Profile: Tampa, Florida
By: Judy Stark
USDA Hardiness Zone: 9
Major Airport: Tampa International Airport
Companies Based Here: Home Shopping Network, Tropicana Products, Publix, Jabil Circuit, Raymond James Financial, Outback Steakhouse (OSI Restaurant Partners), Rooms to Go
Welcome to the Tampa Bay area, a region divided by water, linked by bridges and united by sports, weather and the conviction that for at least half the year, no one lives in a better place than we do. Tampa Bay averages 244 days of sunshine a year. What's not to like?
There are thousands of people living, working, raising families, playing sports, grocery shopping and mowing the lawns in an area visitors regard as their winter playground. The average high temperature in February is 73 degrees. There is a decrease in tourism in August, when the average is 90 degrees and never drops below the mid-70s at night. Prepare to get wet. During the summer, Tampa Bay gets ferocious thunder, lightning and monsoon rains (43.6 inches of rainfall a year).
Pro-sports teams are big in Tampa. The hometown favorites are the NFL Buccaneers, the NHL Lightning and the MLB Rays, also known as the teams from the towns up North (a Yankees-Rays home stand brings out a tough audience on both sides). Tampa’s college teams, most notably the Gators, Noles and Bulls are also popular.
Tampa’s “salties” fish and sail Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico but canoe and kayak on the streams and rivers that wind through deep green woodlands. Tampa looks like a land of cities and endless sprawling suburbs, but untouched real Florida is never far away.
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