I'm not really qualified to write about this topic, other than I'm sort of from Houston, and have spent a grand total of about 2 weeks in Tampa, Florida. I think people write about things for which they have even less knowledge and experience, so I'm exercising my blogger's rights, and writing my own Houstonian's Guide to Tampa. Here's the outline, with a book to follow:
People in Tampa are very similar to people in Houston. There's a ton of folks from the Midwest and Northeast, and you're just as likely to hear a Jersey accent as you are a Southern accent. It's very similar to Houston in the oil boom years. Unlike Texas, though, I did not see any "I'm not a Native Floridian, but I Got Hear as Fast as I Could" bumper stickers or stickers from a similar genre.
Absolutely no difference. Hot and humid, with afternoon thunderstorms.
If humankind left either Houston or Tampa, within a few years the plant life will reclaim the ground. The only difference is that the earth beneath the plants will be swampy in Florida, and a blend of swamp and mud in Houston.
Dining and Nightlife
Both Tampa and Houston have all the chain restaurants you want. The inside of the hotel rooms look the same. Did I mention that I was working while I was in Tampa, and I'm a boringly (but happily) married man?
That should cover 99% of the traveling population. For the rest of you, please buy my book...or pamphlet.