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Old 06-15-2008, 09:59 AM
12 posts, read 58,856 times
Reputation: 18


I know that I am probably comparing apples and oranges but I want to get out of the Northeast. Originally from NY, I am now living in New England and freezing my buns off... Every winter I long for the sunshine and go anywhere tropical that I can.

My husband who is in financial services and myself (a lawyer) in our late 30s with no kids do not speak Spanish (he doesnt know a word and I can get by in basic conversation such as at restaurants, grocery stores, etc but am not fluent by any means). We really wanted to live in Miami (love the blue water, the ocean, the liveliness and have some family a friends in Palm Beach County. However, we are worried about the Spanish language and finding jobs. We are also concerned that we may have trouble fitting in.

We want to live in a high rise condo on or near water. We need a busy lifestyle with a dense population. We were attracted to Miami for that reason. We also looked at Ft. Lauderdale and ruled it out because when we visited last week, it was booorrrriiiinnngg and the city itself seemed half alive. (Are we wrong??)

So now we are considering the Tampa/St. Petersburg areas. Tampa seems to be nice with a lot going on. How are the beaches? Is the water as blue as it is in Miami? I'm going there next month to see but would like to have some guidance.

If anyone has lived both places, which is better for us based on the above.

Any help is GREATLY appreciated!
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Old 06-15-2008, 04:45 PM
13,768 posts, read 38,191,933 times
Reputation: 10689
Check out this thread.. there are pictures of Tampa and the gulf.

The gulf water is warmer than the Atlantic. I think the gulf looks more green than blue. Housing is cheaper in Tampa/St. Pete. Not being able to speak spanish is not a problem in Tampa, although there are some jobs where being bilingual is a benefit.
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Old 06-15-2008, 06:27 PM
Location: Miami
6,853 posts, read 22,455,683 times
Reputation: 2962
Put it this way, if you are from the Northeast then South Florida (aka as Miami/Ft.Lauderdale) will be more your style. If you are from the Midwest then Tampa will be more your pace.

As far as the ocean/gulf, The Ocean side (east coast of Florida) will have that blue water the gulf has always been a more brownish color to me (maybe I have been there on the wrong days). The sand on Miami Beach isn't natural. The sand is hauled in from the Bahamas I believe. The west coast has the natural (real) sand. This is because the west coast has the shells that create the sand. Personally I prefer the Ocean. But the gulf is nice to go shelling.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:19 AM
3,124 posts, read 4,935,934 times
Reputation: 1955
We have the powder soft white sand beaches on the West coast The water is very blue; sometimes azure. S Florida has a true tropical climate, in Tampa we are Sub-Tropical. Basically means a difference of about 5 degrees in temps

I'm from New England -- moving here was a bit of a culture shock, but then I found my peeps and got happy. If you're looking for a more cosmopolitan life style, Hyde Park and SoHo in Tampa are the places to be. DownTown St. Pete, too. If you want to be near the beach, stay out of Tampa. The beaches are about 1/2 hour drive or more from Tampa. However we have Bayshore Blvd (where I live *sigh*) and it is gorgeous. Longest unbroken waterfront sidewalk in the country
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:23 AM
3,124 posts, read 4,935,934 times
Reputation: 1955
FYI to add -- we HATE it in the bay area when people call it "St. Petes". St. Petersburg, St. Pete are the preferred monikors. The beach is a seperate city from St. Petersburg and it's official name is St. Pete Beach.
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Old 03-03-2009, 01:09 PM
2,413 posts, read 5,749,070 times
Reputation: 1221
Both beautiful cities, Ive been to both. I cant see why anyone would live in Miami. Its ok to visit, but thats it. Miami has more condos on the beach. But tampa has a lot to. If you want fast paced and urban. Miami has that, in a bit of a third world country kind of way. Tampa is more laid back. How Florida should be. The beaches are nice in both cities. nice white sand. miamis water is more turquois, tampa bay areas are more blue. If you want that busy lifestyle Id say miami for you. After all, If you can afford a condo on the beach, you can afford rosetta stone. Spanish isnt that hard to learn.
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:12 PM
5,969 posts, read 9,560,012 times
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Miami Beach is the best choice in Florida if you do not want to be bored.
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:49 AM
8,289 posts, read 13,562,354 times
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seeing how you are both professionals language in miami shouldn't be a obstacle. now if you were working in retail competing for a job I can see how not being bilingual might be a hindrance. Despite what you've heard we do speak English in Miami!
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Old 03-04-2009, 12:28 PM
Location: Miami/ Washington DC
4,836 posts, read 12,005,791 times
Reputation: 2600
If you want a lot to do and a dense population move to Miami. Tampa is nothing compared to Miami it is a very simple fact. You dont need to know Spanish to live in Miami, especially if you want to live on a Beach side condo. There are some really great areas on the Barrier Islands for the Beach Condos and this is also a very densely populated place to live. Again Tampa can not compare to Miami. Miami is a global city, Tampa is just a city.
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:57 PM
Location: Tampa Bay
158 posts, read 503,965 times
Reputation: 108
I've lived in both, actually went to college at the Univ. of Miami but have lived in the Tampa Bay area the past 11-12 years. I still visit Miami quite a bit though.

I like both cities but the Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater area is a more liveable metro area IMO. Miami certainly isn't for everyone. If you can put up with the banana republic politics and daily B.S. of living in Miami than it's a fun place to live but if not, it can be a miserable place to be. I've never found not being fluent in Spanish a problem living down there but it certainly helps.

Personally I liked living in Miami, it's just that the Tampa Bay area was a better fit for me. There's plenty to do in both cities so either way, you'll never have to worry about being bored, EVER again!

My feeling is that I'd rather live in Tampa Bay and visit Miami than to actually live in Miami.

Also fwiw, Pinellas County(St. Pete/Clearwater) is a lot smaller than Miami-Dade but it's the most densely populated county in Florida. Almost 3x more population density than Dade County.
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