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Florida's Gulf Beaches
The Tampa, St. Pete & Clearwater Area

The Tampa/St.Pete/Clearwater area is where you will find some of the most pristine and beautiful beaches in Florida. The majority of these beaches are close to one another and a few are remote islands that offer a private retreat for the Florida traveler. The island parks offer some of the best fishing and snorkeling on the west coast of Florida.

Fort Desoto Park
Fort De Soto is located in the southwest corner of Mullet Key, at the entrance to Tampa Bay. The entire island is now Fort De Soto Park, a Pinellas county park which offers fine beaches, fishing, nature trails, camping, boating, and much more.

This beach was once home to the Tocobaga Indians who fished and traveled the area in small boats. A huge military fort was built here during the Spanish American war and you can tour the fort and stand next to it's truly monstrous canons. The fort has many pictures of the fort and beach during the Spanish American war and they are facinating to look at.

This is a huge park with bike trails, kayak rentals, bike rentals, a great fishing pier, boat ramps, camping area. The beach and water is absolutelt beautiful which is why it has been previously ranked one of the top 10 beaches in the USA.

Clearwater Beach
Clearwater Beach is located in Pinellas County and it has miles of pure white sand and a gentle surf. This is a really popular beach that can get crowded during the summer and it has become a spring break mecca for college students.

Clearwater Beach has a fishing pier called Pier 60 which is great for fishing and in the evening it is taken over by craftsman and performers much like in Key West. There are many neat shops, cafes, bars, and restaraunts that line the strip that runs adjacent to the beach. You can stay in a hotel on the beach and never have to use a car because everything is within walking distance.

Visit the official Clearwater site for more information - MyClearwater.com

St.Pete/Treasure Island/Pass-a-grille/Madeira/Bellaire/Indian Shores/Indian Rocks/Redington Shors/North Redington Beach/Redington Beach
These 9 small beach communities start at the South end of Gulf Blvd and run North all the way up to Clearwater Beach. You can take a nice car ride up and down Gulf Blvd and enjoy the beautiful scenery that all of these beach communities have to offer. There is plenty to do with shopping, dining, bars, miniature golf, & more. Thousands of foreign tourists flock to these beach communities year after year because of their charm and beauty.

The beaches stretch for miles and they are extremely clean and the water is beautiful. There are plenty of hotels ranging from bargain to 4 star pricing. St.Pete Beach is home to the world renown Don Cesar hotel that is rich with history. The Don Cesar is a favorite retreat for presidents and celebrities.

Honeymoon Island State Park
The pioneers called it Hog Island, but it became Honeymoon Isle in 1939 when a New York developer built 50 palm - thatched bungalows for honeymooners. Today the park is a beautifully maintained beach complete with nature trails and observation towers. This beach is perfect for nature lovers and bird watchers who can watch for Osprey and other bird species.

The water is pristine and there are many shells to be had due to the water current in the area. There is a fee to enter the park which means that it will not be crowded with people. Visit this beach once and you will know why so many honeymooners came here years ago to stay in the seaside bungalows.

Egmont Key State Park
is a 440 acre Florida State Park located on Egmont Key, at the mouth of Tampa Bay. It lies southwest of Fort DeSoto Park. It can only reached by boat or ferry. The Egmont Key Lighthouse and the ruins of Fort Dade, a Spanish-American War era fort, are located in the park.

The park is primarily a National Wildlife Refuge, and was established as such in 1974. The park can only be accessed by private boat. It is one of the three 'Tampa Bay Refuges', and administered as a part of the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The island served as a camp for captured Seminoles at the end of the Third Seminole War and was later occupied by the Union Navy during the Civil War

The historic lighthouse was built in 1858 and it still stands today. There are many trails for exploring and many shells to be had in the clear water. The park is the perfect secluded getaway for you and your family.

Caladesi Island State Park
Caladesi State Park is a natural and beautiful island that can only be accessed by private boat or by a ferry from nearby Honeymoon Island State Park. This is a popular fishing destination as well as nature lovers and those wanting to view wildlife. Nature lovers will enjoy the 3-mile nature trail and the 3-mail kayak trail through the mangroves. For ferry information call (727) 734-5263

Sand Key Park
Sand Key Park is a barrier island between the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida mainland. The entire park consists of 95 acres and it's sand is pristine and white. The park welcomes more than one million each year.

Author writes for the Florida travel and vacation blog http://www.BestofFloridaOnline.com

Best of Florida reviews attractions and events all over Florida so that prospective Florida visitors will have a better idea of where to go and what to see while visiting Florida. Any Florida business, attraction, theme park, concert, or event can get a free review by emailing sunnygator@bestoffloridaonline.com

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