Spread over five small islands, 1,136-acre Fort De Soto Park lies at the mouth of Tampa Bay. It has 7 miles of waterfront (much of it beach), two fishing piers, a 4-mile hiking and skating trail, picnic-and-camping grounds, and a historic fort that kids of any age can explore. The fort for which it's named was built on the southern end of Mullet Key to protect sea lanes in the gulf during the Spanish-American War. Roam the fort or wander the beaches of any of the islands within the park. Kayaks and beach cruisers are available for rental. While most of Tampa Bay's beaches don't allow dogs, Fort De Soto has a somewhat lengthy dog beach for those who can't bear to hit the sand without their best buddy.
Nov 12, 2008
A large park preserve with lots of beach area, an abandoned fort, hiking and picknicking areas, camping, a boat ramp, and two fishing piers. Very enjoyable, but traffic can be rough to and from the area.