Set on Florida's beautiful Gulf Coast, the city of Tampa enjoys wonderfully sunny weather year-round. The tropical climate is perfectly suited to spending time outside, and visitors will have ample opportunities to do so; the city manages approximately 180 parks that occupy more than 3,500 acres of land. Many of these parks are located on the water, offering plenty of opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and sunbathing, and a good number of them also have paved walking paths, playgrounds, and picnic areas.
1.Al Lopez Park
© Jose Handan/stock.adobe.com
Named in honor of a renowned Tampa baseball player, the Al Lopez Park is a shady park with a small freshwater lake. A beautiful walking trail runs through the park; much of the trail is paved, but there are several boardwalk sections along the lake. Benches and picnic shelters can be found throughout the park, and visitors are welcome to relax on the park's wooden fishing dock. The park is also home to a community center, which offers a small fitness center, a computer lab, a kitchen, and several spaces that can be booked for private events.
4810 N Himes Ave, Tampa, FL 33614, Phone: 813-274-8184
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Set at the base of Hyde Park Village, Anderson Park is in the ideal location for anyone who wants to enjoy a cup of coffee, a meal, or a bit of shopping after visiting the park. The biggest attraction in the park is a children's playground, which has swings and play areas for both older and younger children. There is also a basketball court, a community center, a garden, and a water play area perfect for cooling off during the hot summer months. On-site parking is limited, but there are several parking garages within easy walking distance.
821 S Rome Ave, Tampa, FL 33606, Phone: 813-259-1608
3.Ballast Point Park
Formerly known as the Jules Verne Park, Ballast Point Park can be found right on the water next to Hillsborough Bay. Children can spend their time playing on the playground or splashing around in the park's interactive water play area, while visitors of all ages will enjoy relaxing in the park's picnic shelters and strolling along the sunny pier. Fishing is permitted from the pier with a valid license, and equipment is available for rent on-site. Fishermen can purchase bait from the park's concession stand, which also offers a selection of food and ice cream.
39699 US Hwy 19 N, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, Phone: 813-274-8615
4.Centennial Park Ybor City
Nestled in the heart of the historic Ybor City, Centennial Park Ybor City is a charming plaza dotted with historic statues and plenty of greenery. Chickens can often be spotted roaming through the park, and there are plenty of picnic tables and benches for visitors to relax on. A farmer's market takes place here every Saturday morning, and other special events are held here throughout the year. A pay parking lot can be found right across the street, but many visitors find it more convenient to take the streetcar, which stops right outside the park.
1800 E 8th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605, Phone: 813-242-5370
Boasting an excellent waterfront location by Garrison Channel, Cotanchobee Park is the final stop on the city's beautiful Riverwalk. The park is known for being a peaceful haven from the city, and it features a scenic overlook offering excellent views of the water, a plaza honoring American veterans, and a ceremonial space with a metal sculpture designed to serve as a memorial to the Seminole Indian Wars. However, there is also a shady children's play area with a playground, a small splash park, and plenty of seating areas for parents to relax while their children play.
601 Old Water St, Tampa, FL 33602, Phone: 813-274-8615
6.Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
One of the city's most modern parks, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park encompasses eight acres in downtown Tampa next to the Hillsborough River. Much of the park consists of a beautiful terraced lawn that often hosts festivals, arts and crafts fairs, and other special events, but there are plenty of amenities for visitors to use as well, including a boat dock, a large children's playground with a splash park, and several shady picnic pavilions. Leashed dogs are permitted in the park, and there is also an off-leash dog area where dogs and their owners are welcome to play.
600 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602, Phone: 813-274-8615
7.Cypress Point Park
If you're looking to get outside and spend some time simply enjoying nature, there are few better options in Tampa than Cypress Point Park. The 35-acre park features its own white sand beach, where locals and visitors often come to enjoy the picturesque sunsets, stroll along the sand, and take advantage of the opportunity to go fishing. There is also a canoe launch for anyone who wants to get out on the water, and other park amenities include a children's playground, a sand volleyball court, and one of the best 18-hole disc golf courses in the state.
5620 W Cypress St, Tampa, FL 33607-1744, Phone: 813-274-7722
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8.Henry & Ola Park
© Alexey Yuzhakov/stock.adobe.com
An integral part of the Seminole Heights neighborhood, Henry & Ola Park is a family-friendly park with plenty of barbecue grills and picnic areas. The park is best known for being home to a community center with an excellent after-school program, which is open to children between the ages of 5 and 14 years. However, there are plenty of other amenities as well, including a children's playground, basketball courts, and softball and soccer fields. The park is also an excellent location for dog walking, and a community dog walk takes place here every Saturday morning.
502 W Henry Ave, Tampa, FL 33604, Phone: 813-231-5279
9.Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park
Established in 2018, the Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park is a modern public space that was designed to serve as a welcoming gathering place in West Tampa. The heart and soul of the park is the large plaza found in the center, which offers plenty of tables and chairs as well as unique games tables for visitors to use. There are also plenty of sports courts and fields, including tennis courts and pickleball courts, and children are encouraged to play in the park's fenced playground and splash pad. Other park amenities include a large event field, two dog parks, and several covered picnic pavilions.
1001 N Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606, Phone: 813-274-8615
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10.Lettuce Lake Conservation Park
Encompassing 240 acres just outside Tampa, Lettuce Lake Conservation Park consists primarily of swampland and evergreen forest. Shady picnic areas can be found in various locations throughout the park, and there are playgrounds and public restrooms. The park offers several excellent walking trails, including a 1.25-mile paved loop trail and a boardwalk that allows visitors to peek into the swamp water and see alligators, turtles, and other wildlife. There is also a lookout tower that provides stunning views of the river. A small admission fee is charged to enter the park, and canoes and kayaks are available for rent on-site.
