Need a dose of downtown? Maybe it’s time to get out of the house. Attend a festival. Visit an attraction. Or, simply enjoy one of the watery landscapes that’s near your new opens in a new windowTampa-area home.
We’ve got the cure — or the answer. Especially if you’d like a little exercise at the same time. Head to downtown Tampa and its Riverwalk, a 2.4-mile trail that winds south to north along the east bank of the Hillsborough River, near where it empties into the Tampa Bay system.
“I can use one of the walking trails in my new ICI Homes neighborhood,” you say.
We hope you do so frequently. But the Riverwalk is a fun way to explore the many restaurants, attractions and gorgeous scenery that encircle the southeastern edge of this vibrant Florida city. And, if you run into a festival, concert or outdoor morning yoga session, so much the better.
Here’s our guide to exploring Tampa’s Riverwalk.
Start at the South
The Riverwalk’s mile markers kick off here, in the Channelside district that forms the southern boundary of Tampa’s downtown. Plus there are public parking lots and decks if you arrive by vehicle. If you hike, bike or take other transportation, jump on the Riverwalk at the nearest and most convenient point.
If you’re a first-time Riverwalker, however, we suggest starting at the South Plaza so you can get a sense of what’s where, as you go.
Walk, run, hike, skateboard, push your kid’s stroller, or follow Grandpa’s motorized scooter. The Riverwalk is plenty wide, incorporating paved sections along the bank and winding boardwalks that segue over the water.
Everyone will have a grand time!
Things you’ll see
Only everything that’s a true “happening” downtown!
Chronologically, you’ll pass the Florida Aquarium, Port Tampa Bay cruise ship terminal, Channelside Bay Place (shops and restaurants), the Tampa History Center, Amalie Arena (home to the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning), the Tampa Bay Convention Center, numerous hotels, and, at Mile Market 1.3 — the eight-acre Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. It hosts outdoor festivals and concerts, contains a dog park, rest room facilities and giant lawn for just plain fun.
Don’t stop for long! Next up is the Tampa Museum of Art, Glazer Children’s Museum, the David Straz Jr., Center for the Performing Arts and, at Mile Marker 2.4, Water Works Park.
And that’s not counting the pocket parks, canopy-shaded benches on the Riverwalk’s boardwalk, gorgeous views of the University of Tampa’s picturesque, historic campus on the west side of the Hillsborough River, and numerous boaters, paddleboarders and kayakers zooming alongside you.
At daybreak, you’ll see sunrise peeking over downtown Tampa’s skyscrapers and high-rises. At dusk, catch the spectacular sunset over the river.
Mind the monuments
As you traverse the Riverwalk, keep watch for marble and bronze monuments and busts. The Historic Monument Trail tells the stories of people who contributed heavily to Tampa’s and Hillborough County’s heritage, and there are 30 honorees as of this writing.
It’s an ongoing project that recognizes both important events and people. So take a moment to pause and read the inscriptions. If you’re a new Tampa-area resident, it’s a great way to absorb some of the city’s considerable history.
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