Introduction to Brandon, Florida
Brandon is an unincorporated community located in Hillsborough County, Florida. The community is situated about 10 miles east of Tampa, near Florida's Gulf Coast. Easily accessible from Interstates I-4 and I-75, Brandon is the largest unincorporated community in the state of Florida.
Named for founder and landowner John Brandon, the community originated in the late-nineteenth century and has since grown in spurts; at first sporadically until around 1950, when a real growth period began. By the early 1960s, Brandon's population was around 8,000 and it was estimated that on average a new family moved into town every day. By the late 1980s, the population had climbed to around 100,000 with over 2,500 businesses having sprung forward. Although still unincorporated, Brandon has grown by leaps and bounds and today could well be considered a major urban area, with an ongoing influx of new public schools, corporate centers and industries.
Things to Do in Brandon
Located within minutes of downtown Tampa, Brandon combines small town living with easy access to the big city. There is plenty to do within Brandon itself, but even more when including the beaches and attractions nearby. Brandon is home to Westfield Shoppingtown (originally known as Brandon Town Center), a 900,000+ square-foot shopping facility and the Tampa area's premier shopping destination. One of Brandon's most notable annual events is the Brandon Balloon Classic. Held every April, the two-day celebration features over 50 hot air balloons from all over the country.
The city of Orlando is about 90 minutes away from Brandon. In addition to Walt Disney World, attractions in the Orlando area include Universal Studios and Sea World Florida. The Tampa area, only minutes away, has its own share of popular attractions, including the following:
- Busch Gardens Tampa Bay: An African-themed family entertainment park with a combination of world-class animal habitats, thrilling rides, live entertainment, dining, and shopping.
- The Florida International Museum (St. Petersburg): Features a permanent Kennedy Exhibition in addition to a variety of changing exhibits.
- The Florida Aquarium: Includes over 10,000 plants and animals, plus exhibits featuring Australian sea dragons and invertebrates.
- Florida Holocaust Museum: The fourth-largest Holocaust museum in the country.
- Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI): The largest science center in the Southeast with 450 interactive activities.
- Tampa Museum of Art: Exhibitions range from contemporary to classic with a permanent collection of Greek and Roman antiquities.
- WildLife on Easy Street: More than 200 big cats and other animals.
Sports fans can enjoy professional action of both the major league and minor league variety in nearby Tampa, home to the following teams:
- Football: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL)
- Baseball: Tampa Bay Devil Rays (MLB)
- Hockey: Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL)
- Arena Football: Tampa Bay Storm (AFL)
- Minor League Baseball: Tampa Yankees (Single-A affiliate of the N.Y. Yankees)
Tampa is also the Spring Training site of Major League Baseball's New York Yankees. The city of Lakeland, less than 30 minutes away, is home to the Lakeland Flying Tigers, the Single-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. Lakeland also serves as the Detroit Tigers Spring Training site.