Tampa, Florida is a huge metropolis of 346,037 that is located on the west coast of Florida. As it is so big it is usually called the Tampa Bay area. It is a naturally beautiful place to live and Forbes ranked it as the fifth best outdoor city five years ago. It is a humid, low, swampy place to live with the highest point in the city only being 48 feet above sea level. There is a lot of water in the city including Palm River, which flows through the city and offers nearby opportunities for hiking, boating and fishing.
Tampa is known for its beautiful post-modern architecture. The city had a real boom in the eighties and nineties that has resulted in hundreds of gleaming post-modern towers; many of them are condos. There is old world charm left in the downtown area as well. The modern mixes well with the vintage Art Deco buildings and mid-century modern beach architecture.
The city has scores of communities but it is generally divided into three areas: Downtown Tampa, North Tampa and South Tampa. These in turn contain many other communities. That is why it is a good idea for you to consult with a resident Tampa gay realtor to find out where the LGBT friendly and affordable areas are to live. Traditionally the areas have always been spread out in pockets all over town but in the past twenty years, a region called the “Gaybor” District has evolved out of the Ybor City National Historic Landmark District.
Ybor City is basically an organization of LGBT bars, nightclubs and shops centered around 8th Avenue and 15th Street. The area is marked with large rainbow flags. Seventh Avenue in the area is one of America’s “Top 10 Famous Recognized Streets.” The community here is strong and active, and responsible for several amazing events and institutions including Gay American Heroes, Gaybor News, St. Pet Pride, and the Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Festival, St. Jude’s Helping Hands and many other charitable and LGBT-friendly organizations. When it comes to community drive and spirit it is hard to beat the spirit and enthusiasm of the kind and hard-working LGBT citizens of Tampa.
This area, located just northeast of downtown, was originally a welcoming immigrant community populated by Germans, Jews and African Americans. The diverse cultural influences are still very evident here. It was also the home of many cigar factories that were worked in by Spanish, Cuban and Italian immigrants in the late 1800s. Some of these beautiful old factories have been transformed into condos and upscale malls and commercial spaces. Artists who moved into the area in the early eighties are largely responsible for the revamping of this community. About half of the area is commercial and the other half is older housing. The streets and buildings are very historic with much of the original infrastructure still in place from 1885.
For more information about Tampa’s Gayborhood in Ybor City visit the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce website at www.Ybor.org.