Admire the vestiges of the fortress, bring your kids to the pirate ship playground and relax on the beaches of this archipelago.
Off the western coast of Florida, Fort De Soto Park is a picturesque set of five islands with an intriguing military history. These scenic landmasses were used for fortifications and today contain structural ruins and a museum that explains the history of these battlements. Embark on various hiking trails to appreciate the natural majesty of these islands.
Make your way to the Mullet Key landmass, the main island of the archipelago. Wander through the verdant forest at its heart and have a picnic in these pleasant surroundings.
Sunbathe on one of the sandy strands, such as Fort De Soto Dog Beach at the isle’s northern end. Kids can play in the pirate ship playground near the entrance of North Beach on the western fork of the island. Relax with some snacks and refreshments at Arrowhead Picnic and Fishing Area.
Walk along the scenic coastline and browse the shops for souvenirs and fishing equipment near the Fort De Soto Fishing Pier. Walk along the pier, which extends into the Gulf of Mexico, for excellent views of the water and the surrounding islands. A little southwest of the islet is Egmont Key State Park.
Go to the Fort De Soto Batteries to see the old artillery vestiges and cannons pointed toward Tampa Bay. Snap photos of the Sunshine Skyway, among the world’s longest cable-stayed concrete bridges.
Bring a pair of binoculars and gaze up at the sky to spot the great range of birds that fly around this region. The islands are considered the gateway to the Great Florida Birding Trail. The state of Florida has over 500 species, including the red-cockaded woodpecker, the smooth-billed ani and limpkins.
The islands that contain the Fort De Soto Park are just southwest of St. Petersburg on the western flank of central Florida. Drive across the bridges and causeways that connect the islets, accessible via a toll road from the mainland.