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Top 11 Recreation Venues in Tampa, FL

Among many other delights, Tampa FL is particularly renowned for its recreation venues. The local beaches & parks cater to a variety of activities that can be enjoyed year round. This guide gives you an overview of what frequent visitors and residents of the area enjoy most throughout the year.

Picnic Island Park

Operating Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Managed By: City of Tampa
Days Closed: None
Fees: None
Restrooms: Yes

Beach front destination offers a boat ramp, fishing pier, playground & picnic shelters with grills. Disc Golf Course and play areas for the kids.

Ben T Davis Beach

Operating Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Managed By: City of Tampa
Days Closed: None
Fees: Parking
Restrooms: Yes

There are picnic shelters, grills, concessions and a boat ramp with ample beach and great water views. You also have access to the Courtney Campbell Trail a paved walkway for walkers, bikers, rollerblading, skateboarding, running or jogging that you can take across the bay.

Cypress Point Park & Beach

Operating Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Managed By: City of Tampa
Days Closed: None
Fees: None
Restrooms: Yes

Located at the Northeast end of Tampa Bay it is easy to get to. Shelters, benches, volley ball and other play areas for the children. This park is a hidden gem with amazing water views. It has outdoor showers, changing rooms, a kids rope course and a nature trail.

Al Lopez Park

Operating Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Managed By: City of Tampa
Days Closed: None
Fees: None
Restrooms: Yes

This park has picnic areas that are sheltered, grills, and water faucets, a playground for the kids, 2 ponds the northern one for fishing and nature trails. It also has domino tables, open fields, many trees if you want shade and statuary. Areas for soccer or touch football.

Ballast Point Park

Operating Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Managed By: City of Tampa
Days Closed: None
Fees: None
Restrooms: Yes

There is a fishing pier, picnic areas with grills, amazing water views and of downtown Tampa. Parking can be tight on weekends but worth it. Benches to relax on and a water park for the kids. Walking path along the water and mangroves. Boat ramp.

Seaplane Basin Park

Operating Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Managed By: City of Tampa
Days Closed: None
Fees: None
Restrooms: No

The park has views of sailboats, some picnic tables, also a running path and bike trails. More open area, has some trees for shade. Boat ramps nearby one on Davis Island Seaplane Basin and the other on Seddon Channel.

Desoto Park

Operating Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Managed By: City of Tampa
Days Closed: None
Fees: None
Restrooms: Yes

There is a pool, activity center, trails and a ball field as well as a skateboard park and basketball court and soccer fields. Walking paths and a fishing pier round out the activities at this park. Great water views and a breeze off the bay. Covered picnic tables.

Gadsden Park

Operating Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Managed By: City of Tampa
Days Closed: None
Fees: None
Restrooms: Yes

Major park with picnic areas with tables and shelters, playground, sports fields and a lake. Water fountains, two walking trails, and a fishing lake. You can bring your canoe or kayak to use on the lake.

Rowlett Park

Operating Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Managed By: City of Tampa
Days Closed: None
Fees: None
Restrooms: Yes

Jogging paths, picnic areas, racquetball, tennis, fishing and multiple playgrounds for the kids. Trees for those that want shade and open areas for soccer, touch football and more.

The Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park

Operating Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Managed By: City of Tampa
Days Closed: None
Fees: None
Restrooms: Yes

Park provides large grassy areas, landscaped areas, fountains and a walkway along the river which is the Tampa Riverwalk. Walkway goes from Waterworks Park on the north to the Channelside Bay Plaza on the southeast. The park itself is by the Tampa Museum of Art and the Glazer Children's Museum and across the river is The University of Tampa. Also has children's play area and a splash fountain.

McKay Nature Park

Operating Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Managed By: City of Tampa
Days Closed: None
Fees: None
Restrooms: No

This nature park is a national avian sanctuary that includes a boardwalk trail, an observation tower, bike trails, picnic tables, ample parking, a nature trail and interpretative signage.

Lawrence Sanek

Guide Author
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Top 11 Recreation Venues in Tampa, FL