Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

nuhusky

Tampa v. Orlando

Recommended Posts

I am originally from England but I have been in the US for around 5 years now, currently living in Pittsburgh (1 year) Boston before that (4 years).

I'm young 25 and married but desperately need to move away from the snow. I have spent a good amount of time in both Tampa and Orlando and we have decided to move to one of these 2 cities.

However, I am having a really hard time deciding which one I prefer.

Tampa is near the water, huge bonus assuming it does not get hit by a hurricane. It has more amenities for the most part than Orlando (theater, museums etc...). However I found Tampa more dirty than Orlando and hated St. Pete and Clearwater. Ok to visit but not to live. Plus great shopping in that one big mall near the airport.

Orlando however has some great shopping too now, plus winter park is really quite nice. The one major downside to Orlando is the tourist impact and Tampa seems to have a bigger economy than Orlando, meaning it could be easier to find a job.

I desperately need some advice as to what people think of these two cities. I

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Hmmmmmmmmmm, I don't know man. These are 2 pretty good cities. They both have a good economy. Tampa has a port so that draws in business, and Orlando has theme parks so that draws in business for them.These 2 cities also have nice neighborhoods and downtowns that are being developed. I would say Tampa has more culture. It has Ybor city, musuems and theaters as you stated. These 2 cities from my experience are very awesome! I say flip a coin heads Tampa, and tails Orlando which ever it lands on move there. If you don't like the city you are in after staying a year move to the other city. :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It very well could come down to a flip of the coin.

I will say this, I am not much for a party type of person or a drinker. So ybor city nightlife would not appeal to me all that much.

I do have a university degree and a number of years in the tech industry so I would ideally want to look for a job in that area but really anything that pays well would workd ;)

I'm also exploring the MBA programs in these two cities but where I attend is less of a concern as it is where I will live.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your summary/thoughts sound pretty dead on to me, and it seems like you have a pretty good grasp of the area. If you're looking to find a nice, livable area that's urban or near an urban spot, you're better off with Orlando. You're correct that Tampa is ahead in the culture department, and the city's theatre, arts, and even sports venues are way ahead of Orlando.

My only experience with Tampa is several trips downtown (at night), and the USF/Busch Gardens area, so I find it pretty abysmal. I wish I could comment more, but between the two, Orlando seems much more livable (at least in the downtown area).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Between the two, I'd go with the Tampa area in a heartbeat. It has more overall options for whatever you're looking for. I wouldn't mind finding a spot in downtown St. Pete myself.

Having said that have you looked at South Florida or Jacksonville?

Based on what you've written, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood seems like a good match.

ps. After spending the weekend in downtown St. Petersburg, I'd put it on par or above in livability with downtown Orlando. The waterfront parks and retail make a big difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dislike the Miami area as its just too much and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood for now I am clumping into that problem area that I want to avoid.

This is a pretty big change so considering I intend to move in the next 3 months I need to stick to one of the two Floridian cities I know best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

seriously, id pick jacksonville. tampa is on the water yes, but its the gulf, yuk. jacksonville is near enough to the ocean - its about 20 minutes for me to get there. about another 20 if you want to find free parking, but... its realy not bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it is really nearly down to a coin flip situation, I would say to go with the city that offers you the best job opportunity. If not that, then decide what type of neighborhood you'd like to live in (suburban, urban, beachside community, etc.) and find that area you'd like to spend your time in.

Also, if you provide a little bit more information about your interests and lifestyle, people might be able to provide some more insight to make your decision a little easier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As much as I appreciate the input, as any sort of comment is welcomed. I really only have a choice between Tampa or Orlando. Do bear in mind it is not just me but also my wife that will be moving. Tampa and Orlando being her two ideal choices also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As noted I have a number of years work experience in the tech industry but my job situation is a moot issue.

I moved to Pitt from Boston to attend law school and decided I had no interest in being a lawyer (completed first year).

