Is it Better to Live in Tampa or St Petersburg?

Is it Better to Live in Tampa or St Petersburg? Cover picture shows both cities at night reflecting in water.

Is it Better to Live in Tampa or St Petersburg?  Are you planning to move to or within Tampa Bay, but struggling to choose the perfect city to call home? The vibrant cities of St. Petersburg and Tampa are both excellent choices and offer a remarkable quality of life, beautiful beaches, and plenty of sunshine. However, if you’re uncertain about which city to pick, Real Estate Companies St Petersburg FL can help you make an informed decision.

Tampa, being a larger city, offers more job opportunities and diversity, but it also means more traffic. On the other hand, St. Pete has a more compact and thrilling downtown and is closer to the beach. Additionally, both cities have exceptional schools in the Tampa Bay region. To assist you in making an informed decision, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to the top advantages and disadvantages of living in Tampa versus St. Pete. Let Real Estate Companies St Petersburg FL, Avalon Group Realtor Team, assist you in determining which city is right for you.

Is it Better to Live in Tampa or St Petersburg?  St Petersburg Benefits

As an Avalon Group Realtor Team member, we are pleased to share the fantastic perks of living in St. Petersburg. One of the most significant advantages is the vibrant nightlife scene. St. Pete beats Tampa in this category, with a more centralized and walkable downtown area that offers a plethora of fun activities. You can easily go bar hopping, enjoy live music at lounges, or try out eclectic microbreweries. This exciting and laid-back atmosphere makes St. Pete a more appealing option for singles and millennials.

In contrast, Tampa’s nightlife is more subdued. With fewer options and a more upscale environment, you may find yourself having to travel between venues by car or Uber. Nevertheless, Tampa is working hard to attract millennials and young professionals to its Channelside District, which is slowly competing with St. Pete’s nightlife. Despite the efforts, St. Pete remains the clear winner for an exciting nightlife that caters to diverse interests. As Avalon Group Realtor Team, we highly recommend considering St. Pete as your new home if nightlife is important to you.

If you’re looking for a walkable neighborhood, St. Petersburg, FL, is the perfect place to call home, and Real Estate Companies St Petersburg FL can help you find your dream property. With a remarkable Walk Score of 90.9, it’s one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Florida and is the only Tampa Bay area to make the top 10.

Is it Better to Live in Tampa or St Petersburg?  Foot Navigation

Although most of St. Petersburg is suburban, the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods to the north and south, along with Central to Kenwood, are easy to navigate on foot. You can also utilize the Pinellas trail for biking or walking to Treasure Island and West St. Pete. Downtown St. Pete boasts nearly 100 bars and restaurants, two grocery stores, and one of the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront sidewalks.

When it comes to comparing walkability in downtown St. Petersburg vs Tampa, there’s no competition. While only certain areas of Tampa, such as the Marina District, offer some walkability, St. Pete’s walkable downtown is unrivaled. As a reliable Real Estate Companies St Petersburg FL, we recommend exploring the walkable beauty of St. Pete by finding your ideal home in the city.

St. Petersburg, also known as St. Pete, is no longer just a retirement haven, and its flourishing arts and culture scene is a prime example of that. The city has undergone a transformation that has attracted millennials and young professionals to its vibrant and diverse arts scene.

Is it Better to Live in Tampa or St Petersburg?  Arts

St. Pete boasts a plethora of world-class art galleries, museums, and public art installations. The city is famous for its 600+ murals and has been named one of the best street art cities globally, a testament to its thriving arts scene.

The Dalí Museum, an impressive granite and glass geodesic dome structure situated on the waterfront, is the crown jewel of St. Pete. Other notable cultural attractions include the James Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, and the Chihuly Collection of glass artwork. As a reliable source for real estate needs in St. Petersburg, we can attest that the city’s flourishing arts and culture scene is one of its most significant selling points for potential homebuyers.

