The 2021 America’s Best Cities in the U.S. rankings have been released, and for many residents of the Sunshine State, it is no surprise to see Tampa ranked as the best Florida city.
This year, Florida had nine cities to contribute to the top 100 best cities to live in the U.S., with Tampa ranking at number 22. Tampa regularly ranks high on lists of the best places to live because of the quality of life and excellent weather.
What Criteria Does Best Cities Use for its Rankings?
When determining what makes a city a great place to live, several factors are considered:
- Place: Weather, safety, neighborhoods, and landmarks.
- Product: Attractions, airport connectivity, and university ranking.
- Programming: Arts, culture, entertainment, and shopping.
- People: Immigration and diversity.
- Prosperity: Employment, corporate head offices, and household income.
- Promotion: The number of stories, recommendations, and Facebook check-ins shared online.
Why is Tampa Ranked Florida’s Best City?
Greater Metro Tampa (Tampa Bay) is a bustling metropolitan area with over 3 million residents. It offers a laid-back beach lifestyle combined with all of the conveniences and amenities of a large metro area. However, COVID-19 did not slow the Bay area down for long, as it continues to gain in popularity with bountiful attractions drawing tourists, businesses, and homebuyers to the area.
Weather and Outdoor Activities
Perhaps one of the most notable reasons Tampa was ranked the best Florida city is the Florida weather. With 361 days of sunshine a year, there is plenty of time to get a tan or enjoy the wealth of outdoor attractions the area has to offer. Many attractions are available for people who love the sunshine, with beaches like De Soto Park and Clearwater providing an excellent beach lifestyle.
But there is far more than just sand and water to a Florida lifestyle. Tampa also contains top-tier parklands like the Tampa Riverwalk. This 2.6-mile waterfront corridor takes in the banks of the Garrison Channel and the Hillsborough River.
The Tampa Riverwalk accesses many of Tampa’s excellent amenities. For example, visitors can enjoy the Tampa Bay History Centre and the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts.
The newly built Peninsularium (an excellent immersive art installation), ZooTampa, Busch Gardens, and the Big Cat Rescue are other great attractions. With too many attractions to mention, families and adults will never be short of ideas.
Restaurants and Nightlife
Tampa is home to an excellent food and nightlife scene. The Heights Public Market, located inside a restored warehouse called Armature Works, hosts 18 gourmet food stands and sit-down restaurants. There’s a diverse range of cuisines offered, but in particular, the food is inspired by Cuban and Hispanic flavors.
For drinks, Tampa has a flourishing craft brewery scene. The trail from Tarpon Springs through Dunedin and down to St. Pete has more than 30 breweries, including top brands like Big Storm.
Tampa’s economy is powering back from COVID-19, unlike many other places. Indeed, alongside Atlanta, New York, and Chicago, Tampa was one of the first areas to show signs of recovery and growth. The area has a robust economy with plenty of big-name employers like JPMorgan Chase & Co and the BayCare Health System.
Additionally, Tampa welcomes many cruise ships each year, and the MacDill Air Force Base employs around 15,000 workers.
Other Florida Cities Ranked in the Top 100
While Tampa won the battle for Florida’s best city, there was stiff competition along the way. Miami came in at number 25, just three places behind Tampa. And, again, excellent weather, infrastructure, and amenities were crucial factors in its high ranking.
North Port (36), Orlando (41), and Cape Coral (49) all finished in the top 50 U.S. cities. At the same time, Jacksonville (54) and Palm Bay (58) weren’t too far behind. The final two Florida cities on the list were fast-growing Lakeland (92) and Deltona (98).
As the rankings show, it is a great time to live in Florida. The region is buzzing, and as tourism returns this season, things will only get better.
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