least a month. If you are truly looking for Old Florida you are going to have to go a ways out of town. To the north, say from Ozona and on up to Citrus County, would work. We have a small home in Homosassa on the water and it is about 1hr 15min drive not during rush hour,  but feels like a million miles away. Going South Ruskin and places on the Little Manatee River might be a good fit too. You could also go east of Brandon past Valrico or northeast up to Dade City area if you want more of a country feel vs coastline feel. All of these places you will have to go through traffic though which continues to get worse. I too would offer to meet up with you if you want, I work downtown and only live about a mile away from my office as I hate traffic and commuting and then get away on the weekends, but that's just me. Again as someone suggested it would be worth renting for a year or two and wait for prices to come back down some. Plus this will give you the opportunity to really find out where it is you want to be.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 12,677 AG
    Ruskin looks like it's got two ways in to Tampa, 41 and 75.   All of that area looks promising really Apollo Beach,  Adamsville, and Gibsonton.   I'd probably try and look there.   Easy access to the bay to fish.   Not far from I4 if you need to get to Orlando, or 75 for North or south.   

    My advice would be to go looking at areas, both during the week and on the weekend.  You don't want to visit a place only during the week or only during the weekend, you won't get the full effect of living there.  
    You don't need fun to have alcohol
  • restlessnativerestlessnative Posts: 2,323 Captain
    Ruskin looks like it's got two ways in to Tampa, 41 and 75.   All of that area looks promising really Apollo Beach,  Adamsville, and Gibsonton.   I'd probably try and look there.   Easy access to the bay to fish.   Not far from I4 if you need to get to Orlando, or 75 for North or south.   

    My advice would be to go looking at areas, both during the week and on the weekend.  You don't want to visit a place only during the week or only during the weekend, you won't get the full effect of living there.  
    Gibsonton, also called Gibtown, is where all the carnies live. If your definition of Old Florida is to hang out with the bearded lady or lobster boy (actually I think he was murdered there) then this is your place. You will see rides and animals (used to be lions and all sorts of critters in cages) and all kinds of carnival stuff in their yards. I'm not kidding. It is not a low crime area either and is very industrial. It does get a lot nicer in Apollo Beach area and out to the west towards I-75 & 301. There is a huge new master planned community called Waterset which is nice, but it definitely makes you feel like you live in the burbs. Fishhawk was built by the same company (Newland Communities) but has much nicer of a feel.  
  • New2FlNew2Fl Posts: 76 Greenhorn

    Having only lived here 4 years myself, this thread is a real good education.  To sum up what most are saying, to avoid traffic, crime etc... you really have to be about an hour away from the Tampa/St. Pete area.  Another thing to consider before buying is if the area looks somewhat congested now and the infrastructure isn't there i.e. mass transit, adequate roads, 10 years from now the area could be a nightmare.                                                    

    Heard somewhere that one baby boomer retires every 9 minutes and a lot of them are heading this way.  Just something else to consider.  Also, don't believe this was mentioned, living in a flood zone is something you should weigh as well.  Personally I wouldn't want to live in an A flood zone area, which is the first to be evacuated in a storm.  Seems "storms of the century" happen every year now. 

  • AaronCannonAaronCannon Northwest ArkansasPosts: 852 Officer
    edited March 2018 #21
    St Pete could be worth checking out. 

    Sarasota/Bradenton area would be about an hour to downtown on 75.  I moved here about a year ago and looked at a few places in West Bradenton, its a nice area and it doesn't take long to get to the beach. 
    Far as I know Stpete has the only KFC with bulletproof glass on interior of restaurant.  On counter between kitchen and dining area.
    Always wondered if it was a customer who shot at an employee, or vise versa.
    The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.
    Jeff Cooper
  • fordmag84fordmag84 Bradenton, Fl Posts: 89 Greenhorn
    I live in West Bradenton, born and raised, love it here. 5 mins from fishing, can't beat it. If you move here hit me up, I'll show you some spots. 
  • mplspugmplspug Palmetto FloridaPosts: 11,879 AG
    edited March 2018 #23
    Nevermind mind about the "old Florida" requirement.  I'm not sure what I was thinking and it's not important.  

    Thanks for all the information, this will no doubt help.

    Captain Todd Approves

  • szarmanszarman Posts: 18 Greenhorn
    Land O'Lakes/Odessa/Lutz area is pretty nice, but I'm biased.  The veterans expressway can get you to Tampa pretty quickly (now that there is an express lane), or I75 and I275 which are crowded.  It is in Pasco county, so the property taxes are about 1/2 that of Pinellas/Hillsborough.  You can get a larger, newer house for a better price.  No flood zone issues.  You are 30 minutes from gulf access with a pretty much straight shot down HWY 54 to put in around Anclote, or 45 minutes to put in around Dunedin, 30 minutes for upper bay access at courtney cambell causeway, and 45-60 minutes up the expressway to chassahowitzka, homosassa, and crystal river.  
  • flicw209flicw209 Posts: 34 Deckhand
    That's a good point about the flood zones. Flood Insurance is getting ridiculously expensive and its going to keep going up. You need to make sure your in Zone X on the FEMA map if you are going to buy
  • MattNMattN Posts: 26 Greenhorn
    Take a look at Safety Harbor. We love it. Splits the difference to the Gulf and your office. 
  • suprastevesuprasteve Posts: 181 Deckhand
    Man, so many variables!
    I'm also West Bradenton, and I like it. You are looking at 1:15 to downtown Tampa in the morning, assuming nothing out of the ordinary with traffic. 30 minutes of that is just to get to 75 or 275. I'd suggest staying west of 26th St as a rule of thumb. It isn't crime free, but better than average. Traffic sucks all year but January thru April is miserable.
    As others have said, so much comes into play:
    1. City, suburb, or country living?
    2. Budget (roughly)?
    3. What size house?
    4. Is age of house important to you?
    5. Lot that takes 5 minutes to mow or enough room to build a workshop out back?
    6. If saltwater is important, what kind of fishing do you prefer?
    I also like up north (i.e. Citrus county), but it's a whole different world than most of the rest of Tampa Bay.
  • mplspugmplspug Palmetto FloridaPosts: 11,879 AG
    This is all great info.  I'm going to parse it and condense it down to a word doc or spread sheet.

    Thanks again to all!

    Captain Todd Approves

  • LTFLTF Posts: 5 Greenhorn
    Looking at your previous posts, I would recommend Land O Lakes.  More space, and if you find the right location, it's easy to get in and out.  It's cheaper than some other areas nearby and there is more space.  I'm in Lutz, just South.  It's central to a lot and still affordable.  We don't have the space that Land O Lakes has though.
  • BigTomBigTom Posts: 48 Greenhorn
    Just a suggestion, check a little more in land, Mulberry, Bartow, Fort Meade, Wauchula, area. About an hour to the coast and a lot less crowded plus closer to East Coast if you want blue water. An easy drive down US 17 to Boca Grand area also.
  • mplspugmplspug Palmetto FloridaPosts: 11,879 AG
    The problem with going inland is that we wanted to move so she could be on the gulf and I would be closer to salt.  Right now I am about an hour from the closest inshore.  Id like to cut that down to under 45 minutes.   

    I'm am currently boatless too, so shore fishing areas would be nice.  

    Captain Todd Approves

Sign In or Register to comment.