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Parks in Tampa Bay

We’re highlighting the 30 best parks that Tampa Bay has to offer — complete with dog beaches, pickleball courts, and scenic views.


A biker takes advantage of the sunny day at North Shore Park.

Photo by TBAYtoday

Table of Contents

Whether you’re looking for a place to play with the kiddos or to decompress with some off-screen time, the Tampa Bay area has dozens of parks to choose from.

Ready to plan your trip to the park? Grab your shades and trusty water bottle — here are some of Tampa + the Burg’s best:

Nature parks

Al Lopez Park, 4810 N. Himes Ave., Tampa

Featuring 130+ acres of nature trails and freshwater ponds, this piece of paradise within the city is the perfect respite from fast-paced life. Al Lopez also boasts a community center, dog park, fishing dock, playgrounds, picnic shelters, and outdoor exercise equipment.

Lettuce Lake Park, 6920 E. Fletcher Ave., Tampa

Partly located in the natural floodplain of the Hillsborough River, this Old Florida paradise is a wonderful spot for wildlife viewing and hikes. Also enjoy the playgrounds, boardwalk, 1.25-mile exercise trail, and weekend education tours.

New Tampa Nature Park, 17001 Dona Michelle Dr., Tampa

Come for the zipline, stay even longer for the biking and pedestrian trails, Environmental Education Center, and picnic area.

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, 1101 Country Club Way S., St. Petersburg

The Lake Maggiore Environmental Education Center holds camps, events, and the Raptorfest at this South St. Pete park. Stop by for a stroll around the wooded trails — and see what birds and wildlife you spy. Heads up: Dogs are not allowed on the park grounds.

Hillsborough River State Park, 15402 US 301 N., Thonotosassa

A true Tampa bay gem, this state park takes you back to Old Florida. Adventurers can take in the Class II river rapids, canoe the Hillsborough River, walk the trails, picnic, and more. Admission is $6 per car.

Lake Maggiore Park, 3601 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St., St. Petersburg

Make plans for a family picnic, birthday party, or boat day at this St. Pete park. Plus, take in the wildlife in + around Lake Maggiore.

Boca Ciega Millennium Park, 12410 74th Ave. N., Seminole

Just a short drive away from Gulfport, this park is uber quiet and transports you right to the Keys. Trek on boardwalks, check out mangroves, and bike or walk throughout the secluded trails.

Sawgrass Lake Park, 7400 25th St. N., St. Petersburg

Home to one of the largest maple swamps on the Gulf Coast (according to the city), this 400-acre park is chock full of observation towers, boardwalk trails, and benches for taking in the landscape (and maybe some turtles too).

Family parks

Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park, 601 Old Water St., Tampa

The 4.5-acre park’s name “Cotanchobee” means “the big place where water meets the land.” Located right in the heart of downtown, the park offers activities for the whole family, including a playground, splash pad, scenic overlook, canoe launch, as well as a memorial to the Seminole Wars.

Giddens Park, 5202 N. 12th St., Tampa

This Seminole Heights park has everything you need to entertain the kiddos with a recreation center, ball fields, play courts, a playground, splash pad, and a picnic area.

Waterworks Park, 1710 N. Highland Ave., Tampa

Located just off the Riverwalk + Hillsborough River, this park boasts a splash pad, jungle gym, dog park, and covered seating perfect for birthday parties. Plus, it’s right next to Ulele, so you can head to dinner after a day of play.

St. Pete Pier, 800 2nd Ave. NE, St. Petersburg

The newly minted St. Pete Pier is packed with things to do — from a splash pad and Tiki Bar to a luxe restaurant and concessions. The renowned park has a playground with a pirate ship and tons of green space for lounging.

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Dr., Tampa

This Downtown Tampa staple frequently hosts music festivals like the Tampa Pig Jig + the Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ Festival. But it’s also a great place to hole up on your average Tuesday with a splash pad, dog park, green space, and seating. The park sits adjacent to the Glazer Children’s Museum and the Pirate Water Taxi booth for easy access.

North Shore Park, 901 North Shore Dr. NE, St. Petersburg

Head down to this Downtown St. Pete park for volleyball, to bike or walk the path, a humongous dog park, and of course, hammocking on the palm trees. Pro tip: We recommend checking out the brightly painted pier, right next to the volleyball courts.

Cypress Point Park, 5620 W. Cypress St., Tampa

Ready for a hit of old summertime fun? This is the spot. Enjoy ice cream truck lollies, family birthday parties, beach doggin’, and just relaxing on the water. Pro tip: Consider carpooling because the parking lot fills up fast.

