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Davis Island

Davis Islands, Tampa, FL Real Estate

When looking for luxury properties on the East Coast, you can never go wrong with waterfront homes for sale on Davis Islands, Tampa, FL. This historic neighborhood is an archipelago known for its proximity to and spectacular views of Downtown Tampa and the Port of Tampa. You will also find elaborate, pastel-colored, Mediterranean-style buildings dating back to the 1920s. 

Here are some things you need to know about Davis Islands waterfront homes for sale and living in the area.


Living the resort lifestyle on Davis Islands will make you feel like you’re on vacation every day. Since it is an archipelago, Many Davis Islands homes for sale are luxury waterfront properties that are perfect for any life stage. Whether you’re single or with a growing family and you’re looking for (1) a dream home where you can enjoy the views and water-based activities, (2) a vacation home by the waters, (3) an investment property, or (4) a place for retirement, the waterfront homes for sale on Davis Islands, Tampa, FL will not disappoint.

Learn more about Davis Islands and discover the amazing opportunities waiting for you here in your new neighborhood.

History of Davis Islands

Davis Islands is an archipelago built on two man-made islands atop two small natural islands, known as Little Grass Key and Big Grass Key, at the mouth of the Hillsborough River. The islands were built through mud dredging from the bottom of Tampa Bay – an undertaking done in the 1920s by developer D.P. Davis during the Florida Land Boom, hence the name, Davis Islands.

Davis had big plans for this property, with dreams of turning it into the “Florida version of the Great Gatsby.” After buying the land for $350,000, it was subdivided into 306 lots which were then sold for $1.63 in 1924.

D.P. Davis wanted to turn this archipelago into a luxury resort community, complete with a golf course, airport, pool, and hotels. But, by the time his resort took off, the Florida Land Boom eventually died down. Deep in debt, he was only able to pay $30,000 of the $4 million in payments due. Banks then seized the villas and hotels on the islands. Then, in 1926, D.P. Davis went on a voyage to Paris and was mysteriously lost at sea.

Features and highlights of Davis Islands

One of the highlights of Davis Islands is the encompassing Mediterranean theme among many of the older buildings here. These structures from the 1920s remain well-preserved and were given a National Historic Designation and local protections. Some notable structures include the Palace of Florence and Mirasol. Davis Islands has eventually become populated by residential and retail districts and now features various architectural styles. 

Davis Islands is one of the best neighborhoods to live in Tampa, FL. Located in Hillsborough County, the archipelago offers a dense suburban feel and a population consisting of young professionals, families, and retirees. Living here, you’ll immediately feel right at home with the cozy village setting, a friendly environment, and a walkable community where people are always on golf carts and kids are on bikes. Marinas are also available for boat owners, as well as a sailing club, running trails, and the Peter O. Knight Airport – all located within five minutes from Downtown Tampa.

Davis Islands is also home to Tampa General Hospital which is located at its northern tip. It serves as the area’s largest tertiary referral center, Level I Trauma center, and teaching hospital affiliated with the University of South Florida Colleges of Medicine and Nursing. Most of the heavy traffic congestion starts around the hospital so it’s best to visit the islands from the mainland during the weekends.

Several parks are also found on Davis Islands, namely Marjorie Park, the Marjorie Park Municipal Yacht Basin, and the Seaplane Basin Park. Marjorie Park is named after D.P. Davis’ wife, Marjorie Merritt Davis. The said park was eventually donated to the City of Tampa.

Here are other interesting facts about Davis Islands:

  • You won’t find traffic lights here.
  • Almost all the streets here are named after bodies of water or islands, which makes sense since it’s an archipelago.
  • When you arrive on Davis Islands from the bridge that connects it to Mainland Tampa, you will notice that the streets are loosely arranged in alphabetical order from Adalia Avenue to Severn Avenue.

As the Sunshine State, Florida is the preferred choice of many famous people and celebrities. The luxury waterfront properties here, in particular, are especially sought after due to their resort city vibe and tranquil environment. 

Among the most notable personalities who live on Davis Islands is former baseball player and businessman Derek Jeter. His seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom waterfront home is the largest residence in the Tampa area which was built to look like an aircraft carrier.

Other famous A-listers with properties in Davis Islands include Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Lightning players Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman, former NFL player Brad Culpepper, former Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier, former New York Yankees player Tino Martinez, and former Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn.


When looking for waterfront homes for sale on Davis Islands, Tampa, FL, get to know the real estate market conditions of the area. This will help you to make an informed decision on whether to live or invest in this area and the right kind of property for your goals.

