Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon first arrived in the Tampa Bay area in 1513. It wasn't until after the territory became part of the United States in 1845 that the development of the Tampa Bay region began.
Today, Tampa is diversified with lots of lush park spaces. It also offers a sophisticated city hub and downtown.
But do you know all of the interesting information about Tampa and its unique neighborhoods?
We looked at 10 of the city's most popular neighborhoods and highlighted five fun facts about each.
In South Tampa, Bayshore Beautiful is defined as a tucked-away suburban-urban place to live with homes of character. You'll find traditional bungalows and Tudor-style architecture here. It's a well-established neighborhood that's often called a smaller version of Hyde Park.
Bayshore carries a reputation as one of the most desired neighborhoods in Tampa. With a canopy of mature trees and a view of the bay, its name fits. Bayshore Beautiful is bordered to the east by expansive Bayshore Boulevard. Here you'll find sweeping views of gorgeous homes with Himes Avenue to the west, Gandy Boulevard to the south and El Prado Boulevard to the north.
Beach Park is a historic neighborhood that offers wide appeal because of its moniker: Nature's beautiful spot. It has a beach-side view with a lush mix of aged oak trees dotting winding streets, plus palms, dogwood and Southern pines.
Lots of architectural styles make up Beach Park, including those in a Mediterranean vernacular with stucco, terra cotta roofs and interior and exterior archways. Homes in the neighborhood carry the banner of preservation through the Tampa Preservation Society.
An ideal location, Beach Park is near the heart of Tampa Bay. It's south of Kennedy Boulevard and on the west side of Lois Avenue. The setting of Beach Park is also convenient for entering the Bay. Beach Park has proximity to Downtown, the airport, highways, Raymond James Stadium, which is home of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers and University of South Florida Football.
Additionally, the Henry B. Plant Museum, the Contemporary Art Museum and the Dali Museum are close by. A big lure for living in this neighborhood is the West Shore business district. Shopping is a mere drive away for International Plaza, Westshore Plaza and Hyde Park Village.
Channel District is in kinship with Downtown Tampa because of its bustling city hub feel. It's home to the Port of Tampa, Florida's largest seaport. Industrial-style lofts and hi-rises dominate here amid stunning panoramic city and water views.
This happening neighborhood offers plenty to do, with restaurants, casual sports-themed bars and coffee shops. It's easy to hop a free streetcar from here to downtown's perimeter for even more entertainment or to the Port of Tampa and Historic Ybor City. The streetcar service route runs every 15 minutes.
Within walking distance, you'll find such draws as the Florida Aquarium, which anchors the eastern side of the Channel District. It's home to more than 8,000 marine plants and animals, from sharks to penguins. Adjacent is Sparkman Wharf, a mega-entertainment complex that's at the core of the action in the Downtown Tampa Channel District. Also nearby is Amalie Arena, the home to the NHL Tampa Bay Lightning.
This is Tampa's island suburb. Davis Islands residents have diverse housing choices in keeping with a village-like setting along the scenic bay. Since a canal fully separates the island, it's technically considered an archipelago.
You can get to Davis Islands from Downtown Tampa Bay by crossing Kennedy Boulevard Bridge and turning left onto Plant Avenue to the Davis Islands Causeway. Located off Bayshore Boulevard, it's south of downtown and west of Harbour Island. This coveted, historic neighborhood is known for its views of Downtown.
It attracts outdoor enthusiasts. Dog Beach is a popular stretch of sand with views of boats. The neighborhood includes two marinas and a golf course. Mediterranean Revival-style buildings in pastel hues were developer Dave P. Davis' original choice in the mid-1920s. His goal: To create a Venetian paradise.
Today, residents enjoy an eclectic mix of amenities along East Davis Boulevard, including pubs and cafes. Davis Islands is also home to Peter O. Knight Airport and Davis Islands Yacht Club.
Downtown Tampa's picturesque skyline and views of Tampa Bay contribute to the urban vibe of this centrally located business district, which is made up of office buildings, condos and high rises.
