Check your community’s parks and recreation listings to see more of what your local area has to offer. Whether you want to relax on a blanket or take the little ones to a playground, there are plenty of options at your disposal.
Anderson Park & Kate Jackson Community Center
821 S. Rome Ave.
Tampa, FL 34699 813-259-1608
This neighborhood park features a playground, picnic pavilions, community grills and baseball, basketball and volleyball courts, as well as many of the city’s major annual events. The Kate Jackson Community Center hosts an after-school activity program for children ages 5 to 17.
Ballast Point Park
5300 Interbay Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33611 813-274-8615
The park, full of shade trees, offers excellent views of downtown. The park also has a 600-foot wooden pier, grills, a boat launch and boat dock and rents shelters.
Dell Holmes Park
2741 22nd St. S
St. Petersburg, FL 33712 727-893-7441
At the north end of Lake Maggiore, this 22.4-acre park nearly bursts with such features as a lighted trail, a fishing pier, a gazebo, picnic shelters with grills, restrooms and a golf driving range and putting green. And for the kids: a shade-covered playground, a splash pad, climbing boulders and a giant seesaw.
2617 Corrine St.
Tampa, FL 33605 813-242-5307
From grills to waterfront pavilions, this picnic destination has everything, including multiple ball courts, jogging trails, a pool, a community center with computers and one of only two skate parks in the city.
Florida Botanical Gardens
12520 Ulmerton Road
Largo, FL 33774 727-582-2100
More than 25 gardens and display areas showcase tropical plants, fruits, herbs, hibiscus, bromeliads, demonstrations and a gift shop. The Pinellas County Extension Service offers services and classes along with a farmer’s market from November through April.
Fort DeSoto State Park
3500 Pinellas Bayway S
Tierra Verde, FL 33715 727-582-2267
TripAdvisor has named the largest park in the Pinellas County Park system as America’s Top Beach twice in recent years. The park has a year-round campground, nature trails, an 800-foot boat launch with floating docks, fishing piers, restrooms and showers.
19305 Gulf Blvd.
Indian Shores, FL 33785 727-595-4020
A 2.6-mile beach hosts the nonprofit Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, which is dedicated to the “rescue, repair, recuperation and potential release” of such rehabilitated, sick and injured wild birds as cormorants, brown pelicans and white egrets.
John S. Taylor Park
1100 Eighth Ave. SW
Largo, FL 33770 727-588-4847
This 156-acre park with a 53-acre lake offers a disc golf course, a tree-lined 1.8-mile recreation trail, a butterfly garden and an island accessible by a bridge. Other amenities include a boat launch, fishing, a softball diamond, a large playing field, picnic facilities and two playgrounds, one with a climbing structure for older kids.
300 Municipal Drive
Madeira Beach, FL 33708 727-391-9951
In addition to the shell shops, beachwear and souvenir stores, Madeira Beach is home to John’s Pass, a seaport village that features pirate ships, parasailing, jet skiing, deep sea fishing, waterfront dining and several local boutiques.
Samuel W. Cooper Park
900 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Plant City, FL 33563 813-659-4255
One of 17 parks in Plant City, a 7-acre lake covers all but four acres that include a paved half-mile walking/exercise trail, benches and lighting.
Sand Key Park
1060 Gulf Blvd.
Clearwater, FL 33767 727-588-4852
This 95-acre beach and park acts as a barrier island between the Gulf of Mexico and the mainland. The beach area boasts cabana rentals, a pair of beach wheelchairs, outdoor shower towers and two bathhouses with separate changing stalls and restrooms, and a lifeguard daily from March through Labor Day. Other amenities include a boardwalk, nature trail, grills and a playground. The area features a playground, open green space, a dog park, covered picnic shelters with grills and a salt marsh with viewing benches.
Sawgrass Lake Park
7400 25th St. N
St. Petersburg, FL 33702 727-217-7256
One of the largest maple swamps on Florida’s Gulf Coast and a premier birding site serve as the centerpiece for this 400-acre park. A mile-long boardwalk winds through the lush environment to reveal birds, butterflies and alligators. View wildlife from the observation deck or the nature center.
St. Pete Beach
155 Corey Ave.
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706 727-367-2735
This 5.5-acre park features a 235-meter parking lot, restrooms, showers, a water fountain and three boardwalks over natural sand dunes and sea oats that lead to a white sandy beach on the Gulf of Mexico. There are no lifeguards on duty.
1825 Fourth St. N
St. Petersburg, FL 33704 727-551-3102
The 100-year-old nursery is home to some of the oldest tropical plants in the region along cascading waterfalls and demonstration garden paths.
Sunsets at Pier 60
10 Pier 60 Drive
Clearwater, FL 33767 727-449-1036
Part of Clearwater Beach, this pier is famous for celebrating the sunset two hours before and two hours after sundown, with entertainment including jugglers, musicians and street vendors.
120 108th Ave.
Treasure Island, FL 33706 727-547-4575
A mile-long concrete beach trail gives access to restaurants and shops and a beach more than 3 miles long and several hundred yards wide at certain points.