The Tampa Bay area includes the larger cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, as well as dozens of smaller cities, beach towns, and inland communities around the Bay and along the Gulf of Mexico. It’s on the west coast of Florida, and an excellent place to live for people who love sports, arts and culture, or outdoor recreation. The area’s warm weather, low cost of living, and diverse range of activities and communities have made Tampa and the surrounding area a desirable place to retire while still remaining active.
In the cooler parts of the region, there are an average of two days per year that experience frost in Tampa Bay. Otherwise, it’s a humid subtropical climate with warm, sunny winters and hot, humid summers. Expect thunderstorms on a daily basis between June and September.
The Hillsborough River runs through Tampa and its outer suburbs, providing ample opportunities to hike, fish, enjoy wildlife, and explore nature trails. St. Petersburg is on a peninsula in the middle of Tampa Bay, separating Hillsborough County from Pinellas County. A series of scenic bridges and efficient highways make it easy to travel between Tampa and St. Pete. Clearwater rests further west, right on the Gulf.
Plenty of waterfront activities can be enjoyed by active adults in the Tampa Bay area. Johns Pass in Madeira Beach has a boardwalk with great restaurants, lots of shopping, and chartered fishing boats. Bring what you catch to one of the local restaurants on the boardwalk, and they’ll cook it up for your dinner. Tarpon Springs has a thriving Greek culture, with great food and shopping along the sponge docks. The Clearwater Pier is known for its sunsets. Every night, people gather to watch the sun go down while sipping a drink, having a bite to eat, and listening to local musicians perform.
Entertainment and Culture
Retirees relocating to Florida from northern cities can often cheer on their former hometown teams during baseball’s spring training season. The New York Yankees have their spring training stadium in downtown Tampa, the Toronto Blue Jays are in Dunedin, and the Philadelphia Phillies are in Clearwater. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sell out nearly every football game in Tampa, and The Tampa Bay Lightning (locals call them the Bolts) play hockey in downtown Tampa, at the Amelie Arena.
Art lovers can explore the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg or the Tampa Museum of Art. Local art shows can be found along the water in downtown St. Pete most fall and winter weekends. It’s worth exploring some of the lesser-known museums in the area too, such as The Florida Photographic Museum in Tampa or the changing exhibits at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs.
Active Adult Communities
Sea Towers - Saint Petersburg
Homebuyers looking for a 55+ community on the water can check out Sea Towers in St. Petersburg, which has 800 condos in the low $100k to high $100s price range. Floor plans range in size from 485 to 1,140 square feet and are either studios or include two bedrooms, one or two bathrooms, and a parking space. Amenities include a clubhouse, fitness center, hobby rooms, two outdoor pools, two tennis courts, a beach house patio, and boat dock.
Boca Ciega Point - Saint Petersburg
Another community in St. Petersburg, Boca Ciega Point has 365 homes, most with waterfront access. They range in size from 700 to 2,020 square feet and include one to three bedrooms, one to three bathrooms, and parking spaces or one-car garages. Amenities include a clubhouse, exercise room, outdoor heated pool, two tennis courts, golf practice areas, and boat docks.
Bridgewater Landing - Riverview
Construction by Sunrise Signature Homes began in 2017. Upon completion, the Bridgewater Landing will have 36 attached homes and 28 single-family homes for 55+ homebuyers. Homes will range in size from 1,545 to 1,781 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and two-car garages. Amenities will include a clubhouse, outdoor pool, and walking trails. Riverview is a short drive to Tampa and one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in the Tampa Bay area.