The Tampa Riverwalk along the Hillsborough River and Garrison Channel is home to fun festivals throughout the year, waterfront dining options, museums, and a plethora of activities on the water.
There is something for everyone, whether you want to explore at your leisure or do something a bit more active. I’m excited to collaborate with VISIT Florida to bring you my top 10 favorite things to do on the Tampa Riverwalk.
1. Ride the river on a waterbike
The Tampa Bay Waterbike Co. offers a unique experience to pedal down the river on a waterbike or in a biyak. The views of the downtown Tampa skyline are worth the workout.
2. Rent a bicycle
There are multiple bike share rental kiosks throughout the Tampa Riverwalk and downtown Tampa. Bikes can be rented by the hour or for the day.
3. Curtis Hixon Park
Curtis Hixon is the largest park in downtown Tampa, with a children’s playground, water fountains the kids love to run through, and a dog park. It’s also the site of festivals like the Mayor’s Mac n Cheese Throwdown and many others all year long.
4. Pirate Water Taxi
The Pirate Water Taxi allows guests to take in scenic views of the waterways while hopping on and off at various stops along the Riverwalk. Visitors can also ride to the Lowry Park Zoo on a longer dedicated route.
5. Rent a boat
Rent an eBoat to explore the downtown Tampa waterways. No boating license is required and docking is permitted at multiple waterfront restaurants. Visitors can also hire a captain if they would rather have someone else do the driving.
6. Waterfront Dining
There are several restaurants along the Tampa Riverwalk. Ulele is one of the most popular, serving an eclectic menu of native inspired dishes on the Hillsborough River waterfront. Their chargrilled oysters are a must try! Sonos is located inside the Tampa Museum of Art and the menu changes to correspond with current exhibits.
The Sail is a 360 degree waterfront bar behind the Tampa Convention center. There are also restaurants in the hotels along the Riverwalk and the Columbia inside the Tampa Bay History Center and just across the channel at Harbour Island.
7. Get your steps
One of the best things about the Riverwalk is indeed walking it. There are almost 2 1/2 miles of paved walkway to enjoy. There are plenty of benches and shade along the route which is very necessary in the Florida sun. There are busts and information plaques of Tampanians that have helped to shape the city of Tampa. The Straz Center has interactive exhibits on display from time to time. There are also other small parks along the route to stop for a rest and people watch. It’s a fun way to meet your step goals for the day, even while you’re on vacation.
8. Visit the museums
The Tampa Museum of Art has interesting art exhibits to explore and an onsite restaurant with relaxing waterfront views. Families can enjoy the educational and interactive exhibits at the Glazer Children’s Museum located next door. Further along the Tampa Riverwalk near the arena visitors can learn about Tampa and it’s unique origins at the Tampa Bay History Center.
9. Dolphin & Sightseeing Tours
The marina behind the Tampa Convention Center is the place to plan your day out on the water. There are several companies that offer dolphin tours, sunset tours, and sightseeing.
10. Yacht Starship
The Yacht Starship experience provides a 3 or 4 course dinner while cruising through Tampa Bay. There is dancing on the open air rooftop of the ship and the views of the city are amazing. This is a great choice for a fancy night out on vacation.
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**This post was in collaboration with VISIT Florida. All thoughts and opinions on the attractions and businesses mentioned are my own and I do not have an ongoing businesss relationship with them. (Full Disclosure)