As a reputable Real Estate Company in St. Petersburg FL, we believe in presenting a transparent view of the city’s upsides and downsides. While St. Petersburg has much to offer, one of its downsides is a relatively limited job market. The Gateway district, which covers parts of Largo, Pinellas Park, and North St. Petersburg, serves as the primary economic center of Pinellas County, with most jobs in retail, healthcare, and professional services. St. Pete also boasts many jobs in manufacturing and marine research.

Is it Better to Live in Tampa or St Petersburg?  Economic Oportunities

However, it’s crucial to consider the economic opportunities that Tampa presents when comparing the two cities. Tampa has a more extensive and diversified economy, thanks to its location near downtown, the Tampa International Airport, and Port Tampa Bay, Florida’s largest port. Tampa’s economy is powered by maritime, tourism, healthcare, finance, technology, construction, and insurance and leads the state in STEM jobs. Thus, for those seeking diverse job options, Tampa may be a more suitable city to consider.Cost of Living in Tampa vs St. Petersburg

Is it Better to Live in Tampa or St Petersburg?  Living in Tampa Pros

As a leading real estate company in St. Petersburg FL, we understand the importance of choosing the right neighborhood for your lifestyle. While St. Pete has its charm, Tampa offers a wider variety of unique neighborhoods with distinct personalities and attractions. Ybor City, for example, is a trendy and historic neighborhood known for its diverse culture, trendy shops, and amazing Cuban food. Meanwhile, the Channelside District offers a vibrant entertainment, shopping, and dining center with high-rise condos and waterfront views.

Compared to St. Pete, Tampa’s neighborhoods offer more walkability, amenities, and personalities beyond its downtown area. Choosing the right neighborhood is an important decision when it comes to finding your dream home, and our real estate team is here to help you explore your options in Tampa.

Hyde Park, a neighborhood located near the University of Tampa, is one of the top family-friendly neighborhoods in Tampa. Its picturesque tree-lined streets, charming bungalows, and brick sidewalks make it a walkable community. Another popular family-friendly neighborhood in Tampa is Palma Ceia, which is known for its safety and is home to Plant High School, the top-ranked high school in Tampa Bay.

Is it Better to Live in Tampa or St Petersburg?  Neighborhoods

But don’t overlook St. Petersburg, which has plenty of vibrant neighborhoods to choose from. Here are some of the best St. Petersburg neighborhoods to consider. And if you’re interested in any of these communities, be sure to check out the latest listings for homes for sale in Largo, FL, or connect with a local agent from one of the top real estate companies in St. Petersburg FL, Avalon Group Realtor Team,  to assist you.

Compared to St. Petersburg, Tampa boasts a larger and more diverse food scene, making it a great place to live for foodies. You can enjoy not only world-famous Cuban sandwiches but also cuisine from around the globe, including Middle Eastern, Vietnamese, Russian, and Caribbean food, in the University area alone. Tampa has been recognized as one of the top foodie cities in the United States, while St. Pete falls short in terms of the diversity of culinary options available.

When it comes to living in Tampa, there are some downsides to consider. One of the biggest is the distance from the beach, which can be a dealbreaker for some. While Tampa has some bay beaches within city limits, they can’t compare to the stunning white sand beaches found on the Gulf. To get to the best beaches, you’ll need to cross over to the Pinellas peninsula and the St. Pete area, which can be a frustrating experience during peak traffic times.

Is it Better to Live in Tampa or St Petersburg?  Cost of Living

If you’re comparing the cost of living in Tampa versus St. Petersburg, you’ll find that both cities are fairly comparable to the national average. However, the cost of living in St. Petersburg is slightly lower overall. While utilities may be cheaper in Tampa, housing and transportation are more affordable in St. Petersburg.

