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  • Writer's pictureGotta Go Orlando

Tampa Riverwalk has been named one of the best riverwalks in America

Tampa Riverwalk has been named one of the best riverwalk's in the country, beaten only by Detroit's International RiverWalk.

In the 2023 USA Today's10Best Reader’s Choice Travel Awards, Tampa Riverwalk has received second place in America’s Best Riverwalks category.

A shortlist of 20 of the leading riverwalk's across the country was decided by a panel of experts working with 10Best’s editorial team, with the winners determined by a public vote.

Tampa Riverwalk

Over the last several years, many cities in the United States have reworked their riverfront areas, transforming them into vibrant spaces for outdoor recreation, nightlife, cultural activity and scenic views, and Tampa Riverwalk is a leading example of this rejuvenation.

Tampa's Riverwalk has its origins in the 1970's, when much of the downtown waterfront consisted of aging warehouses and industrial facilities related to the nearby Port of Tampa.

Tampa mayor Bill Poe conceived the idea of a park and walkway behind Curtis Hixon Hall, a civic center along the Hillsborough River that was one of the few public spaces in the area.[

The city built a short stretch of boardwalk on the east side of the river behind the Hall, but a lack of funds to buy adjoining properties and subsequent mayors' disinterest in the project paused further construction.

Tampa renewed its push to revitalize its "desolate" downtown in the mid-1980's, and over the next decade, obsolete Curtis Hixon Hall was replaced by a riverside park and the Tampa Convention Center, Amalie Arena, and the Florida Aquarium were constructed with mostly public funds along the waterfront.

Tampa Riverwalk

“We're grateful to everyone who voted and it was truly an honor to be nominated alongside some amazing cities and riverwalks,” said MaryBeth Williams, executive director of Friends of the Riverwalk, the privately funded nonprofit organization that helps develop, activate and promote the Tampa Riverwalk. “Our vision is for the Tampa Riverwalk to be America’s iconic riverwalk and we are on our way to seeing that vision materialize. We hope this inspires people from all over the U.S. to include the Tampa Riverwalk in their travel plans and see for themselves what our amazing our city has to offer.”

Tampa Riverwalk

In selecting Tampa Riverwalk, the USA Today's10Best travel experts highlighted Tampa Riverwalk for it's ability to connect the businesses, parks and museums along the riverfront.

They also noted that the riverwalk serves as a central spot for performances, art, leisure and fitness activities. with plenty of places to stop and enjoy along the way, from restaurants to museums, not to mention the scenery.

Tampa Riverwalk


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