If you want to live in a neighborhood in Tampa, FL with a bustling community vibe, look no further than waterfront homes for sale on Davis Islands, Tampa, FL. It is one of Tampa’s most expensive neighborhoods known for its high-end amenities. Most of the residents in this small community own their homes, but there are also available properties for rent here. The median listing price of homes for sale on Davis Islands, Tampa, FL, is $2.2 million (December 2022) versus the national median value of around $428,700 (Q1, 2022), while the median rent for a 2-bedroom residence is $2,938 versus the national median rent of the same-sized residence at $1,295. Davis Islands waterfront homes for sale range from around $300,000 to $24 million.

The housing market of Davis Islands has toned down significantly, putting both buyers and sellers at equal standing and opening more windows of opportunity to those wanting to purchase a waterfront home here. As of January 2023, homes for sale in the area were sold at a median price of $1.76 million, up from the previous month’s $1.07 million. However, homes for sale are staying longer in the market at 85 days compared to December 2022’s 64 days. Nevertheless, a decent and steady growth in home values has been reflected in the area in the past several years. 

Aside from waterfront homes, other Davis Islands real estate for sale include single-family homes, condos, and townhomes.

Getting around Davis Islands

Located 3.3 miles south of Downtown Tampa, Davis Islands can be reached by crossing Kennedy Boulevard Bridge and turning left on Plant Avenue to Davis Islands Causeway. The two islands are also connected by bridges.

Being a small, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood, there are not many public transit options on Davis Islands. The area is served by HART Route 19 – the South Tampa route – which has stops at Tampa General Hospital and Arbor Place. Many use their vehicles to get to their respective destinations or use bikes or scooters to go around. Owners of waterfront homes also have their boats and yachts parked at their docks or in one of the marinas.

But probably the best means for getting from Point A to Point B in Davis Islands is by walking. The sidewalks here are wide and lighted at night, commercial areas are close to each other, and residents know each other. Thus, you can rest assured that you’ll be safe even when walking alone at night. 

Notable structures and properties

Homes for sale on Davis Islands, Tampa, FL, range from modest to sprawling estates. There are historic Mediterrenean-style homes built between the 1920s and 1950s interspersed with more recently built homes sporting modern architectural styles.

Some of the vintage structures on Davis Islands include:

  • Villa De Leon Apartments. Formerly called Ponce De Leon Apartments, this complex was built on 16 Davis Boulevard in 1925. Composed of 21 units, it forms a wonderfully balanced maze of parapet roofs and balconies.
  • Ali Giunand House. Located at 25 Adalia Street, this two-story stucco home was built in 1924 and has a central open tower that D.P. Davis popularized among middle-class structures. The Ali Giunand House is part of a block of small Mediterranean Revival homes.
  • Frank Lyons House. This is a Mediterranean-style home built in 1926 at 27 Adalia Street. It has a pish parapet and extensive balconies.
  • Joseph Greco House. This home at 58 Adalia provides a sharp contrast to the old Mediterranean-style homes due to its modern design influences.
  • Francis Gannon House. This home at 54 Aegean Street built in 1925 is a fine six-bedroom U-shaped hacienda that was once owned by the treasurer of Davis Islands Inc.
  • James A. Keeter House. Built in 1927, this home at 112 Adriatic Street is a Mediterranean Revival home and among the earliest residences on Davis Islands. The other two earliest residences are also found on Adriatic Street – the James Hughes House and the Captain Jack de Lysla House, a big home with a square tower.
  • James D. Barrett House. This massive stucco villa with a tower was built in 1928 at 61 Albermarle Street. It is owned by the founder of Poinsettia Dairy.
  • Roy Martin House. Built in 1925, this residence at 53 Albermarle Street is an L-shaped Mediterranean-style residence with balconies and a tower.
  • John Fitzwater House. This 1926-built home at 38 Aegean Street is the residence of the President of Charles Bell Real Estate.
  • Catholic Womens Club. The last of the oldest section of homes, the Catholic Womens Club built in 1926 at 31 Aegean Street was converted to a residence and has an interesting frieze work.
  • Davis Islands Administration Building. This historic building built in 1925 at 30 Davis Boulevard was used in recent years by Sea Born School. In its early days, this was where D.P. Davis would meet with his salesmen.
  • Palace of Florence. When passing by Davis Boulevard, don’t forget to stop by the Palace of Florence, a lovely three-story version of Florence, Italy’s Palazzo Vecchio built in 1924. This building was designed by M. Leo Elliott as an apartment retreat. The most notable features include the high square tower and the grand central stairway that leads to the second-floor entrances, both conceived by Atho Menaboni.
  • Herbert Draper House. This L-shaped hacienda with a three-story open campanile and transom towers at 36 Columbia Drive was built in 1926.
  • Marjorie Park Gatehouse. Built in 1925, this structure still has its original Davis Islands motifs up to this day.
  • Bayview Apartments. Built in 1926, these three-story apartments at 511-513 Columbia Drive were restored in 1996 by Gaspar Properties – the same builder that restored other vintage Davis Islands apartments, including the Palace of Florence.
  • Davis Shopping Arcade. Along East Davis Boulevard, you’ll come across Davis Shopping Arcade, also known to many as the Fountain Arcade. It used to be the Bay Isle Commercial Building designed by M. Leo Elliott in 1925.
  • Dave Davis House. At 116 West Davis is D.P. Davis’ L-shaped Mediterranean home where his young widow lived after his disappearance.