As a hub with access to major highways, there's plenty to do in terms of entertainment and amenities with restaurants, bars and more. You'll find the Tampa Theatre, the Tampa Museum of Art and Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park here. Downtown Tampa is home to the Tampa Convention Center, overlooking the Hillsborough River, and the St Pete Times Forum.
This hub is also a hotspot for education. Academia rules with Stetson Law School and the University of Tampa, which are walkable depending on the location of your apartment or condo.
The new Water Street development, which is still currently under development is gearing up to elevate the cultural, commercial and residential offerings of the neighborhood. For everyday shopping options, residents are minutes away from Westshore Plaza and International Plaza.
Across the Garrison Channel, Harbour Island neighbors Downtown Tampa. The planned community is linked by two bridges to Downtown. Harbour Island is located minutes away from I-275. The area is historic.
During the majority of the early years, the island was used as a railroad yard and phosphate-loading terminal, according to the Harbour Island Voice. In 1979, when the Beneficial Land Corporation purchased Harbour Island, it was for commercial and real estate development.
Today, Harbour Island residents occupy everything from single-family to large estate homes, plus apartments to high-rises. Harbour Island has an island Yacht Club, hotel, dining, shopping and other amenities.
Hyde Park is a historical South Tampa neighborhood that's close to Bayshore Boulevard. It stretches from the mouth of the Hillsborough River down the east side of the Interbay Peninsula. You'll find bungalow homes, mansions and condominiums here. Because Hyde Park developed over several decades, styles and sizes vary from revival and bungalow to prairie and vernacular, according to South Tampa Magazine.
The neighborhood came to fruition in the 1880s. That's when railroad financier Henry B. Plant built the first bridge across the Hillsborough River at Lafayette Street (now Kennedy Boulevard).
In the heart of the neighborhood is Hyde Park Village, an upscale shopping and dining district that's smack in the heart of the 'hood. There's a little of everything here: bars, restaurants, shopping and entertainment. South Howard Avenue (SoHo to locals) is a district filled with a variety of dining and drinking hotspots, including martini bars, outdoor dining, music venues and more.
New Tampa is located on I-75. This is a family-friendly neighborhood and is considered one of the youngest communities in Tampa. It was completely undeveloped until the 1980s. It was then that the city of Tampa annexed the 24-square-mile area.
The boundaries of New Tampa are Lutz to the west, Wesley Chapel to the north and Morris Bridge Road (near Thonotosassa) to the east. The university community and the University of South Florida (USF) is located to the south.
New Tampa offers a diverse range of ranch-style homes, condos and townhomes. Popular communities within New Tampa include Pebble Creek, Cross Creek, Hunter's Green, Tampa Palms and Wesley Chapel. Although it isn't like a city hub with walkable dining and such, the Shops at Wiregrass is a destination for retail therapy, dining and live music.
South Westshore is in an area of South Tampa that's sparking an apartment boom. South Westshore boundaries are Leona Street to the north, Tampa Bay to the west, Gandy Boulevard to the south and Manhattan Avenue to the east.
It's located just south of the Westshore Business District, which includes Tampa International Airport. The flurry of work in Tampa's Westshore reflects the success of the Marina District where demand for rentals is based on convenience to downtown Tampa and MacDill Air Force Base. In recent years, more than 600 apartments were built in the Westshore Marina District near Gandy and West Shore Boulevards.
Live in the University Square neighborhood and you'll be located near popular amenities like Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. For access to the college lifestyle, the University of South Florida's park-like campus makes up a large portion of the University neighborhood.
Residents here call new and remodeled housing home, including apartments, condos, and townhomes in a range of prices. Because it's near the school, there are many dorm- and suite-options.
Green space in the neighborhood includes MLK Plaza and Simmons Park. This neighborhood is close to USF, University Square Mall and great shopping and dining. It's also near the VA Hospital. University Square boundaries are the unincorporated community of University to the north, 30th Street to the east, Linebaugh Avenue to the south and 15th Street to the west.