Tampa is a rare combination of action-packed and affordable: The median home sale price is about $381,000, one of the lowest on our list, and you’ll get plenty of bang for your buck. There’s nightlife galore in the Ybor City district. Tampa’s 20- and 30-somethings also flock to spots like Angry Chair Brewing, which serves its famous stouts alongside kitchen faves like pickle dip, and Taco Bus, which was dishing burritos out of its yellow school bus way before food trucks were cool.
Tampa’s downsides include the traffic and climate, which is sweltering and hurricane-prone in the summer. But if you can stand the heat — pun intended — you’ll benefit. You can immerse yourself in sports: The Buccaneers won the 2021 Super Bowl, of course, but fans can also enjoy University of South Florida Bulls games at Raymond James Stadium. Head indoors to catch the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field or three-time Stanley Cup champs the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena.
The Tampa Bay area — which includes nearby cities like St. Petersburg and Clearwater — is bursting with culture. Check out Surrealist art at the Dalí Museum or see a touring Broadway show at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. Go to the beach or Busch Gardens, home of the award-winning Iron Gwazi roller coaster. And don’t miss Gasparilla, an annual pirate festival with a Mardi Gras-style parade.
Food, fun, sports and beads. What more could you want? — Julia Glum
Median Household Income
Median Home Price
Sources: Population and median household income provided by Synergos Technologies Inc.; unemployment rate (by county) provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics; and median home price provided by ATTOM Data Solutions.