Many of these historic buildings on Davis Islands were added to the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Mediterranean Revival Style Buildings of Davis Islands Multiple Property Submission.


If you’re up for sun, sea, and surf combined with a sprinkling of history and a strong sense of community, then the waterfront homes for sale on Davis Islands, Tampa, FL will give you what you deserve and more. Moving here, you’ll come across neighbors who will welcome you with a smile and some good cheer. Life on the archipelago itself is slower and more laid-back compared to the hustle and bustle of Downtown Tampa you’ll never be too far from urban conveniences. It is also a pet-friendly community with two dog parks. 

Given its nature as an archipelago, you can expect the boating culture here to be thriving. Many homes on Davis Islands are situated by the water so most homeowners here are also boat owners. The archipelago also has a yacht club located at its southern end.


There are three public schools serving Davis Islands for elementary, middle, and high school – all of which are top-rated:

  • Gorrie Elementary School
  • Wilson Middle School
  • Plant High School

Points of interest and attractions

  • Davis Islands Beach. Located at 900 Martinique Avenue, this beach is sometimes lined with anchored boats. It is near Downtown Tampa and is a favorite haunt for a relaxing day of reading, having a picnic, or basking in the sun.
  • Davis Islands Dog Beach. There’s nothing like a day out on the beach with your canine companion, and you can do so at Davis Islands Dog Beach. Here, your fur baby can enjoy the waves and bask in the sun with you!
  • Davis Islands Yacht Club. This private yacht club at the south end of Davis Islands sponsors sailing races and a cruising fleet.
  • Merrymakers Club. Situated at the corner of Danube and Barbados Avenues, the Merrymakers Club is a two-story stucco building that is home to the only social club for young adults originally planned for Davis Islands.

Local shopping and dining recommendations

East Davis Boulevard is the epicenter of retail and commerce on Davis Islands. pning several blocks along the boulevard, You will find a diverse array of restaurants, bars, cafes, and retail hubs lining several blocks of the boulevard so hopping from one establishment to another is not a problem. Good news for pet lovers: most of these establishments, as well as the rest of the islands, are pet-friendly. So, you’re welcome to drop in for lunch or dinner with Fido or Fifi by your side.

Below are just some of Davis Islands’ homegrown establishments:

  • Margaritas Mexican Restaurant(209 Davis Boulevard). This is the go-to place for handcrafted traditional Mexican food and margaritas.
  • Islands Pizza Tavern(235 East Davis Boulevard). This family-style pizza place and bar is open up to late at night for deliveries to sate your late-night pizza cravings.
  • 220 East(220 East Davis Boulevard). This is a local favorite among the restaurants on Davis Islands due to its diverse menu options that include seafood, steaks, and burgers.
  • Thai Island Restaurant(210 East Davis Boulevard). Owned by mother-daughter duo Pat and Penn, Thai Island Restaurant has been serving outstanding Thai food for almost a decade. Their bestsellers include soft-shell crab, sizzling curry, and Thai Island Scallops.
  • TeBella Tea Company(Flagship store: 227 East Davis Boulevard). This cafe and tea shop offers more than 85 kinds of tea, along with artisanal chocolates and French macaroons.
  • Wag Natural Pet Market(304 East Davis Boulevard). For all your pet’s needs, this pet care center offers all-natural dog and cat food, self-service wash, professional grooming services, and training services.


Experience the laid-back island lifestyle on Davis Islands by connecting with a trusted real estate agent armed with hyperlocal knowledge of the area’s real estate market. Better yet, find a specialist in waterfront homes on Davis Islands, not just any standard agent. That’s because waterfront homes have a set of specifications that only those who specialize in this kind of property can understand.

In Tampa Bay, one Realtor who stands out among the area’s luxury and waterfront home specialists is Dania Perry P.A. Having been in the industry since 2006. Dania has risen from the ranks to become the #1 Selling Individual Real Estate Agent by Total Sales Volume in Tampa Bay and the #1 Selling CENTURY 21 Real Estate Agent in the World.

Let Dania demonstrate her expertise and professionalism by making her your guide in your home-buying journey in Tampa, FL. Contact her at 727.215.2045 or send her anemail to get started.

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