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Ballast Point Park

Categories: Park

Features: Boat ramp

More in this neighborhood: MacDill Area

The site was first named Jules Verne Park, for the French author who chose Tampa as the setting for his fictional launching pad in the 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon. Renamed Ballast Point, the park, which was developed in 1894, seems an appropriate location as it might offer the city's best unobstructed views of the water, downtown and the heavens.

It includes a wooden pier, with benches and shady shelters for the fishermen who ply the waters daily for redfish and snook. Stand 960 feet out into Old Tampa Bay at the pier's edge and feel the sea breeze, a cooling balm from the summer sun.

Get too cold, and the Taste of Boston Restaurant at the head of the pier offers up creamy New England clam chowder. Too hot, and you can order ice cream. Restaurant hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. -- Justin George, Times Staff Writer

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Ballast Point Park - MacDill Area