Riverview, Florida

Riverview, Florida

An unincorporated area within Hillsborhourgh County Florida, Riverview is located roughly 10 miles from the beaches in Brandenton and thirty minutes from Tampa. Riverview has a population of 71,050 (as of the 2015 census).

Founded in 1865, and originally referred to as “Peru,” (an Indian name for “straight part of the river”) the area we now know as Riverview was home to Tocobaga Indians who lived on the land for centuries. Peru was one of the oldest settlements in the state of Florida and was initially founded on the south shore of the Alafia River which takes it’s name from the native word meaning “river of fire.” Indians bestowed this name upon the river due to the phosphorous sitting on the river bottom that glowed at nightfall. Today the river contributes primarily to outdoor recreation, offering ample opportunities for residents to fish or launch a boat from the Riverview ramp.

riverview florida

During the 1890s settlement began on the north side of the river with the first school being built in 1893, inside of the Peru Baptist Church. The north and south communities were connected by river ferry and soon a bridge was constructed from the remains of a bridge that at once had spanned the Hillsborough river in downtown Tampa. A post office was constructed on the Riverview side and then moved to the Peru side, causing great tension and confusion. The post office eventually adopted the Riverview name, in the early 1940s to alleviate confusion with mail service. Much to the dismay of pioneer families, what was once known as Peru has largely disappeared from all but the earliest of maps.

Modern-day Riverview is considered a progressive community with strong economic stability and still encompassing the original small town feel. The river location affords residents the opportunity to enjoy year-round outdoor activities like boating, canoeing, swimming and fishing. Due to the unique location, sitting near wilderness, straddling the banks of the Alafia River and in close proximity to golf courses and other amenities that come with Florida living, Riverview made CNN Money’s list of “100 Best Places to Live” in 2012.

Our Favorite Things to Do In Riverview , Florida

Our mini-guide to Riverview below will help you discover more about this dynamic city by the lake.
  • Outdoor Activities
  • Places to Eat

Riverview offers a wide array of outdoor activities or locals and visitors. There is plenty of room to roam and explore the unique landscape of Riverview. Be it on water or by land, you are sure to discover a new favorite spot while observing some incredible wildlife in their naturel habitat. Some of our favorite adventures are listed below.

Balm-Boyette Scrub and Triple Creek Preserve Hiking Trail

13998 Balm Boyette Rd


There are a few rare scrubs in west Florida and the Tampa area, one being the Balm Boyette Scrub. These endangered habitats are common in both central and eastern Florida. Balm Boyette is a 5723 acre nature preserve with a large area of undisturbed habitat. Coupled with the neighboring Triple Creek Preserve, you’ll find 6 miles of hiking trails, 18 miles of mountain bike trails. Expect to see wildlife aplenty including Gopher tortoise, Fox Squirrels, a bounty of butterflies and a cornucopia of birds. There are several creeks along the main hiking path all of which feed into the Alafia River.

Alafia Scrub Nature Preserve

10212 Gibsonton Dr

(813) 672-7876

Located on the Alafia River, east of I-75, Alafia Scrub Nature Preserve consists of 80 acres of ravines, creeks, marsh and shoreline. There is a clearly marked trail which winds for roughly two miles and leads to a scenic overlook.This is a heavily wooded site and rural Florida at it’s best.

Bikes on the Bay Water Bike Rentals

11222 Casa Loma Dr

(813) 716-5549

Hope on an eco-friendly and human powered water bike for a one-of-a-kind day out of doors. It’s a change of pace and a chance to possibly spot dolphins, manatee or other wildlife. Water bikes are nearly impossible to tip and offer great opportunities for team building, fun with friends or family bonding. If you’re looking for a healthy choice for an outing, Bikes on the Bay is it!