6920 E Fletcher Ave Tampa, FL 33637, Phone: 813-987-6204
11.Lykes Gaslight Square Park
The size of an entire city block, Lykes Gaslight Square Park is conveniently located right in downtown Tampa. Because of its excellent location, the park is a popular spot for people who work downtown to enjoy a coffee or an outdoor lunch, and it also features a short concrete path perfect for a midday stroll. Special events and festivals are sometimes held here as well, including summer music concerts and the Tampa Police Department Memorial Run. There is no designated parking lot, but plenty of street parking is available within walking distance of the park.
241 E Madison St, Tampa, FL 33602, Phone: 813-274-8615
The land that Macfarlane Park sits on was donated to the city in 1908, and it's been a favorite destination with West Tampa families and seniors ever since. There are two children's playgrounds in the park: a smaller section with swings and a larger one with exciting musical sculptures and climbing structures. A paved trail just over a mile in length runs around the perimeter of the park and is open only to pedestrians. The park also offers several picnic shelters, tennis and racquetball courts, a large grassy area perfect for playing sports, and public restrooms and water fountains.
1700 N Macdill Ave, Tampa, FL 33607, Phone: 813-274-8615
13.The Tampa Riverwalk
Built to provide easy access to the beautiful waterfront of downtown Tampa, the Tampa Riverwalk runs alongside the Hillsborough River for 2.4 miles, connecting many of the city's parks and other attractions. There is also an excellent selection of restaurants and cafes. The path begins at the Heights Public Market and ends at the Tampa History Museum, and it's open to both pedestrians and cyclists. Plenty of bike rental kiosks can be found along the trail, and there is also a water taxi service available to bring visitors from one point on the Riverwalk to another.
600 N Ashley Dr Tampa, FL 33602, Phone: 813-221-1539
14.The Bayshore Linear Park Trail
Stretching for four and a half miles between Columbus Statue Park and Gandy Boulevard, the Bayshore Linear Park Trail is widely believed to be the longest continuous sidewalk in the world. The trail is a popular place to walk, run, and cycle, and it's dotted with plenty of water fountains as well as with various pieces of exercise equipment. There are also plenty of benches for anyone who wants to relax and enjoy the beautiful views of the water and the downtown city skyline. Lucky visitors will also spot manatees, dolphins, and other wildlife in the water of the bay.
312 Bayshore Blvd Tampa, Florida 33606
15.Upper Tampa Bay Park
Founded in 1982, Upper Tampa Bay Park encompasses 596 acres of land on a peninsula west of Tampa. The park is primarily intended to preserve the area's ecosystems and the wildlife that live there, and there are plenty of nature trails and boardwalks that provide excellent opportunities for spotting wildlife. Visitors can also learn about the park's plants and animals in the on-site nature exhibit, which offers fascinating displays and live animal exhibits. A canoe launch is available for anyone who wants to get out on the water, and other park amenities include picnic tables and a children's playground.
8001 Double Branch Rd, Tampa, FL 33635, Phone: 813-855-1765
16.USF Riverfront Park
Owned by the University of South Florida, the USF Riverfront Park is a small but beautiful park that's open to USF students, faculty, and staff and their guests. Canoes and kayaks can be rented from the boathouse for a small fee, and boaters will often be able to spot alligators, turtles, herons, and other wildlife while on the water. Other recreation opportunities include a softball field, a ropes course, and an 18-hole disc golf course that stretches around the perimeter of the park. Disc golf equipment can be rented on-site by visitors who don't have their own.
6550 E Fletcher Ave, Tampa, FL 33617, Phone: 813-987-6840
17.Water Works Park
© City of Tampa
Located along the Tampa Riverwalk, Water Works Park is one of the best places in the city to come on a hot summer day. Children can cool off in the park's large splash pad, and there is also a large playground with a jungle gym. Visitors can relax and enjoy the shade at one of the many covered picnic areas in the park, but there are also plenty of benches overlooking the water for anyone who would prefer to be in the sun. There is also a shady, fenced dog park that welcomes both large and small dogs.
1710 N Highland Ave, Tampa, FL 33602-2604, Phone: 813-274-8615
17 Best Tampa Parks
- Al Lopez Park, Photo: Jose Handan/stock.adobe.com
- Anderson Park, Photo: Eugene Put/stock.adobe.com
- Ballast Point Park, Photo: alexkich/stock.adobe.com
- Centennial Park Ybor City, Photo: hoshi/stock.adobe.com
- Cotanchobee Park, Photo: Fototocam/stock.adobe.com
- Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Photo: Suzana/stock.adobe.com
- Cypress Point Park, Photo: Mosto/stock.adobe.com
- Henry & Ola Park, Photo: Alexey Yuzhakov/stock.adobe.com
- Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, Photo: bouybin/stock.adobe.com
- Lettuce Lake Conservation Park, Photo: Robert/stock.adobe.com
- Lykes Gaslight Square Park, Photo: fascinadora/stock.adobe.com
- Macfarlane Park, Photo: GCapture/stock.adobe.com
- The Tampa Riverwalk, Photo: LifeGemz/stock.adobe.com
- The Bayshore Linear Park Trail, Photo: lilysab/stock.adobe.com
- Upper Tampa Bay Park, Photo: elixirfoto/stock.adobe.com
- USF Riverfront Park, Photo: prat/stock.adobe.com
- Water Works Park, Photo: City of Tampa
- Cover Photo: sbgoodwin/stock.adobe.com