Harbour Island waterfrontWriting this neighborhood spotlight is special for me. Harbour Island is the reason I moved to Tampa in 2007. At the time, I could live anywhere as I was playing professional racquetball and resided in Naples, FL. Naples was great, but I was craving something more of city life, and I started looking to move but wasn't sure where. The east coast of Florida wasn't quite my vibe and happened to be invited to conduct a racquetball clinic at Harbour Island during my off-season. I drove up to Tampa, and instantly fell in love with the city, people, and atmosphere. The setup was perfect for me. I could walk to Harbour Island Athletic Club, Tampa International Airport was 15 minutes away with more direct flight options than the other cities I had lived in, and I was within walking distance to Downtown Tampa, and Channelside. One month after hosting the clinic, I was a Tampa resident, and the rest is history.

I enjoyed my time on Harbour Island for 5 years. During that time, I witnessed the city grow before my eyes. Harbour Island added two apartment high-rise buildings, restaurants, and retail space, Channelside Mall eventually became Sparkman's Wharf, Riverwalk was developed, and Water Street went from dream to reality in recent years. Living on Harbour Island is like living in a suburb next to the city. In most cases, you are walking distance from popular destinations and waterfront and downtown restaurants, and as long as a lightning game isn't going on, you're conveniently located to the Crosstown Expressway, I-75, and I-275.

The waterfront lifestyle lends itself to water activities, whether that is boating, paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, or any other water activities you can think of. The island is also host to some of the area's most popular restaurants and bars: American Social, Jackson's Bistro, Cafe Dufrain, Watervue Grill, and Cry Baby Cafe to name a few. You can even hop on a water taxi to take you up the riverwalk to places like Curtis Hixon Park, Ulele, Armature Works, or Davis Islands.

Harbour Island is a man-made island, and a planned community. It features controlled retention ponds on the south end of the island, so flooding is rarely an issue as much as in other parts of South Tampa and happens to be on the same underground power grid as Downtown Tampa, and Tampa General Hospital.

Posted by Shane Vanderson on


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