Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fort De Soto Park

A real highlight of our recent trip to Florida was the morning we spent at Fort De Soto Park. Located in Tierra Verde, Florida, it's just minutes away from St. Petersburg and Tampa. It has been named America's top beach by Trip Advisor and others, and it really is spectacular. My favorite aspect is the miles of uninterupted shoreline. No buildings, no traffic, just gentle waves lapping at the edges of the sand. It's beach life the way Mother Nature always intended it to be.

I had lofty intentions of being pretty active during our morning there. I wanted to rent bikes and tour the fort itself, in addition to playing on the beach. Fate intervened though--the small bike rental place didn't offer a kid's seat or trailer for the arrow, and the Fort is currently closed for renovations. There are worse places for your plans to go bust, I can assure you of that. Instead, we spent two hours playing in the sand, splashing in the water, and hunting for seashells. Here are a few of my favorite photos:

I know it looks like we had the place to ourselves. There were plenty of people visiting the park, but it's large so everyone tends to spread out. We visited between 9-11 a.m. on a Sunday, so I'm sure arriving early helps, too.

If You Visit:
Fort De Soto Park
3500 Pinellas Bayway S., Tierra Verde, FL
Admission to the park is free. Depending on how you get there, you'll likely have to pay a 35-cent toll to cross the bridge to get to the park. (That's not a typo. Really. 35 cents.) According to the website, the Fort will re-open sometime this month.
Insider Tip: The park is relatively serene and undeveloped, but there is a snack bar and gift shop that sells beach supplies and lunch fixings. If you're not traveling with small children and want to rent bikes, you'll find that near the snack bar. There is a great paved trail that runs throughout the park. And most of the parking areas scattered around the park have a restroom and picnic shelter.

This post is a part of Photo Friday at Delicious Baby.