The votes are in for Tampa Magazine's "Best of the City," and the City of Tampa is honored to have two of its parks win first and second place in the "Best Park" in the Tampa Bay area category.
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park topped the list, with Ballast Point Park coming in at second, and Hillsborough County's Lettuce Lake Park in third place.
Located along the Hillsborough River, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park opened in 1995 and debuted a reimagined design in 2010 after an extensive renovation. Featuring two interactive fountains, a shaded playground, boat docks, a dog park, open space, and other amenities, the park is nestled among other popular cultural institutions, like the Glazer's Children Museum, the Tampa Museum of Art, and the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Since the park's renovation, it has hosted hundreds of events, including annual holiday and Gasparilla activities, the Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival, Riverfest, River O’ Green, NCAA Women’s Final Four activities, College Football National Championship Playoff Playlist Live, and the Super Bowl LV NFL Experience.
“With all the high-quality parks throughout our region this is a special recognition to receive. This reflects our team’s hard work and dedication to provide Tampa with clean, safe, and enjoyable parks for both residents and visitors. We are honored for this accolade and are thankful for the community’s support,” said Tony Mulkey, Interim Director of Tampa Parks & Recreation.
Ballast Point Park is also a fan favorite, featuring a playground, an interactive splash pad, and shelters for community gatherings. A 600 foot pier and public boat ramp help provide connection and interaction with Tampa Bay. The restaurant located right by the pier, Taste of Boston, serves seafood, ice cream and other traditional food for visitors to enjoy. Ballast Point is also close to Tampa Parks & Recreation's Joe Abrahams Fitness and Wellness Center, which offers members access to a full gym and numerous fitness classes. For many generations, this park has served as a backdrop for fishing, boating, parties, fitness activities, cooling off in the splash pad, and even enjoying a meal with an amazing waterfront view of Tampa’s growing downtown skyline. Ballast Point is a little gem in South Tampa that must be experienced in person to appreciate its beauty and versatility.
About the City of Tampa Parks & Recreation
Tampa Parks & Recreation is an NRPA Gold Medal recipient and CAPRA-accredited agency with a mission to provide and preserve quality parks and recreation opportunities for all. Operating in a highly urbanized environment, we are dedicated to offering safe community green spaces that are conveniently accessible to all residents. With continued support from trusted partners and local community participation, we look forward to continuing to offer new, fun, and educational recreation and environmental stewardship opportunities throughout our community.