Top 10 things to do outside in Gulfport, Florida
While the pandemic has changed how we travel, it hasn’t changed one thing – Gulfport, Florida still has plenty to do outdoors. When you visit Gulfport, Florida, here are 10 ways you can explore the small waterfront town and stay safe.
10. Explore the Food Forest in Clymer Park
As you drive into Gulfport’s downtown, make time to explore the Gulfport Food Forest. Park your car at the Gulfport Public Library or Catherine Hickman Theater (both on Beach Boulevard just south of the Gulfport Food Forest) and explore the art hidden in the fruit trees.
9. Walk the historic trolley line along Tangerine Greenway
Years ago, a trolley line from downtown St. Petersburg brought visitors to Gulfport. The trolley entered Gulfport at 49th Street South, then made a left turn on 55th Street South, and delivered tourists to the historic Gulfport Casino. Today, you can retrace the historic trolley route along the Tangerine Greenway, from Trolley Market Square Park at 49th Street to Tomlinson Park.
8. Bring the kids to Gulfport’s playgrounds
These playgrounds make you long to be a kid again, with colorful slides, nautical elements, and plenty of jungle gyms, monkey bars, and good, old-fashioned fun. Playgrounds include the one behind the Gulfport Recreation Center, Tomlinson Park, Tonkin Playground at Chase Park, and Caldwell Park.
7. Take the monthly walking tour of downtown
Every third Saturday the Gulfport Historical Society leads a walking tour from the Gulfport History Museum (5301 28th Ave. S.), past historic Roebuck homes, down to the water, and through the downtown. It’s a great way to learn all about Gulfport’s colorful history – from blockade runners to drug runners! – while getting your steps in and staying socially distanced.
6. Enjoy a picnic lunch at a waterfront park
Gulfport has beautiful views of the sea – Veteran's Park and Gulfport Beach both front Boca Ciega Bay. The beach has shelters where you can sit at a shaded picnic table (and, of course, a sandy beach – just mind the sea gulls if you’re eating!), while Veteran's Park has a vast, tree-shaded lawn. Every Gulfport restaurant and cafe offers carry-out, so whether you want tacos from The Tiki Bar & Grill on Taco Tuesday or grilled sea bass from Pia’s Trattoria, you can feast like kings and queens from with own (mostly) private view of paradise!
5. Kayak an aquatic preserve
The state designated the Boca Ciega Aquatic Preserve in 1969, but most people who visit Gulfport don’t even know about it. This hidden gem along the Florida Birding Trail borders both St. Petersburg and Gulfport, but the best way to see it is from the seat of a kayak. Kayak Nature Adventures offers guided tours and rentals, so don’t miss this chance to see Boca Ciega Bay! Not into kayaking? The Gulfport Municipal Marina has boat tours of the Gulf of Mexico and Boca Ciega Bay.
4. Hike Clam Bayou
Clam Bayou Nature Park at Gulfport’s Osgood Point offers local Gulfport residents a great escape, from hiking to meditation to dog-walking. With a gazebo at the top and plenty of native plants to explore, this park on the southeast side of Gulfport offers you more solitude than many of the downtown parks.
3. Work out on Gulfport’s outside exercise equipment
Missing your gym? Gulfport has the perfect solution – outdoor exercise machines. You can tone your arms, work on your core, or mold your quads at Tomlinson Park, Caldwell Park, or behind the Recreation Center.
2. Fish from Gulfport Beach or off Williams Pier
Boca Ciega Bay, once deemed “dead” by state biologists, is the poster child for how environmental action can help an imperiled ecosystem rebound, and today you can catch grouper, sheepshead, and other saltwater fish from Gulfport’s beach or Williams Pier. Please note: you must have a fishing license to fish from the shore or off a boat in Florida. You can get a Florida saltwater fishing license here.
1. Grab a bite to eat at one of the dog-friendly outdoor eateries
If, after all that, you’re hungry, well, you’re not alone. Thankfully, Gulfport boasts an abundance of outdoor cafes, restaurants, and bars. Our favorites include Tutto Bene for pizza, Pia’s Trattoria for old-country Italian, GulfPerk for coffee, Stella’s for breakfast, and, of course, Isabelle’s for dinner. Every Gulfport restaurant with outdoor dining welcome leashed, well-behaved dogs, so bring Fido and come visit Gulfport!
As a guest at the Historic Peninsula Inn, you can comfortably walk to every one of these gentle adventures. Enjoy your Old Time Florida getaway while exploring Gulfport, and then head back to the Inn for a relaxing nap or afternoon on the porch watching the town stroll past our wide, shaded verandah!
Where Foodies Eat in Gulfport, Florida