Jun 23, 2022 - Things to Do

Get Out: Kristen Hare's favorite Florida places

Photo illustration of a binocular view with Kristen Hare in it.
Photo Illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Kristen Hare

If you know Kristen Hare, you'll never be bored in Tampa Bay.

To kick off the official start of summer, we asked Hare about her favorite outdoor places and activities in Florida:

🚶‍♀️ To stroll: "I really love Tampa's Riverwalk. It's gotten better and better in the 10 years I've lived here. I love that, weather permitting, you can walk from Sparkman Wharf to Armature Works and have lots of adventures and beverages in between."

🥾 To hike: "Edward Medard Conservation Park in Plant City is a hidden treasure. Once inside this reclaimed phosphate mine, turn on to Sacred Hills Drive and you'll discover a forest where the roots of the trees are above ground."

🌊 Body of water: "Lithia Springs is close, cold, clear and completely gorgeous. If you need a good swimming hole, this is it. Runner up: Devil's Den in Williston. Also cold, also really cool."

🏖 Beach: "Pass-a-Grille was the first beach my family fell in love with, and we've visited many but never strayed from our initial affections. It's quaint and convenient, just get there early to find parking. I've learned a lot about its residents through the obits I write for the Tampa Bay Times, and it makes that place even more special."

🤫 Quiet place: "Kayaking King's Landing in Apopka (as long as it's not a weekend, then it's bumper boats). The first half of the journey is quiet because you have to save your breath for paddling upstream. The second part, all downstream, will take your breath away."

🌳 Municipal park: "José Marti Park in Ybor City is a tiny piece of Cuba, literally, and while I wish we could interact with it more, I appreciate what it teaches us about Tampa's history."

🍽 Outdoor dining spot: "Circles Waterfront in Apollo Beach always has some place to sit with water views. (Outdoor drinking spot: Jerry's Dockside in Gibsonton.)"

🍭 Sweet spot: "Shiny Fish Emporium on Anna Maria Island. My family goes at some point every year to this whimsical spot to paint sand dollars, which decorate our Christmas tree."

⚙️ Piece of gear: "A full water bottle and a working umbrella."

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