Now I need a fresh start as I had always intended to move to Florida as soon as I got out of law school anyway. I am preparing to take the GMAT and hope to go to UCF or some like school and get my MBA. I will apply to pretty much all the programs in the area including tampa. Our intentions are to move Nov 1 to a particular city and assuming I still have no idea which program I get into we will continue to move to that city. If i have to drive from Tampa to Orlando or vice versa to go to school I can put up with it.

I do also have to consider the fact I might not get into any school and as such will enter the work force ASAP.

We are pretty simple, we enjoy going to theme parks and love eating out. We don't drink really so no need for a big nightlife but we do enjoy having amenities like bowling, mini golf and of course great shops.

We need a place where we can take our dogs out for a walk and feel safe and enjoy the walk without having to worry about being run over by a truck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

39,000 reasons to choose Tampa. That's how many Brits live in Orlando. I'm assuming you want to get away from them. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you and your wife talked about Tallahassee? Tallahassee is a very high-tech city. This is the best place to live if you are looking for a job in the tech industury. Tallahassee also has culture, hint the surrounding universites(FSU and FAMU) and Tallahassee being the capital city of Florida. The neighborhoods are very decent, a perfect city to raise a family. Tallahassee this year was voted number 1 for both best parks in nation and awarded tree city, USA. Traffic overall in Tallahasse is fair. During the morning hours of 7-9 and late hours 4-7 is when you can find traffic a pain, but Tallahassee's traffic is nothing like the big city traffic in Orlando and Tampa.We also have great places to shop. Even though there not quite like the malls in Orlando or Miami, our 2 malls still offer you great choices.

Read the Tallahassee, FL section of this article about supersites: http://www.sb-d.com/issues/winter2002/feat...supersites2.asp

this aritcle right here shows how Tallahassee is trying to bring more tech-industry:

http://www.tallahassee.com/mld/tallahassee/12000896.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To quote the original poster:

"As much as I appreciate the input, as any sort of comment is welcomed. I really only have a choice between Tampa or Orlando. Do bear in mind it is not just me but also my wife that will be moving. Tampa and Orlando being her two ideal choices also."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll take Brickell's comments about downtown St. Petersburg, a step farther, by saying, out of the three cities, its the most vibrant and its planned projects will enhance it just as much as what's going on in Tampa and Orlando will do to their downtowns.

I would go with the because its larger, urban, historic, has multiple cities, more cultural diversity and its located on the Gulf. However, I will say, as a community, Orlando seems to have more vision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Downtown aside. Orlando is far superior when it come to the suburbs. Tampa is full of run down neighborhoods. Yes Orlando has these but not even close to the amount in Tampa. Downtown Tampa is dead with the exception of Ybor City. Ybor City has been run down for years and is finally improving. Orlando is said by many to have the second best nightlife in the state(after Miami).

Orlando is very spread out and has many different aspects. You have the tourist side, the city, and the greater metro part extending to Sanford in the North and Kissimmee (Kiss-im-me, not Kiss-i-me). I am biased as i grew up in Orlando, but my parents recently moved to Tampa, and I feel it is a big disappointment in the neighborhood department. Your call.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea, Orlando may have a couple of nice neighborhoods but Tampa also nice neighborhoods too. Tampa is alo very spread out. There are other communities that surround Tampa such as Temple Terrace, Brandon, Town and Country. You don't actually have to live within the city you can live in the burbs that contains the better homes and more friendly environment. My father and my step mom live in Temple Terrace. In this wonderful area everyone there is so friendly and there you don't hear so many cars and horns like you do in the actual city of Tampa. These 2 cities Tampa and Orlando are both wonderful places. Wherever you move you can't go wrong!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply, much appreciated.

I've spent a pretty decent amount of time in Tampa and in St. Pete (2 seperate occasions)

The one thing that bothered me the most about Tampa is the fact that the city is dead after 5 and even before then if you are downtown finding a good place to eat is pretty hard. Never in my life have I ever been to a city where after dark you are the only person on the streets.

