Located about 14 miles southwest of St. Petersburg, Fort De Soto Park is spread out over five small islands connected by bridges and causeways. These west coast keys have everything you’d want in a beach getaway: Three miles of beach, two swim centers, two fishing piers, and seven miles of trails — no motor vehicles allowed. There’s marine life and wildlife to peep on those walks, including 328 bird species and a loggerhead sea turtle refuge. The 1,100 acres even include some notable history, as Native Americans inhabited the land around 1,000 A.D. and Union troops built fortifications on the islands during the Civil War to help with the blockade of Tampa Bay.
Families who camp can reserve a space to stay overnight, and the facilities include restrooms, grills and washing machines. Boaters should take advantage of the one of the park’s 11 docks.