If you’re staying in downtown Tampa and want a nice spot to stretch your legs and walk around, the Tampa Riverwalk is the place to go. The Hillsborough River and its surroundings are well shown throughout this 2.4-mile waterfront path. Depending on your starting and ending points, you can take the Riverwalk in either direction. It starts at Sparkman Wharf and ends at the Armature Works.
A wide variety of public artworks, from murals to sculptures, are spread out along the Riverwalk’s length. Not far from the boardwalk are some of Tampa’s most visited attractions, including the Florida Aquarium and the Tampa Museum of Art. Two of the four playgrounds feature splash pads for the kids to enjoy.
The Riverwalk spans the majority of the waterfront in downtown Tampa, connecting a broad array of parks, attractions, public spaces, and hotels from the Channelside District at its eastern end to the mouth of the Hillsborough River and then further north along the riverbank to Tampa Heights. Channelside is where the Riverwalk officially kicks off on its easternmost point. Many of Tampa’s most famous attractions are located along the Riverwalk, including the Tampa Bay History Center, Amalie Arena, Tampa Convention Center, Rivergate Tower, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Water Works Park, and the Waterfront Arts District, which includes the Tampa Museum of Art, the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, the Glazer Children’s Museum, and the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. There are many community activities that take place along the Riverwalk, the most famous of which are the festivals held in Curtis Hixon Park and the arrival of the “pirate ship” Jose Gasparilla, which moors along the Riverwalk behind the Convention Center during the Gasparilla Pirate Festival. A wide range of public activities takes place at other venues along the Riverwalk as well.
If you are hungry or thirsty while exploring the area, there is a wide variety of restaurants with outdoor patios where you can relax in the sun and enjoy your meal while taking in the sights. Sparkman Wharf and the Armature Works are great places to begin or end your journey because they both have a diverse selection of high-quality eateries housed in specifically designed “containers.” These two spots are equally handy for accessing the port.
Non-profit group Friends of the Riverwalk collaborates with the City of Tampa to improve and publicize the riverside in the heart of Tampa, FL area. Their objectives are to strengthen the sense of community by bridging the gap between the downtown riverfront parks, museums, attractions, and businesses; to encourage the continued growth and development of the Riverwalk; to make the riverfront a more welcoming and accessible outdoor space, and to increase tourism. We will reach our objectives while also bolstering the Riverwalk’s progress toward its planned expansion and improvement.