What You Should Know About Hillsborough County, FL

Hillsborough County FL

Smart AC Repair presents this handy resource guide for the Hillsborough County area:

tampa fl

Standing at a massive 1266.4 square miles with an estimated population of about 1,471,968 as of 2019, Hillsborough County is the most populous county in Florida outside the Miami Metro area.

Their population is estimated to be larger than 12 states in the US, so that alone speaks volumes on how populous the county is.



Brief History

Hillsborough’s history dates back to the early stages of the 19th century, particularly 1834. It was created from the Alachua and Monroe counties (as they were still known as back then) as a result of the efforts of Augustus Steele, and was named for Wills Hill who had served as the British Secretary of State for the Colonies a few years back.

At the time of creation, Hillsborough county was way larger than it is today and since then, eight counties have been created from it. These counties include Charlotte County, DeSoto, Hardee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota. The last significant change to the county’s borders was the creation of Pinellas county which came about by separation of Hillsborough’s western section. This was back in 1911 and since then, there haven’t been any further changes.

Geography & Topography

As earlier mentioned, the county stands at a massive 1266.4 square miles of which 19% is covered by water. Majority of the county stands unincorporated, (888 square miles) and municipalities cover 163 square miles. There are plenty of natural features around Hillsborough county including Alafia River State Park and Hillsborough River state parks, which are very common destinations for tourists and locals alike, as well as Lithia Springs which is one of the largest natural springs in the entire state of Florida.

Popular Attractions

As you would expect from any county in Florida, Hillsborough isn’t short of attraction sites that make ideal destinations for vacations as well as holiday trips. From museums to theme parks, cruises, and outdoor activities, they’ve got it all. Here are the top four most popular attraction sites in Hillsborough.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Sunshine Skyway BridgeVoted travelers choice 2020 on Trip Advisor, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge is a must see for anyone visiting Hillsborough County.

It is a beautiful site to pass under if you are in a water vessel and even more thrilling to drive over. The views are nothing short of magnificent and it provides a beautiful backdrop.

Your trip to Hillsborough would simply be incomplete without a stop by this famous bridge.



Busch Gardens

Busch GardensLocated off North McKinley Drive, Busch Gardens is the ultimate destination for whole family fun. They combine a number of world class thrilling rides as well as live entertainment of hundreds different species animals.

Regardless of whether you are looking for a thrill to get that adrenaline pumping or something just chilled to help you relax, you are guaranteed to find it here.

Ideal for family days out as there is plenty for kids and adults to engage in. The best part is that there are concession stands so there is no need to carry packed lunch.

Big Cat Rescue

Big Cat RescueFor any wildlife lovers this is the perfect place to stop by while in Hillsborough. Just as the name suggests, Big Cat Rescue is home to some of the most exotic big cats from different corners of the globe.

In just one trip, you can see some leopards and cheetahs from the Serengeti, lions from Australia and tigers from India.

Being the largest accredited big cat facility in the whole world, you are guaranteed to have a good time and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Amalie Arena

Amalie ArenaFor those that love a little bit of a show as well as some sports, this is the place. Amalie Arena plays host to the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning and also the NBA’s Toronto Raptors temporarily.

The arena is never short of action especially when one of these teams is playing because fans always turn up and generate an electric atmosphere that is simply enjoying.

When there aren’t any games, you can come and enjoy live music concerts with big name artists such as Celine Dion, Ariana Grande and the Jonas Brothers having played here in the last eighteen months.


Hillsborough County is home to Tampa International Airport, one of the biggest international Airports outside Miami. There are also other important airports such as the Tampa Executive Airport near Brandon, Peter O. Knight Airport near downtown Tampa, and the Plant City Airport near Plant City.


Hillsborough County has the eighth largest school district in the United States consisting of 206 schools, 133 of which are elementary, 42 middle and 27 traditional high schools. Back in 2013, 12 of these 27 high schools were ranked among the best high schools in America by Newsweek and in the same year, all of them featured on Washington Post’s list of the 2000 most challenging schools in America.