TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa’s Riverwalk now features three activities steps away from one another.
Kathy Slough, from Atlanta, Georgia visits her friend every year. Slough makes sure the Riverwalk is part of her trip.
“A group of us – we’ve been doing this probably for about twelve years. We come and run in the Gasparilla Classic, an awesome race.”
Many people like Slough enjoy spending their day walking along the waterfront sidewalk. The air is filled with birds chirping, children laughing, and music.
“This, this is part of my lifestyle, it’s beautiful here,” Slough said. “We got the waterway, we got the public market, Ulele’s.”
Bikers can ride on pavement along the Hillsborough River and lock their bikes up at several racks along the way. There are several docks next to the railings where people can ride their boats or ride on a private water taxi.
Tampa Water Works Park is across the water. Children wear swimsuits and play around a gated splash zone. If children do not want to get wet, they can enjoy the playground with ropes next to the water activities. The pavilion is great for hosting parties, while the large grassy area is perfect for picnics. Another area has a stage.
People can get to a Native American restaurant from the Riverwalk or by crossing a small bridge. The restaurant is named Ulele after a Native American princess. The restaurant cooks native inspired foods like the Native Sauté, Native Chili and Mahi Trevino. Ulele is also the name of one of Tampa’s water springs.
Next to the Riverwalk area stands a repurposed fire station, now named Armature Works. The restaurants have a large variety of foods, from barbeque to acai bowls. The current stores are: Astro Ice Cream, Butcher N Barbeque, Graze, Inside the Box, Union, Zukku, SwamiJuice, Hemingway’s, Cru Cellars, Ava, Cocktail Emporium, Imoto, Surf and Turf and more coming soon.
AW Mercantile is a retail shop inside Armature Works. The theme of the space is rustic chic. It is growing popularity on social media with the hashtag “hpm” and “armature works.” Next to Armature Works is Heights Public Market. Inside, there is also a space where you can buy fresh vegetables and fruit. All the shops have social media profiles, encouraging customers to share pictures of their experiences.
Couches, chairs and stools are available indoors for seating. There are benches, chairs and umbrellas in front of the building as well. There are also life-sized chess and checker boards. The area is very pet-friendly. A large space in between has an open roof. A musician is almost always strumming tunes.
Parking in downtown is usually difficult, but now there are more parking facilities available with no fee.
Armature Works is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, and from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday. It opens an hour later and closes at 9 p.m. on Sunday.
“You can bring families here, you can be single, anybody can come here,” Slough said. “It’s really nice of Tampa to have this for residents that live here and us visiting.”