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Tampa neighborhoods named the best places to live in America

a view of a waterfront neighborhood
Approaching Harbour Island aboard the Cross-Bay Ferry

The accolades keep pouring in for our beautiful city. In case you haven’t heard, Tampa was named one of the greatest places in the world by TIME. Our city is one of the most dog-friendly in the nation, we have the top-ranked large airport in the US, and we are a top-notch foodie city. So let’s add one more win to the record, Uptown Tampa, Harbour Island, and Hyde Park-Spanishtown Creek in Tampa were just listed as three of the best places to live in the US by Niche.

Exploring the restaurants and businesses in the university area

Uptown, ranked as the 4th best place to live in the US, is a neighborhood consisting of 5.4 square miles adjacent to the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida. The neighborhood is anchored by University Square Mall, with East Fowler Avenue and East Fletcher Avenue serving as significant thoroughfares throughout the community.


Living in Uptown offers residents a dense urban feel and most residents rent their homes. In Uptown there are a lot of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. The area is also near highly-rated schools, according to Niche.

Hyde Park-Spanishtown Creek is a beautiful destination in Tampa

Hyde Park-Spanishtown Creek’s high volume of bars and restaurants, access to great public schools, and strong group of young professionals living in the neighborhood helped elevate it in the Niche editors’ eyes. The report card on the town notes that roughly 63% of the population rents, while 37% owns. Median rent in the neighborhood is above the National average. Renters in the area pay around $1,673 per month.

“The goal of our Best Places to Live Rankings is to provide accurate, comparable, and thorough evaluations of places,” writes a panel of Niche editors in a joint statement regarding their methodology. “To do so, we’ve collected and analyzed dozens of rankings factors from federal and local government datasets. We’ve combined those with proprietary Niche data and community reviews from each area.”


This area of Tampa, formerly known as West Hyde Park, has some major roots in the city. It’s the site of the first recorded non-native settlement in the city.  According to an article by Tampania, “it was said to be inhabited by Cuban fishermen around 1783, many decades before Fort Brooke was established.” The village was known as “Spanishtown” and a creek that sprang up from near the corner of present-day Delaware Ave and Platt Street flowed southeast into Hillsborough Bay.

Tampa Bay History Center unveils lesser discussed stories of the area

Historians with the Tampa Bay History Center have also worked to help tell the African American History of Hyde Park.

“You can’t tell the story of Hyde Park without telling the story of Dobyville at the same time,” Tampa Bay History Center Historian Rodney Kite-Powell said during a Cafe Con Tampa meeting. “It was a middle-class African American neighborhood that developed in the Hyde Park area in the late 1800s as the phosphate and railroad industries grew, and as white residents hired African Americans in their homes for domestic help.”

You can learn more about the area courtesy of Hyde Park Spanishtown Creek Civic Association.

A beautiful waterfront experience in Tampa

Harbour Island scored high for its family-friendly atmosphere, access to good restaurants and nightlife, great surrounding schools, and overall aesthetics of living in the area. Residents enjoy gorgeous water views, and easily walkable access to the Tampa Riverwalk, and downtown Tampa.

For those curious, Tampa Magazine and Smith & Associates shed light on the 5 communities that define Harbour Island living.

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