Explore Southern Hillsborough County

Florida’s Hillsborough County is filled with beautiful scenery and plenty of fun activities to do with the family.

Getting ready to plan out your day? Start with the southern region of the county and then work your way up. To begin, head on over to Alderman’s Ford Conservation Park which is located at 9625 Canoe Launch Rd, Lithia.

The park is a great place to do some sightseeing and hiking. You can also grab a canoe or kayak and enjoy the peaceful serenity of the Alafia River. The river is one of the most popular canoeing destinations in Florida.

The conservation park opens daily at 8 a.m. and visitors can enjoy a nice, relaxing picnic lunch at the picnic pavilions.

If your picnic doesn’t fill you up, head west for about 37 minutes to reach the Circles Bar and Grill waterfront restaurant right on Apollo Beach. The restaurant offers a delicious assortment of fresh seafood such as coconut shrimp, blackened Mahi and seared tuna. Have room for dessert? Try their homemade Key lime pie.

Circle’s chips and salsa. Footage taken by Yara Zayas.

The restaurant has won Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence every year since 2012.

Since you’re already on Apollo Beach, you might as well stop by the Apollo Beach Nature Preserve to catch some sun and Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center to hopefully see some manatees. Thanks to the warm saltwater released by the nearby plant, Big Bend Power Station, manatees actually find this spot attractive and tend to spend a great amount of time here during the cooler months.

It’s also a great place to photograph wildlife.

Now that you’re done relaxing for the day, let’s get that blood pumping with some adrenaline at Tampa Bay Grand Prix. It’s located just 26 minutes north of Apollo Beach.

The track is a great place to re-live those Mario Kart fantasies that you had as a kid, and no, there are no blue shells here. Just a red track for the adults which goes at about 50 mph and a green track for the kids that lets them go about 20 mph.

While you’re waiting for your chance to shine in a race, play some arcade games or grab a snack at the café.

End your day with a fun and relaxing time at Tampa’s Topgolf location. Topgolf is just a short 10-minute drive from Tampa Bay Grand Prix, which makes it the perfect place to end your day.

At Topgolf, players can use the golf clubs provided or they can bring their own. The game kind of works like ski ball. You get more points for hitting the ball closer to the pin. Players can rent out a bay for up to six people. You pay by the hour and the price may be split between the party. Prices depend on the time of day. The lowest is about $25.

Topgolf is a great place to practice your swing and have some fun. Footage taken by Yara Zayas.

Since it’s the end of your day, you’re probably feeling hungry so why not grab some dinner? Topgolf has a full-service restaurant that delivers food right to your party’s lounge. Their menu has a wide variety of food such as their popular chicken and waffles, burger sliders and their bacon mac ‘n’ cheese spring rolls.

If you’d like to know of more fun things to do in Hillsborough County, please visit www.HCFLGov.net

A view of the Hillsborough River. Drone footage taken by Deanna Salt.