17 Reasons Not to Move to Tampa, Florida (Voted by the locals!)

Tampa, Florida, USA downtown skyline on the Hillsborough River.

Moving to Florida may seem like everybody’s dream goal, but in reality, every city has its cons. Tampa Florida is not always rainbows and sunshine.

Continue reading to learn about why you should rethink moving to Tampa.

1. Tampa Still Has its Own Kind of Winter

Surprisingly, Tampa is not always warm. It is located in northern Florida, allowing the four seasons to still occur. Of course, they are not as extreme as the rest of the United States, but as you get used to the weather the ‘winters’ will feel extreme. About every four years there is an actual freeze. Your car windows and front yard grass will have frost on them and you may have to break out a puffer jacket if you still have one by then. Florida is not always warm and sunny as you may think.

However, don’t think that Florida is cold enough to snow. Say goodbye to a white Christmas. Some people can overlook this, but some say it just doesn’t feel the same without snow.

Florida’s version of fall does not involve pumpkin spice and everything nice. There are no yellow and orange leaves falling to the ground or the need for a hot coffee in the mornings. It just starts to cool down from the blazing hot summer. So if a traditional fall is your favorite season, don’t move to Tampa Florida.

2. Summers Are too Hot to go to the Beach

Unlike other east coast Florida cities, you can’t go to the beach in the summer if you live in Tampa. Locals say that the ocean water becomes like bathwater. This is because Tampa is located in the Gulf of Mexico, creating warm weather and ocean water. This is great for the winter, but in the summer say goodbye to the beach. Even if you just want to layout on the beach and enjoy the sun, the sand is too hot to walk on and the water won’t cool you off during a tanning session.

3. You Can’t Live There Without a Pool

Since it is so hot in the summer and beaches are off the table, you need some sort of way to cool off. Locals say that you cannot live in Tampa without a pool in your backyard. When they move to a house with a pool from one without a pool, they say ‘I don’t know how I survived so long without a pool’. Pools make summers enjoyable because you can still cool off and lay in the sun without getting heatstroke. However, this makes the value of houses go up, making the cost of living even higher. Don’t forget about pool maintenance to keep your pool clean and running all year long.

4. Traffic

Despite the cons already mentioned, people are still flocking to Florida to settle down by the beaches. Tampa is growing rapidly in population, increasing traffic and crazy drivers every year. Even if you go to the non-touristy areas, the traffic Is still horrible. It is no longer a quick drive to the beach but possibly an hour-long road trip with the right amount of cars in your way. Drivers are crazy in Tampa as well. Since there is so much traffic, drivers are more eager to get to where they need to be. There also aren’t many freeways in Tampa, and the speed limit on them is much lower. Driving in the Tampa area requires a lot of patience.

Tampa, Florida, USA downtown skyline.

5. Cost of Beach Parking

Once you finally reach your favorite beach, you need to find a parking spot. Parking spots are hard to find in such a big city, and then you need to pay for them as well. This can add up to be very expensive, especially if you want to go to a nice beach. It may just be a few bucks every time, but the total cost depends on how often you go to the beach. The cost of beach parking will need to be included in your monthly budget. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the cost of living is much higher in Tampa than in other locations in the US.

6. Expensive Place to Live

This is a given with every big city, but the cost of living is higher than average, especially since Tampa is near some amazing beaches. Houses aren’t as bad when it comes to pricing, but renting is extremely high. Renting is much more common in Florida. In addition to rent, Tampa is a touristy city so restaurants and food prices are going to be higher than average as well. Restaurants have a lot of seafood options, which also adds to the price. if you want to buy food at a normal price, you will need to drive inward farther away from the city and beaches where no tourists can be found.

7. Tourists

This is also a given but your new city will be flooded with tourists! They will crowd your favorite beaches that were once private, take up all the booths at the local restaurants, and make traffic even worse. For the whole month of March, you might as well just stay indoors if you ever want some peace and quiet. It’s amazing to live in a place where everybody else wants to be, but it makes your new city extremely crowded at times. It isn’t a secret that Florida makes for great vacations with fabulous beaches and aesthetic restaurants. Get ready to fight for a spot at the beach.

Thunder storm cloud

8. Humidity

East of the Mississippi river is when the humidity starts and gets worse as you get closer to the ocean. If you have grown up in dry heat your whole life and love the desert, Tampa is not for you. Tampa is extremely humid and the sticky clothes and frizzy hair will drive you insane. Even if you are used to humid heat, in the midwest or upper east coast, none of it is compared to Florida. Florida is already hot enough, and the humidity just makes it more intense and unbearable. Even native Floridians never get used to the humidity. Don’t even think about moving to Tampa if you have naturally curly hair.

