Hot? Head for the Water

There are lots of ways to stay cool in Hillsborough County

Beat the heat. Find an activity - or just relax - in, on, or around the water.

Here are some ideas:

Go for a swim or take a dip. The spring-fed swimming area at Lithia Springs Conservation Park has a year-round water temperature of 72 degrees, chilly enough to knock the heat out of a steamy summer day. You also can wade into Tampa Bay off a stretch of beach at E.G. Simmons Conservation Park in Ruskin.

Canoeists explore the coastline at Upper Tampa Bay Conservation Park.

There are lots of places to paddle kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards. Many launch from Hillsborough County Conservation Parks. Find your own way afloat, or register for a guided excursion. Some tours take place in the evening, when it's not so hot. On the County website, check for launch sites at parks, and watch the calendar for upcoming paddling adventures.

Boat ramps at E.G. Simmons Conservation Park offer easy access to Tampa Bay.

Skippers of larger vessels, the kind with motors and sails, can find their way to the water at local boat ramps. They're located throughout the county, almost anywhere there's an expanse of water. Upgrades are taking place at some ramps. Check to make sure your favorite ramp is open. It's $5 to launch a boat, plus a $2 entry fee at Conservation Parks.

Fishing is a favorite pursuit throughout Hillsborough County.

Fishing is a fine way to spend time outside beside a river, lake, bayou, or bay. You'll enjoy the peaceful confluence of water, land, and sky. And, who knows. You might reel in a keeper.

Children play on a splash pad at Northdale Park and Recreation Center.

There are splash pads at Northdale Park and Recreation Center and All Persons Rotary Park in Brandon. Children can splash and play safely because drains ensure none of the water accumulates.

Top photo: Swimming is popular in the cool water at Lithia Springs Conservation Park.


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