I grew up outside of Tampa and never really liked the city. The skyline was interesting to see when the fair came to town – peaking over the tops of the trees as one peaked on the Farris Wheel. But to me, it was full of people too busy for life, grungy looking people and just undesirable experiences.
When I travel, I try to make it a point to visit open/green spaces. I like the idea of nature in the middle of urban settings. Central Park in NYC can take you from the hustle and bustle to a calm, relaxed setting with trees shrubs and wildlife. Not all urban parks need to be dense or intricate to do the trick either. I was introduced to a beautiful park today by a friend of mine. He loves Tampa and loves to educate people on the city.
We went to the Curtis Hixon Waterfront park on the Hillsborough River. It has a large lawn with lush grass, nice trees and is right up against the East shore of the river. It is flanked by two museums (just outside of the photo below, they would be on the right hand side) that add to a nice feeling of closeness to the city, yet far enough away to connect to nature. The University of Tampa is across the river in the background. If you are ever in town, it is something to see regardless of season. Even after a heavy rain (like today) it was beautiful and perfectly fine to walk around in wearing nice clothes.