9. Rainy Season

Despite popular belief, Tampa is not always sunny and warm. There is a heavy rainy season that can be very irregular. It rains at very random times and is sunny the next, so you always have to be prepared for rain or shine. And when it rains, it pours. If you like the rain, good for you, but if you are expecting beach days every day, think again. However, because of all the rain, Florida is a very green state with lots of vegetation. It just comes at a cost.

10. Hurricanes

If natural disasters give you anxiety, do not move to Tampa Bay. Tampa is located on the Gulf of Mexico, which is prone to hurricanes because of the humidity and warm weather, combined with the frequent thunderstorms. Hurricane season takes up about half of the calendar year. You never know when the weather could get worse and cause you to be evacuated from your home. Tampa has only been hit by a few real hurricanes, but every year there is a tropical storm that comes close enough to scare everybody to higher ground. Tampa is extremely close to sea level, making it an even more dangerous location for hurricanes.

St Petersburg, Florida, U.S.A – September 27, 2019 – The view of the Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge during a sunny day

11. Alligators

Alligators are also very common in the Tampa area. Tampa is a very swampy place and with swamps come alligators. There are bodies of water everywhere around Tampa including lakes, swamps, ponds, rivers, creeks, and more. Expect alligators to be in every single body of water, except for the ocean. Kayaking and paddleboarding are big activities for Floridians, but with that comes the required cautiousness of alligators. The only place without alligators is the ocean, but we all know what is in the ocean, sharks! If you have a fear of any of these two animals, Tampa is not the place for you.

12. Homeless People

Since Tampa is so warm, it is a much better habitat for the homeless. They don’t have to worry about being too cold, just being too hot, which they can easily fix by cooling off in the ocean. There are a lot of homeless people downtown. It is also very dirty downtown and some parts are even known to smell. Tampa may look pretty and fun, but it is still a major city. There are a few areas that tourists visit often, so they are taken care of. The rest of the city is left to fend for itself. Every major city has its own downsides with homelessness, smells, trash, traffic, high expenses, and crime.

13. Crime

Crime is also a problem for the city of Tampa. There aren’t as many laws or regulations on crime, resulting in assault and murder in Tampa being higher than the national average. If you have children and want to raise your family in a safe place, Tampa is not the city for you.

14. Not the Best for Retirees

Despite the popular stereotype, Tampa is not the city for retirees. Once you retire, you look for a quiet, laid-back, slower city. Since Tampa is near a major airport, it is full of tourists and college students who want to go somewhere warm for spring break. They will take over everything and ruin your years of relaxation. They leave trash, crowd the beaches, and fill up the reservations at all of your regular restaurants. Tampa is slower than other major cities, but not slow enough for retirees who want to relax.

Holmes Beach, FL / USA -April 29, 2018: Crowds of People on the Beach Enjoying the Beautiful Florida Beach

15. Horrible Bus System

Compared to other major cities in the United States, Tampa does not have a great transportation system. No taxis or underground subway system, just buses that are late and never on time. The only public transportation available is buses, and it isn’t the best. Tampa is one of the few major US cities where you will need a car to survive and get places. Since Tampa is near the beach, the lifestyle is very laid back. The people aren’t in a hurry to get places, therefore they don’t prioritize public transportation. If you are coming from another city and don’t have a car, add that to the list of expenses.

16. The Food Isn’t Great

This con of Tampa is probably unexpected. The food is not the best, compared to other places in the country. Since there are so many activities to do like going to the beach, swimming, and basically anything outside, not everybody focuses on food. In other cities where there aren’t any activities like going to the beach, food is a huge focus. All there is to do with friends is go out to dinner. Because of this, there are so many amazing restaurants to choose from. The chefs have plenty of time to perfect their menu and recipes, instead of spending that time at the beach. So if you are coming from a city with amazing food, the restaurants in Tampa are not going to be impressive, besides maybe the seafood.

17. No Hiking

Lastly, there is no hiking. There are some walking trails, but nothing crazy like Colorado or the Pacific Northwest. Those regions are known for their amazing trails and mountains to explore. People who are native to Florida don’t mind the lack of hiking trails, but if you categorize yourself as a mountain person, stick to Florida as a vacation, not a lifestyle. Hiking will be replaced with beach days if you move to Tampa. Even if there are walking trails, you will be miserable. As mentioned previously, Tampa is hot and humid, not the weather you would prefer for hiking.

If despite all of these cons you still are considering Tampa, go you! Everybody is different. We all have our own expectations and preferences for the cities we live in. Tampa is not for everybody.

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Paige Ramone

Hi, my name is Paige. An interesting fact about me is I am on a Women's field hockey team. I also love writing, but I do most of my writing after the kids are in bed.

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