Tampa, Florida, or ‘Tampa Bay’ as it is often referred to when talking about the wider area, is a popular location with a rich history and culture. Populated with numerous theaters and performing arts venues, as well as museums and sports stadiums, the culture of Tampa offers something for everyone. The Museum of Science and Industry is particularly popular amongst expats and visitors, but art and history museums are also easy to find.
Expatriates living in Tampa are never short of things to do; several aquariums and zoos are on offer in the city center, including Lowry Park Zoo, which is home to more than 2,000 animals. Tampa boasts a lively atmosphere with an exciting nightlife, and is well-known for hosting ‘Gasparilla Pirate Festival’ — an event held every year in honor of a mythical pirate legend.
Tampa benefits from three international airports and is well-connected by rail and road. Union Station provides the city’s main rail routes; the station was restored in 1998, and is now part of the Amtrak network. The railway station offers services on the Silver Star line — a route through Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Miami and New York City — amongst other destinations.
As is the case throughout the United States, cars drive on the right hand side of the road. Whether or not you will be charged for parking on the streets of Tampa will be dependent on your location. Parking is free for two hours in the Central Business District and in Ybor City, after which time a fee will be incurred.
Tampa is home to a public bus service and tram line, both of which are run by the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART). Moreover, the Port of Tampa claims to be one of the nation’s most diverse sea ports, offering an array of cruise services.
The healthcare system in Tampa is well developed; more than 20 hospitals are located in the area, several of which are very highly regarded. Tampa General Hospital is situated on Davis Islands and can host over 1,000 patients; it is one of the largest hospitals in the Tampa Bay region and offers a wide selection of specialty centers, including ones for obesity, cardiac surgery, and trauma, amongst other sectors.
The U.S. News and World Report even lists three of the hospitals in Tampa as amongst the best in the country. In an emergency, the number to call in Tampa, as in the rest of the U.S., is 911.
A number of cancer treatment centers and four trauma centers are also available in the vicinity of Tampa and the nearby suburbs, as well as an array of research institutions. The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in north Tampa for example, is a non-profit organization that focuses on both treatment and research of cancer.
For a more in-depth look at the US healthcare system in general, please refer to our dedicated article section on Health & Insurance in the USA.