If you’re RVing in the Tampa Bay, Florida, area, it might be enough to just kick back and soak up some sun. After all, the region boasts 361 days of sunshine a year, with the average temperature at a comfy 73 degrees.
But if you’re up for some fun outside the RV park, plenty awaits you in the Tampa Bay area. Here are six things you can do during an RV trip to Tampa Bay.
1 – Visit a picturesque park.
Locals and tourists alike are blessed with an abundance of lovely parks.
One of the jewels among Tampa Bay’s parks is Caladesi Island State Park, just outside Dunedin. The pure sugar-white sands beckon visitors, who can arrive only by ferry, kayak or boat.
“On pristine Caladesi, quiet paths lead along the dunes, palms stand against the warm coastal breezes, and shore birds and sea turtles live without interference from people,” Visit Florida says. “Gopher tortoises burrow behind the dunes and water laps against beaches sprinkled with scallops and sand dollars.”
2 – Tee off at a golf course.
Tampa Bay features about 100 courses geared toward amateurs and pros.
“Whatever your skill level, whatever your budget, the ‘Golf Coast’ has the golfing option to fit your needs,” according to Visit Tampa Bay.
Experts say one of the best public courses in the area is the 18-hole, par-71 Copperhead Course at the Innsbrook golf resort in Palm Harbor.
In a review of Copperhead, Tee Times USA says: “Striking in beauty and challenge, the surrounding lakes and ponds are home to abundant wildlife, including fox squirrels, bald eagles, alligators, blue herons, and many other types of waterfowl. With the fairways and greens mostly free of residences, Copperhead provides the opportunity to enjoy golf the way nature intended.”
3 – Stroll along the Riverwalk.
Running along the banks of the Hillsborough River and the shores of Tampa Bay, the Tampa Riverwalk features restaurants, shops, museums and parks. Along the way, you’ll find such attractions as the Florida Aquarium and Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.
“The 2.4-mile Tampa Riverwalk is a walkable, bikeable, Segway-able path connecting culture and entertainment,” Visit Tampa Bay says.
If you’ve worked up an appetite after walking, biking or Segway-ing on the riverwalk, consider dining at the highly rated Ulele restaurant.
Ulele (pronounced you-LAY-lee) says it “celebrates the vibrant fusion of ingredients from Florida waters and land once home to many Native Americans, including the young princess Ulele.” Many of the dishes are prepared on a large barbacoa grill.
4 – Hop on a bike.
In the Tampa Bay area, you can pedal to your heart’s content.
Among the cycling options are Flatwoods Wilderness Regional Park, where you might spot a wild turkey or a bobcat; Bayshore Boulevard, providing views of Tampa Bay; the Pinellas Trail, offering 38 miles of uninterrupted biking; and Alafia River State Park, where mountain biking is the name of the game.
“The Tampa area has perhaps the most extensive inventory of mountain bike single-track locations in the state of Florida,” according to the Southwest Association of Mountain Bike Pedalers (SWAMP).
5 – Hook some fish.
St. Petersburg and Clearwater sit on a peninsula bounded by Tampa Bay to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. “That means there’s fish to be had just about anywhere, anytime, though spring and fall are the busiest times of the year,” according to Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater.
Among the types of fish you can catch in the waters around the peninsula are snook, redfish, spotted sea trout, grouper and Spanish mackerel.
Thanks to nearly 600 miles of coastline, the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area “is a fishing nirvana,” Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater says. “No matter where you find yourself, you’ll be just a short walk or drive away from a spot where you can drop a line in the water.”
6 – Sample some beer.
Along the “Gulp Coast,” the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area’s answer to California’s wine country, you can taste craft beer at more than 30 independent breweries.
The area’s Craft Beer Trail extends from Tarpon Springs in the north to St. Petersburg in the south. On the north end is Dunedin Brewery, Florida’s oldest microbrewery.
“Both beer geeks and newbies will find suds to suit their palate, but don’t miss the chance to taste the area’s signature craft beer: Florida Weisse,” Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater advises. “This Berliner Weisse-style beer (tart, low-alcohol, highly carbonated) is given a unique spin by local brewers who add fresh fruits like key lime, raspberry, mango, dragon fruit, pineapple and passion fruit during the fermentation process.”