• Uncover an interwoven ecosystem at Fort De Soto Park the place historical past and pure magnificence meet.
  • Be taught concerning the army historical past of the park and see the remaining coastal protection weapons.
  • Take pleasure in three miles of waterfront, pristine seashores, tenting services, and extra at this well-liked vacation spot.

Fort De Soto Park is positioned south of St. Petersburg, Florida close to Tampa, and is a getaway to the famed Great Florida Birding Trail. Fort De Soto Park and its 5 keys (or islands) are well-known for each having a number of the greatest seashores within the better Tampa space and a number of the oldest historical sites in Florida.

Visiting Fort De Soto Park and its three miles of pristine seashores is an underrated stopoff whereas within the Tampa space (or in the event you’re seeking a beach day trip from Orlando). Here is what to know, the place to go, and what to see.

Fort De Soto Park: One Of The Finest Seashore Parks In The Better Tampa Space

Fort De Soto has 5 keys and virtually three miles of seashores, attracting 2.7 million guests yearly

Fort De Soto Park, Florida

Fort De Soto Park, Florida

Fort De Soto is the biggest park within the Pinellas County Park System and is positioned on 5 offshore keys that may be accessed by the toll street State Route 676. The principle island is Mullet Key and the opposite 4 are Madelaine Key, St. Jean Key, St. Christopher Key, and Bonne Fortune Key.

Islands Of Fort De Soto Park:

  • Madelaine Key
  • St. Jean Key
  • St. Christopher Key
  • Bonne Fortune Key
  • Mullet Key

Fort De Soto Park is traditionally vital with a protracted army historical past and is a spot the place historical past and pristine pure magnificence come collectively. The park gives a implausible range of ecosystems the place sea life, fowl life, plants, and extra mix into an imposing tapestry.

See an interwoven ecosystem of mangroves, wetlands, palm hammocks, seaside vegetation, hardwoods, and extra.

Over 328 species of birds have been documented on the islands through the years with extra species nonetheless being added.

One of many island’s most vital residents is the loggerhead sea turtle, which some on shore to nest yearly between April and September.

Fort De Soto is without doubt one of the hottest seashores in Florida, attracting over 2.7 million guests yearly and was named America’s Top Beach in 2009 by TripAdvisor.


10 Free Beaches To Visit In Florida During The Colder Months

Escape the summer season crowds and discover the serene fantastic thing about Florida’s pristine seashores which can be free to go to throughout the colder months.

Uncover The Fortifications Of Fort De Soto & Battery Laidley

See 4 12-inch coastal protection weapons and different historic fortifications at Fort De Soto Park

The Spanish are recognized to have sighted the islands in 1529, and the well-known conquistador, Hernando De Soto, landed in Florida someplace round right here as he got down to conquer Florida for the Spanish Empire. The islands have been fortified throughout the Spanish-American Conflict and remained lively till 1910.

Guests can see the remaining 12-inch coastal protection mortars and different weapons and fortifications left behind.

Be taught extra concerning the army historical past of Fort De Soto Park by visiting the Quartermaster Museum on Mullet Key. The museum permits guests to step again in time and tour the fortifications of the island, together with the fort’s main protection at Battery Laidley.

Fort De Soto Park, Florida
Photograph by Ela108 Garwacka-Goralik on Unsplash

Photograph of Fort De Soto Park, Close to Tampa, Florida

Quartermaster Museum:

  • Opening Hours: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm day by day
  • Admission: Free

There have been two batteries, however one was destroyed in a hurricane in 1921 – at present each batteries are named on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations. Maybe probably the most exceptional and well-known coastal fort in Florida is Fort Jefferson, protected in Dry Tortugas National Park, which is worth a visit on its own.


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Whether or not you goal to relax by the ocean, wander lush parks, go to cigar factories, or attempt high-end eateries, listed below are must-try distinctive resorts close to Tampa.

Visiting Fort De Soto Park & Its Amenities

Fort De Soto is open each day from 7:00 to sundown and has a full vary of services, together with a canine park

Fort De Soto Park has over 7 miles of waterfront (together with virtually three miles of white sandy seashores).

Guests can camp within the park as there’s a 238-site household tenting space with services in addition to a primitive, youth tenting space. These campgrounds are amongst Florida’s most exciting camping spots.

  • Opening Hours: 7:00 am to sundown day by day

Fort De Soto Park has 7 miles of paved trails connecting North Seashore, East Seashore, and the tenting space — plus there’s a 2.25-mile leisure canoe path. The park additionally has a 1-mile nature path within the Arrowhead Picnic space and a 0.75 mile within the Soldier’s Gap space.

  • Mountaineering: 7 miles of paved trails

Different services embrace a big boat launching facility, playgrounds, two giant swim facilities, two fishing piers (fishing licenses are required), a concession snack bar and memento store, a Quartermaster Museum, and extra. The park can also be notable for having the one canine park the place canines are permitted on the seaside in a delegated space.

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