From the city of Tampa, Florida, you can go west in any direction and run into over 60 different beaches. For a look into the traditional Florida, woods, wildlife, and less population, try the Hillsborough River parks and recreation areas all along the  river. North of the lock, and south of it. Lettuce Lake Park is on the narrows of the fresh water of the river, north of the city of Tampa.Picnic areas, with playground equipment are nestled among the trees of the park. Several hiking trails give you a one on one with the flora and wildlife native to the area. Climb the 3 story tower to the tree top level for an overview of the river to see aligator, turtles, otters, birds, and fish.