The History of Seminole Heights, Tampa: Why It’s a Great Neighborhood

On a typical Friday night, it’s hard to deny that for a lot of residents of the Tampa Bay area, Seminole Heights is the place to be.

The restaurants, bars, and nightclubs scattered across Seminole Heights have helped make this neighborhood the “It” spot in Tampa, where the new establishments lining N Florida and N Nebraska avenues have become a magnet for local residents and out-of-towners alike to congregate and enjoy what the city has to offer.

What do those patrons have in common?

You’ve got beer and wine enthusiasts mixing with foodies, artists, and musicians eager to check out the burgeoning restaurant and bar scene.

And not surprisingly, new commercial establishments keep setting up shop here, adding to the neighborhood’s appeal.

Seminole Heights is one of Tampa’s oldest established neighborhoods, with some of Tampa’s most historic buildings. It also has the distinction of being one of the earliest areas to get serviced by streetcar. The history of Seminole Heights, Tampa can be seen in the architecture and construction of the historic buildings. 

Over the years, neighborhoods constantly change, in ways large and small. The good news for Seminole Heights is that the biggest change in recent years has been a genuine resurgence. This resurgence is in the form of new gourmet restaurants, brewpubs and eclectic businesses, which have helped make Seminole Heights one of the most up-and-coming parts of Tampa Bay.

And that’s true not just for area residents looking for a fun place to hang out after work, but also for new homeowners.

The History of Seminole Heights

history of seminole heights tampa

Seminole Heights dates back to 1911, when developer T. Roy Young built Tampa’s first community three miles north of downtown and called it Seminole Heights.

The area became home to a series of bungalow homes, and because the neighborhood dates back to the turn of the century, it has some of Tampa’s most historic buildings, including the Seminole Heights Methodist Church, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, and Hillsborough High School.  

It was one of the earliest residential neighborhoods to get connected by streetcar, where a trolley line let Seminole Heights residents commute into downtown.

The annual Seminole Heights Home Tour showcases the area’s history, with visits to some of the bungalows and old-fashioned Cracker-style homes here.

And in a sign of the direction this neighborhood has taken in recent years, one of the most historic structures is a Victorian house with a wraparound porch.

Today it’s not residential, but the home to Front Porch Grill & Bart’s Tavern, a popular casual dining spot with an outside bar featuring patio tables and a stage setup. Front Porch Grill says a lot about how Seminole heights has changed in recent years.

If you’re looking for it, it’s all there. There’s a trendy bar scene with handmade cocktails and craft brews – and a bohemian appeal ideal for the rising number of artists, musicians and other creative types moving here.

These establishments are definitely helping to attract young professionals and their families who are looking for just the kind of hip urban vibe that a neighborhood like this one offers.

The Seminole Heights renaissance has brought with it rising property values and a fast-growing number of new dining establishments and new businesses.

What Attracts Residents to Seminole Heights?

history of seminole heights tampa

In the past 20 years, the reputation of Seminole Heights has only gotten better. In 2003, Southeast Seminole Heights was named Best Neighborhood in America by Neighborhoods USA, a national, non-profit organization committed to building and strengthening neighborhood organizations.

Then in July 2009, This Old House magazine ranked Seminole Heights among the Top 10 best places to buy a home, noting that the neighborhood should be particularly appealing to families, people with a love for gardening, and those who enjoy taking a stroll.

The magazine could have added that hipsters have good reason to live here, too.

In recent years, Seminole Heights has attracted people moving back into the city from the suburbs, eliminating their commute time into downtown, while offering the benefit of being close to the amenities that city life provides.

Seminole Heights Restaurants and Local Establishments

N Florida Avenue has become a real neighborhood hangout, attracting businesses that are highly ambitious when it comes to providing real culinary delights.

Once empty buildings have been filled by popular drinking establishments like The Independent – a pioneer in the craft beer movement in Tampa, with 14 taps that rotate daily and more than 150 bottles to choose from; and Mermaid Tavern a Seminole Heights craft beer bar, wine bar, and gastropub.

Other popular spots are:

These restaurants have helped cement the neighborhood’s fine reputation as the place to be.

Enjoying a relaxing drink after work is fun, and so is enjoying meals at local restaurants like The Refinery and Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café. Ella’s, for example, offers live music and folk-art along with food and drinks.

A lot of the establishments in Seminole Heights strive to be as unique as possible.

Add to that specialty shops like Sherry’s Yesterdaze with its vintage clothing, accessories, and jewelry; or the Second Sunday Morning Market that attracts more than 100 vendors to Hillsborough High School’s front lawn–you can see why Seminole Heights has a strong reputation as a fun and charming neighborhood to reside in.

Seminole Heights New Homes For Sale

The growing appeal of Seminole Heights and it’s enjoyable restaurants and hipster scene attracts a lot of patrons, but it’s also become a popular place to live. That’s why home builders like Domain Homes are constructing new houses here, knowing that it remains one of Tampa’s most popular neighborhoods.

Domain Homes is the Tampa Bay area’s Urban Neighborhood new home builder.

Domain Homes procures sites in Tampa Bay’s most highly desirable and sought-after neighborhoods like Seminole Heights.

Domain Homes purchases older, dilapidated homes and replaces them with new move-in-ready homes. Domain Homes believes that buyers shouldn’t have to settle for a “used” home once they’ve discovered how beautiful Tampa Bay is.

Domain Homes also builds in other established neighborhoods, including:

Domain Homes is building new homes in these neighborhoods, which could include your dream home in an ideal location.

Contact Domain Homes today at 813-580-8111 to learn about the homes we have available there.

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