Trendy boutiques, delicious seafood, scenic drives…there’s a lot to love about Florida’s 30A region, but what if you crave some laid-back, outdoor fun? Local parks tend to emphasize coastal views and, while this is certainly appreciated, a classic park experience is sometimes preferable if it means keeping kids of all ages entertained with quality equipment and amenities.
If your need for a view is minimal but you aren’t willing to compromise on playgrounds or recreation, your best bet may involve one of the many activities available at Helen McCall Park. Although far from fancy, this simple park is sure to please with its range of amenities and its pleasant vibes. This is a local hangout but also tends to attract tourists who crave a break from all the beach-based excitement.
Public restrooms are available onsite and, generally speaking, these are clean and pleasant. Water fountains are also provided and, like the restrooms, they are relatively clean. Shade abounds, which is great news given how hot it gets when you’re not directly on the beach.
As you plan a lovely day at the park, don’t forget to pack a picnic lunch or, at least, plenty of snacks. There are picnic tables available onsite and even the busiest kids should be willing to take a brief break from their playground antics to grab something to eat. Otherwise, a few basic dining locations can be found nearby along Highway 98, including seafood, Mexican, and fast food establishments. Set aside at least an hour to make the most of the amenities and live in the moment.
Our favorite park activities and amenities include the following:
Local families can often be found at Helen McCall Park, where the playground provides plenty of opportunities for children of all ages to get the wiggles out. The larger playground includes all the usual favorites, with a clear emphasis on slides and climbing features. There is also a smaller playground that will allow parents of toddlers to sigh in relief and actually relax as their tiny tots explore safely on their own.
While this park’s playground can be lovely for much of the year, it feels a lot less hospitable when the summer heat takes over. This is when locals transition to the nearby splash pad, which promises much-needed relief on sweltering days. While the splash pad is primarily frequented by kiddos, parents are certainly welcome to cool off and get in on the fun.
Skateboarding enthusiasts will definitely want to check out Helen McCall Park, as it boasts a relatively new skate park. The flow is great and skaters of all levels should expect a mellow, yet enjoyable experience. The main ledge provides an ideal height and length. The bank, while skateable is not perfect, but this park otherwise gets high marks from experienced skateboarders. Meanwhile, graffiti walls encourage artists to show off their work without compromising skateboarding safety.
Local athletes spend a lot of time at Helen McCall Park, which boasts well-maintained soccer, baseball, and football fields. This multi-sport facility is a great destination for batting practice or simply kicking the ball around — although, depending on when you visit, you may find the fields occupied for practices or games.
Not every 30A experience needs to take place on the beach or in a trendy shopping area. Sometimes, seemingly ordinary experiences are also the most enjoyable, as evidenced by everyday visits to the humble Helen McCall Park. Give this charming park a try to see why the locals are so fond of it.
-Parking can be tough during athletic events, so be prepared to circle the lots if you visit at the wrong time.
-The splash pad is not open throughout the entire year. If you want to check it out, plan to visit in June, July, or August.