National Picnic Day is coming on April 23rd! So if you’re ready to have some spring fun with the fam, grab your picnic basket and head to one of Tampa Bay’s best places to spread a blanket and share a meal! Here’s a list of the best places for a picnic:
Tampa Bay Picnic Spot #1:
Lettuce Lake Park – Lettuce Lake Park is a 240acre Hillsborough County-run park just outside the city limits of Tampa, Florida. It is located on Fletcher Avenue between Interstate 75 and the University of South Florida. The park opened in 1982.Lettuce Lake Park features several boardwalks that wind through a variety Florida ecosystems; a fresh water wetland and flood plain, an oak-dominated hardwood forest, cypress domes, and the Hillsborough River. The park also contains a visitor’s center, an observation tower, nature trails, picnic tables, barbecue pits, restrooms, an open play field, and a playground. Audubon Resource Center The Audubon Resource Center at Lettuce Lake Park, also known as ARC in the Park, is operated by the Tampa Audubon Society in the visitor center. The center features natural history exhibits and wildlife native to the Hillsborough River watershed, and provides environmental education programs and field trips for all ages.
Tampa Bay Picnic Spot #2:
Honeymoon Island and Dunedin Causeway, Florida – Honeymoon and neighboring Caladesi Island were originally part of a large barrier island that split in half during a major hurricane in 1921. The waterway between the islands is known as Hurricane Pass. One of the island’s services, a ferry to Caladesi Island, is only for convenience to those in the Honeymoon Island area to reach Caladesi Island across Hurricane Pass. Caladesi Island is easily accessible by walking from Clearwater Beach, Florida, as it has been for decades, and it is only separated by a “welcome sign” from the south.
Tampa Bay Picnic Spot #3:
The Tampa Riverwalk – Tampa Riverwalk is a 2.6-mile-long (4.2 km) open space and pedestrian trail development along the Hillsborough River in Tampa, Florida. The downtown Tampa portion runs alongside the Tampa Arts District and allows access to Curtis Hixon Park , MacDill Park, Tampa Museum of Art , Glazer Children’s Museum , Rivergate Tower , The Park at Armature Works, Sparkman Wharf Park and adjacent atrium containing the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts . The Historical Monument Trail has taken shape along the Riverwalk. The Riverwalk serves as a hub for art, leisurely lunches, performances, fitness and more. By nightfall, music plays and couples walk hand-in-hand under that same sky, which has given way to a canopy of stars. As well as walkable, bikable, Segway-able path connecting culture and entertainment.
Tampa Bay Picnic Spot #4:
Paul Sanders Park – located in Brandon, FL, is a Park that offers outdoor recreation and nature preservation. A public space open to the general public, the Park offers open spaces under the maintenance of the Brandon Parks Department. Massive Oaks are the main attraction for kids. Thick limbs low to the ground are climbable with relative ease.
Tampa Bay Picnic Spot #5:
Vinoy Park Saint Petersburg – Is an 11.6 acre park and one of the most talked about and visited park in St. Petersburg’s downtown waterfront, Vinoy Park is named after the Vinoy Park Hotel, which once sat adjacent to the park. The park has some of the most scenic views in St. Petersburg and is a popular place to rent for hosting events, such as festivals, concerts, Ribfest, Blues Festival, Christmas displays and sporting events.
Besides its popularity for events, it’s also a popular place for fitness and offers recreation trails along the waterfront of avid walkers, runners and bikers.
Tampa Bay Picnic Spot #6:
AL Lopez Park – This park is made up of approximately 132 acres offering a nature trail, freshwater ponds, and a community center. Al Lopez Park has a 1.2 mile interior loop asphalt multi-purpose trail. The trail is 15 feet wide with overhead lighting. On the northeastern edge of the loop, a nature trail continues through wooded areas. Care should be taken when exercising alone. Al Lopez has a very large dog park, children park, two ponds, wildlife and lots of open grass for outdoor activities.
Tampa Bay Picnic Spot #7:
Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum – The 2-acre park began in 1976, there are more than 500 palms and cycads representing some 150 species from around the world. Development of the arboretum is a continuing, never-ending project. Located on North Shore Dr. at the foot of 10th Ave. NE, just north of North Shore Swimming Pool and the Vinoy Resort. Adjacent parking is free of charge.
Tampa Bay Picnic Spot #8:
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park – Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is an 8-acre public park located along the Hillsborough river in downtown Tampa, Florida that opened in its current configuration in 2010. It is adjacent to the Tampa Riverwalk, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Tampa Museum of Art, Glazer Children’s Museum, and Rivergate Tower. The park overlooks the University of Tampa’s Plant Hall, which is directly across the river. The park is in an area known as the Waterfront Arts District. Much of Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park consists of an open grassy lawn that slopes gently towards the river in a series of wide terraces. Around this greenspace are several fountains, a large playground, a public boat dock, a dog park, several shaded pavilions, an amphitheater, various sculptures, a garden area designed by Dan Kiley, and a small concession kiosk with restrooms. The park is bordered by the Tampa Museum of Art and the Glazer Children’s Museum on the north, Ashley Drive on the east, and the Rivergate Tower and parking garage to the south. On the west side of the park is the Hillsborough River and the Tampa Riverwalk, a 2.4 mile long walkway which connects Curtis Hixon Park to several attractions and facilities (including the Tampa Convention Center and the Straz Center for the Performing Arts), many hotels and restaurants, and a series of smaller parks along Tampa’s downtown waterfront.
Tampa Bay Picnic Spot #9:
North Straub Park – Downtown Waterfront Park North Straub Park is located in St. Petersburg’s downtown water from and offers beautiful scenic views of the bay, recreation trails for bikers, runners and avid walkers to enjoy and a concrete stage, making it a great place to host an event.
Tampa Bay Picnic Spot #10:
Edgewater Park – Is a four-acre waterfront park located at Dunedin Marina. The park is well shaded and features a playground, picnic tables, rest room facilities and a gazebo that may be reserved for weddings and other functions.