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Ballast Point Park

Tucked away in the serene neighborhood south of downtown Tampa, Ballast Point Park is a tranquil oasis offering picturesque views of the city skyline and the Davis Islands. This waterfront park, known for its extended pier, playgrounds, and picnic areas, serves as a hub for leisure and recreation for both locals and visitors alike. With its rich history and modern amenities, Ballast Point Park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience Tampa’s natural beauty and community spirit.


The history of Ballast Point Park is deeply intertwined with that of Tampa itself. The area was originally used by indigenous peoples before European settlers arrived. The name “Ballast Point” is derived from the practice of 19th-century ships discarding their ballast rocks at the location to take on cargo from Tampa’s ports, hence lightening their loads. Over the years, the park has seen numerous transformations, including serving as a popular tourist destination in the early 1900s, complete with a hotel and a pier for steamships. Although these structures no longer exist, the park has maintained its allure and continues to be a cherished landmark.


  • Size: Ballast Point Park spans several acres, offering ample space for a variety of activities.
  • Pier: The park features a long pier that extends into Hillsborough Bay, a favorite spot for fishing enthusiasts.
  • Playground: There are modern playground facilities designed to entertain children of all ages.
  • Splash Pad: A seasonal splash pad is available for children to enjoy water play during the warmer months.
  • Picnic Shelters: Visitors can reserve picnic shelters equipped with grills for gatherings and celebrations.
  • Jogging Path: A scenic jogging path provides a route for runners and walkers to enjoy the waterfront views.


Ballast Point Park is located at 5300 Interbay Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33611. It is easily accessible by car and has a parking lot for visitors. The park’s location near the Hillsborough Bay ensures a refreshing breeze and offers a stunning backdrop for a day out in nature.


For the most current information on events, amenities, and any potential alerts, visitors can check the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation website at www.tampa.gov/parks-and-recreation. This resource provides details on park facilities, reservation options for picnic shelters, and contact information for park management.

Opening Hours

Ballast Point Park is open to the public from sunrise to sunset. Certain amenities, such as the splash pad, may have specific operating hours, especially during the summer months, so it’s recommended to check the park’s website or contact the park’s office for the latest information.

Things to Do

  • Fishing: The pier is a popular spot for fishing, with a variety of species available in the bay waters.
  • Picnicking: With numerous picnic tables and shelters, the park is perfect for a family outing or a casual lunch with friends.
  • Playground Fun: Children can enjoy the playground equipment and the splash pad during warmer weather.
  • Jogging and Walking: The paved path along the water is ideal for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating run.
  • Bird Watching: Nature enthusiasts can observe local bird species that frequent the park’s shoreline.
  • Boating: While there isn’t a boat launch within the park, the proximity to the water makes it a great spot for kayaking or paddleboarding.

Tips For Visiting

  • Plan Ahead: Check the weather and park’s website before visiting for any updates or events.
  • Sun Protection: With much of the park’s activities being outdoors, it’s important to wear sunscreen and a hat.
  • Stay Hydrated: Bring plenty of water, especially if you’re planning to use the jogging paths or playgrounds.
  • Fishing License: If you intend to fish from the pier, ensure you have a valid Florida fishing license.
  • Reserve Early: If you’re planning a larger gathering, it’s wise to reserve a picnic shelter in advance.
  • Observe Park Rules: Help maintain the park’s beauty by following all posted rules, including those about littering and pet leashing.


Ballast Point Park in Tampa is more than just a park; it’s a community centerpiece that encapsulates the charm and vitality of the city. From its historical significance to its modern-day amenities, the park offers a plethora of activities and experiences for all ages. Whether you’re casting a line off the pier, watching your children play, or simply enjoying the stunning views of the bay, Ballast Point Park guarantees a fulfilling visit. With thoughtful planning and a sense of adventure, a trip to this beloved park promises to be both memorable and enjoyable.

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