I will also admit that the hurricane problem is a factor. Granted tampa was spared last year but that was by and large very lucky. Orlando however due to its more central location won't get pounded quite as badly as compared to Tampa if it were hit directly. Any thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I moved from NY to Orlando 3 years ago and found a lot of business opportunities in Orlando. I considered buying a house in Tampa, but after many trips to the area, decided not to becuase I didn't like the people. Orlando is more multi-cultural and European than Tampa. Tampa is more of a country-boy city in terms of business and leisure. YBOR city is absolutely disgusting compared to Downtown Orlando. Sadly, Ybor is said to be a crown jewel of Tampa...the Queen would not approve.

Orlando has a lot more potential for future development and the shopping and dining choices are a lot better. It's more cosmopolitan than Tampa. If you like the beach though, Tampa is your city.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^Orlando is also only 45 minutes from the Atlantic.

This is of course biased, but I'll give it a go. I've lived in Orlando for many years now (also coming from Boston) and the truth is, the urbanity of both Tampa and Orlando are pretty dismal compared to the cities you have lived in. That being said, downtown Orlando and Thornton Park are FAR more inviting for the pedestrian than downtown Tampa/Ybor. I urge you to check out the P&C thread in the Orlando section for all the upcoming developments, including a movie theater, grocery store, etc. Outside of the downtown area, Orlando also is lightyears above Tampa, mainly as a result of tourism. The 535/International Drive/LBV area exists with the intent to keep you entertained, so that shouldn't be a problem if you are looking for something fun to do. Nightlife, there is of course downtown, as well as Pleasure Island, City Walk, Pointe Orlando, and the emerging destinations at the Mall at Millenia (Blue Martini anyone?).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 excellent replys, thank you both.

So far I am still leaning towards Orlando, and Orlando certainly seems to be the up and coming city. Despite being English I have never really like Football (soccer to most) but I do hope the Ajax stadium gets built. Might give me a reason to find my roots again.

Any opinions of the lake Nona area (orlando) from natives?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^Orlando is also only 45 minutes from the Atlantic.

This is of course biased, but I'll give it a go.  I've lived in Orlando for many years now (also coming from Boston) and the truth is, the urbanity of both Tampa and Orlando are pretty dismal compared to the cities you have lived in.  That being said, downtown Orlando and Thornton Park are FAR more inviting for the pedestrian than downtown Tampa/Ybor.  I urge you to check out the P&C thread in the Orlando section for all the upcoming developments, including a movie theater, grocery store, etc.  Outside of the downtown area, Orlando also is lightyears above Tampa, mainly as a result of tourism.  The 535/International Drive/LBV area exists with the intent to keep you entertained, so that shouldn't be a problem if you are looking for something fun to do.  Nightlife, there is of course downtown, as well as Pleasure Island, City Walk, Pointe Orlando, and the emerging destinations at the Mall at Millenia (Blue Martini anyone?).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well just to play Devil's Advocate, I think you guys are giving Tampa the short end of the stick. There's much more to do in Tampa than downtown/Ybor. Hyde Park is Thorton Park on steriods and there's no urban upscale nightlife and dining district in Orlando, like SoHo. Downtown's a wash because both cities have so many projects going up that what you see today will be totally different 3 years from now.

Nightlife in the Bay area also exists outside of Ybor. Try SoHo, Channelside, Bay Walk, St. Johns Pass, Central Avenue (St. Pete) for a change. If you're into nightlife at shopping malls, the Blue Martini, opened their first Central Florida location at Tampa's International Mall, Bay Street Entertainment section.

The best spots, by far in Orlando are downtown and Winter Park. Everything along I-Drive is nothing more than a giagantic tourist trap that will get old pretty quick if you're a resident. You also can't beat the stroll down Bayshore, the US's longest continous walkway, a popular spot for joggers, cyclist and roller bladding. The paths around O-town's lakes are nice, but don't compare. To tell the truth neither of these cities are anywhere close to being cosmopolitan and I really wouldn't worry about Hurricanes, just get Flood Insurance. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.