When people from areas outside of Florida contact me about buying a home in Tampa or the surrounding area, they sometimes ask what there is to do in and around Tampa Bay. As a Tampa real estate agent and a native of the area as well, I’m familiar with all there is to do. With so many places to go and things to do, it’s difficult to know where to begin. One thing I like to point out is the number of parks in and around the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area.
These are a few of the most popular:
Vinoy Park. If you're looking for a beautiful water view, this park should be at the top of your list. This park offers an inviting setting for you, your friends, and family to bring a picnic basket and enjoy a fun day. Located on Tampa Bay and adjacent to the Renaissance Vinoy Resort and the North Shore Pool, the park overlooks The Pier and downtown St. Petersburg. It offers an unspoiled view of Tampa Bay. You can bike along the path to North Shore Park or to the Pier. Kids can enjoy playing at the playground or dipping their toes in the bay. It's also within walking distance to several nice outdoor restaurants. The venue hosts numerous outdoor events, including Fourth of July Celebrations, Rib fest, and the Taste of Pinellas.
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. A recent addition to downtown Tampa, this park has become a popular weekend destination for families and those living in the downtown Tampa and Channelside areas. Located on the banks of the Hillsborough River and over looking the University of Tampa, it offers a children's playground, the interactive NEOS 360 Ring (which combines video games with aerobic exercise and is the first of its kind in the South East United States), a dog run, and two interactive water fountains. Get a spot under one of the trees near the playground for a picnic lunch or just relax with a book. And don't forget bathing suits for the kids.
Phillippe Park. Located in Safety Harbor, this is the oldest park in Pinellas County and also one of the nicest. Over looking Old Tampa Bay the centerpiece of this park is the Tocaboga Indian Mound, where Native Americans held tribal ceremonies, This site is on the National Register of Historic Landmarks. You can climb to the top of the mound and also enjoy a mile-long walkway along the shore of water. There are covered picnic areas, a boat ramp, two playgrounds and lots of beautiful oak trees and tranquil vistas.
Lettuce Lake Park. This park is located in Northeast Tampa and offers something for everyone. Lettuce Lake is a 240 acre site, with wooded picnic areas and a bicycle path and jogging trail, complete with a fitness course. Lettuce Lake is also a haven for nature study. An interpretive center featuring exhibits leads to two boardwalks and an observation tower where visitors can view the cypress swamp. It's a great way for kids to enjoy an adventure into the wild and learn a thing or two about Florida fauna and wildlife.