Tampa vs St. Pete (Which City is Right For You?)

Tampa vs. St Petersburg (Which City is Right For You?)

While they are often lumped into one metropolis, Tampa and St. Petersburg are separated by a very large gulf (well, technically it’s a bay).

Because it’s one of the largest metropolitan areas in Florida, the Tampa-St. Pete area brings in a lot of new residents. A recent study by Realtor.com ranked the area as the #1 most moved-to city last year, and the 3rd most popular among Millennials.

You can’t ignore those kind of numbers!

But deciding to move to the Bay Area isn’t enough. You still have to narrow it down before you find your next address. And your first question might be a tricky one…Tampa vs St. Pete?

Both are growing, vibrant cities with plenty of opportunities for work, play, and everything in between. But you might find that one city sticks out from all the rest. So let’s jump in and figure out which city is the perfect city for you.



Tampa bay skyline
Tampa has recently become popular among Millennials.

Are you a Millennial looking to launch a start-up? Look no farther! Between the sunny weather, low crime, and cool craft breweries, Tampa has become a mecca for Millennial entrepreneurs. And if you need some help getting your business off the ground, TiE is a local entrepreneur community helping to foster and grow startups in the area. Tampa even ranks #23 on WalletHub’s list of “2017’s Best Large Cities to Start a Business” and #7 for “Hispanic Business Friendliness.” Entrepreneurship not your thing? The city is actively targeting businesses in defense, manufacturing, and corporate headquarters, just to name a few. And speaking of company headquarters, Tampa’s got you covered: Outback Steakhouse, College Hunks Hauling Junk, Melting Pot, Carrabba’s, and Bonefish Grill are all operated out of Tampa.

Its waterfront location means St. Petersburg has a thriving marine science industry, but did you know they also have the largest financial services sector in Florida? Not bad for being 1,200 miles from Wall Street! And if you’re more into art than numbers and science, St. Pete has a place for you, too. There’s plenty of focus on jobs in the creative arts; so much so, that St. Pete’s nickname is “City of the Arts”.

Which City is Right For You?: Well, what’s your career field? With plenty of job opportunities in both cities, it’s really a question of how you plan to spend your work days. If you’re a marine biologist or a glass blower, St. Petersburg will be right up your alley. But if you’re an entrepreneur focusing on the tourism demographic, pick Tampa. Commuting from St. Pete to Tampa can be a little tricky, so keep that in mind.


Downtown & Nightlife

Palm tree lined street in St. Petersburg, Florida
Palm tree-lined street in St. Pete.

Tampa has one of the fastest growing downtowns in Florida, outpaced only by Orlando. (Jacksonville came in third.) Thanks to increased tourism to the Bay Area, you’ll find a bar or nightclub that’s perfect for you, no matter your preference.

Don’t think of St. Petersburg is lacking in nightlife, though. With a relaxed, artsy vibe that lasts longer than Monday-Friday, you’ll find plenty of hip, trendy spots to keep the party going all weekend long. Besides, it’s hard to resist a downtown that’s right on the water.

Which City is Right For You?: When it comes to Tampa vs St. Petersburg nightlife, it all comes to how you like to spend your free time. While downtown Tampa is thriving, it’s fairly quiet on the weekends. So if you like to keep your Saturday through Sunday low-key, Tampa might be the best spot for you. To keep the fun going all week long, choose St. Petersburg.


Recreation & Entertainment

giraffes at the Lowry Park Zoo
Long-necked residents of the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa.

If you like festivals, you’re in luck. Tampa loves its festivals, and has them frequently throughout the year. Some of the more popular ones are the Tampa Bay Blues Festival, Tampapalooza, and Gasparilla Pirate Fest. Sports lovers will appreciate the three professional sports teams (Rays, Bucs, and Lightning), so whether you prefer football, baseball, or hockey, you’ll have plenty of chances to cheer on the home team. And for spending a family day, you can’t do better than Busch Gardens or the Lowry Park Zoo.

They don’t call St. Pete the “City of the Arts” for nothing. Between the Salvador Dali Museum, the St. Petersburg Museum of History, and the permanent Chihuly exhibit at the Morean Art Center, St. Petersburg has plenty of chances to get the creative juices flowing. And when the weather’s nice, check out the blooms at Sunken Gardens, grab your groceries at the Saturday Morning Market, or turn back the clock at the Fountain of Youth. And if you’re a beach lover, you can’t miss the beach at Fort De Soto Park; it’s been named America’s Top Beach!

Which City is Right For You?: We gotta admit it; it’s tough to choose between Tampa or St. Petersburg here! The good part is that there’s only a 30-minute drive between the two city centers, so no matter which city becomes your new home, you won’t be far from all the activities the other city has to offer.



Deciding between Tampa vs St. Pete isn’t easy. They both have great opportunities for work, play, and everything in between…and with views of the water, too!

Whatever city you choose to be your new hometown, Cento Family Moving & Storage can get you from Point A to Point B. Whether you’re moving across the street or across the county, we’re the moving crew you can trust.

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