Davis Islands

Davis Islands: Waterfront Luxury Living Adjacent to Downtown Tampa

If you’re looking for a friendly, tight-knit community with an Old Florida feel, look no further than Davis Islands.

A renowned South Tampa town that can be reached only by bridge, Davis Islands seems to whisk residents away from the chaotic rush of modern living to a laid back community that offers amazing views and refreshing Florida breezes straight off of the water of Tampa Bay.

Surrounded by views of downtown Tampa and the Port of Tampa, Davis Islands is bisected by a canal, creating an archipelago of the town, and giving it the distinction of a plural island name.

With almost every street taking its name from an island or body of water, and a rich history, Davis Islands is regarded as one of the most sought-after communities in all of Tampa Bay.

Davis Islands History

Known as Tampa’s island suburb, Davis Islands came about due to the dreams of D. P. Davis, who is considered “Florida’s version of The Great Gatsby.” Davis was the son of a steamboat captain, and he went through many different jobs before finding real estate just before the big Florida Land Boom.

Davis was considered reckless and driven for his desire to dredge up the swampy land at the mouth of the Hillsborough River, but he was finally received permission from the leaders of Tampa to go forward with his project. He purchased the land for $35,000 dollars in the 1920s, and planned to build a resort community there which would boast three hotels, a private airport, golf courses, and swimming pools.

Although the development of the land stalled due to a downturn in the economy, Davis managed to sell over three hundred lots for a total of $1,683,000 before mysteriously disappearing at sea in October of 1926.


Many of the original Mediterranean-style homes remain on Davis Islands, and have been awarded Historic Designation and local land protection. Some of the most notable original structures include the Palace of Florence and the Mirasol. Other building styles have been added to the mix over the years, and it has resulted in a desirably eclectic and fashionable feel to the island.

Culture and Lifestyle

Many executives and even celebrities call Davis Islands home. With a focus on a traditional “Florida lifestyle,” and an importance placed on sailing and culture at the Davis Islands Yacht Club, there is a definite laidback and luxurious feel to the area. The community is a close-knit one, and also very pet-friendly with plenty of walking trails and its own dog beach. The homes of several well-known Floridians can also be found on Davis Islands, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, and former Tampa Bay Lightning player, Vincent Lecavalier.


Some of Tampa’s best schools can be found near Davis Islands. From pre-school to high school, your children will receive a solid education. You can find the school that best meets the needs of your family by visiting the Hillsborough County Schools Locator.

Dining and Shopping

East Davis Boulevard offers several blocks of that are devoted to shopping and dining, while also maintaining the tranquil island lifestyle that Davis Islands provides. Bars, restaurants, and cafes to fit every craving can be found there, including Margaritas Mexican Restaurant, and a local favorite called Farrell’s on the Island. Davis Islands also has several quaint shops that focus on living the island life, including a premier retail dog care outlet for those that love to spoil their pooch, called Wag.

Things to Do

The Davis Island Yacht Club draws in those that love to spend their free time on the sea, while folks that prefer to keep two feet on the ground can visit the Davis Islands Trail or the famous Davis Islands Dog Beach.  And with downtown Tampa just over the bridge, Davis Islands residents have an almost unlimited supply of sources for entertainment.


If Davis Islands sounds like the right neighborhood for your custom home building project, use the handy button below to set up a free consultation with us to learn more about the neighborhood and our expertise in building custom homes in this neighborhood. You can also learn more about schools in the area using the school locator button.