While the temps may be starting to heat up, there’s still time to get out and enjoy a scenic picnic before the rainy season kicks in. Below are a few of our favorite spots!
8001 Double Branch Rd. Tampa, FL 33635
Just a few miles up the road, this Bayfront park offers something for everyone. This 596-acre peninsular park protects valuable coastal habitat. Visitors can take a hike on nature trails and boardwalks and see gopher tortoises, zebra swallowtail butterflies, and even bobcats. They can also check out the shallow freshwater ponds that provide habitat for aquatic plants and animals. The park boasts several picnic shelters and a centrally located playground, making this a great spot for families. There is also a nature center which not only contains interpretive exhibits that describe the park environment, history, and geology, but also live animal displays that houses fish, snakes, and turtles.
7409 Picnic Island Blvd., Tampa
The name says it all. Picnic Island is a hidden gem in South Tampa that has everything you need for a perfect picnic. There are plenty of shaded picnic tables with water views or bring a blanket and spread out in the grass or along the beautiful white sand beach. There are also shelters for rent, restrooms, a playground, dog beach, beach volleyball, disc golf course, fishing pier and boat ramp. This is also a great vantage point to catch the sunset!
2525 Philippe Pkwy., Safety Harbor
Enjoy sweeping views of Old Tampa Bay and plenty of shade from majestic oak trees dripping with Spanish moss at this Safety Harbor park. There is a large grassy expanse with bay views that is a great place to set up a picnic (just watch for ant hills). For larger groups Philippe Park has eight picnic shelters with grills that can be reserved. There are also two playgrounds, a boat ramp, fishing, public restrooms and a historic mound known as Temple Mound that was built by the Tocobaga Indians.
#1 Causeway Blvd., Dunedin
Honeymoon Island is a nature lover’s dream. There are four miles of beach and three miles of trails through one of the last remaining virgin slash pine forests. The picnic area at the north end of the island has a good selection of picnic tables, two covered pavilions available on a first-come, first-served basis, restrooms, a playground and barbecue grills. If you prefer water views, set up on the sands of North Beach, just steps from the picnic area. On the south end of the island, you’ll find a café, additional picnic shelters and a dog beach. If you’re looking for a more remote picnic spot, hop aboard the ferry to Caledesi Island and enjoy the pristine white sand.
3500 Pinellas Bayway S., Tierra Verde
Made up of five interconnected islands and spanning 1,136 acres, Fort De Soto is Pinellas County’s largest park. It is also a great place for a picnic. There is plenty of open ground to set up a picnic, or reserve one of 15 shelters that include a grill. Bring your own food or purchase something from the on-site concession stand located at the North Beach Swim Center. Fort De Soto is dog-friendly and there is a dog beach at the southern tip of the park. This is also a great place to bring along your bikes and explore the seven-mile paved trail. Other activities include kayaking, biking, snorkeling, camping, or hopping on the ferry to Shell Key and Egmont Key.
North Shore Drive and 11th Avenue N.E., St. Petersburg
Located just north of Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg, this hidden gem is slice of waterfront paradise perfect for a picnic. A red-brick path winds through grounds filled with 500 palms and cycads representing 150 species from around the world. There is ample green space to set up a picnic, and parking and admission are free. Note: there are no bathrooms on the grounds, so plan accordingly.
600 N. Ashley Dr., Tampa
Tampa’s Riverwalk has become a highlight of our beautiful city and Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is in the heart of the action. This urban oasis has a great lawn with sloped and terraced edges that are the ideal spot for a picnic with gorgeous views of the Hillsborough River and the unique architecture of the University of Tampa across the shore. After you dine, make a stop in the Tampa Museum of Art, hitch a ride on the Pirate Taxi or take a stroll along the Riverwalk. You can even make your way down to Armature Works to grab dessert or an adult beverage. Additional amenities include a splash pad, playground, concession stand, dog park and restrooms.
51 Main St., Dunedin
Located at the picturesque Dunedin Marina, Edgewater Park is four acres of well-shaded waterfront space ideal for a picnic. There are multiple picnic tables to choose from, as well as two picnic pavilions and a gazebo that can be rented. After your meal, take a stroll through the quaint shops of downtown Dunedin and grab an ice cream cone from Strachan’s. Cap the day off by walking down to the Dunedin Pier to catch one of the best sunset views in Tampa Bay.