Fort De Soto Park

Fort De Soto Park was named after infamous explorer, Hernando De Soto, of the Spanish-American War era.

The fort, built around 1539, was ‘built like a fort’ and has survived almost 500 years to date and looks like it will survive for many more hundreds of years.

But don’t wait to visit; the fort is now a museum that explains the history of the five islands that make up the park area.

This Park consists of five islands; Madelaine Key, St. Jean Key, St. Christopher Key, Bonne Fortune Key and Mullet Key. All islands are connected and each contains its own special qualities for visitors to enjoy.

Even if you are not a camper, you shouldn't miss the opportunity to spend the night in an unbelievable forest with nearby beaches and a lot of great wildlife.

We love beaches that reserve areas for our furry friends. Here, at De Soto, there is sand and a grassy area.

Fort De Soto Park with Mia

Thanks to Nancy for sending us a pix
of her beautiful Mia enjoying the beach.

The park has two beaches for you to relax on and work on your tan and is well known for its unforgettable camping experience (see bullet below regarding booking campsites).

There are also two fishing piers and over 900 acres of the park is dedicated as a sanctuary to birds, other animals and plants.

Reasons to visit Fort De Soto Park

  • Two gorgeous beaches for sunning, white sand and azure water
  • Beachcombing, shelling, swimming, snorkeling, boating, canoe/kayaking and saltwater fishing
  • Historical museum and Spanish-American war era fort
  • Concession stand and camping store with gifts and snack bar, picnic tables and shelters, large playgrounds, restroom facilities and showers
  • Two fishing piers with bait, tackle and food concession stands
  • Nature trails for birding, hiking and walking (part of the Great Florida Birding Trail)
  • Open 365 days, including holidays, 8 a.m. to sunset, nominal fees
  • Overnight camping is allowed (full service campground); you must appear in person to book a campsite in advance (no more than 30 days)- office is located at 631 Chestnut St. in Clearwater or 150 5th St. N. in downtown St. Petersburg.

What to Do: Nearby St. Petersburg is a great city to visit for anyone who enjoys history and nature.

Visit the Salvador Dali Museum to view some great artwork or for young children, visit Great Explorations, The Children’s Museum which has a few fun activities for kids to enjoy while learning and exploring.

Where to Eat: There are a wide array of restaurants in the city to choose from. Check out the Sloppy Pelican which is anything but sloppy and offers great American food and drinks for the whole family.

Where to Stay: Of course, camping out at Fort De Soto’s campground is the best experience, but if you prefer to stay indoors or are unable to get a campsite, try one of the many hotels in the area.

Barefoot Beach Resort Hotel offers a nice, secluded escape from reality in comfort.

Fort De Soto Park is located at 3500 Pinellas Byway Tierra Verde (St. Petersburg), Florida 33715 Phone- (727)582-2267

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