The Tampa Bay Region Welcomes Military Families.

What’s not to love? All you have to do is look out the airplane window to see what makes this slice of Central Florida one of the most appealing places in the world to live

It’s all that water. Miles and miles of some of the most beautiful beaches in the world stretch along the coastline, offering wide expanses of soft, white sand for snoozing and strolling and plenty of shallow, placid surf for playing.

Tampa Bay itself, a curvaceous expanse of blue between Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, provides even more waterfront views, plenty of room for recreational boating and a protected port for ships. There are also countless lakes, rivers and springs dotting the area.

For lovers of the arts and sciences, there’s the Salvador Dali museum in St. Petersburg, the Tampa Museum of Art and the Museum of Industry, to name just a few. Attractions include Busch Gardens and Adventure Island and the nightlife in Ybor City is second to none.

Sports fans can watch the Tampa Bay Bucs, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Tampa Bay Lightning while a number of pro baseball teams, including the New York Yankees, tune up during spring training games.

Institutions of higher education include the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa, Eckerd College and thriving community colleges. And there are an array of festivals and special events, most notably those planned around Gasparilla Season (January through March), which pays homage to Tampa’s last great mythical buccaneer, Jose Gaspar, known for terrorizing West Florida’s coastal waters during the late 18th-early 19th century.  

Not surprisingly, the Tampa Bay MSA, which includes Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties, is one of the fastest-growing in the United States. Neighboring Polk, Manatee and Sarasota counties are also booming, boosting the region’s combined population to an estimated 4.5 million.