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The Tampa City lies in Hillsborough County, on the west coast of Florida. It is situated on the north shore of Tampa Bay. The city is a clean place to live with plenty of outdoor activities for locals and residents.
According to the census in 2008, the citys population was estimated as 332,888 in 2008. Tampa has a large downtown business center on the north shore of Tampa. The famous Tampa Bay Designated Market Area (DMA) is the second largest media market in the state of Florida and the thirteenth largest DMA Market in the United States.
In 2008, Yahoo ranked Tampa as the 8th cleanest city in America and Forbes ranked it as the 5th best outdoor city. A 2004 survey by the NYU newspaper ranked Tampa as a top city for 20-somethings.
The city is named after the word Tampa, meaning the sticks of fire. The word Tampa is spoken in the language of Calusa, which is a Native American tribe. Historically, the Tampa Bay area was visited by many Spanish explorers. However no permanent settlements took place till 1824.
In 1880s the town saw the first population boom. Soon after this, Phosphate was discovered in the area, which started the development of the mining and shipping industries. Soon Tampa began to develop into a popular holiday spot.
In 1886, Jose Martinez Ybor opened Tampa's first cigar factory in Ybor City which encouraged the immigration of many Italian and Cuban factory workers. During the Spanish American War, Tampa was the main port of departure for troops heading for Cuba.
The MacDill Air Force Base was created in 1939 in Tampa and the University of South Florida in 1956. Over the recent years, Tampa has flourished into a large metropolitan area with many international companies. Tampa also has various professional sports teams competing in the Olympics.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 170.6 square miles, of which 112.1 square miles is land and 58.5 square miles (34.31%) is water. Tampa is bordered on the two sides with water. The Old Tampa Bay and Hillsborough Bay flow to form the Tampa Bay, which streams into the Gulf of Mexico.
The Hillsborough River flows out into Hillsborough Bay, passing directly in front of Downtown Tampa and supplying Tampa with its main source of water. The Palm River is a smaller river flowing from just east of the city into Hillsborough Bay.
The Tampa area has roughly 4 million residents, making it the second largest metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the state, and the third largest in the Southeastern United States besides Miami and Atlanta. The Tampa Bay Partnership and U.S. Census data showed an average annual growth of 2.47 percent.
Approximately 97,000 residents migrate and settle in Tampa every year. Between 2000 and 2006, the Greater Tampa Bay Market has seen a continuous growth rate of 14.8 percent, rising from 3.4 million to 4 million.
Tampa has a humid subtropical climate, with hot summer days and a threat of winter frost only about every 2-3 years. The summer heat usually ranges between 65 and 95 ?F (18 and 35 ?C) all year round. In the winters, it is rarely ever below freezing point. Since there is a variety of cultivation on the Tampa land, the cold winters are a matter of concern for a lot of people.
Tampa has the mayor-council form of government. The City Council is composed of seven members, of whom four are elected from areas of the town and three are At-Large. The Mayor of Tampa is the chief executive officer of city government.
The economy of the city is dependant on the service, retail, finance, insurance and real estate departments. Many Fortune 100 companies have their headquarters in Tampa city including the OSI Restaurant Partners and the WellCare Health Plans, Inc., TECO, the Walter Industries and last but not the least, the Raymond James Financial. The Hillsborough County has 740,000 employees currently. This figure is expected to rise to 922,000 by the year 2015.
Tampa is undergoing considerable development just like other cities working to improve the urban residential areas. The Tampa port is the seventh largest in the nation. Tampa currently ranks second in the state behind Miami in terms of cruise ship travel. Tampa has three cruise lines including the Holland America's MS Veendam, Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas, and Carnival's Legend and Inspiration. The main servers for the popular web sites such as Wikipedia and Wikimedia Foundation projects are headquartered in Tampa.
Parks and Recreation
The city of Tampa manages over 165 parks and beaches covering 2,286 acres within city limits. Tampa is also home to a number of attractions and theme parks, including Busch Gardens Africa, Adventure Island, Lowry Park Zoo, and Florida Aquarium.
Several large scale malls call Tampa and its surrounding areas home. Well known shopping areas include International Plaza and Bay Street, WestShore Plaza, University Mall, Westfield Brandon, and Westfield Citrus Park. The renowned Hyde Park Village is a fashionable open-air shopping center residing in the neighborhood of Hyde Park.
Places worth Visiting
Florida AquariumThe Florida Aquarium is a popular hangout for children, located in the Channel side district. It boasts a huge aquarium with a restaurant, gift shop, childrens play area and a touch tank. Facilities are provided to give you an interactive dive experience and eco-tours of Tampa Bay.
Lowry Park Zoo
This zoo is ranked as one the best in the country, with huge childrens areas and aviary. Children like to encounter with animals from around the world.
The famous Busch Gardens is an amusement park with thrilling rides, shows and beautiful scenery. These gardens provide entertainment for people of all ages. Many different types of rides are available for children. From the huge merry go round to the famous roller coaster, popularly known as Montu, this park is a unique experience for kids.
The gardens has a huge ice skating rink, and there are shows and performances of dolphins, birds, magic tricks going around the different corners of the Busch Gardens. Indeed Bush Gardens is one of the biggest attractions in the Tampa Bay Area.
Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)
The MOSI is a unique experience with a huge IMAX dome and stellar revolving exhibits. Children of all ages are fascinated with this science museum.
Colleges and Universities
University of TampaThe famous Tampa Bay Hotel building was renovated and built into the administration building of the famous university of Tampa. The university has preserved its glory with a huge ballroom and doomed ceiling. Students from all over the world are marveled with the historic building of the university.
University of South Florida
The main campus of the University of Florida lies in Tampa. The university was started with five buildings and has flourished to 164 building on the Tampa Campus alone.
The university is education more than 29,000 students. The University of Florida was named as the top architecture school in Florida by the Florida Board of Architecture and Interior Design in 2002.
Tampa has progressed to become one of the best cities in the US for spending your vacations. More and more people go Tampa to enjoy and have fun. Actually, it is also a good place for those who want to relax and enjoy the natural splendor.
Tampa has a lot to offer from calm beaches, to the marvelous Busch Gardens. The city provides entertainment for people of all ages. This is why it is considered as one of the best outdoor city. People who come to Tampa for their vacations take a lot of memories with them of this place.
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