Although both cities are located in central Florida, Tampa is much closer to the coast, surrounded by Tampa Bay. This makes it the best choice for beach lovers, as Orlando is about an hour's drive from the Atlantic Ocean and a whopping 90 miles from the warm beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf. Orlando has greater suburban sprawl than Tampa with a metropolitan population of 2.1 million, while the Tampa Bay Area has a population of 3.1 million. The population of Tampa is a little older with more retirees, while the population of Orlando tends to be younger and has more families.
The cost of living between Tampa and Orlando is quite even. The total cost of living in Tampa is approximately 2-3% lower than the Florida average, while Orlando is approximately 1-2% higher than the average. If your top priority is being close to beaches, Tampa is probably better, because many prefer Gulf beaches. Although Orlando is about an hour's drive from East-Central Florida beaches, such as Daytona, New Smyrna, and Cocoa Beach.
But there is a big difference between the beaches of the Atlantic and the Gulf Coast. We suggest that you take a look at the pros and cons and make your personal choice, whatever is best for you. When we compare the travel expenses of real travelers between Orlando and Tampa, we can see that Orlando is more expensive. And not only is Tampa a lot less expensive, but it's actually a significantly cheaper destination.
So, traveling to Tampa will allow you to spend less money overall. Or you can decide to spend more money in Tampa and be able to afford a more luxurious style of travel by staying at nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, going on sightseeing tours and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Orlando would naturally cost you a lot more money, so you'd probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Orlando than in Tampa. However, for those unfamiliar with the state, it may be more difficult to assess which city will feel most like “home to them.”.
When it comes to Orlando vs Miami vs Tampa, which city is best suited for those moving to Florida? Here's What You Need to Know About Each City's Distinctive Atmosphere. This is just a sample of the cost-of-living data, but overall Miami is a more expensive city to live in compared to Orlando and Tampa, which end up being quite equitable in standard living expenses. When it comes to buying a home, Orlando is your best option for affordability. A recent study found that every additional minute of travel decreases job satisfaction and mental health, so travel time can make a big difference when it comes to the experience of living and working in a city.
It's worth noting that of the three cities, Miami has the most extensive public transportation system. While this can be a real benefit to residents, it does help contribute to longer average city travel times. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Tampa than in Orlando. While Tampa may not be able to match the number of theme parks in Orlando, they do offer a handful of attractions such as Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay and Adventure Island.
The ideal duration for a trip to Orlando is 7 days, and the ideal duration for a trip to Tampa is 2 to 3 days. Due to its location on the peninsula along Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa has a much higher risk of hurricanes than inland Orlando. When comparing the pros and cons of Tampa, consider that Tampa has a higher average salary than Orlando, but home prices are lower. Tampa currently has a population of 385,000 people, making it the third largest city in Florida, behind Miami and Jacksonville.
Tampa offers affordable waterfront living at the expense of an annoying commute across the bridge, while Orlando has more jobs and theme parks, but horrendous traffic and more tourists. Bilingual work opportunities are excessive in Tampa due to the influx of immigrant populations in this area. Meanwhile, Tampa has become one of Florida's top hubs with a thriving hub for business and leisure. When it comes to Tampa's weather compared to Orlando, you'll find that Tampa has a more moderate climate than Orlando, but a higher risk of hurricanes, floods, and severe weather conditions.
For many, hurricane risk is only part of living in Florida, but it's an inconvenience to living in Tampa that's worth considering. I have traveled to both places (Orlando when I lived in Tampa and Tampa when I lived in Orlando) for shows, I came back the same night. Retirees who choose between these three cities will likely feel more comfortable moving to Tampa because of its affordability, activities, services and health care, all factors that take on greater importance in the golden years. .