To preserve, protect, maintain and enhance the city's parklands and recreational facilities and engage people in leisure activities that contribute to their quality of life.
Bay Vista Recreation Center is nestled at the Southeast tip of St. Petersburg with a scenic view of Tampa Bay and the iconic Skyway Bridge. The 5 acre Bay Vista Park is covered with shady trees and offers a playground, multiple covered pavilions, kayak rack and two boat ramps to satisfy your outdoor needs. The recreation center focuses on adult programming and also offers classes for all ages. Learn a new art or craft through one of our many classes, such as stained glass, watercolor or pottery. If indoor exercise programs are what you are interested in, attend Caribbean aerobics, karate, yoga or one of our many other exercise classes. Connect with others in the community and attend a day trip coordinated through the center. Plan your next event in our 1500 square foot rentable room and kitchen combined for up to 100 people. Whether it's indoor or outdoor, Bay Vista has it all. Remember us when it comes to your next celebration, graduation, family reunion, wedding or reception. Reasonable rates.
The original block building was set on the inlet across the parking lot from the present structure. The construction date is unknown but the Jaycees gave it to the city for an adult center and to keep the open waterfront for the neighborhood. The name derives from the beautiful view of Tampa Bay.
The local neighborhood association rallied to replace the old building. The present structure had the Grand Opening in August 1996. There is a great amount of information about the Bay Vista Center area. The Tocobago Indians lived here in 1000 AD, and Spanish explorers in the 1500’s have inhabited the area. Later came the fishermen and farmers. In the 1920’s, the Bee Line Ferry service motored across the bay to Manatee county from the present Bay Vista boat ramps. At the time, the only way to get to Manatee County was through Tampa and south on Route #301. The famed Pink Streets are nearby.
In 1966, a tornado ripped through the area crushing houses across the street and sparing the old Bay Vista building. In 1985, Hurricane Elena wobbled out in the gulf causing flooding almost to the street. There are photos of the parking lot and the old boardwalk and shelters on site.
Bay Vista was originally a private club know as the Bee Line Children's Playground. In 1960 it was renamed Bay Vista Community Center. The faciltiy was rebuilt and relocated to the current location taking advantage of the beautiful view of Tampa Bay, a perfect location for events.
Click on the yellow boxes for photos and details.