The Hillsborough River dominates the area northwest of Tampa as it winds serenely through the countryside. The northern reaches of the river provide an idyllic setting, complete with oak and cypress canopies. The area is perfect for canoeing, sighting alligators and exotic tropical birds like the Blue Heron, or simply enjoying nature's riches at Hillsborough River State Park.

Four major malls, two large "flea markets" and several neighborhood shopping centers are among the shopping mix in the area. Two of the area's popular shopping areas are the Westfield Citrus Park and International Plaza and Bay Street. Citrus Park Towncenter is designed with individual, unique storefronts as well as captivating bronze statues of children playing. The International Plaza, located on the grounds of Tampa International Airport, features Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, and Nordstrom. The center?s inviting Bay Street outdoor lifestyle area and an upscale hotel complement the selection of four anchor department stores and over 200 specialty retailers including the market?s only Tiffany & Co.

The University of South Florida, Florida's second largest state-supported university, is a coed, comprehensive educational and research institution with more than 50,000 students enrolled during the academic year. The two-year Hillsborough Community College annually enrolls more than 33,000, but regularly serves about 8,000 students on several campuses scattered throughout the county.

Located midway along the west coast of Florida, Hillsborough County encompasses 1,072 square miles, 24 of which are made up of inland waterways. The unincorporated area encompasses 931 square miles, or more than 86 percent of the total county area. Incorporated cities include Temple Terrace, Plant City, and Tampa ? the largest city, which is the Hillsborough county seat.

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