metropolitan area on the west coast of Florida, USA

The Tampa Bay Area is an important urban area and tourist destination on the West Coast of Florida.


Map of Tampa Bay Area

  Pinellas County
There are miles of resorts, thousands of retirees, cultural destinations, and restaurants centered in St. Pete and St. Pete Beach.
  Hillsborough County
Dominated by Tampa, this county is on the northern end of the Tampa Bay.
  Manatee County
The least populous of the three counties, most tourists visit Anna Maria Island just south of Tampa Bay.


  • 1 Bradenton – main city in Manatee County south of the bay
  • 2 Brandon – eastern suburb of Tampa
  • 3 Clearwater – famous for its Scientology church, but also a popular tourist destination for its beach
  • 4 Dunedin – state parks on barrier islands in the Gulf
  • 5 St. Petersburg – jointly the main city of the region, with Tampa
  • 6 St. Pete Beach – beach extension of St. Petersburg
  • 7 Tampa – the largest city in Hillsborough County, home to Busch Gardens

Other destinations

  • 1 Anna Maria Island – tourist-friendly alternative to Pinellas County beaches


Downtown Tampa

The Tampa Bay stands out in Florida's geography as the only major indentation along hundreds of miles of coastline, apart from the Intracoastal Waterway. The surrounding areas are among the most populated in the state and Tampa Metro, with over 2 million inhabitants, is one of the most important tourist and economic regions of the state, after Greater Miami and Greater Orlando.

The region is anchored by two major cities, Tampa and St. Petersburg. Tampa is the greatest in population and is the location of the University of South Florida, while St. Petersburg's location on a peninsula near the Gulf attracts high levels of tourism. Other regional cities — essentially, suburbs — such as Bradenton and Clearwater contribute to the population and variety. Clearwater is famous for its Scientology church, even though there is much more in the city than this unusual denomination. Smaller communities are also known for their unique characteristics, such as Tarpon Springs, which has one of the largest Greek communities in the U.S.

Virtually the whole Gulf coast in this region consists of resorts, condos, and beach tourism, as many of the beaches are stunning and are popular both north and south of the bay.

The regional climate is mild in winter, though occasionally winter days get cold. Summers are warm to hot and humid.

Get in


By car


I-4, also known as the "I-4 Corridor," is the main, suburban Florida route that crosses the state, connecting four of its main metro areas: Daytona, Orlando, Lakeland and of course Tampa. It's a fast, busy highway frequented by tourists and 90 mph (140 km/h) thrill seekers alike, with few alternatives. I-75 runs parallel to the Gulf Coast, but inland, connecting it to The Villages area in the north and Southwest Florida in the south.

By train


A major AMTRAK line goes to Tampa from Orlando, connecting these cities to the rest of the country.

Get around


By bus

  • Busch Gardens - An African themed park in Tampa
  • Tampa Riverwalk - Two and a half mile long waterfront walkway in downtown Tampa with attractions such as the Florida Aquarium, Tampa History Center, various parks with playgrounds and greenery, the Tampa Art Museum, and Armature Works Public Market.
  • Beaches of Pinellas County - Consistently rated as some of the best in the world, the beaches of Pinellas County have sugar soft white sand, calm clear water, and a wide selection of places to stay and play.



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This region travel guide to Tampa Bay Area is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!