Accessibility Grade: A
Winding its way along the iconic Hillsborough River, the Tampa Riverwalk ushers visitors through a number of scenic parks, museums, restaurants, and art installations that are located around Downtown Tampa. To say that there's a lot to see is a massive understatement! During our time, we only had the chance to go through a portion of the waterfront path's expansive 2.6 mile length. Come with us as we journey along some of the most picturesque parts of the Downtown Tampa area, accessible to us because of the Tampa Riverwalk.As we usually do, let's start things off by talking a little about the parking situation. Since Riverwalk covers such a wide area, there are a few places that you can park; however, accessible parking isn't always the easiest to find in Downtown Tampa. This rings especially true if you are on the hunt for parking that's both free and accessible. While it's possible to secure a free spot at Armature Works, which is a location that I'll mention further along in this Review, there's no guarantee that you'll find accessible parking in their lot. Having multiple options will give you the best chance to find accessible parking. On this trip, we ended up finding free, accessible parking at the Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park.
The Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park has a number of beautiful, art installations, such as the one pictured above. It greeted us as as we exited our vehicle, which set the tone for the rest of our trip. Moving further into the park, I noticed that the paths were all very smooth. The sidewalks were very wide, which is always great for manual and power chair users, as well as other people who use mobility devices like walkers or canes. This area felt really easy to get around, also making it great for caregivers, family, and friends, who push and/or assist people who use dependent mobility devices. As I mentioned above, we went to the Riverfront Park during a time that wasn't crowded. If you find yourself there at a peak time, such as during a busy event or on the weekend, please know that accessible parking spaces may appear more limited than during the time of our visit. This detail may be important, especially for individuals who experience high amounts of social anxiety, or those who have high sensory sensitivity.
The end of our journey, along the Tampa Riverwalk, brought us to Armature Works. Whether you're looking to grab a coffee, get some food, or scratch your shopping itch, Tampa's Armature works is a great collection of local restaurants, bars, and stores. It also hosts different kinds of events and other forms of entertainment, featuring regular musicians and holiday celebrations.