Top Seven Cool Outdoor Activities in Tampa, FL

With beautiful weather year-round and abundant waterways, Tampa Bay, Florida, is a great place to enjoy the outdoors. You can fish, bike, kayak, golf, or hang out on the beach, to name a few outdoor activities. Here are the top seven cool outdoor activities in Tampa, Florida.


Image via Flickr by Limping Frog Productions | CC 2.0

ZooTampa ranks among the most popular zoos in the entire region, welcoming over one million visitors a year. After modest beginnings, the zoo grew from 24 to 56 acres and now features natural animal habitats within a tropical garden environment. In addition to the well-done exhibits, ZooTampa also features up-close animal encounters, popular educational programs, fascinating seasonal events, and entertaining recreational conveniences. This all adds up to one of the country’s most family-friendly zoos. Located at 1101 W. Sligh Ave. in Tampa, Florida, you can enjoy ZooTampa from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

Pier 60

Pier 60 sits in the heart of one of the best beaches in the U.S., Clearwater Beach, and offers many family-friendly activities. You can fish from the pier, head out to the numerous playground areas with the kiddos, play in the sugar-white soft sand, and soak up the gorgeous beach views. With lifeguards throughout, calm ocean waves, giant beach slides, and many other activities, everyone is sure to enjoy the water. Also, there’s a daily Clearwater Beach Sunset Festival from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., with street performers, local vendors, and crafters selling their wares with live music. You’ll find Pier 60 at 7 Causeway Blvd. in Clearwater.

Caladesi Island State Park

A short distance from Clearwater Beach, Florida, awaits an entirely different beach adventure. While Pier 60 is bound to be busy, this area can almost be a private beach, especially during the week. You can either drive to Honeymoon Island and take a ferry to Caladesi Island or walk north from Clearwater Beach, a long journey but easy enough to follow.

Caladesi Island State Park is an offshore island in Dunedin, Florida, open from 8 a.m. to sunset each day. There’s a $6 per boat docking fee to enjoy the untouched, natural delights of the island, such as the old-growth slash pines and massive oaks or the mangroves.

Fort De Soto

Natural beauty is the allure here, and you can enjoy it from the beach or kayaking on the water. Find yourself immersed in the beauty of nature with nothing but natural views in every direction. At the park, you will find one of the most diverse ecological systems with a wealth of plants, birds, animals, and sea life. Fort De Soto is the largest park in the Pinellas County Park System, comprised of five interconnected islands or keys for 1,136 acres of mangroves, beach plants, wetlands, and hardwoods.

Approximately 2.7 million people visit Fort De Soto in Florida each year, making it a popular destination in the Tampa, Florida, area. You can visit Fort De Soto at 3500 Pinellas Bayway S. in Tierra Verde from 7 a.m. to sunset. A $5 per vehicle fee for beach parking is waived if you arrive via bicycle or have a disabled parking permit.

Sunken Gardens

Found in nearby St. Petersburg, Florida, at 1825 4th St. N., Sunken Gardens is a botanical wonder smack dab in a busy city. The oldest living museum in St. Petersburg, this century-old garden houses some of the oldest tropical plants around. With more than 50,000 different flowers and tropical plants, wondrous demonstration gardens, and cascading waterfalls, you can unwind as you take it all in and walk along the winding paths.

Plan your day with a garden tour or participate in one of their horticultural programs. Guests are asked to respect the animals’ living space, stay on the paths at all times, and refrain from touching any of the structures or plants to keep Sunken Gardens natural and inviting to its native population. You can visit from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, with a fee of $15 per adult, $12 per senior age 62 and over, and $6 per child between two and 17 years of age. 

Bok Tower Gardens

Often touted as a must-see Florida attraction, Bok Tower Gardens is situated between Tampa and Orlando and sits among the hills of citrus trees. Featuring the 20-room Pinewood Estate Mediterranean-style mansion, 2.5-acre Hammock Hollow children’s garden, almost 50 acres of Olmsted gardens, the neo-gothic Singing Tower carillon, and the 205-foot art deco, these gardens have enchanted millions of visitors over the years.

Bok Tower Gardens are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., 365 days a year, opening at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving and Christmas days. Admission is $16 for adults, $5 for children ages five to 12, and $5 for dogs, with free admission for children under five. Visit Bok Tower Gardens at 1151 Tower Blvd. in Lake Wales today for a tranquil, beautiful way to spend a day outdoors.

Ballast Point Park and Pier

Ballast Point Park and Pier are in South Tampa, Florida, in a tranquil community. Ships used to unload their ballast to enter the harbor here. It is home to shade trees, picnic tables, an extensive playground area, and a fabulous splash park for the young ones. One of the best qualities of the park is the fantastic views of Davis Islands and the downtown skyline. The park is also home to a long pier extending out into the bay with a bait shop nearby if you are interested in giving the fishing a go.

You can visit Ballast Point Park at 5300 Interbay Blvd. from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis, although the Gazebo at Ballast can be reserved for special occasions in advance.The MAXIM Hair Restoration team in Florida hopes you find time to enjoy one of these seven cool outdoor activities in and around Tampa, Florida. If we missed your favorite, reach out to us at (802) 370-3227 or our convenient online contact us form. We’d love to check out your favorite outdoor activities around Tampa, Florida, and add them to our list.