When it comes to finding your dream home in either city, you’ll be dealing with a competitive real estate market. Homes in both Tampa and St. Petersburg sell quickly, with an average of just 7 days on the market. More than 40% of homes sell for over list price, so it’s important to work with experienced real estate companies in St Petersburg FL or Tampa to navigate the market. The average home price in Tampa is $327,500, while St. Petersburg has a slightly lower average home price of $310,000.Compared to other areas of Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg homes for sale are usually older but renovated. You’ll get less square footage, but an unbeatable location near the water.

When comparing home prices between Tampa and St. Petersburg, don’t forget to factor in HOA fees and property taxes! Tampa, located in Hillsborough County, has some of the highest property tax rates in the state, which contributes to a higher cost of living. On the other hand, St. Pete, located in Pinellas County, has lower property taxes and home prices.

Is it Better to Live in Tampa or St Petersburg?  Rent

Looking at average rent, both cities seem comparable at first glance with an average apartment rent of $1,450. However, apartments in Tampa tend to be larger on average. If you’re looking to rent in downtown areas, the average rent is $2,140 in downtown Tampa and $2,276 in downtown St. Petersburg. Downtown St. Pete may be the more exciting option with its walkability and nightlife.Additional Things to Consider – Tampa Versus St. Petersburg

The Tampa Bay metro area, with a population of 3.1 million, includes both Tampa and St. Petersburg, separated by Tampa Bay and connected by three bridges. Tampa has a population of 400,000 and is located on Tampa Bay. St. Petersburg, with a population of 265,000, is the second-largest city in the area and is more densely populated than Tampa.

When deciding on a place to live, crime rate is a significant consideration. Tampa has a crime rate of 2,034 total crimes per 100,000 people, including 405 violent crimes and 1,629 property crimes per capita. Is it Better to Live in Tampa or St Petersburg?  In contrast, St. Petersburg’s crime rate is higher at 3,805 total crimes per 100,000 people, with 595 violent crimes and 3,210 property crimes per capita.

Is it Better to Live in Tampa or St Petersburg?  Informed Decisions

Real estate companies in St. Petersburg, FL can help you make an informed decision based on your needs and preferences. It’s worth noting that when comparing the two cities, Tampa has 61% less crime than St. Petersburg.Tampa vs St. Petersburg Beaches

Real estate companies in St. Petersburg FL may want to consider highlighting the proximity to beaches as a selling point. St. Petersburg offers easy access to some of the best beaches in the country. St. Pete Beach, known for its white sand and frequent dolphin sightings, is just a 10 to 15-minute drive from the city. Upham Beach Park and Treasure Island Beach are also nearby and offer calm waters. Fort De Soto Park, located just 15-20 minutes away, is a massive county park that covers five islands and has more than 3 miles of sandy beaches. Visitors can enjoy swimming, kayaking, fishing, hiking, and even exploring an historic fort.

By comparison, a drawback of living in Tampa is the beach isn’t as close as you hope. You’re at least 30 to 45 minutes from the beach depending on where you live. From South Tampa, you’re 30 minutes from Clearwater Beach and a bit farther from Fort De Soto Park. From North Tampa, it’ll take you 45 minutes to get to either beach. Tampa does have the Ben T Davis Beach near the airport and in the city limits, but it’s at the end of the causeway and on the bay, not the gulf.

Is it Better to Live in Tampa or St Petersburg?  Transportation

Considering both Tampa and St. Petersburg but can’t decide which one to settle in? The great thing is, you can enjoy the best of both worlds regardless of where you choose to live in the Tampa Bay area. It’s only a 24-mile drive along I-275 from Tampa to St. Petersburg, making it easy to visit either city whenever you want.

So, which city should you choose? If you’re looking for an urban lifestyle with walkable neighborhoods, a vibrant nightlife, and convenient access to beaches, St. Petersburg might be the perfect fit for you. On the other hand, if you value a shorter commute, a wider range of job opportunities, and diverse neighborhoods, Tampa could be the better option for you.  

To begin your Homes For Sale St Petersburg and Tampa search, contact Avalon Group to work with a top rated Realtor.

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About the Author
Rob Johnson
Realtor, St. Petersburg FL