Several years ago, after many years of working in accounting, the company I worked for had decided to move their offices away from New York. After mulling over several opportunities my partner and I decided to look into moving as well.
So we looked around, and after a visit to Florida we talked about possibly moving here. We very much wanted to get away from the cold northern winters and the hustle and bustle of NYC Metropolitan area life to a warmer tropical climate with a laid back attitude. But where in FL should we go?
After researching several areas, to our surprise, Tampa Bay came up as a very gay friendly place to live. There was plenty here for us to do, including many outdoor activities. So many people told us Florida would be too hot for us in the summer. We thought, how could it be any worse than NY in July and August.
So we decided to make a trip in June and August and see if we could deal with the “Florida Heat”. After making the two trips down we were in love with the area. It was no more hot or humid than in NY in the summer. It just lasts longer here.
We actually prefer this weather so it felt great to us. What most people don’t mention is that being on the Bay on one side and the Gulf on the other, St Pete and Clearwater and all of Pinellas County get some sort of breeze during the day keeping the heat and humidity lower. Don’t get me wrong, there is still humidity but no worse than what we were used to.
St Pete quickly became our “home”. We love it here. We have made a nice group of friends who are more like our family. People here are extremely friendly and laid back and we feel extremely welcome by most of our neighbors. There is so much to do here both indoor and outdoor. With one of the largest waterfront park systems in North America, there always seems to be something going on in Downtown St Pete.
St Pete has the largest Gay Pride Parade in the Southeastern US. This year we had over 100,000 people attend. It was a great event and very moving to see all those people, not just gay people but a city that supports us.
The Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival which is a weeklong event in October that brings us some wonderful movies. There is also a Gay Couples group that has regular events. There are all sorts of gay sports leagues (softball, bowling, tennis, and more). Three major sports teams play in the Bay area, the Buccaneers, Lightning and Rays (who play in St Pete). We also now have a major league soccer team here as well in the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
The arts community here is very popular. St Pete has won the award for Best Medium sized city for Arts 3 years in a row. We have several museums here, including the brand new Dali Museum. There are new galleries opening on a regular basis. The Mahaffey Theater in Downtown St Pete has concerts, the Florida Orchestra, and other special events.
Downtown St Pete is growing on a regular basis. New bars,restaurants, stores, museums and other retail establishments opening regularly. Some older establishments, such as Baywalk, are being remodeled and bringing established chains to the area.
And of course there are some of the world’s best beaches located in the area. So you have several choices of beaches to go to.
As far as Real Estate goes, I have been amazed at the number of people calling me about moving here. I have sold several homes to people moving here from elsewhere. With the price of homes so low, the beautiful weather, gorgeous beaches, many events, and the gay friendliness of the area, I see more gay people are moving here regularly.
Its a beautiful and fun place to live. I have never regretted moving here and most people I have met who have moved here feel the same way. I highly recommend for anyone looking to make a change and move, come to Tampa Bay and check out everything we have to offer!
I can help you sell your home from the day you list your place with me all the way through the home closing process and beyond. I will help you prepare your home to sell, with the marketing of your home, showings, and I will work with the buyers and their agents to make the process as smooth as possible.