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Waterfront Real Estate

Bridges: Our grandest bridge is the 5.5-mile Sunshine Skyway Bridge, spanning Tampa Bay from Pinellas to Manatee counties. Its gorgeous cable-stayed main span is a signature of our area, by day and night. (It’s a toll bridge; you’ll want to get a SunPass, an automatic toll reader, so you can whiz right through the booths.)

“The Hump” is the highest point on the Howard Frankland Bridge, which spans Tampa Bay. Radio traffic reports will tell you almost every day that traffic is backed up to The Hump on what is also known as the Frankenstein Bridge, given its propensity for monster traffic jams and lane-blocking accidents.

The other bridges you’ll need to know about: the Courtney Campbell Causeway, which Tampa residents take to get to the Clearwater beaches; and the Gandy Bridge, another link between Tampa and St. Petersburg. A 1956 version of the Gandy, no longer used by vehicle traffic, is now known as the Friendship Bridge and allows cyclists, skaters, joggers and walkers to make the 2.6-mile crossing of Tampa Bay.

•    Pro Sports: “RayJay” is Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, where the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers play. “The Trop” is Tropicana Field, the domed stadium in St. Petersburg where the Tampa Bay Rays play baseball. The St. Pete Times Forum is actually in downtown Tampa, home of the NHL Tampa Bay Lightning and a major concert venue.

•    College Sports: In the world of college athletics, which in many circles in Florida is more important than life itself, the only teams that matter are the University of Florida Gators, based in Gainesville, and the Florida State University Seminoles (“the Noles”), in Tallahassee. Closer to home, we cheer for the University of South Florida Bulls, based in Tampa.

•    Highways: “The Vets” is the Veterans Expressway, a toll road that leads from the West Shore area near Tampa International Airport to the northern suburbs and Pasco county. At morning and evening rush hours, it can be a slow-rolling parking lot. At off-peak hours, it’s a fast way to those suburbs and the counties beyond. “Malfunction Junction” is the intersection of I-4 and I-275 in downtown Tampa, traditionally a snarl of vehicles.

There are almost too many spectacular waterfront communities in Tampa Bay to detail. A few of the highlights are Beach Park, Sunset Park, Davis Island, Harbour Island, Apollo Beach, Clearwater Beach, Island Estates, Belleair, Tierra Verde, Treasure Island, Snell Isle, Old Northeast, Shore Acres. These are just a few of the most notable, and still many others are worth exploring. Some have historic attributes, some just have great views, and others are better known for their parks, recreation, and easy access to the water. If you can spare the expense to enjoy these neighborhoods, you can afford to be picky with so many of them having so much to offer.

Tampa Bay is made up of Hillsborough Bay, Old Tampa Bay, Middle Tampa Bay, and Lower Tampa Bay. It is a large natural harbor and estuary along the Gulf of Mexico on the west central coast of Florida. “Tampa Bay” is not the name of any municipality within the state of Florida. This misconception stems from the naming of several pro sports teams (including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Tampa Bay Rays) whose names represent the collective Tampa Bay Area, the hub of which is the city of Tampa, Florida.

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