the ancient mariner
There should be plenty of places to rent—any realtor will have listings. In our Condo, which is right on the water in St Pete—about 25 miles away from downtown Tampa—there are plenty of places.
Don’t be hasty, the economy has made it a buyer’s (renter’s)market.
In the Clearwater area just across the bridge from Tampa there are tons of apartments and restaurants. I would look there first.