From its year-round sunshine to its annual Gasparilla Pirate Festival, there are tons of reasons to love living in Tampa. However, apartments in some neighborhoods don't come cheap.
Fortunately, you don't need to live in the Big Guava to enjoy everything it has to offer. There are lots of cities near Tampa that provide easy access to all the region's amenities and attractions while maintaining a unique charm of their own.
So, before you commit to leasing an apartment in Tampa, you might want to consider these 10 alternative towns instead, all within 50 miles of downtown:
For renters who want to enjoy the Tampa lifestyle and save some money in the process, Temple Terrace is the perfect option.
This affordable town is just a hop, skip and a jump from Tampa. In normal traffic, you can get from your front door to the Amalie Arena or the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in around 20 minutes.
Of course, residents don't have to leave Temple Terrace to find things to do. This Hillsborough County city features tons of amenities, including the Claw (an 18-hole golf course) and Temple Crest Park.
Temple Terrace is also an ideal spot for college students in need of an off-campus apartment. The University of South Florida is just a few minutes away by car, bike or bus.
Largo is the third-largest city in Pinellas County, which means endless amenities and attractions for the whole family. History buffs will enjoy the Pinellas County Heritage Village, naturists will appreciate John S. Taylor Park and everyone will have fun at the Highland Family Aquatic Center.
If you have kids (or are planning to start a family in the near future), you will also be excited to know that Largo is close to some excellent elementary schools. Curtis Fundamental Elementary School and Pasadena Fundamental Elementary School both receive 10/10 grades from Great Schools.
Should you choose to move to Largo, you will also be just a short drive away from some of the nation's best beaches including Indian Rocks Beach and Belleair Beach.
No list of cities near Tampa would be complete without mentioning Clearwater.
This coastal burg is one of the best places to live in the Tampa Bay area. Its picturesque beaches and trendy bars offer renters a uniquely fun and relaxed lifestyle.
This Pinellas County city is also an ideal spot for young professionals. Companies like Tech Data, BayCare Health System and the Suncoast Hospice Foundation have sizable footprints in the area and are always searching for new talent.
Clearwater is the most walkable city on this list. So, if you enjoy taking a stroll with your family in the evenings — it may just be the ideal place for you to rent your next apartment.
Renters who want to move to Pinellas County, but would prefer somewhere a little quieter than Clearwater or Largo, are sure to love Palm Harbor. This town is almost entirely residential, save for a few charming golf courses.
The real beauty of this city is its location. A short drive can get you to a wide variety of stunning parks, beaches and recreation areas. And just 30 minutes in the car will get you to Tampa International Airport and Raymond James Stadium.
If you decide to move to this quaint burg, you can't miss the Taste of Palm Harbor festival in October. This annual event offers you the chance to try a plethora of delicious foods and drinks made by dozens of local eateries.
Plant City is just off Interstate 4, which makes it a breeze to get from this small town to the heart of downtown Tampa. For most residents, this drive should take no more than 30 to 40 minutes.
Convenient commuting isn't the only reason to live in Plant City, though. This historic burg also offers a large number of breweries, bars and restaurants. It is even home to the Keel and Curley Winery.
However, without question, the Florida Strawberry Festival is the main attraction in Plant City. This annual event lasts 11 days and features scores of rides, art exhibits and dining options.
Tarpon Springs might be home to just 25,577 residents, but it boasts the highest percentage of Greek Americans of any city in the United States. As such, this picturesque town's culture is quite similar to that of a small village in Greece.
Each year, Tarpon Springs hosts an Epiphany celebration in which kids go diving for a cross, and the local priest blesses the waters and the boats. The event attracts visitors from throughout the United States and abroad.
Of course, you don't have to enjoy Greek culture to love living in Tarpon Springs. The city also features lots of parks, bars and recreation areas.
Lakeland is the largest city in Polk County. It is best known for its abundance of quaint antique shops and early 20th-century architecture. These features give it a look and feel that is unlike that of any other city in Florida.
This unique locale is perfect for families. It offers tons of recreation areas as well as some of the best schools in the area. Lincoln Avenue Academy is particularly popular with local parents.
Because it is on Interstate 4, Lakeland residents also enjoy easy commuting in and out of Tampa. In normal traffic, the journey takes around 45 minutes.
Dade City is the county seat of Pasco County. By population, it is the smallest town on this list. As a result, it is also one of the quietest and most family-friendly.
Though Florida is generally quite flat, Dade City features a collection of rolling hills that offer residents some stunning views from their apartment balconies.
Like most cities near Tampa, Dade City offers an abundance of green space for renters to enjoy. Dade City Dog Park is especially popular with people who want to help their canine companions make new friends.
At just 14.18 square miles, Bradenton is the smallest city on this list. However, it packs a lot of amenities into its limited space. This Manatee County town offers residents a baseball stadium, a science and nature museum and a performing arts center.
There are lots of job opportunities in Bradenton, especially in the healthcare sector. Companies like HCA Healthcare, HealthMarkets and Universal Health Services have offices in the region and regularly hire new employees.
Should you decide to rent an apartment in Bradenton, you will also have beaches like Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island just a stone's throw from your front door.
Spring Hill is undoubtedly one of the most affordable cities near Tampa. With one-bedroom units averaging $904 per month in this Hernando County town, you'll have a tough time finding better value for money anywhere in Central Florida.
Its low cost of living isn't the only thing that brings renters to Spring Hill, though. This charming city features a wildlife sanctuary, an adventure park and a country club. It is also just a short drive to the world-renowned Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.
Don't delay. Find your home in one of these cities near Tampa with Apartment Guide today.