Albert Whitted Park, in downtown St Petersburg FL is quiet, and uncrowded. Located right on Tampa Bay, residents and visitors in downtown St Pete enjoy this beautiful setting by the South Yacht Basin of the Municipal Marina.
There are covered picnic tables, restrooms, and a playground for children.
This park is the southern start of the St Petersburg Waterfront Park System along Tampa Bay.
Opened in February, 2008, this is the newest park in the system.
Albert Whitted Park is the largest addition of public parkland to the waterfront in almost one hundred years.
It was named after James Albert Whitted, a hometown hero who was one of the United States Navy's first 250 pilots in World War I.
1st Lt. Whitted was the advanced flight instructor at the Navy School in Pensacola, FL and also served as the instructor for advanced maneuvers in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
He was the person who introduced flying to the city of St Petersburg. Sadly, he and four passengers died in a crash near Pensacola on August 19, 1923 when the propeller broke off his plane.
He was honored with the dedication of Albert Whitted Airport, which lays right next to the park on the south side, in 1928.
Located at 480 Bayshore Drive SE, in downtown St Pete, the park's amenities include a huge grassy area, a children's playground at the far east end, covered picnic shelters (no grills), clean solar-powered restrooms, and a well-cared for walkway along the South Yacht Basin.
Visitors who use the picnic shelters along runway 6-24 on the south side of the park are able to view incoming and outbound traffic, and hear communications from the airport tower.
Also within the park, the University of South Florida and Progress Energy Florida partnered to feature a futuristic sustainable and renewable electric energy and lighting system.
It is pretty easy to find the park.
There is a huge grassy play area, and a winding walkway for couples and new families with strollers.
Harold Bailey and his wife Margie have been coming to Albert Whitted Park for the past several years. Harold said, "When I retired from the Post Office back in Indiana, we decided to come south and spend our Golden Years in the sunshine. We were both 64 and in great health.
Downtown St Pete is a charming place. Not much hustle or bustle. Everything is pretty close by. You get to see a lot of sailboats.
We are both close to 85, now, but we have hardly missed a day walking around this waterfront area. We've been coming into this specific park since it opened.
The only days we have missed is when it is raining real hard or there is hurricane weather. We have a nice life because of this park being so close."
The two covered picnic shelters along the Albert Whitted Air Field on the south side allow visitors to watch take-offs, landings, and hear tower communications.
On the north side of the park is a covered picnic shelter right on the South Yacht Basin.
Doris Haskins is a snowbird and a grandmother, she said, "I love coming to Albert Whitted Park for picnics. My grandchildren have grown up under this covered picnic area. We've been doing this most weekends since they were all 7n or 8. Now they all go to St Pete High.
It has been so much fun, and has made our family much closer. The kids have learned how to kick soccer balls, throw frisbees, catch pop flies, play horseshoes, and even dance the Electric Slide.
They've seen giant devil rays and manatees in the water. This park has been so beneficial for their overall development."
Visitors have a beautiful view into the yacht basin of the Municipal Marina.
The park has clean, solar powered restrooms and lighting system.
A large display provides information about the plan to use renewable solar energy in the city of St Petersburg and the Tampa Bay area.
At the far east end is a beautiful playground for children that overlooks Tampa Bay.
Cheri Blake is a mother of two boys, she said, "I love taking my guys to Albert Whitted Park. It is right on Tampa Bay and a nice breeze is always blowing. No pollution. Just clean salt air for their little lungs.
They can run and kick soccer balls all over the wide lawn. Other times, we bring the batting tee and they hit thousands of Whiffle balls all over the place. It's great. They both think they are Mike Trout.
When we go to the playground part, they climb that ladder to the slide the whole time. They wear themselves out. It's wonderful.
When they get tired, we watch the sailboats on in South Basin, or the Coast Guard helicopters landing over on the other side.
This park has everything to keep kids entertained. Plus, it is safe."
There is an aviation theme to the playground structures.
A look west back toward the entrance of the park.
If you are looking for a nice place for a quiet stroll or an uncrowded picnic, Albert Whitted Park may be a good fit for you.
A note to athletes: The large paved parking lot offers a safe and unobstructed area to run intervals. It is about 350 meters and runners can be found here as the sun is coming up over Tampa bay.
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Learn more about the Hidden History Of St Pete.