If there is one thing that Tampa has in abundance, it is palm trees. A quick glance out nearly any window will reveal dozens of these towering, tropical trees that give the entire city a beachy, instagrammable vibe. But in addition to being beautiful, palm trees can serve a functional purpose as well. Find two palm trees spaced appropriately and you have an ideal spot to set up a hammock!
Hammocks have long been a symbol of summertime relaxation. Tampa is a summertime city, which means you can take advantage of hammock life all year long. The best part is that there is no need to buy an expensive hammock stand. Just grab a compact, nylon hammock off of Amazon (this one is great), and head out to find a good spot to chill out. Setting up a hammock is as easy as finding two trees, looping some rope around the trunks and clipping those ropes to a carabineer. Anyone can do it.
So if you are looking to kick back and enjoy the outdoors, grab a hammock and check out the 4 best hammock hangouts in Tampa.
This park sits in the middle of a high-end neighborhood between Westshore and Dale Mabry. It is super low key and pretty much off-the-grid, which makes it a great spot to relax in some peace and quiet. There aren’t any park amenities like a playground, picnic tables water fountains, or even a parking lot…but it does have a ton of beautiful trees. To find a good spot, just drive around the park, scoping out the different clusters of palm trees and oak trees. When you’ve found something that looks intriguing, just pull to the side of the road and park your car right on the street. If you want to make an afternoon of it, stop by Trader Joe’s, which is right down the block, and grab some snacks. Swann Circle Park is shady, gorgeous, and usually empty, so pack up your hammock and check it out!
Picnic Island Park is located on the southwestern tip of the Tampa peninsula, and offer absolutely gorgeous views of the bay. There is even a small narrow beach there if you are tempted to stick your feet in. The park is large and spacious, with several free parking lots, a Frisbee golf course, and picnic pavilions scattered all over. There are also dozens upon dozens of palm trees. The trees here are slightly more spaced out so that park-goers can enjoy sunny lawns, but there are clusters here and there that provide great hammock supports. This is largely a family park, so if you go in the middle of the day be prepared to enjoy a soundtrack of children playing and BBQs sizzling. To get here, try south on Westshore Blvd until you think you cannot possibly drive further south. The road will bear right, and you will see signs telling you to take a left into the park. This area of Tampa is a bit sparse, so it will feel strange driving in that way, but once you reach the park’s entrance you will be glad you stuck through it!
The Courtney Campbell Causeway is the northernmost causeway that connects Tampa to Clearwater. The total length is just shy of 10 miles. The Courtney Campbell Trail is a pedestrian and cycling pathway that runs alongside the busy causeway – it even has an entirely separate pedestrian bridge! The trail is always busy with walkers, bikers, and runners, and the small strip of land along the edge the trail is a regular hangout for people just looking to enjoy the views of the bay. The big of land between the road and the bay has some beautifully spaced out palm trees, which seem to have been planted with hammocks in mind. Hanging up your hammock here means enjoying the bay breeze and a gorgeous bay-front view. The din of the traffic behind you will fade into the background as you enjoy what it feels like to hang out in the middle of a body of water. To get here, drive west towards Clearwater. There is a traffic light just before the raised bridge that will allow you to turn left onto the trail’s access road. It is a one-way road that will force you to head back east towards Tampa, but no more than 50 feet from the entrance to the road is a little parking lot you can safely leave your car at for free. Grab you hammock and walk back west. Pretty soon you will find some beautiful palm trees just begging to support a hammock. So set up, chill out, and enjoy the view.
You do not have to be a student to enjoy this University’s downtown campus. Situated on some prime river-front property across from downtown Tampa, the front lawn of UT has an insane view. In one direction, you have the Hillsborough River with Curtis Hixon Park, sparkly high rises, and the gorgeous color-changing light show on the Riverwalk. In the other direction, you have the stunningly unique main building of the University, Plant Hall. This stunning, historical building actually used to be a 511-room hotel situated near the end of the railway line. Build in 1891, it still maintains a lot of its grandeur. Between Plant Hall and the river, is a lush lawn and some towering palm trees, which provide an excellent hammock hang out. At any given time there are at least a half a dozen hammocks set up here. All you have to do is find two unclaimed trees and set yourself up right on the riverbank. The hardest decision you will have to make is which way to face. The one downside is that parking on campus is nearly impossible, so instead find a free 2-hour spot behind the Oxford Exchange (which is right across Kennedy) and walk over. If you want to establish a new appreciation for downtown Tampa, then this is absolutely the hammock spot for you.
So grab your hammock and enjoy our hot, sunny weather in these four fantastic hammock hangout spots.