Vila Brothers Park, 700 N. Armenia Ave., Tampa

West Tampa’s new + improved Vila Brothers Park honors seven brothers who served in the US Military from WWII through Desert Storm. The massive $1.7+ million renovation ended last year, and added large and small dog parks, a shade structure, picnic tables, an exercise trail with fitness equipment, pickleball courts, and basketball court lighting.

MacFarlane Park, 1700 N. MacDill Ave., Tampa

This park — and its eye-catching arch built in 1908 — is a Tampa Historical Preservation Commission-designated historic site. The family-friendly spot boasts a playground, baseball diamond, and tennis courts.

Lassing Park, 2042 Beach Dr. SE, St. Petersburg

The crown jewel of the Old Southeast neighborhood, Lassing is home to incredible waterfront views, 14.2 acres of lawn for picnicking, and a beach.

Dog parks

Henry & Ola Park, 502 W. Henry Ave., Tampa

The recently opened, 10,600-sqft dog park features turf, benches, picnic tables, and an ADA-accessible dog fountain, under newly-planted red maple trees.

Picnic Island Dog Beach, 7409 Picnic Island Blvd., Tampa

Picnic Island is one of the few places your pup can run on the beach. The fenced off area lines the water, so you and Fido can take a dip. The park also has a disc golf course and a fishing pier. But really, there’s no better spot in South Tampa to take in those sunset views of the Gandy Bridge.

Kenwood Dog Park, 401 20th St. N., St. Petersburg

Let Fido off leash in the small or big dog park, and then relax underneath the shade. The park is located in the historic Kenwood neighborhood, home to the most Craftsman homes in the Southeast.

Sunset Dog Beach, 7545 Bayshore Dr., Treasure Island

This is the ultimate spot for a long beach day with your pup. Located at the edge of Treasure Island, dogs can frolic on this stretch of beach without fear of running away. Pro tip: City Editor Bailey likes to pop over to Caddy’s afterward for boat drinks.

Hair of the Dog Park, 4211 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa

Located in the laid-back Seminole Heights neighborhood, this shaded dog park has room for relaxin’, a concession stand for ordering drinks, and requires dogs to be vaccinated. Heads up: This spot is open Wednesday-Sunday.

New Tampa Rotary Dog Park, 8551 Hunter’s Village Rd., Tampa

This dog park has separate play areas for big and small dogs, water fountains, dog washes, and picnic tables — so you can stay awhile.

Sports parks

Desoto Park, 2617 Corrine St., Tampa

Located right on the shore of McKay Bay, Desoto is home to a family pool, basketball courts, skate park, athletic fields, trails, and plenty of spots to take in the views.

Walter Fuller Recreation Center + Sports Complex, 7891 26th Ave. N., St. Petersburg

One of the most scenic parks in St. Pete, Walter Fuller is also one of the most hectic. The park is home to swimming pools, football and soccer fields, pickleball + tennis courts, walking trails, and a dog park. Plus, the Green Thumb Festival takes over the park for a massive plant and tree sale every spring.

Crescent Lake Park, 1320 5th St. N., St. Petersburg

Steps away from Fourth Street, Crescent Lake Park is home to two tennis courts and six pickleball courts. The park is also a fave among yogis and runners alike.

West Park Sports Complex, 6414 Occident St., Tampa

Calling all baseball aficionados. This park has a baseball field, the typical concession stands, plus paved trails, picnic shelters, and more.

Woodland Terrace Park (Gwendolyn Miller Center), 6410 N. 32nd St., Tampa

This park is home to a community center with summer camps, basketball courts, and more. Plus, enjoy the inspirational mural created by local artist Nneka Jones.

Skyway Sports Complex, 3901 George Rd., Tampa

Bring the kiddos over to enjoy the baseball and football fields, and concessions. There’s a playground for the littles too and picnic tables for watchin’ the action.

Your park grab bag

Picked your perfect park? Make the most out of your experience with our favorite items for a relaxing day outside:

  • Is there anything quite like sitting in the shade and enjoying a good book? Check out our guide to books by local authors to help choose your next great read.
  • The Kindle Paperwhite is a lightweight e-reader option that stands up to bright sunlight.
  • A good water bottle keeps you hydrated — we’re big fans of the best-selling Owala FreeSip + this insulated stackable tumbler from Asheville NC-based retailer Pirani.
  • Heading to the park with kids? Check out the Owala FreeSip for kids.
  • Don’t forget the travel-size bug spray and sunscreen.
  • These sunglasses from Nordstrom Rack are available at discount prices + have a style for everyone.
  • Keep it all together in a handy tote bag — these adorable tote bags are all crafted by small businesses and local makers.

Ready to visit these local parks but don’t know where to start? We’ve created this handy map so you can find all of these featured parks.

City Guides are presented by Water Street Tampa.

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