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20 Facts about Tampa, Florida

Updated on November 22, 2016
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Since completing university, Paul has worked as a bookseller; librarian; and freelance writer. Born in the UK, he now lives in Florida.

The city skyline.  Tampa was an isolated village occupied by pioneers for a long time, until the arrival of the railroad and a thriving cigar industry opened it up.  Later phosphate was discovered and it quickly expanded into a big city.
The city skyline. Tampa was an isolated village occupied by pioneers for a long time, until the arrival of the railroad and a thriving cigar industry opened it up. Later phosphate was discovered and it quickly expanded into a big city. | Source

Located on the west coast of Florida near the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa was a small isolated village, mainly populated by pioneers, until it was opened up by the arrival of the railroad and the cigar industry in the 1880s.

The discovery of phosphate also helped to make Tampa rapidly become a thriving and important city.

I hope that you enjoy my top 20 facts about Tampa and find them interesting.

1. Tampa serves as the county seat for Hillsborough County.

2. The population of the city was calcualted to be 335,709 people in 2010.

3. The climate of the city is temperate, semi-tropical. The average summer temperature is 81.4 degrees Fahrenheit and the average winter temperature is 62.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. The movie, Edward Scissorhands, which was directed by Tim Burton and starred Johnny Depp, was filmed in Land O’Lakes.

5. Before the arrival of Europeans, the Tampa area was inhabited by a variety of Native American tribes, most recently the Tocobaga.

The Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge which spans Tampa Bay.  Construction of the current bridge began in 1982, and the finished structure was dedicated in 1987.  The current bridge replaces an older one constructed in 1954, which was damaged.
The Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge which spans Tampa Bay. Construction of the current bridge began in 1982, and the finished structure was dedicated in 1987. The current bridge replaces an older one constructed in 1954, which was damaged. | Source

6. Tampa Bay is the largest open-water estuary in Florida, measuring 398 square miles when the tide is high.

7. Clearwater Beach has held the record for the "most days of sunshine" in the Guinness Book of Records.

8. The earliest European contact with the Tampa area was by the Spanish in the 1520s. They searched for gold, which they did not find, and failed to establish any colonies in the Tampa area.

Hernando de Soto was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who led the first European expedition into Florida.  He was also the first European to cross the Mississippi River.
Hernando de Soto was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who led the first European expedition into Florida. He was also the first European to cross the Mississippi River. | Source

9. The first European settlements didn’t come until 1824, when the US Army established Fort Brooke at the site of the modern day Tampa Convention Center.

After Miami and Jacksonville, Tampa has the largest population in Florida.  It is also the county seat of Hillsborough County, Florida.  Modern Tampa occupies an area once lived in by the  Tocobaga and the Pohoy indigenous peoples.
After Miami and Jacksonville, Tampa has the largest population in Florida. It is also the county seat of Hillsborough County, Florida. Modern Tampa occupies an area once lived in by the Tocobaga and the Pohoy indigenous peoples. | Source

10. Local sports teams include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL), Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL), the University of South Florida Bulls, and the University of Tampa Spartans.

President George W. Bush visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at practice before their game against the Panthers.  The Bucs are currently members of the South Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL).
President George W. Bush visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at practice before their game against the Panthers. The Bucs are currently members of the South Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). | Source

11. The city was ranked as a top city for "twenty-somethings", according to a survey by the Washington Square News in 2004.

Jazz saxophone player, Cannonball Adderley performing in in Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1961 with his cornet playing brother.  Originally from Tampa, Cannonball later moved to Tallahassee and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, before moving to New York in 1955.
Jazz saxophone player, Cannonball Adderley performing in in Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1961 with his cornet playing brother. Originally from Tampa, Cannonball later moved to Tallahassee and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, before moving to New York in 1955. | Source

Famous People From Tampa

Cannonball Adderley - Jazz musician

Ray Charles - Singer and pianist

Leo Gallagher - also known as Gallagher, watermelon-smashing comedian

Hulk Hogan - Wrestler and actor

Butterfly McQueen - Actress, starred as Prissy, Scarlett O'Hara's maid in the movie, Gone with the Wind

12. The city is the 3rd most populous city in Florida. Miami and Jacksonville hold 1st and 2nd place.

13. The historic neighborhood of Ybor City was at one time the cigar capital of the world. Immigrants mainly from Spain, Cuba, and Italy would roll millions of cigars each year.

14. Forbes ranked Tampa as the 5th best outdoor city in 2008.

15. Many teams from the Grapefruit League, such as the New York Yankees, come to the Tampa Bay area for their Spring training.

The second Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009.  Although the American professional baseball franchise are based in the Bronx borough of New York City, The New York Yankees do their Spring training in the Tampa Bay area.
The second Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009. Although the American professional baseball franchise are based in the Bronx borough of New York City, The New York Yankees do their Spring training in the Tampa Bay area. | Source

16. The city has the 7th largest port in the USA.

Ft. Brooke Cannon at Plant Park on the grounds of the University of Tampa campus.
Ft. Brooke Cannon at Plant Park on the grounds of the University of Tampa campus. | Source

17. The city is ranked as a "Gamma" world city by Loughborough University.

18. Tarpon Springs has the biggest proportion of Greek-Americans of any city in the U.S.A.

19. Tampa was an embarkation center for American troops in the Spanish-American War.

20. The city is one of the world’s leading phosphate exporters.

Have you been to Tampa, Florida?

See results

© 2012 Paul Askew

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    • KevinTimothy profile image

      Kevin J Timothy 6 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

      I most certainly DID find this interesting. I've lived in the Tampa Bay area since '90 and didn't even know the fact about Edward Scissorhands. Other notable movies shot in the area: Kindergarten Cop and The Punisher. Very cool. A vote up from me!

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