It is impossible to talk about Hyde Park Tampa, without talking about its roots. Being one of the oldest neighborhoods in Tampa, Hyde Park's roots are what make it unique!
Henry B. Plant and Orville H. Platt, are two men who helped lay the foundations that have continued to influence the character of the area today. Back in the 1880s, the businessman, Henry Plant, gave the neighborhood a much-needed boost by constructing a bridge across the Hillsborough River at West Kennedy Boulevard (then known as Lafayette Street). He is also credited with the building of the spectacular Tampa Bay Hotel (now the University of Tampa), featuring the famous minarets that add an exotic touch to what had once been a quiet fishing town.
Orville Platt then added his mark, naming the area Hyde Park, after his own beloved home back in Illinois, which in turn had taken its name from the famous London park. It seems connections with London are a theme, with a traditional red telephone booth being a whimsical feature on South Dakota Avenue, and an area known as SOHO (though in this case an abbreviation of South Howard's Avenue).
Historical, Vibrant, Expensive
These three words say it all. The apparent links to London seem to have mirrored a similar tendency towards higher costs. House prices are around 2.5 times higher than the national average. It is well worth a ride through the neighborhood just to get a feel for the history (and money!) that flows through the place, as the unique architecture gives a sense of heritage, neatly set within mature grounds with huge oaks that match the houses in age. When Plant built his bridge he secured easy access to Downtown Tampa, ensuring Hyde Park's success and prosperity for future generations. Closer to the waterfront new developments hint at that prosperity, adding to its appeal.
As a result of the higher house prices - and rents, about $300 over the average - the broad range of boutique stores and restaurants tend to be 'high-end'. Because of these factors, Hyde Park Tampa attracts a lot of young professionals and the political atmosphere is more liberal-leaning.
Hyde Park Village, the heart of the neighborhood, is a popular, thriving hub for the locals, as well as many visitors and tourists - it can get very busy.
In the evening, the west side of Hyde Park known as SOHO comes into its own, as the nightlife gets into full swing, earning it the title of being 'the place to party' in Tampa. Bars bustle with revelers enjoying a cocktail, bachelorette parties strolling from bar to bar, and young adults having fun everywhere.
One of the main attractions here is Bayshore Boulevard, officially the longest of its kind in the world. Take a walk or a drive, at almost any time, and you'll see Hyde Park at its best, hugging Hillsborough Bay and with the wedge of the Davis Islands just across the blue waters.
Heavy rainfall can mean flooding, but the problem is being addressed by local authorities through better drainage.
Overall, Hyde Park Tampa has amazing charm, character, and appeal but these features do come at a premium.
If you'd like to show off your local neighborhood pride around town, be sure to check out our selection of Hyde Park neighborhood shirts!
If you'd like to learn about some other Tampa neighborhoods, along with their pros and cons, check out our guide to the best neighborhoods in Tampa.