Tampa is an ideal location for those seeking a city that’s easily explored on foot. With its stunning riverwalk, bustling downtown area, and charming pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods like Hyde Park in South Tampa, this Florida gem has plenty of walkable areas to explore for both living and recreation.
Tampa has plenty of areas with convenient access to amenities like grocery stores and parks. The city’s even topography and properly maintained pathways make exploring the downtown district on foot simple. The neighborhood streets are also pedestrian-friendly, with plenty of crosswalks and traffic signals that make navigating Tampa a breeze. In addition, many areas have bike lanes or trails for those who prefer two wheels over two feet.
Keep in mind that plenty of public transportation options, such as trolleys and buses make it easy to get around Tampa. So grab your sneakers (and maybe your doggo), and get ready to discover all that Tampa has to offer!
Tampa’s Scenic Walking Paths & Trails
Tampa has plenty of trails and paths with stunning views for outdoor recreation and fitness. Here are a few to check out!
The Gandy Bridge is a popular walking trail in the area, offering spectacular views of both downtown St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay. The bridge provides scenic views from South Pinellas County into Clearwater/St Petersburg while remaining easily accessible via bike paths along either side.
Known as the Tampa Riverwalk, the Hillsborough River’s downtown Tampa path boasts an awe-inspiring view of the cityscape and access to a range of exciting venues, including parks, galleries, eateries, and stores.
Explore the Florida Aquarium, Tampa Bay History Center, Tampa Museum of Art, or the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. Take a break along one of the many Riverwalk locations – have a picnic and bring the kids to splash in the foundations at 8-acre Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, or stop for lunch at the carefully restored trolley barn Heights Public Market at Armature Works. The Glazer Children’s Museum is also located at the Waterfront Park.
Sparkman Wharf is a popular place to socialize and eat delicious culinary creations. Situated in an outdoor waterfront space, it features dozens of local beers in the centerpiece biergarten. This is also a great place for hockey fans to hang out before and after a Tampa Bay Lightning game!
Sail Plaza boasts a 360-degree bar with a wonderful view of the sunset, and you can check out the water bikes, stand-up paddle boarding, and e-boats to get out onto the water. And don’t forget to catch a show at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, which hosts Broadway shows, homegrown theater troupes, and the Florida Orchestra.
Finally, if you’re up for a good walk (or a short drive), head over to Hyde Park Village, which is home to some of the best shopping in town.
Bayshore Boulevard & Westshore Marina District
Take a stroll along Bayshore Boulevard, a continuous 4.5-mile sidewalk stretching from Hyde Park to Ballast Point at the edge of Hillsborough Bay. This area is popular with joggers, cyclists, and dog walkers.
With its waterfront residences and marinas near Westshore Marina District’s 1,400 apartments/condos plus retail space, the area will treat you to breathtaking views. It also provides access to many restaurants, bars, parks, and shops. So if you’re feeling peckish after your walk or bike ride, treat yourself to some delicious food.
The Walkable Neighborhoods of Tampa
Whether commuting to work or running errands around town, Tampa offers a safe and enjoyable experience for pedestrians of all ages. From the lively Riverwalk to Ybor City’s vibrant culture, downtown Tampa boasts the landmark Tampa Theatre, restaurants and bars, picturesque strolls, and plenty of opportunities to explore the city on foot.
The Channel District
The Channel District near Port Tampa Bay gives residents easy access to amenities like grocery stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues. It’s in the top five for walk scores, just trailing downtown Tampa and Hyde Park.
Locals enjoy the waterfront walks at nightfall, thanks to its abundance of bars and restaurants – definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for something different from what’s offered elsewhere across town. Grab a bite at one of their many delicious eateries before heading to Amalie Arena, home to NHL’s Lightning.
And don’t forget about Marina Pointe on Harbour Island – known for its luxury living, it also features a boardwalk full of activities like kayaking and paddle boarding, the perfect way to end your day out on foot.
You can also find the Florida Aquarium in the Channel District!
Hyde Park has eclectic high-end shopping, dining, and culture. Its historic homes are a draw for professionals looking for an urban lifestyle with easy access to all that South Tampa has to offer.
It has been transformed over recent years with wide sidewalks lined with trees, benches, and art installations – perfect for strolling around on sunny Florida days. There’s a yummy farmer’s market in the Village on the first Sunday of every month. There are also outdoor concerts and events.
Hyde Park is a good mix of urban and suburban feels, and you will often see people out walking, jogging, and biking at any hour of the day. North Hyde Park scores a 79 walk score and is the third most walkable section of Tampa.
Ybor City, or the “Cigar City,” has seen a surge in interest due to its vibrant culture and “smart growth urbanism,” which focuses on land area planning that promotes compact, transit-oriented urban communities that are attractive and livable. The streets are filled with historical houses, museums, handmade cigar stores, pastry shops with guava treats, Cuban and Spanish restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, souvenir shops, and galleries.
Quiet by day, pulsing by night, Ybor City has many walking tours. Visit Centro Ybor, a shopping, dining, and entertainment center with Tampa Bay Brewing Company, Tampa’s oldest craft brewery.
Ballast Point has beautiful views of Hillsborough Bay and is where you can take a long stroll down Bayshore Boulevard, as mentioned earlier. The heart of the area is Ballast Point Park, right at the waterfront, with spectacular views of the bay and across the city. Its 600-ft long pier is known to be a great fishing spot, and a shaded splash pool is a great spot for the kiddos. This is a great place for outdoor-sy types, as it has walkways.
It’s also a trendy neighborhood to live in, with low crime statistics, featuring excellent schools, lots of parks, beautiful architecture, and a convenient location, as it’s close to Bayshore Boulevard, Dale Mabry Highway and the Selmon Expressway.
Davis Islands are surrounded by water and never short of amazing views. You can see downtown from anywhere! It has a main street with shops and restaurants, so you’ll have most of what you need at your fingertips at any given time. Check out the dog park beach for your best furr-iend and Davis Island Yacht Club. It’s also great for biking and running enthusiasts!
Palma Ceia, where you can find quaint boutiques and cafes, has vast Oak trees, brick streets, and jaw-droppingly beautiful homes, some with Spanish Mediterranean architecture and lush landscaping. It’s also home to several top schools, making it popular among families who want their children close by while they enjoy city life.
Palma Ceia West has a walk score of 77, making it a very comfortable place to call home with everything you need. Bayshore sidewalk is an excellent place for walking, biking, and enjoying the outdoors, and MacDill Boulevard has a long stretch of restaurants. This area is also known for its global eats, from Japanese to Greek to Mediterranean to British to Irish and Lebanese – great for foodies!
What Is The Most Walkable Area in Tampa?
Outside of downtown – South Tampa! Wide pathways, cycling tracks, and low-traffic roads make South Tampa an optimal environment for pedestrians. The area also has a great selection of restaurants, shops, and other amenities within walking distance of many residential areas. It’s the perfect combination of convenience and safety that makes South Tampa so attractive to those looking to live a vibrant city life without having to rely on their cars too much.
South Tampa neighborhoods include:
- Hyde Park
- Palma Ceia
- Ballast Point
- Bayshore Beautiful / Bayshore Gardens
- Beach Park
- Bel Mar Shores
- Davis Islands
South Tampa boasts some of the trendiest districts in Florida. In addition to South Tampa’s conveniences, the attractions in downtown Tampa are just a hop, skip, and a jump away.
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