Tampa is known for its beautiful beaches, sunny weather, and world-famous Cuban sandwiches. But did you know that Tampa is also home to some amazing parks? From nature preserves to waterfront attractions, there is something for everyone in Tampa’s parks. Here are the top parks in Tampa, Florida.
The Top Parks in Tampa, Florida to go to!
Caladesi Island State Park
1 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin, FL 34698, United States
A visit to Caladesi Island sure can be one of the most memorable experiences you can have in your life. The beautiful island, located across St. Joseph Sound to the west of Dunedin, and north of Clearwater Beach, is certainly worth the trip. Visitors can take advantage of the recreational opportunities at Caladesi Island State Park. Amenities include nature trails, picnic areas with grills, a playground, and a campground. So whether you want to take a leisurely stroll along the island’s pristine beaches or paddle a kayak through the bayside mangrove forest, everything the park has to offer is sure to take your breath away.
You can also hike through the island’s interior on one of the nature trails to visit the historic Scharrer Homestead. Along the way, you can hear the sound of the ocean air rustling through the old-growth slash pines as well as feel the embrace of the wide live oaks.
Fred Howard Park
1700 Sunset Dr, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, United States
Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, the 155-acre Fred Howard Park welcomes 2 million visitors each year. The park has a beautiful 1-mile shoreline which makes it a perfect location for fishing, sunbathing, and swimming. The white sandy beach is a popular north county swim area and a great place to watch sunsets. Nesting ospreys and eagles can be seen fishing in the park. As well as dolphins and manatees. Soak up on some Vitamin D by fishing, sunbathing, or exercising on the causeway — whatever inspires you in this beach haven!
Fort De Soto Park
3500 Pinellas Bayway S, Tierra Verde, FL 33715, United States
Fort De Soto is surrounded by natural splendor as far as the eye can reach. The park has the greatest diversity of ecological systems anywhere. Fort De Soto emerges from marine, animal, as well as plant life.
Fort De Soto is Pinellas County‘s largest park. With 1,136 acres on five islands or keys, the possibilities are endless for all kinds of recreational activities. These islands are great for walking and biking, as well as swimming with the keys’ fine white sand beaches. Beach flora, mangroves, wetlands, palm hammocks, hardwoods, and more can be seen throughout the keys. The unique wildlife makes it one of the top parks in Tampa, Florida. Moreover, each of these species contributes to environmental preservation.
Egmont Key State Park
St. Petersburg, FL 33711, United States
Situated on the mouth of Tampa Bay, Egmont Key is one of the bay area’s best-kept secrets. Nestled within this state park is a deserted island with a rich history and a historic lighthouse that dates back to 1858. The island also served as a camp for captive Seminoles at the end of the Third Seminole War and the Union Navy during the Civil War. Furthermore, Fort Dade was built on the island in 1898 as the Spanish-American War loomed.
However, the island is only accessible by boat. Visitors can swim, fish, watch animals, and picnic in addition to touring historic sites and trails. Egmont Key lies near Fort De Soto Beach in Tampa Bay.
Anclote Key Preserve State Park
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, United States
Anclote Key Preserve State Park is a little gem of a state park located just a boat ride away from Tampa, Florida. Anclote Key, North Anclote Bar, South Anclote Bar, as well as the Three Rooker Island, form the Anclote Key Preserve State Park. At least 43 bird species, including the American oystercatcher, bald eagle, and piping plover, live in the 11,773-acre park.
On the island’s southern tip lies a magnificent 1887 lighthouse. Visitors can swim, sunbathe, eat, or camp under the stars. However, no water or supplies are provided, so bring your own.
Honeymoon Island State Park
1 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin, FL 34698, United States
Honeymoon Island is one of Florida’s most popular state parks. Boasting four miles of scenic beach, three miles of trails through a virgin slash pine forest, and access to the Gulf of Mexico, Honeymoon Island State Park has one of the most unique settings in the country.
Eagles, ospreys, and great-horned owls can be observed in the sky. On the other hand, gopher tortoises, raccoons, as well as armadillos live on the ground. Visitors can learn about the park’s history and natural treasures at the Rotary Centennial Nature Center. Additionally, Honeymoon Island State Park offers swimming, fishing, shelling, hiking, and bicycling activities for its visitors.
Alafia River State Park
14326 S County Rd 39, Lithia, FL 33547, United States
Alafia River State Park, a reclaimed phosphate mine, stands out from Central Florida’s flat environment. Likewise, its attractive and tough International Mountain Bike Association trails attract mountain bikers.
Equestrians and hikers can explore 20 miles of undulating pathways through forests and flatwoods. The South Prong of the Alafia River and park lakes offer canoeing and fishing. A picnic pavilion, a playground, a campground, as well as a bike shop are available in the park.
Picnic Island Park
7404 Picnic Island Blvd, Tampa, FL 33616, United States
This large park, which is located in South Tampa and is considered a hidden gem, is the ideal spot to bring the family to unwind or have a picnic. Considered as one of the top parks in Tampa, Florida, the sandy playground and the beach are both available for the use of children. The sand volleyball court and disc golf course at Picnic Island Park are both available for use as well. Also, near the boat ramp and the pier is where you’ll find the dog beach.
Davis Islands Seaplane Basin Park
155 Columbia Dr, Tampa, FL 33606, United States
This park features a small beach area, an off-leash area for dogs, a picnic area, a canoe launch, as well as boat ramps. It is located at the end of the Davis Islands. Additionally, the Davis Island Yacht Club and the Davis Island Seaplane Basin are both located just next to Davis Islands Park.
Hillsborough River State Park
15402 US-301 N, Thonotosassa, FL 33592, United States
A visit to this beautiful historical oasis will transport you back in time. Hillsborough River State Park is a great place to bring the whole family. Nature enthusiasts can camp, paddle, enjoy the river rapids, and hike. On the other hand, history buffs can investigate the historic structures the state park has to offer. Most importantly, Hillsborough River State Park offers outdoor activities as well.
The Hillsborough River, trails, and 1930s pavilions offer something for everyone. Canoe or kayak down the picturesque Hillsborough River and view uncommon Class II river rapids. Likewise, Hillsborough River State Park, near Tampa, is popular for camping.
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
600 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602, United States
The brand new Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is eight acres in size and has an innovative urban design, sustainable construction, as well as operational features such as recycled water for irrigation and LED lighting. The park is named after Curtis Hixon.
The park has a dog run, a kiosk with facilities, and a pavilion with restrooms, park offices, as well as vendor space. Moreover, the Great Lawn features adjustable perimeter seating that can accommodate a broad variety of events and performances. In addition to it, there is a Louver fountain and a Mist fountain, both of which can be interacted with.
Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park
8737 US-19, Port Richey, FL 34668, United States
Bring your own kayaks or rent them at the park! Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park is a great getaway for any outdoor enthusiast. The concessionaire is open Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hike the Springs Trail also to witness numerous small artesian springs and sinks. At low tide, you can see Salt Spring’s tidal waterfall. Furthermore, visit the park’s interpretive displays to learn its history.
If you’re looking for a great place to take your family, friends, or just enjoy some time outside, Tampa has some amazing parks. From urban oases to sprawling nature preserves, there’s something for everyone in Tampa’s park system. We hope we’ve helped you navigate what are the top parks in Tampa, Florida you can visit next time. So what are yo waiting for? Get out and explore!
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