Tampa Riverwalk in December

A relaxing stroll along Downtown Tampa’s 2 mile Riverwalk is the perfect opportunity to take in all the major sights of Tampa. The quiet pedestrian path follows the beautiful Hillsborough River. Along the way, you will pass many of Tampa’s top attractions including art museums and cruises. Opportunities exist for dining, shopping, and various waterfront activities.

Tampa Downtown Riverwalk
A view of the downtown Tampa RiverWalk path

The Riverwalk is one of the best places in Tampa to take in views of the skyline and river. Whether you decide to walk or bike, either way you will enjoy smooth, flat path. The setting is beautiful – very maintained and nicely landscaped.

Palm trees and water views lining the downtown Tampa RiverWalk
Nicely landscaped downtown Tampa Riverwalk

The beautiful river scenery makes it a great place for a morning run or evening stroll. The path is almost never overcrowded, unless there is a major event taking place.

Beautiful river views along the downtown Tampa RiverWalk
Pirate ship seen while walking the downtown Tampa Riverwalk
Beautiful waterfront views along The Tampa Riverwalk

Views of the skyline are fantastic, even more so right before a storm.

Views of the Tampa skyline from the downtown RiverWalk

Nighttime views are just as enchanting

Tampa Riverwalk in December

Tampa RiverWalk Attractions

The Florida Aquarium

Shark at the Florida Aquarium

Tampa’s highly regarded aquarium houses over 200,000 various forms of sea life. A 500,000 Coral Reef Exhibit features tiger sharks, giant turtles, and hundreds of other interesting forms of sea life is the shining centerpiece. Certified divers can even take a dive with the sharks! Highlights here include colorful exhibits, a nice layout, and a beautiful outdoor Wetlands Trail.

Read more about The Florida Aquarium.

Tampa Bay History Center

Tampa Bay History Center - downtown Tampa, Florida

Tampa’s top notch history museum features 3 floors of exhibits dedicated to Florida history, including an exhibit detailing the first inhabitants of Tampa and information on Tampa’s cigar industry history. Be sure to stop for a lunch at Columbia’s, frequently rated as one of the best Spanish restaurants in the world.

Vegetarian Paella at Columbia Restaurant in Tampa's historic Ybor City
Vegetarian Paella
Cuban Black Beans at Columbia Restaurant in Tampa
Iconic Cuban Black Beans

Tampa Bay Times Forum

Tampa Bay Times Forum - downtown Tampa, Florida

Tampa’s event center is most famous for being home to the Tampa Bay Lighting, the city’s hockey team. In addition, The Times Forum hosts various musical acts and shows such as Disney on Ice.

Tampa Convention Center

Tampa Convention Center - downtown Tampa, Florida

The Tampa Convention Center is used to host private events throughout the year. Tampa’s temperate climate along with great water and skyline views make the Convention Center a popular year-round event hosting location (picture taken on adjoining Bayshore Blvd.)

Florida Museum of Photographic Arts

This Tampa museum dedicated to the art of photography is located on the second and third floors of Tampa’s modern downtown Cube building. This small museum only takes an hour at most to browse around, and is therefore easy to incorporate into an evening out in Tampa.

Glazer Children’s Museum

Glazer Children's Museum - downtown Tampa, Florida

Tampa’s children’s museum is located right next to the Museum of Art. It’s attractive location on the waterfront next to Curtis Hixon Park makes it a great choice for a fun family afternoon out. Here you will find plenty of educational, interactive exhibits for the kids and a nice waterfront park setting for the adults.

Curtis Hixon Park

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park - downtown Tampa, Florida

Tampa’s waterfront park is home to numerous ongoing and yearly events, including: free yoga on Sunday evenings, a winter skate rink, and the Tampa Bay Seafood Festival. The park is a great spot to take in views of the city skyline. Take a break, relax, and enjoy the views!

Tampa Museum of Art

Tampa Museum of Art - downtown Tampa, Florida

Tampa’s downtown art museum features a small collection of modern art and Roman/Greek artifacts. Special exhibitions showcase throughout the year. The new building features a beautiful multi million dollar contemporary design.

David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts

Tampa’s premier performance venue hosts several Broadway productions each year. Recent productions have included Cinderella and Dirty Dancing. The lineup also includes concerts, plays, and comedic performances.

In addition to the attractions listed above, there are numerous opportunities for shopping and waterfront entertainment located along the Riverwalk. Here are a few of the top activities located on Tampa’s Riverwalk.

Tampa eBoats

eBoats - downtown Tampa, Florida

A unique way to experience Tampa by boat, eBoats provide a peaceful waterfront experience with picturesque views of the river and skyline. These silent electric powered boat rentals are available by the hour to tourists and locals seeking a relaxing time off their feet.

Yacht Starship

Yacht Starship cruise - downtown Tampa, Florida

The Yacht Starship offers several daytime and evening dining cruises in the Tampa Bay area, including: Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and downtown Tampa. The 2 hour Tampa cruise features an elegant 3 course dinner menu selection and full bar (drinks are an additional charge), along with live entertainment. Enjoy fabulous views of the river, great views of the city, and an occasional dolphin sighting!

Channelside Bay Plaza

This Tampa dining, entertainment, and shopping complex is conveniently located next to The Florida Aquarium. During the summer months be sure to catch the special Saturday fireworks presentation.

Urban Kai Stand Up Paddleboarding

Take a tour or rent your own paddleboard by the hour. Enjoy great views of the river while also getting in a fabulous workout! Visit the Urban Kai website to book your class.

Where to Stay

Westin Tampa Harbour Island - downtown Tampa, Florida

There are a handful of hotels located on the RiverWalk: The Sheraton Riverwalk, Marriott Waterside Hotel, Embassy Suites Tampa, Howard Johnson Plaza Downtown, and Westin Tampa Harbour Island.  In addition to fabulous views, each property offers numerous amenities including: on-site dining, pools and fitness centers, and convenient access to the RiverWalk and surrounding Tampa Bay attractions.

Location & Parking

You can begin your walk near the Straz Center for Performing Arts located at: 1010 N Wc Macinnes Pl, Tampa, FL 33602.

Parking is available at various parking garages or along the side streets. Parking meters located north of Kennedy Blvd. are free after 6pm on weekdays and all day on weekends!