Considering moving to Davis Islands, Tampa? While Tampa has many unique and attractive neighborhoods, few can compare to the close-knit community and unique atmosphere of Davis Island. Tampa’s Davis Island got its name from developer Dave Davis who dredged the islands and transformed them into a residential area with an original goal of creating a luxury resort. Today, Davis Island is known for its affluence, outdoor recreation, and waterfront homes. Here’s why Davis Island is a great place to live with a complete guide to living in Davis Island, Tampa.
Davis Islands, Tampa History
The Davis Island neighborhood is one of the most desirable in Tampa. It also has a unique history worth learning if you’re planning on moving to Davis Islands! Davis Islands was built on two man-made islands that sit on small natural islands. These natural islands at the mouth of the Hillsborough River were originally called Big Grassy Key and Little Grassy Key. In the 1920s, mud was dredged from Tampa Bay and used to build up the two islands. This took much convincing of the city fathers.
The developer responsible for the creation of Davis Islands was Dave P. Davis who bought the land for $350,000. Davis was envisioning the “Florida version of the Great Gatsby.” Davis managed to have the top radio station in Tampa and the City Hospital relocated to Davis Island. 306 lots were created and sold for $1.63 million by the time the community opened in 1924.
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Davis wanted to transform Davis Islands with a golf course, airport, pool, and three hotels to create a luxury resort. However, the land boom in Florida came to an end and just $30,000 of the $4 million in payments due was paid. Banks began to seize the villas and hotels on the island.
In 1926, Dave Davis was lost at sea during a voyage to Paris with his friend, Ray Schindler, and his mistress, Mrs. Zehring. There are many stories about what happened to Davis including a drunken accident, suicide, and that he was robbed and thrown overboard.
You can still see many of Davis Islands’ original Mediterranean-style buildings like the Palace of Florence.
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Davis Island Location & Transportation – Getting Around Davis Island, Tampa
Davis Islands is an archipelago on two islands at the mouth of Hillsborough River in Hillsborough County, Florida. Davis Islands is just 3.3 miles south of downtown Tampa. You can travel from downtown Tampa to Davis Island on Davis Blvd via the Davis Islands Bridges. The islands themselves are connected by bridges as well.
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If you’re using public transportation, Davis Island is served by HART Route 19, the South Tampa route. There are stops at Tampa General Hospital on Davis Blvd and Arbor Place & Davis Blvd.
While getting around on Davis Islands, you’ll notice most streets are named after bodies of water and islands. The streets are mostly in alphabetical order starting with Adalia Avenue, which is the first street you cross when you arrive on Davis Island from the mainland, and ending with Severn Avenue at the southern end of the island. Davis Island is small enough that it has no traffic lights.
Davis Island People, Culture & Lifestyle
Who lives in Davis Islands? The population of Davis Islands is about 5,500 with a racial and ethnic composition that’s 93% white, 3% Asian, 2% Black or African American, and 11% Hispanic. The neighborhood has a median household income of $79,600 and an average household income of $122,000.
Davis Island is one of Tampa’s most expensive neighborhoods and its known for its upscale amenities, close proximity to downtown, and beautiful views of Port Tampa. Davis Island is home to its own fun nightlife, shops, and small restaurants all at your fingertips. While there are plenty of nice neighborhoods in Tampa, Davis Island is unique with its proximity to the water and entertainment. If you love to socialize, it’s hard to beat the condensed lifestyle you’ll enjoy living in Davis Island.
You’ll find Davis Island is a very easygoing and quiet neighborhood with most of the amenities you need very close. There are two dog parks on the islands and a park. However, the community doesn’t have a large number of young children – most families have older children. Many Davis Island residents are young professionals who appreciate the short commute downtown.
You’ll find that boating culture is very big after moving to Davis Island. With many homes right on the water and the Davis Island yacht club at the southern end, you’ll feel right at home if you love to be on the water.
You might run into NFL’r Tom Brady who lives here.
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Restaurants, Shopping & Things to Do in Davis Island, Tampa
One of the best things about living in Davis Island? The sheer number of things to do! Davis Island is packed with attractions and amenities including a business district, recreational facilities, and a nightlife with bars. Davis Islands boasts a very pedestrian-friendly and pet-friendly design that makes it easy to shop, dine, and have fun on foot.
The main commercial district of Davis Islands is East Davis Boulevard with blocks of bars, cafes, and restaurants. There’s even sidewalk dining at many restaurants to enjoy Tampa’s famous weather. 220 East will become one of your favorite restaurants after moving to Davis Islands with seafood, steaks, and burgers in a casual/fine dining environment. Looking for a family-friendly restaurant in Davis Island? Try Margaritas Mexican Restaurant which delivers classic Tex-Mex and handcrafted margaritas. Another popular spot along the commercial district is Thai Island Restaurant with signature dishes like soft-shell crab, sizzling curry, and Thai Island Scallops.
In the mood for shopping? While living in Davis Island, you can browse small shops in the commercial area that are mostly locally owned. TeBella Tea Company is a fun café and tea shop with more than 85 varieties of tea plus artisanal chocolates and French macaroons. Because Davis Island is a pet-friendly community, you don’t even need to leave the neighborhood for all of your pet needs. Stop by Wag Natural Pet Market & Grooming Tampa for all-natural dog and cat food, the store’s specialty, or take your pup in for a bath with self-service or professional grooming.
You’ll also find plenty of things to do in Davis Island for fun. Davis Island has endless opportunities for outdoor recreation like bicycling, swimming, and boating. The crown jewel of the neighborhood is Davis Islands Beach. While not great for swimming, the beach is perfect for watching the boats, catching some sun, or enjoying a picnic. The south end of the beach even offers a dog beach! Nearby is the Davis Island Yacht Club, a private yacht club that sponsors sailing races and a cruising fleet.
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Here’s where to find these top Davis Island attractions and activities:
- 220 East, 220 E Davis Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606 (813) 259-1220
- Margaritas Mexican Restaurant, 209 Davis Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606 (813) 251-0558
- Thai Island Restaurant, 210 E Davis Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606 (813) 251-9111
- TeBella Tea Company, 227 E Davis Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606 (813) 254-1212
- Wag Natural Pet Market & Grooming Tampa, 304 E Davis Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606 (813) 258-9181
- Davis Islands Beach, Tampa, FL 33606
- Davis Island Yacht Club, 1315 Severn Ave, Tampa, FL 33606 (813) 251-1158
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Real Estate in Davis Islands, Tampa, FL
Ahead of moving to Davis Islands, Tampa, you’ll probably want to know what you can afford with your budget. Davis Islands homes range from modest to large estates with many historic homes built in the 1920s to 1950s.
The average home price in Davis Islands is $849,000. You can find more modern 4-bedroom homes for under $700k as well as large estates priced over $20 million. Waterfront homes, of course, are usually priced over $2 million. Along with single-family homes, you can enjoy condo or penthouse living at The Islander Condominium, a mid-rise condo complex with waterfront views. Penthouse units boast 3 bedrooms with prices starting at $1.5 million.
Considering renting while living in Davis Islands, Tampa? Rental properties are limited. You can expect to pay average rent of $1,400 in Davis Islands for a one-bedroom apartment.
No matter where you live, you’ll be served by three schools in Davis Islands: an elementary school, middle school, and high school.
Is Davis Islands calling to you? If you have settled on relocating to this beautiful Tampa neighborhood, call the friendly Davis Islands movers at 2 College Brothers today to request your free moving estimate!