Tampa Parks and Recreation


Florida is abundant with places to go and things to do. For the outside adventurer, visiting Tampa’s parks and recreation is a must. Spend a quiet day alone taking in nature, drop a baited hook into one of the ponds, go offshore fishing or spend the day exploring with the family. From Hillsborough County parks to the city of Tampa parks, there are an abundance of parks in the area.

Al Lopez Park

The gates to Al Lopez Park open at 5am and stay open until 10pm. Encompassing 132 acres; this park is home to plenty of wildlife. Situated amongst the land are two ponds. The Northern Pond is ideal for fishing which sets this park apart from others.

Coachman Park

Coachman Park plays host to many concerts (such as the Clearwater Jazz Festival), festivals and exhibitions each year in its open air venue, the Charles Wharton Johnson Pavilion. Between events, brick walkways provide a welcoming place for strolling.

Located on the oceanfront, this park provides a safe haven for the 126 Downtown Clearwater Boat Slips. Be sure to check out all of the parks rules and restrictions before entering.

Caladesi Island State Park

Caladesi State Park, surrounded by the ocean, is accessible by boat and ferry. This Park is one of Florida’s few remaining entirely natural islands.

It provides a place for boaters to dock and fish, beach goers to swim and tan, nature lovers to explore and kids to play. Picnic tables, a snack bar and gift shop are provided. Shelters are provided for a fee.

Hillsborough State Park

One of Florida’s first state parks, Hillsborough State Park is a water wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts. The Hillsborough River runs through the park providing a place for visitors to canoe, kayak and fish as well as enjoy an overnight stay in the park’s tent campground.

There are plenty of hiking and biking trails as well as a café that is open 7 days a week where picnic and camping supplies can be purchased. Canoe, kayak and bike rentals are available.

Myakka State Park

Visitors are welcome at Myakka State Park, named after the Myakka River that flows through it, from 8am until sunset on a daily basis.

One of the largest state parks in Florida, Myakka State Park is comprised of wetlands, prairies and woodlands that give park goers a great place to fish, hike, go camping and observe wildlife. Programs, events and nature classes are offered at the park.

Alafia State Park

Spread over 6,260 acres, the Alafia State Park is home to some of Florida’s most radical elevation changes, mixed hardwood forests, pine flat woods and rolling hills. The park has 17 miles of bike trails, 20 miles of equestrian and hiking trails and lakes for canoeing and fishing.

Visitors can stay overnight in the parks full facility campground which accommodates both RV’s and tents. There is plenty else to do at the playground, horseshoe pits and volleyball court.

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park

The Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is one of Tampa’s well known urban parks that is complete with two fountains, a dog park, playground, large sloping lawn, public boat docks, seating terraces, pavilion and café.

Parts of Tampa’s Riverwalk, Glazer Children’s Museum, Tampa Museum of Art and downtown are only a walk away.

E.G. Simmons Park

The E.G. Simmons Park and Preserve spreads itself over 469 acres providing visitors with outdoor activities. Saltwater fishermen delight in the boat launch as swimmers take advantage of the public beach.

Picnicking, camping, bird watching and pier and bank fishing are some of the things to do. Park hours change with the seasons.

Egmont Key State Park

Egmont Key State Park is the place to go for quiet sight-seeing and relaxation. The park is only accessible by private boat and acts as a refugee to wildlife.

A lighthouse and fort make for great viewing and exploring. Other popular activities on the island are swimming off the secluded beach, fishing, picnicking, wildlife observation and trail walking.

Lithia Springs Park

Lithia Springs Park stretches over 160 acres and is filled with plant communities, river cypress swamps, hardwood hammocks, sand hills and a natural spring.

Visitors can swim, play on the playground, use the bathhouse and enjoy a picnic. Camping is encouraged and comes complete with two shower houses.

Upper Tampa Bay Park

The Upper Tampa Bay Park which engulfs 2,144 acres is also a preserve which acts as an environmental study center. Visitors can sight-see along the boardwalk, marvel at the wildlife and picnic from 8am to 6pm.

The park is lush with ponds filled with freshwater, pine flat woods, salt marshes, oyster bars, salt barrens, oak hammocks and a mangrove forest.

Tampa Bay Fishing

Florida offers a diverse playground for all fishermen including deep sea fishing, offshore fishing and freshwater fishing. Deep sea or offshore fishing can be done for sport or fun (i.e. tarpon, fly, shark,) off a hired charter boat or one of the many private boats in the area.

Go freshwater fishing in a few of the states lakes and ponds (make sure they are not private first) or in one of the many canal systems. Navigate through the states many mangroves for some saltwater fishing or try something different with kayak, snorkel or reef fishing.

Tampa Golf Courses

Tampa has some of the best golf courses in the country including country clubs and private and public courses. Heritage Isle Golf and Country Club provides 18 holes of golf surrounded by Florida’s natural beauty and wildlife.

The Eagles Golf Course provides two 18 hole courses, a banquet facility, practice range, pool and playground area. The Pebble Creek Golf Club offers memberships and a public course. The club has water on 16 of its holes, natural wildlife and a pub.

There are also a number of Tampa Golf vacation packages that are offered at the various resorts in the area.


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